Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cat 1 Start H3 | Root 66 Bunny Hopbrook Dam on CyclingDirt

What a race! I guess that it is fitting that the Connecticut MTB season would start with an epic race. It was not epic by distance but by conditions. On Saturday night the forecast was calling for the rain to stop late morning. The forecasters really missed this one. The roads were almost dry mid morning and the rain started again just as we got to the race course. It was 43 degrees and pouring rain as the racers gathered!

About 25 racers lined up for the start in the Cat 1 30-39 age group. Even with the weather it looks like attendance will be up this year. I had heard rumors from others that MTB is getting more popular again.

You can see a video of the beginning of the course at the link below:

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It didn't look to bad in the video but it got slicker and slicker. The soil on the course had a fair amount of clay in it making for a very slippery race. Considering the amount of high intensity training that I have had this year I felt pretty good. I ended up 21st. Now I have a baseline to improve upon. It has been several years since I last put in the miles necessary to finish in the top 5. I am now figuring out how to balance work, family with a young child, and riding. I can do it but I will have to manage my time well.

I have to compliment GT bicycles for making an awesome product. The Carbon Zaskar that they gave me when I signed on to the Dirt Coalition team handled flawlessly considering the conditions. I do not miss my full suspension bike one bit. It is extremely light and nimble. The carbon does a nice job of damping the bumps while still being stiff.

I did have one mechanical issue. The front Deore XT disc brake kept intermittently losing pressure. I have to look into this today. It slowed me a bit during the race but certainly my fitness is the limiting factor.

The next race is at Winding Trails in Farmington, CT. Come out and see the Dirt Coalition team members and check out an awesome venue for a MTB race.

Now with a beautiful day off from work I need to get outside for some active recovery.

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