The grand finale of the Solitude Tuesday night series was last night. Where has the summer gone? It seems like just a few weeks ago the series started and I was in wonder at how the sport class had grown from an average of 7-8 riders last year to close to 30 this year. I decided to try some different things last night just to see how they went. I did a long easy warmup by climbing the road and riding the course down and I also took it a little easy from the start and gradually ramp up my intensity. I had some pedal issues at the start and along with my slow speed quickly found myself near the back of the 20+ rider field. Got around a few people on the climb but was still near the back. By the top of the climb I had caught up to Jim and Janelle but decided to chill behind them for a bit of recovery before I hit the road. Once I hit the road I felt better than I ever had at that point and turned on the burners blowing by Mark and about ten other riders. I picked up Ken and we took turns pulling across the top but I let him scoot by to kill the DH. I lost some time to Ken (who is an excellent DH'er) but caught him midway through the 2nd climb. I hung on his wheel thinking I could make the pass on the road but he must have held a bit in reserve as well because I couldn't get by before the 2nd DH. I finished a few ticks faster then last week but nothing spectacular. The main difference was I felt like I could easily have held the same pace of about a 23-24 minute lap time for another lap while normally I'm pretty tired by the finish. I held on to my 5th place overall in the series and was treated to $100 cash for my efforts. I wasn't the 5th fastest rider in my class but I was one of the most motivated and in a points series showing up is half the battle.
Rhonda ended a strong campaign with a 2nd place overall finish and collected $300. We decided to re-invest our winnings in cycling by buying a couple seven race packages for the cyclocross series this fall. CX looks like great fun and at the very least it will help me work on my top end performance and bike handling skills.
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