Were on the start line with 15 seconds to go. Im in St. Joe, MO at the Roubdioux Roundup mountain bike race in Krug park. Two extremely hilly laps await and 13 other cat 2 dudes, aged 30-39, are lined up with me. The whistle blows and away we go.
The start is sweet, before you even hit the single track you race up a curvy road for about 1 minute. it's fairly steep. I'm towards the front and sitting 4th when we enter the single track. It's on!
I've done very few mtn bike races and most of them were 3 hr races, so im not quite used to the more frantic nature of a traditional cross country race. I like it. Reminds me of a cross race.
The first 15 minutes seem fast, im bouncing and shifting all over the place. Then one of the three in front of me gets tired and we all pass him. Now i'm in 3rd and 2nd is right in front of me. I know this guy, he's a friend of mine, i've beat him in cross races. I think to myself 'sweet.' But theres a problem, he's not getting any closer. Actually, he's getting farther away. Still, I think i can ride with him so i keep the pressure on the pedals. Then about 20 minutes in I catch my handlebars on a tree and go flying into the woods. This crash had some good action. high speed, good body slide, no serious damage... im up and pedaling in no time.
But there goes my friend, i never see him again and he ends up winning. Nobody passes me during my crash but after another 10 minutes or so another friend is right on my a**. I barely have time to process that he's behind me when i clip my bars again and have almost the exact same crash as before, only at a slower speed. I hit the same spot on my knee too. Son of a! That's going to leave a mark. My other friend passes me during this crash and now i'm sitting 4th.
Krug Park is hilly, really hilly. Like chest on the stem so i don't tip backwards hilly. The hills kind of favor me so i manage to catch back up to friend #2. I ride his wheel for a while and come around him right as were starting lap 2. Then, not even 5 minutes later, i bobble on one of the few rocky sections and he passes me. So now i'm in 4th again.
Now I've beat this guy in cross races too, no problem. But as im slowly discovering this is not a cross race. Plus, as im slowly discovering, people get faster in this sport... so i watch helplessly as he pedals away from me.
It's about this time when i realize that I need to do more mountain biking if i really want to be competitive at it. I really believe that with some more practice i can be right up there with these dudes.
So thats about it, after 1 hour and 27 minutes or racing i finished in 4th place.
I'll take it.
The Millennium Falcon is starting to show her age, but she did beautifully. I'm gonna ride that bike for as long as possible, which i don't think will be very long.
This was X's first real mountain bike race, she won! Then after that she went and coached roller derby. She's Superwoman.
Big thanks to Randy and the entire Ethos crew. You folks do good work. I had a blast. Krug is fun.
Now here's way to many pictures of Roubidoux!!!