Written by Paul Simoes Monday, 17 October 2011 16:49
Last mountain bike race of the year and it happens to be a local race put on by my local club, Team Bums, and sponsored by my team Bikeman.com, nice! This race was actually planned to happen back in August but hurricane Irene had other plans. So, being so late in the year and in the middle of cross season, I didn’t think we would have big turn out. Boy was I wrong. We had over 200 riders and over 19 elite riders in both men and women with some of the best riders in the area showing up; Michael Broderick, Mary Mcconneloug, Karen Potter, John Foley, Andrew Freye, Justin Spinelli and many more. I decided about a week ago to throw caution to the wind this time around and ride a bike with gears, not a single speed. I wanted to try out a new hardtail powered by SRAM and me.
And we’re off OK, everyone other than Michael Broderick. Not sure what happened, maybe he wanted a challenge and decided to give everyone 30 seconds at the start. In the first, fast, flat section I found myself behind teammates Rick Nelson and Alby King. We then crossed the creeks to another fire road up to Sampson's Pebble with a slight up pitch. Once the pitch began, I passed Rick and Alby then another two riders. Michael Broderick comes by, then I come up behind Will Crissman and an unknown rider. Right before Sampson’s Pebble I wanted to pass but didn’t happen. Now the nasty down hill to Browning Pond, I passed the unknown rider then came across Andrew Freye who flatted. Next, I came up behind Will at the beginning of some of the nastiest riding of the course. Will made a mistake and let me by. Then, John Foley did the same and also let me by. Next thing I know, I look up and I’m right on Michael Broderick’s wheel through some of the toughest riding in my backyard. Yeah it was only for a short section until we hit the next short fire road section connecting trails, still HOW COOL!! For the last part of the downhill, I came behind Synjen Marrocco and followed him down to Browning Pond.
Now the steep climb back up to Sampson’s Pebble. Synjen, John Foley and I climbed mostly together changing places a couple of times. By the time we hit the top, John had maybe a 30 foot gap and I’m right on Synjen’s wheel. I stayed close behind Synjen and John until John flatted but remained behind Synjen for about another mile, then made a pass. I finished the 1st lap in 3rd but still had lots of racing to go. Back up to Sampson’s Pebble down to Browning Pond and back up again to Sampson’s Pebble. This time at Sampson’s Pebble I’m being told that I’m only 15-20 seconds off of 2nd. Time to pedal hard. In about 3 miles, I come across Justin Spinelli off to the side of the trail. You guessed it, a flat. I finish the 2nd lap in 2nd and I’m being told that I have a 2-3 min. gap, nice. So I ride the last lap by myself at a good pace trying not to make too many mistakes, done finished 2nd.
Super cool day, finishing 2nd only to Michael Broderick who came in at 2:33, me at 2:45 and Matt Boobar in 3rd at 2:50 and teammates Alby King in 6th, Rick Nelson 8th. It was also great to meet Michael Broderick and hang out for a bit. Both Michael and Mary Mcconneloug where great. Meeting with fellow races talking about racing and whatever, great ambassador’s to the sport of mountain biking. THANKS FOR COMING!!
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