So, Team Oakland is sponsoring this particular race in the BASP series. Automatically it becomes a bigger deal, at least in my world. We have to represent, and do right by our sponsors. Working w/ Pilarcitos for going on 7 years now makes things easier, as we have developed an outstanding relationship with them. They did up the banners and entry way to the race, and the team showed up and partied and the rest of the teams showed up and partied and ended up being a great night.
Sierra Point is like an RC track on steroids. It's like 8 minutes worth of racing stuffed into a 5 (or under) minute lap. The thing double backs on itself so many times you can actually forget which part of the course you are on. The one terrain feature is barely over head high. But, that doesn't mean you can't have an awesome course. The dirt is firm, and the grass has a nice tight root structure making for a fast track. The corners offer the kind of traction not often seen in our sport, and treating a cx bike like a bmx bike can be mind expanding. It's actually amazing how a nice cross bike handles and is so capable. The "hill" gets hit like 5 times in 2 separate visits each lap. It's enough to jack up your heart rate, and also there's a rad jump.
So I convince a bunch of other team mates to race twice, and do the single speed B's with me and we can have a big party. First up though is the 35+ B's:
I started in the middle and easily made it past the initial mess. I got into a groove and made my race. I found that although guys would blast past me on the long paved finish straight, I could catch back on an go by them in the dirt. I felt like my tires were hooking up really well as I mostly pushed hard lines through the turns. I found the limit a few times, but nothing to bad. I knew w/o a warmup I was going to blow up pretty hard, and I did, sliding back several spots, but as a testament to actually getting in shape I pushed through pretty quick and started racing. I was in a group for a while with JM and a couple of other guys, I think together we were making good time. Unfortunately, coming out of the hairpin onto the finish straight one guy continues to turn and puts his skewer into my front wheel. Pop! goes the spoke, and off he goes. Now I'm pissed, my wheel's rubbing, I'm pissed....get under control, stop and unhook my front brake and off I go. I'm kind of trying to fight through some demotivation, and that's when I say no! Me no quit!! I stopped off for a neutral front wheel and now I have front brakes again, and I'm gonna chase those bastards down!!! Except the tire that's on those wheels are Michelin Jets, the worst CX tire EVER. And especially on a front. But I am thankful to have a straight wheel and brakes, so I don't want to come off as whingy. The last 3 laps were all about getting back time, I lost something like 90 seconds to that event, minimum, because I could never go as fast with that tire through the turns as before so I almost wasn't able to use my strength to make up ground. In the end, 34th. 3 minutes down on the winner, so that gap is much better, and if I look at things objectively without the front wheel mishap I was looking at a much better finish. So fitness wise I'm happy, results wise I was affected by something beyond me and have to suck that up.
Then, the very next race Single Speed B's:
I finished, went to the tent and changed into a disco shirt, got some liquid and gel and solid nutrition, switched bikes and got prepared for the next event. We started off in a wave after the Men's B's, and right away there was a pile up in turn one. I got past that, and saw that the very front was just up the way, and I was looking good. A good start. I settled into what to me felt like a pretty brutal pace, but I was all limbered up from racing already and I wanted to see how well I could do (I know, right, what ever happened to hey let's party!?). Blake, James, Jon, Oliver, all guys I know and are right there. We are seriously blitzing the course, we start passing the geared B's going nuts. For the most part it was a smooth race, with little interference from falling riders etc...towards the end though, the last 5 laps....I was in such a zone, I had like no outside awareness beyond like what was right around my bike. I felt like I was doing really well, and for some proof of how far up into the B's field I got, I caught Maury Long, who got 4th in the B's. He ended up getting back past me and finished in front of me, but hey I thought that was pretty cool. I lapped guys, haven't done that in a few years. On my second to last lap, I was caught by Isaiah Rapko and the other kid from the B's, I let them by and continued. As I got into the second half of that lap my left leg started to cramp up and I immediately slowed down. I know of 4 guys who passed me in a tight group as I was fighting through that cramp. I had a lap and a half to go so I just had to hang in there I'd get them after the pavement when we get back in the dirt, right? Well, Isaiah won his race about 30 seconds in front of me, and they started pulling riders right away. My race leader was still on course, I had not been lapped, and yet I was being told to shut it down. Of course, this led to the results getting screwed up, and even though they have me as 5th, I feel like I'm probably more like 9-12thish. Which would be a sweet result for the first SS, and first double race day of the year. I missed 2 remounts, and I have a bruise on my right inner thigh the size of my face, and it had like 2 tire tracks through it....wonder where I really finished.