Last week at the Solitude Tuesday night smackdown I decided to jump on the bandwagon and hit warp 5 out of the gate. It worked out pretty well. Sprinting from the gate eliminated the hassle of passing 10 people on the singletrack climb. I was actually able to run in 4th place for most of the race until a few people passed and gaped me on the second climb. I ended up with a personal best time and felt pretty good about my chances of breaking the 50 minute barrier sometime this year. Last night I had low expectations going in due to my long layoff and unfortunately I met my expectations. I felt OK on the opening sprint. Well, lets be realistic. I felt like crap and I hate sprinting from the gun. Why, oh why must everybody sprint like that at the start? Once we hit the singletrack I started running into problems. The heavy traffic from the ICUP race and the complete lack of any rain over the last month conspired to make the trail a loose dusty mess. Short little climbs I would normally attack out of the saddle were too loose and I lost traction and spun out. My favorite lines through the rock gardens were obliterated and the downhill became a fight for survival. Last week I didn't have to dismount once. This week I can remember seven times I had to hop off and push up a short pitch or remount after losing it in a rock garden. My favorite was washing out on the service road across the top as I was trying to figure out how a Canyon guy passed me like I was standing still. I was big ringing it for crying out loud! Where did that guy come from? The race wasn't a total loss. My time was only a minute or so slower than last week which is pretty good considering all the problems I had. Man that course needs some rain sometime soon.