Monday, February 22, 2010

Bedford MTX #1

   Finally, the 2010 race season has begun. Even though the Bedford MountainCross series is more of an early season training gauge, there's still plenty of intensity. MountainCross is a blend of pure XC and cyclocross racing. The race is technically one hour long and start times are based on a handicap system, where less experienced riders go first and the more experienced have less time to make as many laps as possible.
   The course for the first race was about one mile long, but the conditions made it feel like 5! Other than the paved loop around the park center, the trail was a narrow track of snow, slush, and mud. Lot's of mud! By the end of the race, nothing but mud, the consistancy of wet concrete. There were no barriers to hop over this time, but there was a steep run-up, about 6 feet tall and the final slippery climb cause a lot of walking.
   I was in the Veterans Expert Class, along with my Dire Wolf teammate, Quinn. A quarter way through the course was a nasty double track downhill, littered with rocks and roots. Mud was slinging off my tires all over me. About halfway down on the first lap, a big chunk of mud flew up under my glasses and derictly into my right eye. With riders in front and behind me, and nowhere to pull off, I had to try to blink as much of it out as I could. there was no way to let go of the handlebars with one hand to wipe it out and not crash. Once I got to the bottom, I felt that I had gotten enough out to keep going.
   I ended up following Quinn throuhout the race. He pulled away a little on lap three, but I managed to pull him back on the next lap. We passed other riders here and there, and of course we were passed by Gordon about halfway through. On the last lap, I got a little caught up behind another rider. There were very few places to pass clean. Quinn was gone. He ended up about half a minute ahead of me. I saw my friend Warren up ahead on the last climb. I tried my best to catch him, but could not do it. He finished about 10 seconds ahead. Nine of us ended up with 6 laps. I was in 8th place. Covered from head to toe in mud.
    Everyone had a great time. These races are always fun and the weather was perfect. It was great to see all my cycling friends. Next week will be a night race. Hopefully the trails will dry out some before then.


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