|Pre-riding with JR|
To start the month off I participated in my 3rd ever mountain bike race at rocky gap state park in Maryland for the 9 hours of cranky monkey. To this point I have done a mountain bike TT in 2010 and won the beginners course at wisp last year in 2011. the 9 hours of cranky monkey was the first time I have done a relay style race. My teammates for the event were Mike Janeiro and Scott House, we race in the 105+ category with our other local team “thats what she said”. Now Scott and I voted mike to take the initial lap since he was the more experienced mountain biker and would be able to navigate the initial traffic from the lea-mans start. I took the second lap it was still dry and I work on trying to set a decent time, being a Rodie and not strong on the mountain bike I was happy to turn a 46 min lap. Now my next lap I had set up my gps to go off my first lap and try to match or even beat my time, I was doing well matching the time until I reached about a mile to go when one of the riders on the side of the trail actually replied that they could you use a hand. Since this was our first time doing a relay and we weren't expecting to do exceptionally well, so I figured I'd do the nice thing and stopped to help the guy on the side of the trail since he was unfamiliar with how to reinstall a master-link and chain, so I took me a couple of minutes to help him out, and maybe score some good karma, this lap was a 50 minute lap but if I hadn't stopped I would had matched my first lap in time. Now after I got in to the check in area the sky had opened up and started to rain which would mean a slick and muddy lap for my next one. I got the key from mike and started my third lap, from cyclocross I am used to slick conditions so I felt fairly confident but still not taking many risks. Mike managed to finish our 10th lap with just 7 minutes left until they close the course for the last lap I knew we were only a minute down from the 5th place team and about 6-7 minutes behind the 4th place team, so I had to keep looking at the category number on the people I was passing on the final lap. I had passed one 105+ but I knew it wasnt the 5th place team and wasn't sure if I was lapping a another rider but I didn't want them to over take me before the lap was over. As it turn out the guy I had passed was the team who had sat in 4th moving us from 6th to a surprising 5th place podium.
Next to wisp, where I had won last year. Well I carpooled down with Jeff Gernert got there early and helped set up the team tent all Abra races. After snacking on some of my oatmeal cookie I went and pre-rode the pro-log since this would be the tricky part in traffic. I had signed up for the sport class after winning the beginner class last year, this only being my 4th mountain bike race and not used to doing distance on the mountain bike I was a little hesitant to race the next level up. Yet after doing 4 laps of a 8 mile course at 9 hours of cranky monkey. We lined up and soon we were off, I managed to hold my own during the pro-log and not long after we started heading down hill and I started losing places. I managed to pick a bad line through both of the crick crossings causing me to dismount at both of them. I took my time climbing the couple miles to the finish line knowing I had to do a second lap. I picked up my second bottle from our teams table and started my second lap, I made it down the descent without much trouble but was feeling sluggish. Again picked a bad line though both crick crossings and had to dismount and after I remounted the second time I just bonked and I just wanted to be finished but was only halfway done with my second lap. Now I don't remember to much from this point on just remember I had flatted and my spare tube had a small leak which I needed to pump up about every mile for the remaining 4 miles. Looking at the first lap from my garmin and the time of the beginner class, I feel I could have had a good chance of winning the beginner class but that's no fun (and is also sandbagging). The difference between first and last, at least for me that day was one lap.