Dennis Grelk of Team 14 Productions and I headed out west for some racing/riding this past weekend. We left Des Moines at 7am Friday morning to make the 9hr trek to Golden, Co where we would set up the first nights camp at a much lower elevation than Winter Park. The drive across Nebraska was so freaking hot that Dennis' car started to run warm, due to our comfort zone of AC usage inside. Around North Fork,NE we had to shut the AC off and roll the windows down for the rest of the trip, 4hrs of what felt like 115 degree weather........YUK!!
We woke up early Sat. morning for the hour drive up too Winter Park for the 10am race. Upon arrival we set up camp first, then road the short distance down into town for registration. To my surprise it was $42 bones for "day of" registration, I almost shat' myself and I didn't even get a t-shirt:( After registration we still had an hour to kill so we started the ride up too the ski area (via pave trail) where the race would begin. "Hawgfest" was also going down this weekend on the mountain so there where "Harleys, Broads, and Tattoo's" everywhere. Whoo-hoo I thought..........might get too see some itty-bitty titties:) Once we get to the ski area we have to find the starting area, after asking a few mates we get pointed in the right direction. Great...... the start is right in the middle of a fire road climb that only a roadie could give a grade percentage on, so much for a warm up.
They line the 40 of us up............. GO!! The climbing fire road start is almost a complete mile long. I went into the single-track somewhere in the top 20. Now we're on some fast downhill roller's, mixed with flat's, speaking of flats I passed a few riders with'm. 8 miles in we're going down this long and super fast rocky fire road, I'm planning to pass a couple of guys, looking ahead I see my line and go for it. One of the guy's speeds up so I'm looking to pass the other..... we're side by side dukeing it out for the best line through the corner, I'm on the outside and he's rocking the inside, we're rolling somewhere is the high 20's for speed. Then all hell brakes loose............. he's drifted into my line.......... with all our speed we bump............I try to hold on to it but it's in the gutter I go head over heels! Man down, man down!!! I must have had some good karma built up cause I only lost skin on my right knee and suffered some scrapes. After a minute or so of picking up my screws,checking my body and bike, putting my chain back on and getting passed by 10 or 15 riders I was back on the saddle.
At this point I reminded myself that this race was only for fun and my only goal was not to finish last. Not knowing who, or what class all those other mates that flew by where in, I now tried to find that comfort zone and hold on too it. For the next 10 miles I would say over and over to myself "I should have brought the F/S" not that the Salsa wasn't performing well, it was just beating the shit out of me. I passed a few more people with flat's and about 10 other racers passed me before the finish. At the finish line Grelk informed me that he whooped my ass by a minute, well not in those exact words. All in all it was a good race, my avg. hr. was 162, and my max. 176. Fairly low compared to my effort at Boone, avg. 188, max. 199. 40 of us started in my age group and only 21 finished, I ended up in 18th not last......yeeehaw!!