Getting to ride singletrack always makes me happy. With the Yankee Springs Time Trial quickly approaching I wanted to get some time in out there. I have always rolled around the idea of riding two laps, but have never figured I had the legs to do it.....but it was time to try.....
I got to the trailhead right before 8am. The population of the trailhead always grows exponentially as the race approaches and then quickly dies off afterwards. Being two Saturday before the race I knew there would be more cars than last week. When I got there Dan, Jay, and Dwight were already there and getting ready. I knew Dan had to ride quick so he could get to the shop on time to get it open. Charles was running a few minutes behind, but Dan and I took off anyway....fully thinking these other three would catch us.
I was feeling okay. I was pushing the pace a bit because I wanted to see what my legs were capable of because they were still a bit sore from my road ride on Thursday. To my surprise they were feeling pretty good. The trail is getting sandy, but that is expected....just not this early in the year. I made a point of not stopping to rest at the top of the hills. I just kept rolling, even if it was slower....because this is how I made myself faster last year. Keep spinning. My friend Dave told me something very important last year and it was rolling through my head the entire lap: "Sean, lets go....you are not going to get any faster standing on the side of the trail". Words from the wise....and he is right.....so even when it felt like my heart would quit.....I kept rolling. Dan followed me around until about 3 miles to go and then he took the lead. He would disappear for a bit and then I would see him slowing and waiting at the top of the hills. In all honesty....I think he was messing with me.....knowing that I will be chasing him at the TT. All I know is....he is still faster. We made it through the lap without the other three catching us. I was rather shocked by this....but proud at the same time. Now, they could have started 15 minutes after us....but still.....they never caught me!
We finished up and Dan headed to work. Dwight came into the parking lot first, followed by Jay and Charles was right behind them. When they caught their breath we headed out for #2. I just plugged along. Paced myself. The second lap went how I expected....I got dumped off the back right away....but the other guys were just cruising so I caught them when they stopped. I kept going....no stopping. They were waiting for me at the top of one of the climbs and asked if I needed a breather. I told them to keep going because I was not stopping. We pressed on and I eventually finished the second lap. I was only 5 minutes slower than the first which made me wonder how hard I can push during the race.
A double Yankee. It does sound dirty.....and technically it is.....because I was riding in the dirt. Mark another off my list of firsts. Last year was my first century, this year was my first double yankee. No matter how many times I say it I just smile....I wonder if I will smile after the TT......we will find out soon enough.