Mtn bike race at Greensfelder park in St Louis today! Much love for this park, although I wasn't sure about the course as it had much hype on the message boards. "A true mtn bikers course" and sections of "pushville" (getting of the bike and pushing are often required) were some of the words on the street…sounded interesting!
This past week was intentionally mellow as April consisted of 4 hard races and a good deal of intensity on the road bike. My body just felt like riding less and heading to the gym a bit. I felt like a little taper was a a good thing and even managed to get a ride in friday with a few 'openers'.
Day prior-prep: Did everything right. No booze, good food, lots of sleep
Race day prep: Perfect morning, good coffee, nice breakfast, fun with Cassidy, and a good warm-up
Race: Big field today with lots of strong guys (both Pirtles, the whole DRJ crew, Shottler, Piepert, a few Mesa guys, Mike Best, lots of people I didn't know). The start was really important as the hole shot order would determine the order for the first long and technical down hill. E Pirtle and Ploch were 1 and 2 (I think), then Big Shark guy, Bob Arnold, someone else, R Pirtle, then me. I held R Pirtles wheel pretty tight as we watched E Pirtle and Ploch ride away. We were more or less stuck in traffic, but figured it would be a long race therefore no big deal. Probably mistake one.
As soon as we hit the rolling single track, I knew I was off. Although my bike was amazing on the terrain, I just felt a little shaky. I looked down to see my HR hovering in 185-190...very high for me and also uncommon for what wasn't very hard pedaling. 30 minutes into the race, the same was true. My legs opened up a bit and I was able to hold my own on the climb, but no where near what I knew I was capable of. I also managed to go over the bars on a silly little loose section during the first lap, which seriously shook me up and made me much more conservative on the downhills and techy parts. So that about summarizes my experience: shaky with a sky high heart rate.
Soon after my little fall, my rear shifting went to hell.
Reason for poor shifting?:
But I still had the magic of my front shifting which kept me close to R Pirtle and rolling in 6th or 7th for most of the race. Still though, I was just having a bad day physically...my body was just not doing what it has been over the last few weeks. Then halfway through lap 3, my front shifting stopped working and unfortunately I was stuck in my little ring for the rest of the race.
Oh well, a little bit of humble pie was dished out to the 'ol professor (Lt Dan) at Greensfelder today.
Post-race cinco-de-mayo deliciousness:
ps- I miss my single speed.