i got there kind of late, which seems to be my signature move these days. good thing i registered early so i didn’t have to do anything but tell them my name. i got my packet and rode back to the car. as i rode back it started to rain just a bit… then a bit more, then it became a torrential downpour and to be in it, was no fun.
i quickly put on my rain jacket and tried to warm up the best i could. there wasn’t a whole lot of time so i just grabbed the stuff i needed from the car and rode off to the lift. the race actually took place high up on the mountain atop the mary jane ski run. i threw my bike on the lift and hopped on the next chair as the lift circled around. i forgot to take off my camel bak and it was under my rain jacket and full of water…. a little too full. so full i couldn’t sit all the way back in the chair. i tried to sit a little sideways but the seat was soaking wet and swinging back and forth because i was one person all the way on the left of a 5 seater. i decided that just sitting still would be the best thing.
cold and freezing i sat there holding on to the back of the seat. the rain was still coming down hard and any warmth i had from my “warm up” was quickly fading. the ride to the top took forever, and i was so glad to be at the top. it actually felt warmer at the top than it did at the bottom. i got on my bike and quickly rode to the starting line. this got me a little warm but no where near what i needed.
within a few minutes some guy started the race and we were off. i raced with the young experts and the single speeders…. believe me, all these guys were good. i used to be a good climber but these days with all my slow rides filled with picture taking and beer drinking…. i had nothing on anybody. i labored up these hills as everyone around me passed like i was 93 years old. the course consisted of three 6 mile laps of a really long steep hill followed by fast twisty down hill single track.
as i got to the top of the hill tired and beaten, i would accelerate as i dropped down into the single track. i’m still a pretty good technical rider and i could get some places back as i wound through the trees. each up hill i would loose about five or six places… and each down hill i would gain two or three. a net loss, but at least i found something i was good at.
i finished the race tired and sore, with eyes full of mud, and my tail between my legs. not quite the cinderella story i had hoped for, but it wasn’t bad for an ex-cyclist.