X and i were in Arkansas last weekend. It's turned into an annual trip. More so for me than her but the last two years we've gone down to ride the trails and then do the XC race on Sunday as part of the Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival.
I've said it before but the XC race is a must for any serious Mountain Biker racer in the area. Plus Eureka Springs is a must do for any fun loving person in the area.
The race is great because it gets a big turnout and starts in the downtown, taking city streets and in town singletrack and dirt roads before working it's way to the trails at Lake Leatherwood, which are a blast. The town is great because it's so funky. Hilly, curvy, neat architecuter, live music, good food, beautiful scenery. Riding your bike thru Eureka Springs is like riding thru a fairy tail.
Last year i had 3 flats and it took me over three hours to finish. My fitness was good so i was pretty pissed at the result. My fitness is a little lacking this year so i was just looking for fun.
My race went like this:
Cat 2 (sport)
Cat 2 (sport)
The first 20 minutes of the race is a series of steep up's and downs... and i felt great for all of this. As soon as they blew the whistle i knew i had good legs. That was a great feeling. My position was pretty good but once we hit the proper singletrack around Lake Leatherwood my lack of mountain biking began to show. I had no flow. For the next 30 minutes a slow but steady stream of riders passed me. My mountain biking skills are pretty non-existent right now (The last time i rode my mountain bike with the exception of the day before this race was at Bone Bender back in early April, basically 3 months. I Blame that on buying a house. It was woth it.) so i just let them pass and enjoyed my ride thru the woods. I was able to keep Joe Fashion in my sights thru all this and passed him when he took a minor spill. I did unclip to make sure he was ok. He would later pass me when i stopped and was confused about how many times i was supposed to go thru the start finish. So i guess that was fair.
I actually felt pretty good, the handling skills were lacking but i had some power and felt like i could do what i wanted out there.
Based on a glance at the results i was 9th out of around 22. But don't quote me on that.
Go do this race!