This was the first year for this event and over 150 racers were there. I got everyone up early because Zack had a 8am start. We piled into the van and left the house at 6:50am. After what seemed like a short hour we arrived at Cannonsburg Ski Area. The skys were dark....but the threats of thunderstorms dimished quickly. The day ended up being very warm with partly sunny skies. My face actually got burnt....lol.
Zack started at 8am. He lined up with the 14 and under group and took off. The course was set up so that about half way through the riders would pass an open area. I asked him when he went by how he was feeling and he said "okay". This open area is right before a long climb so I told him to be prepared.....and he downshifted and went out of sight. He took 7th out of 8 with a good time of 0:53:42. The course was being changed after the beginners went through. The course added some of the skills area that the promoter must not have thought the beginners could handle. More on that later.....
9:30am Meeting new people and old friends. Getting ready to race.
9:45am Climbing the hill on the entrance road to the ski area....warming up.
9:55am Start line...sizing up competition. The funny part of this was that I was talking to the guy that beat me by 12 seconds at Custer....rrrrrrr.
10:00am General Sport Racers Take off.
10:02am....Dave sounds the gun and we are off.
10:02 and 30 seconds..........I am riding alone.
It took all of 30 seconds for my race to end. I knew there were 6 people in my class and that things can happen...and I am never going to quit.....so I kept going. The course was brutal. It started with a nearly mile long climb right out of the gate. By the time I got to the top everyone was out of sight. Smiling to myself....I kept going. The course seemed like it was on a wheel...and I was stuck on the uphill side of it and it was just spinning. I eventually got to the top but I was just feeling slow. The first hill killed me. Heart rate went sky high. F the hills. I managed to settle myself down and caught up with my eventual riding partner for the next 15 miles. She is a rider from the Fort Custer group and we just started talking. She would leave me on the climbs and I would catch her a few minutes later....just in time for her to leave me on the next hill.
The first lap went by in just over 40 minutes. Then....the long climb again. Then about half way through....another long climb. Lap two was quiet. A few singlespeeders had passed me on the first lap and I was expecting to see some of the other racers before finishing this lap. To my surprise I don't think anyone passed me. As a matter of fact, only about 10 people passed me on the third lap. Not bad for a beginner clyde racing in the sport clyde class.
My lap times were fairly consistent:
Lap 1 0:40:25
Lap 2 0:43:40
Lap 2 0:45:53
I figured that my last lap would be much longer than the others because I am not used to racing more than 10 miles. This race came in at 16.6 by my computer. I chalked it up to a good training ride in preparation for the Boyne Marathon on July 10th. I took a 6th place out of 6.....but I was only 11 minutes away from 5th place. Not bad considering the extra lap. Overall, it was a good day with family and friends. Next year I am coming back to try for a higher finish.
I know I still have a lot of work to do...but someone gave me an interesting compliment. Briana, my racing buddy at this race, asked if I normally race sport. When I told her that I am a beginner she was surprised. She said "you definitely have the skill set of a sport rider....you should be racing sport". If I was faster....I would be......but I appreciated the compliment on my skills.
Boyne is in about a week and a half. Hills are on the menu again....so I will fill up on hills for the next week and see what happens!