Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pre-Ride Problems = Race Day Success

Where to begin? Dan and I went out for a pre-ride of the Peak to Peak MTB race course Friday evening. About 2 miles into the 10 mile lap, Dan notices that his tire is soft. Half a mile latter, we are on the side of the trail fixing a flat.

At this point, I should point out that Dan runs a Stan’s tubeless tire setup. Two weeks ago at Boyne, Dan was bragging about how well this setup has worked for him all year. In fact, he didn’t even carry a tube at Boyne.

Anyway, we can’t find anything wrong with his tire so he whips out his tube…only to find that the tube had two big holes in it! I didn’t bring a tube or patchkit, so we attempted to hold it together with duct tape. We patch it up, and attempt to fill the tube with Dan’s CO2. Denied! He only had a used cartridge. We tried a couple of my cartridges, but could not get the tire to hold air. I went off back down the trial to the hotel room for tubes and a patch kit.

I got back to the room, only to find that Dan only brought cyclocross tubes! I grabbed one, along with one of my 26-inch tubes and a patch. I scoot back up the trail to find Dan shivering next to his bike. We put in my tube, and set off to finish the lap in the failing light.

The course was dead flat for the first 9 miles. Then it turned up the back side of the ski hill for about half a mile and down the face for about half a mile to the finish. We made good time for the next six miles, until I heard a ‘snap’ from my seat. Turns out I snapped one of the seat rails clean in half! I could perch myself on the very nose of the saddle if I eased down on it and was careful. Mostly, I stood.

It was dark by the time we finished the lap. We went back to the room and called a teammate that planned to drive up for the race the next day. We talked him into bringing a seat, some tubes and CO2. Dan put on a harder gear and I stripped of my seat. I didn’t sleep too well, thinking about getting the bike set up for the next day.

Morning arrived, and I got the bike set up without further drama. I was racing my singlespeed against the geared riders in the expert class. Dan was racing his singlespeed in the elite class. All Elite and Expert riders went off together. The first lap was not as fast as I thought it would be. I was able to keep the leaders in sight for most of the first lap—in fact, I spotted Dan two-thirds of the way up the final climb when I was just starting out at the bottom. I was worried he was having a bad race, as he normally is far ahead of me.

The second lap was uneventful. I was able to sit on a couple of wheels. I often felt that I could go a bit harder, but I knew I would get caught on the final climb.

I got behind a fairly fast rider for the last lap. We were in the same class (Expert 30-39), and I asked him where he thought we were sitting. He said that he thought we could be as high as first and second! I had to work pretty hard to keep up with him that lap, but I was still right behind him at the base of the final climb. Once the climb started, he pulled of into the distance. I suffered up the climb and finished the race.

I ended up in 3rd place! I was pleased with this result; I have never raced my SS against the geared riders in the expert class. I would have won the SS class by over five minutes. Dan took 2nd Place in Elite. It was a good day for Founder’s riders and for singlespeeders. It was a nice confidence booster two weeks before Iceman.

3 comments:

jason mead said...

awsesome job joe! are you riding the new "Q"? if so how bout some pics....

Endurosnob said...

YEAH!!!!!

Congrats Joe

Ziomal said...

Very nice! I like it. salary negotiation letters