Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bear Creek MASS Finals

I have a pretty bad history at Bear Creek. I have DNF'ed there in my first 3 attempts. In 2010 I finally finished, but admittedly wasn't really able to "race" I more like "rode" the course. I finished ADFL (Almost Dead !@##$%^ Last). So basically my inability to ride that stuff is the stem of my hatred for it. 

This year I improved a bit. Perhaps its the 2.5 TSE's behind me, and some more time on the rocks since them. Perhaps my larger wheels on my Flash helped out. Maybe I just finally grew to accept they aren't going to pave it anytime soon. 

I went into the race not really being super motivated. I had flashes of pumped to race, but ultimately the memories of years past would take the air out of the balloon of excitement. I lined up 2 or 3 rows behind where I normally would. I wanted to be out of the way. To make things worse, it was 80 something and the air was at its saturation point.

Ordons was on my wheel on the first climb. We started riding up through the group after taking the reverse holeshot. I was having fun. Weird. Fun? Onto the descent. I didn't totally mess it up. I wasn't flustered. I was still actually racing my bike. 
Maybe a smile? Photo AE Landes
I hit the maintain button for lap 2. I started riding through the guys that went out a bit too hard and blew up, and settled in.  I stupidly hit the deck, washing out in some sand on a straight trail, but luckily everything was ok and I popped up. 
Still somewhat happy... Photo AE Landes

Getting up to the descent was where I reverted to my old ways a bit. I started over thinking the lines, I bounced around. Miss a line in one section, bounce awkwardly into the next. Oxygen debt will mess up your ability to read the trail. I was able to make it down avoiding any drama. 
Looking a bit tired at this point. Photo:  AE Landes
Lap 3 was also relatively drama free. I kept it upright, air in tires, and rode it out. I was getting tired though, my arms gave out on the descent. I couldn't lift the front wheel without really thinking about. Crazy... I was still having fun. The the most fun thing of the day came. I saw Teammate Rob in the distance on the final little kicker before the finish. He looked back at me as if to wonder if I was going to catch him. I waved him off to say I wouldnt try to pass. Well I caught up to him. We did the "You take it, no you take it" bit for a minute,then Robbie suggested the not sprinting bike throw to confuse the chip timing computer. Apparently Rob's stem is longer than mine as he took 16th by 0.09 of a second... and claimed an extra 5 american dollars per MASS payout. 

Still somewhat happy. 

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