Some Summer Racing
What a way to kick off the summer MTB season. 6 big laps around Stoney Creek Metropark's MTB trails. 60 miles of racing in the end and over 4 hours of saddle time. As always I was concerned my legs would cramp. My goal was to watch my fluid and calorie intake closer than I have in the past. Thankfully it helped in the end as I didn't really have issues until the last lap. And the leg cramps were minor in comparison to previous years. I didn't have to stop once and was able to push it all the way to the finish. The cooler temps this time around helped a bit too.
My teammate Jason took the hole shot and rode right through the finish chute by mistake. Hilarious! He was quickly back on track and leading us all out. We exited the first bit of single track and Jason was gapping us already. He flew down the first lose descent and I was following 10 second back. Shortly after Christian Tanguy(Fraser) caught me and I hopped on his wheel. He ended up bringing me, Greg Kuhn(Fraser) and Randy Laprarie(Macomb) back up to Jason. Christian make a strong move taking Randy with him as Greg, Jason and I chased. I somehow managed to hang on to the hard chargin Greg and Jason duo as they brought a fatiguing Randy back. Christian was long gone leaving us to race for 2nd. The pace was high for the first few laps eventually dropping Randy and leaving me to fight for survival. Greg and Jason traded pulls until the 4th or 5th lap when I poked my head into the wind in a attempt to contribute all I could. On the final lap we had a bit of a bobble with some lapped traffic and Greg attacked hard. By the time Jason and I could react he was gone and rolled in for that 2nd spot. Jason and I worked together to keep a roaring Robert Herriman(American Cycle and Fit) from catching us. Jason 3rd and I took the 4th spot and made the podium. I was pretty stoked. On a sad note, our cooler was stolen which housed my turkey on whole wheat and, sit down for this, a sixer of Oberon. I still haven't recovered from this malicious attack.
Next up was Big M. I was invited to crash for the weekend at my friend Randy's super secret training and hunting lodge(I'm not at liberty to disclose the location). It was perfect peaceful backwoods race prep. Saturday morning we downed some super secret go fast breakfast and headed out to the North Country Trail. Randy took me on a kick ass tour of some of the best single track Michigan has to offer. During I discovered the trails were dialed but my bike was not. My carbon fiber crank arm was lose and moving in unwanted directions. We continued with our ride anyway and returned to base camp a few hours later. We did our best to fix the problem but it turns out things had gone pear shaped. The carbon fiber had stretched around the spindle. At that point we decided it was time for dinner and that I'd be racing a bum bike. We brewed up a covert Bell's/Quiring Team original pre race meal which was enjoyed while watching Le Tour. Brought to us via satellite. After a good nights rest we were up and eating one of those go fast breakfasts again. I loaded the car, filled bottles and rolled out to the race. It was a beautiful morning. After a short warm up we were at the line ready for 5 laps of all our war. The race started super fast with Greg Kuhn(Fraser) at the head of affairs. Followed by Christian "The Flying Frenchman" Tanguy(Fraser), Mark Parmelee(Cycletherapy), myself, Jason and a host of others. As soon as we hit the hills Christian made a move with only Jason reacting. I stayed with the others. Christian took another jab losing Jason. The Frenchman disappeared as Greg reeled in my teammate. Those two were throwing down as the rest followed. At the end of lap one Jason and Greg gapped my group on the big sandpit of a downhill. It was then I noticed my rear brake was lacking...brakes and functioning poorly. I survived and hopped on Mark Parmelee's wheel. The chase to Greg and Jason was on. On lap two as we hit the hills we started to bring them back. I was hanging on best I could until the catch was made. Then, another surge and I blew up. I did my best to recover and limit my losses. I hit the sandy downhill again and nearly went into the trees. This continued for a couple more laps. I was going backwards. Couldn't put the power down and certainly couldn't rip the downhills. On my fourth lap my rear rotor blew to pieces. Again putting me into the woods. I survived, stopped and checked the damage. I had to bend the remnants of the rotor away from the spokes. Initially I thought my ride was over but Randy spotted me and forced me to ride on. Which I did and I managed to finish with a front brake only. Naturally not what I had hoped for at Big M but it was fun ride in the end. And I got one heck of a lap and a half interval in. Thanks Randy for your hospitality and I'd also like to thank Jason Bowne(Cross Country Cycle) and his family for the water bottle hand ups.
Thanks for reading. See you at the next one.