The bicycle racing this weekend began with a decision about which bike to bring and which tires to use. Maggie decided that she wanted to do at least one of the races and with the recent torrential fucking down-pouring we figured we'd end up with some serious mud on our bikes. That made the decision pretty easy; I could only bring one bike (due to room on the rack) and I didn't want to race at 10:30pm on saturday night...single speed was my call.
Thankfully, I ended up taking my hard-pack tires off and putting on the mud-tires, cus the race on saturday night was pretty damn muddy. Nothing too ridiculous, but I was glad to have the muddies on. The Seagal crew and other single speed buddies came out with true-to-form, superior attitudes and superior states of mind and rocked the costumes on saturday night. It says a lot for the single speed category, that almost all of us were in some pretty serious costumes.
Saturday night's race was awesome. I felt great, rode har, and ended up winning with about an 80% effort. I figured that the course and the conditions were spot on for my single speed, so decided to try the A race the following day, still with only one gear. Its always nice to race with little or no expectations for yourself. I truly had no idea how I'd end up, especially considering our daughter woke us up at 2:30am and didn't go back to sleep saturday night. Luckily my teamates and buddies TTM were there to cheer me on...I could hear them yelling for me from half-way across the course!
The race experience sunday was a big blurr. All I know, is that instead of trying to get off the line first and ride in the first group as soon as possible, I held back for the first few laps and ended up having enough reserves to ride into the top 10, then slowly and methodically pick riders off. It felt totally natural for me on a single speed. The experience was totally different than a geared bike, since I'm usually unable to talk during an A race due to complete cardiovascular exertion. The single speed was different. My legs were grinding the entire time, but my heart and lungs were in a very nice and powerful comfort zone. I still think it is course dependent, but I'm pretty excited right now about keeping the major one as my weapon of choice for most A races. Shifting slows me down (I'm not saying it slows everyone down, just me. I suck at shifting), and when there's lots of turn on a course, it is nice just to be able to focus on cadence, grinding my legs, and that dude in front of me. I'm not sure what it says about my bicycle skills or physiology (slow-twitch vs fast-twitch blah blah) that single speeding is just as fast or faster, but I don't really care because I felt a ton better this week than I did the prior week after racing my geared bike.