Archive for June, 2016

Tuesday night Laramie MTB series races: Fun, hard, challenging, custom race plates
They let you: reconnect with friends, meet new friends, push yourself past your comfort level on descents, pass slower riders, get passed by faster riders, get eaten by mosquitos, eat same mosquitos, enjoy the trails of Happy Jack, finish at dusk to applause. 

Post racing you can expect: Lycra, baggies, smiles, good food, race talk, beer, awards, random name raffle prizes, thanking sponsors, memories, more mosquitos, online results, online photos.

Next race: more of the same!

http://laramiemtbseries.com/

 

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Rattlesnake Rampage, Glendo State Park, last year this was my my first race post cervical fusion. A race I will probably do every year due to the difficulty level. Free camping, lunch-dinner, and an awesome trail system. Seriously some of the best trails that no one knows of ‘shhhhh’. Prior to the race I was having leg cramps from ?? So at midnight I took a couple Endurolytes. Boom, slept well with no more cramps. Forecast was for a high of 99 so I loaded my hydration pack with my favorite HEED flavor Strawberry. True to my race nutrition, breakfast consisted of a coffee. Yep, a habit that I’m not going to drop. One hour prior to start it was Endurolytes, Race Caps, and Anti-Fatigue caps to prime me up. Before the start it I took my Endurance Aminos and a Nocciola gel. Race started out fast on a road climb to break it up and I found myself in the front 5. Being almost 50 years old, I consider this an accomplishment that I can compete with these guys 10-20 years younger. Craftiness, experience, and Hammer Nutrition has helped me get to where I am still. As Craig, the eventual winner pulled away from everyone, I was content to maintain position with the 2 riders in front of me. I eventually let them get away on a very hard technical section knowing that I could probably use my knowledge of the trail to catch them on the descents. Mike, a rider from western Wyoming caught and passed me until an untimely fumble in a rock garden allowed me to get by.

Chasing Christy

Chasing Christy


Hitting the descents, I opened it up knowing the trail flow. I eventually caught up to Evan and Christy who were going much slower on the descents. Easing back and sipping HEED from my pack I was relaxed but in reality wanted to pass. Unfortunately for Evan, he hooked a tree with his bars and crashed, he was fine. Christy let me pass and I made the most of the rest of the descending before pushing too hard and fumbling myself in the rocks on the following climbs. With Christy on my wheel, I pulled over and let her by hoping to see her again (not a chance).
through the rocks
I settled into my pace not wishing to blow up before the halfway point. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a top overall position and I was determined to not relinquish it. Knowing a few of my closest pursuers were on hardtails, I felt confident as I rolled strong through the rough rock sections on my full suspension Salsa Spearfish. The heat was pretty unbearable but I was cramp free and hydrated. On a fast, smooth section of trail I saw what appeared to be water on the trail. Everything slowed down in my mind but happened in less than a second “…water? Why is there water on the trail? I don’t remember any water here last weekend. I wonder if my wheels will stick?” The answer would be, Nope. DOWN I GO! Sliding on wet grass on my left side, my knee hitting my bars (ouch), it was cool water(yeah!) though. I get up, and jump back on thinking, wow, that could have been worse.
finishing Twenty15
Continuing on with only one last obstacle to the finish I maintained pace without looking back. On the final climb I looked back and was pretty sure no one could catch me. In the last switchback I saw no one behind me. I was pretty tired and couldn’t even get the energy up to jump the bumps on the last stretch to the finish. 3rd place overall, incredible, as I thought only a year ago I would never ride competitively again. So fun to be performing well. Credits to Milissa Melle for the photos and Hammer Nutrition for the support.