Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Split Decision Goes to VanderWaal

I fought a tough battle with the Gear Jammer (see previous Mt Peak at 3pm post) and overall was pretty happy with the results. I would even say if the judges had to go to the cards I would have won.

The morning started out pretty uneventful. It started to rain just before the race and I was starting to worry. The trails basically consisted of tight, twisty single track laden with roots and rocks. Definitely not the trails that I want wet and slick. Thankfully the rain let up and all was good in the world again.

I did my usual warm-up and found a nice spot near the front of the starting chute. The gun went off and we were off. Definitely not as nerve racking as the start of the Test of Metal, as there were only 300 riders compared to 800! I found a comfortable pace and settled in near the rear of the lead back of 40-50 riders. The first 3 miles of the course is a grinding up hill. It was nice to spread out the field. The first hour was a blast I was riding well and keeping the bike upright on the tricky trails.

The second hour of the race was another story. There was a deadly steep climb up to Power Smart that lead into a tight...I mean tight single track descent. I had several bobbles during the descent and allowed three riders to catch me. Some of the dudes and gals in Canada have some sick downhill skills. Their uphill skills are a bit lacking, but they can tear up the downhill. The darkness continued as I rode the Recycle trail. I was tired and my skills were tragic. I took three hard spills on the switchbacks, with the last one being a hard over the bars crash. I sat on the ground for a minute or two collecting my thoughts, stamina and dignity that was strewn across the trails. Luckily no one was around to witness my falling from grace. After collecting my pride and emotions, I was actually impressed with how well I calm myself down and focused on the race again.

The last hour was great. I nailed the powerhouse plunge trail, only getting off the bike twice for some pretty hairy bridge crossings. My last two climbs were solid and I ended up finishing in 3:17:05 which was good enough for 11th place in age group.

Again, this was not my kind of course, but was a fun race. I would much rather do the Test of Metal again rather than the Gear Jammer, but who knows, you could see a rematch of me versus the Gear Jammer in '08.

1 comment:

DARTvg said...

Well Done AV!!! Don't back down to this bully....show him what you got!