Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Solitude Full Throttle Series: Race #7

The race last night was filled with new experiences for me:

- I had a really, really good start. So good in fact that I could still see the front 4-5 crazy fast guys once we entered the singletrack.

- I made it through my nemesis tech section of trail 50% of the time. What was different last night is that I cleaned it on lap #2. This was a big deal because I was working hard to maintain contact with Jim at the time and a bobble would have most likely resulted in my getting dropped.

- I hit my head on a low branch during lap #1. At least I assume it was a branch... I've never seen or hit a tree branch on this course before, so I'm still not 100% sure where or what it was. The impact wasn't hard enough to knock me off my bike but it certainly got my attention. All I do know for sure is that I'm glad I was wearing a helmet.

- Nobody caught me on the lap #1 downhill. It was nice to have Jim's line to follow.

- On lap #2, following Jim's line again after catching him on the fire road (he gapped me at the top of the paved climb), I washed out in a corner and went down. This was the first time I've crashed during a race (I'm not counting tip-overs in technical sections as crashes) and actually consider it a positive since it shows that I was really trying to push it on the downhill. Unfortunately, it also resulted in my getting caught and passed by three guys in my group as I struggled to get up and regain my rythm.

- I finished with my fastest time of the series. It feels good to wrap up with a personal best that could have been even better had I not crashed.

- It rained pretty hard during lap #2. All other races have been bone dry. I would have preferred some rain before the race to calm the dust down but at this point in the summer (and the associated lack of precipitation) I'll take any rain, anytime it happens to fall!

- I continued my streak in the raffle and scored a nice Cannondale t-shirt. Do I need to buy a Cannondale before I can wear it?

All in all I really enjoyed the Solitude Tuesday night series. I completed four races, DNF'd one and skipped the other two due to fatigue and sickness. Many thanks to all of the organizers, sponsors, racers and spectators for making the event so much fun! I'm looking forward to next year.

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