A Day on the Dirt

8 06 2011

Recycler NewCarl reports from a day in the dirt:

So… rather than doing something as pedestrian as racing Mt. Hood or
Ballard, I spent the weekend in the untamed wilderness of Clark County.
My friends at Half Fast Velo put on a really nice and brutally painful
event at the Washougal Motocross Park. The course consisted of a roughly
7 mile loop with about 800 feet of climbing per lap. It had a couple
miles of single-track tied together with some of the steepest jeep tracks
I’d ever hope to ride, a few trips through various motocross courses and
even some rolling fields. It was a glorious 80 degrees but the wind was
raging down the gorge, so the heat was tempered by the icy terror of
flying tents and chairs.

Having no experience in endurance racing and probably less than 12 hours
in total saddle time on a mountain bike, I knew I was out of my element as
I sat at the start line with 100 or so other brave souls. I’ve been
involved in some slow race starts before, but this was downright
leisurely. I knew I had to pace myself if I was going to make it for the
full 6 hours, so I faded to the back of the pack of solo racers. “Start
slow and taper” was my plan and I stuck to it. The first 3 laps took
about 42 minutes each with a quick stop for food and drink between each.
I slowed on the 4th lap to about 45 minutes and gave up an extra five on
each of the remaining laps. In total I did 7 laps which totaled 49 miles
with 5600 feet of climbing. The winner in my category did 10 laps. In
the end I placed 11th out of 19 finishers in my age group and I’m just
happy to have survived it. No crashes, very little walking, no flats and
no crying, so I guess the day was a success.

I enjoyed myself enough that I’ll probably be seen at other mountain
bike races throughout the year rockin’ the RCR colors. Hope to see more
of you out there.

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