I guess my initial idea of not racing on Saturday would have been the right one. Hardwood 8 hour is the last big endurance race in Ontario and usually a fun way to finish out the season. This year I just was blah. I'd been planning around this race but after the excitement of the Dirty Enduro my body had been feeling a little off. Had I not already spent the money I would have been on the sidelines right from the start.
I decided to ride the full and just cruise the race. Ya me cruise, hmmm, you know I'm not into it when. I got to the race later than planned. My mind right now is on the new house not the bike. I manged to get to the line with 5 minutes before start time. No warm up, barely got all my bottles ready etc. 3,2,1 go. I normally sit in the lead pack, today I backed down on the start and cruised.
Things felt pretty good, I liked the course and the conditions. Finished the first lap and had to stop for a minute. I never carry a seat bag on my bike but because I didn't have a support person in the pits this time I wanted to get my tools etc out of my jersey to make room for a second bottle etc. Ya well now I know why I don't carry the seat bag. It came loose and was rattling. It was secure but I knew that it would annoy the crap out of me hearing it rattle for 8 hours. Tools end up up in the jersey.
Next lap the bike starts clunking in the drive train under load. Frozen link. A couple more minutes lost. If I was in full race mood I would have began riding mad at this point. For me that's actually a good motivator. Today I was like ok, whatever. Finally had a few laps with no stops. That's when the rain came, so did the traffic.
Had it continued to pour I think I would have been more inclined to keep going. This course was very rideable in the rain. Well at least I thought so. Continued to grunt along but continued to slow. Coming into my 6th lap I just didn't feel like being out there. My quads were tired already and climbing hurt like I was on the 8 th hour not the 3rd. I'm done. I quit in 5th place. Had I known I may have pushed for a bit longer. Probably not. Lee quit a lap later with alot of the same complaints that I had. He gave up 3rd. The beer was great.
I knew I was pushing it a bit at even attempting to ride the 8 hour let alone race it. It's been a long season, my legs are tired. Time for a break.
There was a couple things at this race that didn't help my mind. I think this was the most congested race I have ever done. There were not alot of places to pass and there were way to many people on the course for it's lay out. They really should have capped the numbers. I was not the only one that noticed this.
One other thing that was interesting. On my third or fourth lap I came through transition, tapped my chip and started to jog towards the Solo lane. Like I always do I called out heads up solo coming through. A good warning for people that could be crossing in front. Makes sense right. I had a race organizer physically stop me and say wait as he let team racers cross in front of me to put their bikes on the rack. Excuse me???? Then was told that I need to slow down. Am I not in a race???
Same thing again, I was not the only one that this happened too. The point of having a solo lane is so they can get back on their bikes quickly, Right?? There are not that many of us coming through and it take 3 second for us to pass this section where people cross over. Now why have a solo lane in the first place if you are going to stop us and make us wait. The top guys all run through transition because 10 seconds a lap lost by walking it over 15 laps equals 2.5 minutes. Wow could that be the difference of 1st and 2nd place. Almost!!! Maybe something for them to think about, move the solo lane away from the traffic, makes sense right? there was lots of room on the other side of the racks for us to go to and it wouldn't have interfered with anyone.
Alright I'm done my complaining. As for riding for me, I will do Race the Night next weekend. I'll be using the singlespeed and having fun playing. I'll also be at some cross races. I think I'm at the point now that anything over an hour now is to long. At least for the next little while. It's time for playing.
More later, right now it's house dreaming.