Thursday, April 24, 2008

My First Mountain Bike Race


Since I had the day off yesterday I decided to head out to the Prairie City OHV area for the Wednesday night mountain bike races ( last night. This was my first ever mountain bike race. I entered in the Beginner 30-39 class. Taking my buddy Mark's advice, I just put it in the big ring and let it rip right from the starting line. I had a nice lead ripping down the fast descent into the first corner. Nobody was near me until the first climb. Thats when my 31 lb. Giant Reign with 6" of travel started to slow me down just a bit. This bike is set up as an all mountain trail bike for epic back country adventures and bombing descents in Auburn, not exactly an XC race bike. Never the less, I had stiffened up the suspension and went up the climbs with only two other riders coming into range of me. For a big honking rig, this bike actually climbs pretty well.

So, I'm pretty sure I finished in the top 5, except for one stupid mistake. Being a Prairie City rookie racer, I was so pumped coming to the finish line that I overlooked the scoring chute marked with orange cones you're supposed to funnel into and ride down so they can write down your number and score you properly. I just kept on riding as if I was doing a 3rd lap. The race announcer Rick thought I was DNFing as we chatted for a minute or two. Then he informed me that I had missed the "actual" finish line and needed to go back round and come through. DOH!!!! So, while I may have been the first one to get "near" the finish line, I was not the first one to cross it. Thus, I'm sure I will be scored near last... Oh well, live & learn. I still had a blast out there and will be back for as many as I can squeeze into my schedule.

Mountain bike racing is alot different than road racing that's for sure. Virtually no time to rest & recover, and certainly no drafting. Just redlined the whole way. I did manage to get one sip out of a water bottle near the end of the 1st lap. It was a quick race and I think each lap was roughly 3 miles. I nearly threw up near my car after the race was over..... good times.
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