It has been quite a while since I've posted (when hasn't it....)
So here is a general update of my racing season over the last few weeks, including profound personal realizations I have come to realize.
Since the RAWROD I have raced mountain every Saturday. The Intermountain Cup Series gets pretty intense in May with races every week, and the weekly Soldier Hollow Series also starts halfway through May.
After my first mountain bike race down in Hurricane, I was pretty impressed with my result. I got second place in the mens Expert 19-29 category. Visions of quickly upgrading to pro raced through my mind as I got all revved up for the rest of the season.
Then the second race happened.
That changed things. A lot.
I flatted and had some mechanical issues out at that race, leaving me semi-content with a 5th place finish. Not too bad, but just a fluke to finish that far back...I should have won...or so I thought.
The next race up in Logan confirmed my deepest fear: I stink at bike handling.
Uphill sections of the Logan race were ok. I could push myself hard and even pass many riders in the non technical uphill and flat sections. However, the downhill corners proved to be my Achilles Heel.
Just to illustrate my point, sometime halfway through lap 3 of 4 I could hear people starting to pile up behind me on the downhill windy section. A brief conversation occurred which went something like this:
ME: I'm really bad at this downhill stuff...just let me know when you want to pass, dude
INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: You're doing fine, hang with it
ME: (realizing the voice behind me was in fact that of a woman...[yeah, an actual girl was about to pass me in a bike race]) I mean, just let me know when you wanna pass, ma'am
INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: (slight chuckle) I'm ok, I'll let you know
ME: (In my mind) Oh shiz!
INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: (after watching me unclip and put my foot down on a particularly hairy sharp corner) Use your body weight to turn, not your hands
(Yes, the woman biker behind me was actually giving me tips on bike handling in between small outbursts of laughter as she watched me struggle)
INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: Look further up the trail, not directly in front of you
INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: (More hysterical laughter at my plight)
INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: Ok, good luck, I'm gonna pass you now.
Then, before I could even say anything, she passed me just after a corner and blew by me like I was standing still (which, knowing how poorly I take corners, my being at a complete stop isn't that unlikely)
Fortunately for me and my male ego, I mustered up the energy to gas it on the next straight away and catch the woman, but I swear I could hear her laughing the whole time.
I managed to come in around 7th or 8th. Taken into perspective that really isn't that bad when you consider how big the field was (7 or 8) Ok, so it was that bad
Just to ensure the destruction of any lingering thoughts of confidence in my mountain biking skills, Soldier Hollow confirmed it all with a cute little wreck on one of the downhills (my knee still has a fat owie) and a near to last place finish.
Oh well, its still very fun.