After probably what was the longest hiatus from racing that I’ve ever had mid summer, I was very ready to get back on the dirt for some racing. Julie and I had a very busy July with the first two weeks spent in Colorado. We spent about half of the time at her brother’s place in Avon and did a lot of sweet road and mountain biking in and around the Vail valley. We also spent a week in Durango for more of some of the best riding that the state has to offer. This year I spent a little more time on the mountain bike than I did the road bike. I think that as I grow a little older, I’m becoming a little less tolerant of highway noise and air pollution, especially when some of the knucklehead diesel pick-up truck drivers give me a drive by dusting of diesel smoke.
The second two weeks of July were spent packing up all of our junk, getting ready for the move from the townhouse / bat cave into a real house. I managed to get rides in almost everyday, however the rides weren’t as substantial as I would have liked. It only got worse during the second week as we were busy moving all of our stuff into the garage of the new house. Between all of the heavy lifting, lack of sleep and extremely hot weather, the quality of my training suffered.
The weekend after our move, we headed up to Camp Ingawanis for the race on the south course. The last time we raced on the south course, the laps were pretty short and not nearly as fun as the north course. I was expecting the same this time around, however when I went out for a recon lap, I was pleasantly surprised. It was very apparent that a lot of work had taken place over the past year. I have to give some props out to Karmen Woelber, as I was told that she is the trail master at Ingawanis. Karmen and the rest of the crew put together a great course that consisted of about 90% of fast, rolling singletrack.
I knew going in the I wasn’t going to be anywhere near 100%, so my plan was to get into the singletrack 2nd wheel behind Kevin McConnell (aka Cross Jesus). We started and Kevin immediately jumped into the lead. Matias Peret and I sparred a little for Kevin’s wheel and my persistence netted me 2nd wheel into the woods.
Kevin created an immediate gap as it took me around a mile to get my high speed singletrack mojo going. It took me about a half of a lap to finally reel Kevin back in and by this time I had gapped off Matias. I sat on Kevin’s wheel and felt pretty relaxed throughout each of the three laps that I was there. About the only time that I felt like I was being pushed was on all of the short power climbs. I was actually surprised at how well things were going until we started lap 4. I started to yo-yo on and off of Kevin’s wheel and the elastic finally broke about mid way through the lap.
I put myself into survival mode form that point until the finish. There were a couple of moments during lap 5 when I felt like I was starting to get a 2nd wind, but it never really came. I was totally blown with nothing left in the tank.
I ended up salvaging a hard earned second place on the day and Kevin took the much deserved win. I felt pretty good about the result given all that had been going on over the past couple of weeks. The course was a lot of fun and well worth the 2+ hour drive. I had a great time riding with Kevin throughout the first three laps. And it was good to see all of the Iowa mountain bike racing peeps.
Julie also had a pretty good day, despite the women having to do the same amount of laps as the men. I finished my race early enough that I was able to give her a water bottle that was half ice and half water at the start of her last lap. It was a pretty hot day, so I scored some ‘good husband points’ for that one.
The next race on the horizon will most likely be at Swanson Park in Omaha. IMBCS #8 was supposed to be at Lake Manawa State Park, however there is no such thing as underwater mountain bike racing, so the venue for IMBCS #8 will actually be in Omaha.
Thanks for reading,