Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pisgah Stage Race 2015: Stage 2

I kind of slept the night before stage 2.  I drank my coffee, ate my bagel, prepped my bottles, loaded up and headed out.  I sometimes wish that I could stay in Brevard all week and enjoy the dinner and award ceremony offered each night, hanging out with other racers.  But,  when I get home and see the smile on my wife and kid's face,  I'm glad that I'm there.

A roughly 30 minute drive to the parking lot,  change, wait,  and then we started.  1st place single speeder was gone,  Evan had to turn back due to mechanical, Scott, Dejay, Joe and I had a spinning drag race to Turkey Pen.......

It had been raining since early in the day, and had not let up.  And would not let up for the entire day.

On the gravel road, Dejay and Scott took off.  Joe and I rode together for a while.  Chatting about life.  Just a couple of dudes in the woods.  I don't like to talk a lot when I ride, so after about 45 minutes, I got quiet and into my rythym.  I noticed that I was gaining a little bit of ground.  But I was going my steady race pace so I just held my rhythm.  

I had a blast on Squirrel.  I was riding some things that I had not ridden before. Then we crossed south Mills River and started the climb to Buckhorn Gap.  The rain was flowing down the middle of the trail,  making it mushy, with leaf debris all over the place.  There was no going fast.  Only a long, grinding,  energy sapping grind to the top.  I passed a couple of geared riders early on and held my pace.  

The leaves are popping, and spring is in full force.  Every now and then I remind myself to sit up and look around. 

At Buckhorn Gap,  I stopped to put on my jacket for the ride down Clawhammer.   By the time I got to Maxwell, I was shivering.  I stopped for my bottle and a Coke and was off.  I simply could not generate any heat on the climb up to Black and held a steady pace.  I knew Joe was back there somewhere,  he is one touch dude and a savvy competitor. 

As I crested to hike a bike over Black, and headed down,  my brakes were worn thin,  my fingers were numb and my confidence was shot.  I forced myself to let go a little but used a lot of caution.  And I made it down with only one small spill. 

I crossed the finish line shivering and sat in my truck for 15 minutes with the heat running.  I changed,  and headed into town for some food.  I finally stopped shivering after eating the Turkey, Cheddar and Bacon Club! 

I finished 4th Single Speed on the day, and now sit in 4th in the SS cat. 

Looks like tomorrow will be chilly, but less chance of rain.

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