Sunday, August 14, 2005

Race #1 Virginia Derailer Series report

Today was the Franklin County race of the Virginia Derailer Series. This series is pretty interesting. Several county parks got together and put together a mountain biking series that takes place in late August through October to promote tourism. The courses takes place at county recreation areas, and are typically short 5-8 mile laps. With the exception of the last race which is a mass start hill climb up Poor Mountain that Jeremiah Bishop won in 2003

This was the first race of this series I'd been too, and judging by the turn out the word is out. I think they doubled their turnout from last year. It was just an awesome time, and it was so good to see a lot of new blood coming out to the races. And also see Charles Stanley return to racing after 5 years off. This guy has got to be one of the most naturally talented racers. 5 years off, 3 kids under 5years old and he destroyed the expert field. Racing in SW Virgina has been on the decline for several years maybe this is a sign that it is turning around.

This was a very well run and organized event. Good food, a band, T-shirts in sizes other than XXXL, and great venue for kids with 2 playgrounds, and a super kids race. Trophies for the kids and ribbons and prizes.

Today was the first time that my whole family had come to the races with me. Years and years ago my son and wife came when he was a little baby, but now they are all old enough to ride bikes. It's hard enough to get yourself ready for a race. Whew getting all their stuff together was tough.

We didn't even bring my wife's bike. My bike, and 3 kids bikes. One with training wheels and one without just to see if we could get the little one to try practice w/no training wheels.

My little one did the 5 and under race, and my older did the 6-8 race. It was SO cool to see the kids with their numbers an camel baks.

Here is my younger one doing a last minute bike check

And the older with his decked out Trek with my old V brakes on

The little kids rode down a gravel path.
My son got second, training wheels and all.

He was SO happy riding and was just all smiles as he came across the line. First , last it didn't matter, they were just having fun.

Charles' kid got first, gotta be in the genes.

My older son looked nervous as he waited for his start. Just like I get.

The timing was getting tight for me to get ready and warmed up for my race, but there was no way I was going to miss him coming across the line. He didn't podium like little brother, but he won some sweet gloves in a raffle. They are from Cannondale, and he now thinks Cannondale is the coolest company on earth. Now that is marketing.

Gotta thank the promoters for putting on such a great kids race, it really made their day and mine too.

The start was mass chaos. Gravel road start that funneled down to a grass climb pretty quick. I cut off Phil from the shop just for good measure. The single track was pretty fun. And while not very technical it was rough enough with lots of small bumps to make the rigid
probably not the best choice, but it was my only choice for right now. I just don't have the skills to hang on the downhills, and felt pretty sketchy. Climbing it was sweet though.

These types of courses are so different than what I normally do. Usually we have more extended sections of climbing or longer singletrack sections. I don't think any one section was more than 5 minutes long here. Just transition from one short climb to the next short downhill to the next short section of flat..

There were two stream/river crossings that came up past my knees. Definitely a disadvantage to those shorter racers as myself. I told the marshall they needed to have those signs you see at amusement park rides, Must be this tall to race

And there was that super micro fine silt on the banks. At one crossing there was ankle deep mud before the road started again. Took a lot of beating on the SPUDS to get the mud out. I'm going feel grit between my toes for the next two months before I get ride of it out of my shoes.

I registered for the sport class, 2 laps. Maybe I should have done the expert. I could not have hung with the top guys, but 2 laps was a really short race. And in these kinds of distances you have to just go balls out, and today I just didn't have that killer instinct. And it took at least half a lap to feel like the legs were going. I think I found the culprit when we were packing up to go home. My pre-race coffee was sitting untouched in the cupholder of the car. In all the hustle/bustle of the kids race and running short on time to warmup I totally forgot about it.

I wanted to finish so spent that you curl up in the fetal position, but ended up crossing feeling fine. I felt so much worse after that 1hr time trial last month. But it takes some serious mental effort to push yourself into that kind of pain. Sometimes it is better for me to just go longer but at a lower pace.

Still I got third in my class, which I'm happy with and really surprised. A lot of guys passed that I just didn't have that get up and go to chase.

Our whole team was on the podium a lot today.
Lori and Rachael got 1-2 in the women's expert and took home paychecks.

Phil made it past me after I cut him off and I never saw him again.

The only suggestions I've got for the promoters would be try and lengthen the lap as much as possible and get sports to do like 1.5hrs at least. Our times were around 1-1:05 for 2 laps, and the experts did 3 in like 1:18+

Only winners allowed in this family
(Well actually a third, second, and participant in the kids race, but who's counting)

So it was a real fun day, but my god what a scorcher. It was fine during the race as it was in the trees most of the time, but afterwards it was an oven. Had to be 95 or so. The kids were breaking down hardcore towards the end.

The little one was asleep almost immediately

There are several more races in the series, spaced perfectly 2 weeks apart. Same style, short laps, short courses. Should be good building towards the Rowdy Dawg on October 2nd.


At 8:03 AM, Blogger JB said...

Really a great writeup. Looks like a great weekend for everyone!


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