Thursday, June 27, 2013

Short Track Racing---Part 1

June has turned out to be the month of racing riddled with mechanical issues and lots of mud.  However, my best performance came on the first day of June, racing in an event that I had never before experienced...Short Track Racing.   ABRA held it's first ever short track event in Oakdale, PA at the same venue that Military Cross had taken place in the fall of 2012.  

Unsure of what to expect, I quickly discovered short track racing was much like cyclocross racing--fast starts, tight turns, hard accelerations, steep climbs, obstacles, and multiple laps in 35 minutes -- with the exception that obstacles can be ridden over instead of hurdled.  I had pre-registered and expected to only race the Master's class.  But, we had arrive early enough that I figured I would ride the Cat 2/3 race to at least get a feel for the course.   Although relatively short in duration, I quickly found that short track racing was more intense that I had expected, a 35 minute all-out sprint.

The Cat 2/3 race went well as I had reached the front position shortly into the race and managed to hold onto it while trying (but unable) to stay on Gunnar's wheel, in the Singlespeed race.

The Master's race began within minutes after the Cat 2/3 race, leaving me little time to re-hydrate and fuel up in the 90 degree heat.

After realizing a few days earlier that only 3 individuals had pre-registered for the Master's race, I figured I had at least a 3rd place finish.  However, I was more than surprised to see the number of day-of-race registrants that toed up to the start line.  A third place finish seemed less likely now.  But, another quick start and jump into third before the congestion of racers helped to get into third behind Gunnar and Frank Ross.  Although I never saw them after the first lap, I kept them as my 'carrot on a string' to push through the fatigue for that 3rd step on the podium...a satisfying finish.

June 2nd turned out to be a great day of racing for another Jones, as my 8 year old nephew and newbie mountain biker competed in his first ever kids race.  Showing determination, he raced his brand new mountain bike at North Bend State Park, WV.

A great finish awarded him with a medal and DQ gift certificate...Congratulations Kyle!

Congratulations to all Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling p/b Pathfinder teammates for outstanding performances during June.  And, thanks to all sponsors for making this season happen for us!