It wasn't supposed to be a mudfest.
|Team aR Black, Me, Steve Wolfe, Kevin Tilton & Brayden Dunn|
Friday after work, i headed up to NH in the pouring rain, the original plan was to camp out at Great Glen Trails, do a pre race ride, hang out with the Acidotic team and have a few beers. I ended up with a hotel room in Rochester, NH, figuring that a good nights sleep would be important and i wont get that sleeping in a tent. The next morning, i pulled into Great Glen by 8 am, it was wet, but not raining. The sun had been out until i got about 5 miles from Mt Washington and that was all i would see of it for the day. I walked a bit of the course, some single track near the near the Acidotic campsite. The downhill there was a called the Boneyard, it is steep, not too long and has logs across it to form steps, there was a bypass around it that you could walk your bike down if you wanted to be safer. I checked out the switchbacks leading up to it too, they seemed in decent shape, not to muddy, i would hang my opinion on that later on after riding it in the race.
|The site of my 2:30am digger.|
I rested a little, now i know i can actually sleep in the back of my GTI, fold down the back seat, fold the passenger seat forward and i fit pretty good and it was comfortable enough.
Lap 3. 2 am. Light Rain. Back to back. I am not looking forward to this. Headlights on my helmet and handlebars, more than enough light. Waiting for Brayden at the handoff point under the main tent, chatting with Geoff Cunningham, he was riding great and would take his handoff shortly after me. Started good, walked a lot on the other side of Rte 16. coming down one steep hill to the parking lot before the tunnel, i took a wicked digger, don't know what i hit, handled this one perfectly the last 2 laps. I hit hard, knocked my back rim loose, once fixed, i was off. Geoff came by shortly after that, i tried to stay close on the dirt roads, but he was flying. Now another issue...fog. 50 feet visibility at times. Lights almost made it worse. Full speed on a twisty dirt road in fog can be nerve wracking. More mud, more problems shifting, but only in the small chainring, oh yeah, that's the one i need the most! Run into riders here and there, short conversations and we are separated. Most riders you come up on or get passed by are friendly and will ask if everything is ok. We all know it is a grind, no sense in being an asshole. Walked the Boneyard again, lap finished, one to go. Headed to the bike wash before taking off for lap 4. Felt pretty good, or so i thought.
I get back to Camp Acidotic and Steve asks if i am done, yes, i'm toast, or to quote Roberto Duran..No Mas, No Mas!
I want to thank Chris Dunn for asking to be part of this event. We had a great bunch of riders and support crew from Acidotic Racing. My performance was kind of lackluster, but i had a great time anyway. Maybe i'll even try it again, just hope it is dry that time.