Written by Jose R. Mendez Monday, 09 November 2015 00:00
It's the last Chainbuster 3hr Solo Endurance race of the season taking place on the Dry Creek Trails in Summerville, GA. This race also seals up the series podiums.
After having a great race a couple weeks back at Payne's Creek where the weather was outstanding, the trail was outstanding, and results were not too bad either, I was looking forward to another race.
Unfortunately, this one set up slightly differently. Our weather in Georgia was one shower after another the days before. Race organizers assured us the trails drained very well but if I had a nickel every time I heard that...
Still, through the rain, we drove up and set up alongside a lean group of racers. Maybe the weather kept them away??? Yeah, probably!
But to our surprise, the rain stopped as we pulled up that morning. It was sopping wet, but I'll take muddy and warm over cold and rainy any day!
We line up and it's confirmed, most folks stayed home. I venture to say that if you didn't have a series podium standing in play you probably weren't there.
Off we went on the horn. Fast and into the woods as third wheel. Trail was slick and fast, a good combination for me. We cruised through for a few miles and to my surprise the field was already gone off the back. So I looked forward and said "settle in and ride clean".
The trail turned out to be quite nice. A few mud bogs but overall it apparently drains really well. Shocker! They were right.
I had heard the trail was hilly but it did catch me a little by surprise. They had some hills with some sting in them. I was powering into them but I knew they were going to hurt a few laps in.
I lost track of the two guys ahead of me and with no one close behind I just raced my race, all alone. Lap one. Lap two. Then lap three. A couple miles into lap three I hit a pretty slick section and it felt like my rear end was wobbling all over the place. I chalked it up to the mud. But then I cleared the mud and it's still there. I look down and there's the culprit. A rear tire flat!
A quick dismount and check finds the bead is leaking air. I work the wheel to get Stan's into the spot to no avail. I pumped CO2 in to see if it would help and "no go". I was done. I had no choice but to return to the pit. My race was over.
As I returned (against traffic) I see 2nd place race by. I had several minutes on him. Even a bigger disappointment. I was home free until the "mechanical". Oh well, that's how it goes and that's how I have to wrap up the season.
Due to the conditions many folks stopped after a couple laps and that happened in my category. So amazingly, even with two laps, my faster time allowed me to get 2nd place this day and helping me secure 2nd place for the overall series this year.
Super stoked. After a season of missed races (work related) and an injury that kept me of the mtn bike for a few months I came back to put in a respectable season finish. Something I did notice as the season progressed, the level of racing. Not sure why but this season did not seem to bring the amount of racers as years past. I am sure the weather didn't help but I am hopeful next year will bring more folks and increase the caliber of racers showing up, even if that make my life more difficult. ;) It just makes things more exciting and I hope it also signals growth of the sport.
Now I (as do most of you) get to relax for a couple weeks and pick it back up for Winter training. It's ON! for next year.
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