So I went to the 6hr race at Landahl because first I love the trails there and second because why do a 3hr race when there is a good chance of rain when you can race on a perfectly dry course for 6. This race was a blast, I will never complain about mechanicals or usually mention it to much because I think its part of racing, but it made things very interesting in this race.
The race started off like any normal cross country expert race, but not normal for what I thought would be for 6. I was digging it though, and was easily keeping the heart rate in check. It was hard to figure out off of the start who was in what category and I recognized a lot of fast people including Matt Gersib http://dirtstories.blogspot.com/ from the 24 and also 6hr winner from last year.
The first lap went great ended up coming through right behind a fast dude from Colorado who was there training for the NUE series coming up. Had no idea were I was at that point as far as placing probably 3rd in the 6hr solo class. the second lap was going smooth, the new salsa was awesome and just a very smooth bike to ride for the technical stuff. Some how though about a 1/4 of the way into the third lap I managed to get a stick jambed in my rear cassette and stuck my derailleur into my spokes, not good. seemed like half the racers went by me and everybody was just flying! I did manage to get it some what straightened out but couldn't get it to shift right, fought with that thing the whole lap. not a big deal when I made it back one of the guys working the race, terrible with names. tried to help me fix it. worked good for part of the next lap then for some reason I was basically stuck with the small cog in back middle up front the only way the thing would not jump around on the cassette. So much more impressed with single speed guys now cause that lap hurt!
Coming through on the end of the fourth lap it was a given I had to switch bikes, should of had the other one ready to go but didn't want to jinx myself. So by the time I switched the tires, seat bag, pump, # plate etc. etc. and with screwing with the derailleur for the lap before, I new I had lost a lot of time. After getting back on the fisher it was kind of weird, I think the salsa is a way sweeter ride but I think I get more power out of the fisher. cant wait to get more rides on both of these to compare times.
Everything was back to normal just trying to keep a hard pace make up as much time as I could and try not to loose any to anybody behind me. road with Doug Long for a bit, I hate to say it like this but his riding ability and speed on the technical stuff for his age is amazing.
Going into the second to last lap, matt Gersib was making up good time on me and kind of thinking maybe he was lapping me, I was sure he passed me when i had the der. problem. After chatting with him for a bit he pretty much took off. I was kind of in a recovery lap and was wanting to have a fast last lap. I did manage to catch back up to him at the end of that lap going into the last lap. we did compare some miles, I was lost on what lap I was on so that didn't help things. anyway I had it figured we were on the same lap. So when Matt let me pass on the first big climb I pretty much road as hard as i possible could to get a gap on him, It seemed like I would get a head a bit and then you would be right there again, dude you made me ride harder than I ever had that deep into a race. Way more intensity went into that lap then the first by a long shot!! Because of that I managed to come back within 1 minute of first place in age group. and third overall down by I think 10 minutes from Cam Kirkpatrick http://www.rasmussenbikeshop.blogspot.com/ a seriously fast older dude. The heartland guys put on a perfect race, manage to get in 9 laps counting the warm up lap. lots of great mountain biking for one day! The best part is even when little things go wrong things can still turn out great if you can just stay focused on moving forward!
Just a little bit of carnage... that's a whole other story, very funny one...