Swanson is one of my favorite courses in the Psycowpath series. I like it even more when rain falls a couple of days prior to the event and dampens the course a little, making it tacky and fast. The usual suspects were toeing the line and when the whistle blew, Kent McNeill took off like a scalded dog. Shim managed to wedge himself between Kent and myself during the open field start loop. I came pretty close to blowing my wad in getting by Shim before we hit the woods, and by then Kent had already opened up a gap on us. I closed the gap down, only to have it re-open a few seconds later. And that was all she wrote for the battle for the win.
Within a half a lap, Kent was out of sight and had the rest of us more or less resigned to racing for the 2nd step on the podium. The first couple of laps were spent shadow boxing with Shim and MOD, until Shim clipped his pedal on tree. The tree knock him off his bike, Shim and his bike were sprawled across the trail. Being on Shim’s wheel, I had a quick decision to make. Ride over the top of Shim, or track stand it until he was able to get himself cleared. I opted for the latter because I like him and didn’t want to leave a tread mark up the side of his head. I eventually got around the wreckage and shortly after that MOD went by me.
I stayed on MOD’s wheel for a while, and after that ‘while’ was over I began to dangle until the elastic finally broke. For whatever reason, I just didn’t have it in me over the first half of the race. I found myself being very tentative through some of the more technical sections. It was one of those days I guess. MOD rode off into the sunset and left myself, Shim and Kev to battle for the table scraps.
So for the 3rd time, my plans for the race had to be revised. Throughout lap 3, I began to feel better physically and technically and figured that I would try to shell my companions through the start / finish area at the beginning of lap 4 if I were to have any chance of reeling MOD back in. We rolled through the start / finish area and I punched it. I heard a lot of chaos behind me, I didn’t realize it at the time, but Shim and Kev were both trying to get bottle hand ups. I kept the pressure on and opened a gap as we entered the woods. The gap continued to grow throughout lap 4, however I found myself being more concerned about the gap between MOD and myself.
I had finally found my groove and thought for sure that I was closing in on MOD. I kept the pressure on throughout lap 4 and 5, however MOD was riding really well and I never did see him.
I ended up finishing 3rd with Kent taking the W, and MOD finishing in a well deserved 2nd. Right now, Kent is in a league of his own and MOD is also going to be really tough to beat this year. I’m looking forward to taking another shot at both of them…I love the competition…
I was pretty happy to salvage a 3rd place on the day, considering how things were going over the first half of the race. I was off my game, but somehow managed to pull it together a little more over the last half. That I was able to turn things around like that made me pretty happy. My last two laps were my fastest of the race, to the tune of about 60 seconds, and they were on par with Kent’s lap times. I’m cool with that.
Julie had another great race, posting a win in the Cat 1 race. Yeah, she was the only Cat 1 registered, however they started her with the Cat 2 women. She rode away from the Cat 2 field and posted faster lap times than all of them. She is riding on some pretty good form right now and she’s handling the bike much better than I did when I was a year into mountain bike racing. If you’re a dude, and you get chicked by Julie, don’t feel bad about it ‘cause she’s tearin’ it up right now.
Thanks for reading,