Written by Jason Derrig Friday, 29 June 2018 00:00
Well, THAT didn't go quite as expected! I knew going into the race that I was in for some suffering. The first 1.2 mile climb always sucks it out of me but at least the next 4 miles or so is fairly flat, although a little techy in spots. I've ridden the course 5-6 times and raced it, well ... 2.5 times now. It has been a fairly cool spring /early summer in Midcoast Maine with few hot and humid days so when the temp hit almost 80 and the humidity went way up, I knew I was gonna be hurting. I went out slow as always, shamelessly walking that first punchy climb at the back of the small SS and Fat class pack.
Apparently National Fat Bike champ and CX legend Paul Curley had the same go out slow strategy, as I kept him in sight for the first ½ mile. Wet rocks and pinned HR led me to stop for a quick 30 seconds to let out a little more air in the tires and catch my breath. When I got back onboard, I was in No-Man's Land. As I continued climbing, my HR and breathing went into unfamiliar territory and my jersey was glued to me. Finally hitting the flat doubletrack, I started to get the breathing under control but wasn't cooling off at all. Somewhere around mile 3.5 it all went to hell. I started feeling foggy headed and a little dizzy. Not a good time to be off your game as some of the water crossings and rocky sections can end your day. Coming out of The Swamp I knew I had to make a choice. Quickly. After Swamp, there's a nice doubletrack section followed by a short road piece before you get to Halfway Hill. If Halfway doesn't kill you, the Powerline Climb will. Then Ten Dollar Pass and The Steep. Then the course goes downhill but still some techy rocky spots and a couple water crossings. I knew that my situation wasn't going to get any better and I had better pull off the course and take the doubletrack cut-across back to the start/finish tent before I got a free ride in Matt's Jeep. I LOVE the Domnarski Farm course and supporting Matt and his farm. Matt is a great guy, retired MA State Trooper and a beast on both MTB and CX bikes. If you've never ridden there, get in touch with Matt and he'll give you the full tour. Good luck staying with him!
I WILL be back in 2019, even if it is the ONLY race I do (it won't be) next year. For this year, I decided to live by these infamous words: “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day”. See y'all at DF 2019.
And in case you're wondering, yes, Paul Curley did win, fairly easily.
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