Pre race bike maintenance consisted of adding some Stans and cleaning / lubing the chain. Thatsaboutit.
4mm wrench to pull the valves (in case ya didn't know)
Rumor had it the course would be different - and it certainly was (in a good way) so there was no point in trying to compare to last years times. Nor was there much point in excessively lofty aspirations with the crew from Corner Cycle on site.. Yeesh. Talk about a game-changer.
After a pre-ride with Charlie and Geoff (at least I think that was him) it looked like the newly minted first part of the course might benefit my riding style. Nice technical sections where line selection and efficiency could add up. Problem is, most of the middle and end of the race benefit those with actual fitness. Wide open double track sections with a gravely sandy base.
At a point during our pre-ride I got antsy about getting back in time. The event coordinators made it clear "you miss your turn your done". Charlie and Geoff decided to head back the way we came. I asked a nearby Marshall for directions. Good call. He got me back out on the road - so I was able to get back to the car, lose the fleece thing and juice up with some sporty drink. I headed back and had to wait for a whole minute and a half.
Ok then. Let's see what happens..
What happened? I rode my bike. It felt good for the first part. Then started feeling not so good. Then it started feeling a little less good - so I backed off. Then it started feeling good again. While it was feeling good I tried fitting me through spaces I thought I could fit me through - which resulted in getting my jowls poked by a 3/8" Ø branch that was cut back (see even my jowls are bigger this year) I kept on going at a "good feeling" pace and before long the finish showed up.
Glenn Anderson got some great shots coming down through a fun rocky downhill section.
I didn't feel particularly good or bad about the whole thing. Until the results showed up.
Yick. I don't mind not placing - but the "tolerable threshold" was missed by a couple of minutes.
Adam St Germain turned out to be the sleeper in the bunch - he was at the event last year, but I'm guessing something went horribly wrong. Yet again, Ellen Noble (I think she can legally drive a car now) was Queened.