Monday, July 14, 2008

Padden mtn. bike race

I don't know why more road dorks don't venture into the wild more often. Avoid burnout, learn great bike handling skills, and enjoy bike racing with way less ego / attitude than on the road. It's a great scene. Plus you will meet so many of your teammates that you never knew you had. Seriously, Bicycle Centers is EVERYWHERE in the dirt world.

I showed up early because my kid was racing the kids race. And I also got to see Randy Marrs clean house in the beginner class. Apprently Randy was getting ready for CX season by dismounting some of the trickier descents. He still won easily though. I was glad to see him there, as I've been trying to talk him into it since I did my first race at Seatac earlier this year.

My kid raced his Trek Trikester, it's an awesome machine but weighs a ton, 31 + pounds anyway. I love riding that thing although it's a lot for a 3 year old to pedal. Good thing we can ride double if need be - I can stand on the platform while he pedals my fat ass around. Can I add those miles to my training log? He had fun but bitched about his race being too short, but wants to do it again.

I also got to see the Sport classes and Open Women. Beth was haulin' ass around the course and was workin' hard, yet still managed to say hi and smile. I saw Christy Berg and cheered for her, but she has no idea who the hell I am. I'll have to introduce myself one of these days. Aaron and Bruce (ignored me) were flying around the course, and I know all managed to end up with top 5's. Well done everyone. You guys all rule and make riding bikes so much fun.

My race started off in the most retarded fashion. All 3 expert classes and the open/pro started at the same time and funneled into a turn wide enough for about 3 bikes. I have no idea what place I came through in but passed a buttload of people on the climb that felt like it went forever and ever. It was brutal! And I was going to have to do that climb 6 times. F*&%!!! Then the downhill thing, all I have to say is I'm getting better. I held up a few people and pulled over in the one of the switchbacks. Then followed them down the hill. Much better for me. These downhills were pretty technical from a predominantly road geek's perspective. Cross is riding around on a grassy field, it is nothing like this stuff. I know people that would have been afraid to walk a lot of that stuff.

Anyway, lap 2 sucked as well. Then lap 3 I started to get into a rhythym. I rode with Todd Tucker for a bit, then we got separated and was by myself for a long time. I passed a handful of people each time up the stupid friggin climb. Then tried to recover while going downhill as fast as I could without trying to look too much like a roadie.

Lap 6 and Todd was with me again. We rode to the top together and he skirted by and disappeared down the hill. I passed a couple more people but had no idea if they were even in my class. I ended up 4th, Todd was 2nd.This race was pretty damn hard though. It probably sticks out as the 2nd hardest race I've ever done (# 1 was Gig Harbor 2 years ago).

But it was so much fun and so satisfying too.I don't know why more of the road racers won't give it a try - you have no idea what you are missing. There are 2 more races left, and I have an extra bike if anyone wants to give it a try. It is seriously so much fun.

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