I actually remember when this race was! Last weekend I made the trip to the booming metropolis of Coldspring, Texas - they have a stoplight now! - for some mountain bike racing action.
After the broken frame incident at Comfort, it was taken back to Bike Mart, and (thanks Jim!) they got all my parts-s and pieces moved over to a non-broken bike. Basically everything was exactly the same as it was before, save the color of the frame. You'll get to see it in a minute.
I prerode on Saturday an felt pretty good, especially considering this has been my worst race of every season since it was added to the schedule however many years ago. Then it was off to visit the Grandparents, who just so happen to live in Coldspring, and later get some sleep.
Sunday morning came along with some not friendly looking black clouds, and when they finally let loose some time after breakfast, the day suddenly got a bit more interesting. Luckily it stopped raining before the start of my race, so I didn't have to stand around in the rain waiting to go. Unfortunately, it didn't rain any more after that, so by the end of the first lap the mud was already starting to thicken up an make riding through it more and more tiring...
Back from the slight topic detour, this race was also a stop for the GT Golden Bike Series, and the winner from Sea Otter had signed up for my class.
Pretty much everyone thought he didn't stand a chance on the course that would be so different than what he was used to, and had narrowed the contenders down to about five other people, one of which was, of course, Mr. Sandbag Johnson...
Off the start, I jumped in behind Chris, since he usually maintains a pace that works good for me, but this time (maybe because he had a pretty well chance at the Gold Bike too), he was going a tad faster than I wanted to, so I backed off some. Next thing I know, Gold Bike passes me. Again, I figure that if I keep my slightly slower steady pace, I'll catch him again later, and let him chase down Chris.
The rest of that lap was pretty uneventful, with the two leaders only getting about 20 seconds up on me. The second lap (of four this time) started off pretty good too, but somewhere near the end, I very suddenly felt really not good. I backed off some and waited for a second wind, but it never came.
A lot of people passed me on the third lap, but I stayed close enough that I did have a chance at getting them again. Except that I kept feeling worse and worse the further I went. I managed to finish the race (in last yay!), but it was not very pretty at all.
Turns out I had a bunch of sand / mud stuck in my brake lever and it wouldn't release all the way... So, that sounds like a pretty good excuse if nothing else. I didn't have my Racing Jackets on either, and everyone tells me they are what make me fast, so I guess I'll throw that into the circle of excuses too.
Gold Bike did manage to surprise everyone and win again!
And uhh, oh yeah! Even though my race was very not bueno, finishing did lock up 1st overall in the series for me! Yay! Now I have no reason to not move up in the fall! Yay?
I have some sort of sinus infection going on now too, so this is is pretty much going to be an off week for me. Next week would be too, but since I'll be going to X-Bar for the overall awards, I might as well race while I'm there. Then some more time off, then training for nationals starts!
You can tell how awesome I'm feeling in this one...
This is a little better... Must have been earlier in the race.
Pretty good view of the new bike:
Pictures courtesy of Karmabiker