Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CCCX Mountain Bike Race, Cat 3 45-54 age group, June 6, 2013

By Mark Giblin

After doing Mt. Hamilton last week, I found it a bit frustrating that there was no masters division for Cat 5 even though there was 40+ riders, so I opted to try a CCCX mountain bike ride at Fort Ord at the advice of Matt.

I bribed my oldest daughter that if she went with me I would buy her anything for supporting me with the exception of a pony, i.e. Starbucks, See’s etc. So she did, not being a morning person, I appreciate her getting up at 7am to go with dad to race.

I did not know how many miles or laps the course was until I got there, nor did I know what the course was like. So I picked everyone's brain for insight as well as riding the first ½ of the lap to warm up. 

It was a wave start with the younger groups starting a minute ahead of us and then our group took off. I found myself quickly in front with a few other riders, being that this was my second mountain bike race ever, I would have just been happy to hide behind someone’s wheel until I got into a groove, which I did for the first half mile or so. 

Then we came to the first climb and I found that I could out climb these riders (thank you Mark Edwards for all of the Boony Doon and Felton Empire repeats). So I attack on the hill with only one  racer 200’ +/- trailing me.

Ten minutes into the race I came upon the previous wave and knew I had to do everything I could to get around them so the other riders would not be able to catch up, this included going on the course one time. After navigating by several groups of riders I found myself in a comfortable position and not seeing my closest rider too me. I started to relax, that was a mistake,  additionally, I’m not the greatest downhiller, at best it’s a lot like a Kangaroo driving a car, it will get you where you need to go, but it’s going to hit a few curbs on the way.  

Then the second place rider (Trent) comes out of  nowhere and had me in his sights going into the last lap. I was angry with myself that I let this guy back in, so I started to hammer and sure enough missed a turned at the bottom of the hill, went outside the course through the ribbon, good thing there were no hay bales, hay would have been everywhere. Now I was really frustrated with myself allowing this guy back on my wheel. Fortunately, we went back into a climb knowing that this was his weakness, I attacked with everything I had and never saw him again until the finish line.

We congratulated each other on a good race and he told me that I should find another hobby. I finished off the day with a trip to Starbucks to reward my daughter for going.

1st: me
2nd:  Trent Eves
3rd: Steven Hatter

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