This post is long overdue, so I will keep it short. Just a couple of race reports.
Utah State Championship Series Race #2 at Round Valley.
Although I didn't think so back in my college days, Saturday night is a great time to race mountain bikes, as I found out on June 25 at Race #2 of the new Utah State Championship Series. Some of our friends turned into race promoters and they've done a great job putting together a new race series. This was supposed to be an XC (cross country) race, but for the Expert Women category, it was really more of a mini-endurance race. We had to do 3 full laps of a 9.3 mile loop, which was the same distance as the pro men and women (who are a lot faster than me and therefore get 'er done a lot quicker). At the start there were 5 women lined up including me. I knew 3 of them to be faster than me and there was one wildcard. Well, maybe I could beat her.
To make a long race story much shorter and less painful than it was, it turned out I didn't really beat anyone. I took off in last place off the start and there I stayed. The wildcard chic was riding in front of me, but she had a mechanical and didn't finish the race. I came after in at 2 hours and 44 minutes, well behind the other three, for my first ever DFL. Guess I need to train for endurance races some more.
With the massive snowpack of 2011, the July 2nd Mountain Bout was moved from its traditional home at snowy Snowbird ski resort to perfect, warm, dry Wasatch Mountain State Park near Heber. I wanted to try racing on these trails for fun so Drew and I went to pre-ride the course on the Wednesday before the race. Big fat thunderstorms made for a dirty pre-ride and expensive bike maintenance later on to get the grit and water out of our bikes. The rain, though, made for almost tacky trails twisting and turning through scrub oak and grasslands.
The start groups were split into two start times, which, when combined with a pretty low turn out, made for gloriously uncrowded racing. Nice!
I lined up with 5 Expert Women this time, two of which looked to be newbies. Off the gun I was in 4th place, but moved up pretty quickly to 3rd. On the first steep climb I passed the gal in 2nd because, I later found out, she had ripped off her rear derailleur. The other newbie ended up giving up her bike to the friend that had no derailleur, so no-derailleur girl was still able to finish, but I never saw her again.
I was feeling pretty good and I think I had about 3 minutes on Ellen when my drive train started to sound Horrible. It felt as though hard effort on the pedals was going to rip the derailleur off. So I ended up stopping a couple of times to see if I could find the problem and losing a lot of time on the steep climbs. Enough time that Ellen passed me and I had to chase her back down. I did get around here on the last half lap to take 2nd overall.
I rushed down to the bike shop only to be told that all my bike needed was lube on the chain. Seriously, how silly is that to have almost lost the race because my lube wore off. I am switching to synthetic lube.