Monday, March 9, 2009

Desert Rampage


I think doing cyclocross last fall might have paid off. Last year the opening sprints saw me spit out the back in no time flat. This year I was able to hold on to the back with very little effort and even did a bit of coasting while drafting in the back. I was in the back of a lead group of about 12 entering the first wash. Coming out into the first climb the top guys starting pulling away and I was able to work my way through a few guys ahead of me by the end of the climb. I got shelled on the first downhill losing a few spots. In the second wash climb a large group of us (10-15) got caught behind some slower riders. There was no room to pass and my timing got jacked up on the last up ledge and I went down. Didn't cost me much time and I got right back in the Tonga line going up but I was annoyed with myself. More of the same the rest of the race. OK on the climbs, shelled on the DH. In fact Wedge passed me on the 2nd to last DH, I almost caught back on to him on the climb and then proceeded to lose almost 2 minutes to him on the final DH. I'm normally not that bad but for some reason I have a much greater fear of falling into rocks and cactus than I do of falling into dirt and trees. I ended up 11th out of 18 or so starters so not too bad.

This was Rhonda's first sport race in the desert. On her first lap she knocked almost five minutes off her single lap time from last year. Absolutely amazing! She finished in 11th place in a stacked Sport Women's category. Her time this year would have put her in 3rd place last year.

Sunday a group of 20+ of us did a team group ride on the Hurricane Rim loop. 23 miles of singletrack bliss. Altogether an amazing weekend. MTB racing is a wonderful challenging sport and the people who participate in it are almost without exception awesome. I get to race at the same time as some of the fastest people in the world and every last one of them is humble about their mad skills and always willing to give advice when asked. As in any racing there's a few annoying people who enjoy winning a bit too much but even those guys try to be humble about it:)

5 comments:

drrna said...

It's all about the 'cross skills, too bad they don't help us much on those fast descents.

OilcanRacer said...

don't feel bad about the downhills. people were taking mad chances and many many almost crashes that i saw.

Andy H. said...

Yeah, I don't think anything prepares you for 2'ledge drops into sandy rock gardens at race speed other than doing them. For pretty much everything else I think cross helped.

Bart G said...

What about ski touring? Did it help the fitness, the DH?

Andy H. said...

I think the ski touring and skating helped me maintain the fitness that I built last year. I didn't get out enough this year to do any building of fitness during the offseason....too many house projects. I definatly want to get out more next year. Your fitness obviously looked great from touring and Ken went from mid pack last year to winning this year doing nothing but skiing. I don't think touring helps my DH much. I just feel way more in control on skis than I do on the bike.