Dirt crit recap:
Had 3 people yesterday for the dirt crit. Though there was no dirt yesterday, just a gravel/grass circuit. Very non-technical which contrary to what you'd think made it much harder than the previous course that had some single track in it. With tight single track and downhills you have to back off in order to not pinball into a tree which gives you some recovery. With an 'easy' track there is hardly any recovery and you're on the edge the whole time.
No one threw up, so that prize is still up for grabs. But I felt the Pibb Extra I'd had at noon, 5 hours before.
Teresa 'Hey we have one more lap' Martinez and Royce 'Shame on me for not taking care of my mountain bike' Jacomen showed up on their hardtail Gunnars. My 8speed rigid hardtail BREW rounded out the Steel is real
party. Though there were plenty of times I was wishing for my new dual suspension. The grass track was surprisingly rough on the backside.
After two parade laps we hit it.
We started on the flat section of gravel
Then we hit a short section of grass before this grassy switchback. The trick was to keep it in a high enough gear and not brake, as soon as you made the turn, stand up and pedal out to the corner before you fall over from the sharp turn
This lead into the GRUNT.
Doesn't look like much but oh man, try hitting it in the red over and over. Tough to find the right gear with the grass. With the rigid fork, it seemed best to stand through it, once I stayed seated and it didn't feel much better.
Tough choice here. Hit the grunt hard and then die on the other end, or reserve a little to roll over the top and grab a few cogs on the other side. It didn't really matter after awhile because it hurt just as bad either way.
The top of the grunt offered a tiny bit of recovery, but not really because to truly ride yourself into the ground you needed to grab some cogs and push a big gear down and up into the next rise
A tight chicane that could save you a few seconds if you laid off the brakes led into the downhill. All 5 seconds of it. Oh time to relax. Ahhhh
Sharp right back on the gravel and repeat until nausea.
I had the mp3 player going with some punk but I'm not quite sure what good it did. 1 lap at a reasonable pace to get the body shocked into go mode, then hit it a little harder. Royce paced off me the first lap, than passed and I drafted off him as best I could.
Somewhere on the second lap I passed and tried to gap.
The heat was stifling, but the clouds cover increased to help cool things off a little. The best motivation for going fast was the cloud of gnats that would swarm you if your speed dropped below a certain point. We were all going as hard was we could. Huffing and puffing. The visibility of the course helped motivated to try and catch someone, or keep someone from catching you.
Somewhere 15+ minutes into it I look back and didn't see Royce as expected. On the road I looked up to the grass climb and saw him holding something up in his hand. I thought it was his rear der. as he said it was bent and ready to go into the spokes at any moment. Kept on going and caught up to him walking with his left crankarm in one hand!
The format is 20mins + finish the lap you are on then 2 more laps. At the 20min+1 lap point I stopped to talk with Royce conveniently forgetting my last lap. T. comes around the corner saying that there is one more lap to go. Darn. I was hoping to forget about that. Finished the last lap with T and finally stopped. The second I stopped I was covered in sweat dripping off my face.
take care of your bike Royce!
Hopefully we'll get more people out for these. Just cannot emphasize enough how much fun riding in a circle can be. There is no better training than this kind of thing, as unless you have the motivation of Lance it's hard to push yourself into the dead zone without some company.