Written by Chris Beriau Tuesday, 18 October 2011 16:43
For the last 3 years my local Mtb club, Team Bums has put on the season finale for the EFTA series; Treasure Valley Rally which Bikeman is one of the main sponsers (Thanks guys!!). It's become known as one of the toughest races in the series. The 9 mile lap contains 1000 ft of climbing and lots of rock gardens, stream crossings, mud pits, and did I mention rocks. This year the race was all set for August. The course was changed around some to make it “flow better”, like that’s possible. The club had it all cleaned up, even leaf blown, then up the coast came Hurricane Irene promising up to 6 inches of rain for race day and 80mph winds. With safety a priority, the race was postponed for October.
Sandwiched among the many Cross races on the calendar, the turn out was awesome. Over 200 riders turned out to try their skill on a cool, sunny, fall day. Quite a few juniors turned out for the first timer youth race, some even tried their skill on the longer novice course. It was great to see so many kids from 10 on up out there racing their mountain bikes.
For me, I raced the woman’s expert class. There were 6 of us starting, 4 in my category; 40+. This race is located on some of my local trails so I had the advantage of knowing the trail and the obstacles. One such obstacle is a double stream crossing early on in the race, usually not a problem when it's hot and humid out but in October with temps in the 50’s I was a little nervous about having wet cold feet for the entire race. No need to worry though. On the 1st lap don’t I crash right in the middle of the stream and go for a swim… Oh well, now I won’t have to try to keep my feet dry now will I.
I rode most of the race on Jen Hart’s wheel. We climbed well together but she was the better technical rider and she eventually dropped me in the last lap. I was feeling my fitness today or lack thereof. With shorter days and busy weekends it's getting harder to string long rides together. Oh well, no excuses, I wouldn’t miss this race no matter how painful it is (especially the next day). By day's end, I came in 3rd in my age group. Fellow teammate Paul Simoes came in 2nd in the pro/elite field ! Way to go to all fellow Bikeman teammates who came out to race in Rutland MA!
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