Today Tam and I headed up North to JohnBryantState Park for a local XC race. I had never ridden the course before....Obviously, and when the gun went out it was apparent that anyone who had ridden there before had a HUGE advantage. The race consisted of 3 laps on a 10 mile course. The trail itself was super flat and incredibly twisty, tight, and narrow. You were constantly turning into blind corners and as a result the routine was to crank out of a corner to gain speed and then 10 to 15 feet later hitting the brakes just to make the next corner. Each lap had about 9.5 miles of singletrack like this with plenty of log piles and bridges to keep you on your feet. However, this fun trail was new to me so I spent the first lap just trying to learn the good line, I was able to pick it up a bit the next few laps, however I was no match for the leaders who all ride there every week. I was only about 7 minutes off of the leader at the finish, with a personal finishing time of 2:14:something, but I never really got a chance to turn up the intensity and ride at my limit because it was more about knowing how to ride the trail than having fast legs. My average heart rate for the race was only 167 which is a huge 20ish BPM below my normal XC race format heart rate. I finished 9th out of 18 expert riders which was lower than I wanted, but I just couldn't keep up with everyone who knew the trail. Oh well, it was a good lesson in bike control and managing your speed.
Time for a nap!
Go + 3 seconds
Tam rocked with a 3rd place finish in the beginners category...Pretty friggin good for her 2nd ever race!!