Sunday, August 14, 2011

MTB Meyhem at Swanson Park

Photo: Anne Savery
Another mountain bike race, another 2nd place. I just can't seem to seal the deal and win at the Cat 1 Open level on my singlespeed. I've got one more chance this year as we head to the Sugarbottom Scramble in two weeks time. I was excited to hear that the scheduled race at Manawa had been re-located to Swanson, my home track. Better yet, we were racing the loop backwards which made it all the more interesting. I had a couple goals for the day. Mainly, test the body and see how conditioned my upper body and core is going into cross season. It was only my third day on the mountain bike this year and my preparation for the upcoming season doesn't include the 50 mile off-road races I've done in the past. I went with my standby 36x18 gearing that's worked well for me at Swanson in the past.

So off we go.

Photo: Sandra Jones
I had a good start, grabbed Cam Kirkpatrick's wheel and as we entered the trail he let me through into the lead. I'd planned to just follow but being in the front let me set my tempo on the SS. I kept the pace really steady for the first lap and we came through lap one five strong with me still leading the train. The tempo had hurt some guys and it wasn't long before Cam and I were alone at the front. I tested Cam a few times, but each time he came back pretty easily.

Photo: Kyle Hansen
I was beginning to think it was going to be a long day as my choice of gearing was a tad bit on the heavy side. A 19t would have been much better than the 18t I had. Riding Swanson in reverse is a little different. Regardless, I continued at the front through laps two and three until Cam decided it was time for him to check out on lap four. I initially could match his pace but as we hit some of the tighter turns my gear was just too big out of the corners and I started losing ground. After that, I pretty much just put it on cruise control and maintained my second place, conceding almost 4 minutes to Cam. The guy is a machine.

So what of my goal of testing my conditioning? I definitely got beat around a bit. The Swanson trail is super rough. The roots beat the crap out of you and the new entry/exit trail is ridiculously bumping. By the last lap I could feel my kidneys bouncing around inside my torso. I could really feel it in my shoulders too. The prescription, stay on the mountain bike for the next couple weeks, at least one day a week. With that, I should be in good shape, the conditioning comes back quickly.

Photo: Kyle Hansen


EB said...

Well Done MOD! I feel your pain about finishing 2nd... that was my third second place finish in a row.

mw said...

you make 2nd place look damm sexy tho