|Whizzing Through Trees|
This year was better than last year, let me count the ways. First, I didn't have a broken clavicle. This let me ride a closer to the limit than last year. Second, it was a warm 17 degrees and while that may not seem that warm, it was tremendously warmer than last year. Third, I've figured out the magic of tire pressure. Actually, there is no magic, it's all a trade off between handling and excess power loss. But I had it tuned in much better this year. Fourth, there wasn't any ice. And if there was I had enough studs to get over most of it.
Race Time. The pack was a little thinner than expected with 54 starters between the 2 races, 43 in the 16 mile race. The conditions were very good for the race and the singletrack was well packed albeit fairly bumpy from walkers. (Makes a not so subtle hint at a Bucksaw) The sections of snowmobile trail were softer but gave a great opportunity to pass.
|On Your Mark, Get Set....|
( If you watch this video 8520 times and pretend 1/2 of it was uphill, that was the race.)
The 4 lap race format is nice both because it allows spectators a chance to see a lot of the race and you get to learn the course as you go. The first lap is like a training mode for the subsequent trips around. The narrow singletrack is tough for passing. In places I was holding others back because my technical skill isn't up to par. Not to mention that the original Surly Pigsley is not what you would call "Race Inspired". But in other places those same people would be holding me back. Overall people were very courteous and wouldn't let too much time pass before pulling to the side for a moment to let others get by.
|Typical Single Track Section|
Through the whole race I felt like I was holding my own. Certainly not up with the top riders but riding with a group of very capable athletes. I was riding along with the guy from Likin Bikin on his enviable full suspension (Bike Porn Alert) Foes Racing Muzt fatbike. Fueled by envy alone I beat him by 20 seconds. :)
|Bike Envy (Photo pilfered from Facebook)|
Which brings me to the results. I placed 20th out of 43 starters in the 16 mile race. I had a laundry list of excuses in last years race where I thought I could make up 16 minutes of time. It turns out I could make up 24 minutes. Not too shabby, although some of that was the conditions. Of course it left me thinking. What could I do on a Bucksaw? Either that or next year everybody has to ride 37.5lb Pigsleys.
|Stick a Fork In Me|
'Till Next Year...