California Golden State Championships Expert 43-50
This is the first time for me to be the youngest guy in my category. I went to this race thinking I was going to have tough competition and was prepared for a battle royal. 9000ft starting elevation, climbing approx 2400ft over 18 miles. A short race of around 1hr 30mins? I usually race 2hr 30mins. I knew it was going to be a ball buster of a start, 8am, windy high sierra cold, 50 deg. I pre-rode to the course a couple a days before and knew what to expect on course and did a simulation warm up as well. Anyway, I got up, took a hot shower then lathered my body with tiger balm (stay away from the crotch! and the crack). By the time I got on my bike I was cozy and warm with legs warmers, base layer and arm warmers. Rode a 35min climb to start with some rolling around. I felt great and ready to goooooo. The race starts on a climb to a descent (a series of 6 double jumps), then a 10 min climb to a lake with a couple of fairly short power fire road climbs into some sweet single track (O/A 80% single track 20% fire roads) and a bunch more of the same to the finish line for 3 laps in all. I crested the beginning climb in the lead. I pushed my thumb shifter for the big ring and the whole pod was gone??? My shifter was dangling by my front wheel headed into a bunch of double jumps.......I stopped and wrapped it around my handlebar while a couple of guys passed. I was on a 29er with only the small front chainring 27T (I put my spinning technique to the test). I ended up passing them within 10 mins and held the lead all the way to the finish. The course was soooo fun I think they designed it for my pleasure. I finished 1:25 for the victory! Got a Championship Jersey(although I don't think it means anything) that looks and fits nice. What I learned? Even when racing gets frustrating and all the chips seem down (a challenging year for me with my shoulder injury) it ain't over until the fat lady sings.
ride picks are from day afters ride in Rock Creek