It's the most comfy warm place in the world right now. Oh and the the beer that is sitting on the table beside it makes me happy also.
Alright to the grunt of things. It was O Cup number one and according to Chico Racing we were going to have the best weather conditions ever. Ya I ran into Sean Ruppel around 10am and was pretty impressed that he could talk without his teeth chattering. Sean is that sexy voice guy that cheers on the riders as they come through the timing tent.
I have to start about 12 hours early to show how the morning went. I went to bed early, of course Oakley my favorite (only) cat wanted to surprise me and bring me a present. She was so excited for me racing in the morning that she searched out the biggest fatest mouse she could find outside and proceeded to bring it in the bedroom. Yep up 3 levels and squawking the whole time. Of course it wasn't dead so the squawks were followed by mouse screams. At 1 in the morning those were screams. No sleeping through that so spent the next 10 minutes cornering and trapping the little bugger. No I didn't kill him, catch and release for my cat to catch and try to kill another day.
Fast forward 7 hours and I was driving towards Mansfield. Coffee and water, hell I should have just had a Tim Hortons. Why was I there so early. Well the club had a huge amount of racers playing at the 9:30 start so feeders were needed. I do have to give congrats to Meg and Courtney for taking 2nd and 3rd in their division at the 8:30 start. Great job.
The MCC had some great results all day. So onto my fun. So here is a very interesting thing. For everyone who has every raced with or against me, you have all heard me race day sounding like I'm going to puke up a lung, or at least what is in my stomach. Today, Nothing. Why? Because I had pretty laid back expectations, top 15 would make me happy.
Headed out for my warm up and timing worked out that Andrew and I warmed up together. It was a pretty cool because I picked at his brain a bit involving a plan for today. Thanks again Andrew. A couple other things were resolved also before the race. Mainly smack talkers. One has stepped up. Shane is another punk that races for Norco. Of course the other smack talkers are pretty much guaranteed to be member of the Monday Night Something Crew.
It was time to roll up to the line. Wow we are at the back, way back. Senior Expert leaves last. Why??? Of course the trash talk starts there and continues all the way to the roll up. The count down starts, go. Now here is the screwed thing, I took the lead right off the start. About half way up the climb I was standing and hammering. Then my brain said "what the hell are you doing" and I sat my ass down. Of course I got gobbled up and at the top of the climb I was maybe 20th.
The first lap was pretty uneventful. The start was climb, descend, climb descend, climb/run descend. Then came the fun part. The rain had let up and Mansfield has amazing drainage. The course started to get really grippy. Ripped through the feed zone, sorta feeling not to bad.
Lap 2 I started to feel better, this was when we started to pull riders in from other divisions. Traffic is great for recovery, unfortunately everyone moved over way to quickly so no recovery. I started to feel pretty good and pulled in Chris for the TREK store, then saw Scott from the same team. The 3 of us went through the feed with me leading. Of course the climb out of there kicked the crap out of me. It's not steep but its at the right pitch that screws with my legs. I've pretty much always hated that climb, even in 8 hour solo's. Scott pulled away but Chris was back. The next 15 minutes or so I could see him but couldn't do anything about it.
About half way through this lap is where I had a real perspective of riding levels. 4 riders including Andrew came past me. I just put my head down and tried to stay with them as long as I could. That wasn't to long. Now on the other side of things, I past a bunch of guys in the division I should be in,30-39. They left 4 minutes ahead of us.
Coming through to the 4th lap my legs were starting to get a little mad at me. The course was actually getting slow. Things were drying and becoming very grippy. To the point that sections that I had to touch my brakes I was now pedaling. Of course the last lap meant putting it all out there. The last couple climbs I was standing pushing a big gear and thinking. I swear each leg weighs 50 pounds right now. The lactic buildup was growing. Well I'm almost done, as the mantra on the back of my plate says "Don't think, just pedal"
Now the problem with that was coming into the last downhill. Devil's Drop (Mother Nature's half inbreed brother. I got way to aggressive and tried to rail the last left hand berm way way to high and way way to fast. I was good going in but I ran out of dirt and was up so high in the pines I could have been called a lumberjack. The leaves were still slippery, the bike went sideways, for a second then it went vertical. I went down hard. Well wet ground is soft at least. I don;t even think I stopped sliding and I was back on the bike heading into the finish.
Results are not up yet but apparently I got what I wanted and squeezed in the top 15. It hurt, it was fun. That was the longest I've been at high intensity this year. Congrats to Brendan 2nd, Lee 5th Scott 10-11th? Chris???
There won't be a post tomorrow but I'll be doing a full run down on the Exposure Lights on Tuesday. The Monday Night Something is out for a play ride tomorrow night. I'll get a chance to play with the 29er also. Right now, I have a pack of Saltine crackers and a beer. Screw healthy