Written by Eric Olds Friday, 01 February 2019 00:00
The fourth annual Rangeley Fat Bike Loppet featured the best trail conditions yet compared to any of the three previous years. The groomed ski trails have always been solid, but this year the single track was frozen, fast, and flowy! This year it was full speed ahead from the start. I was fighting off a cold, so perhaps that played a role in the fact that as soon as the race hit the first hill I was dropped by the main group. My legs seemed fine, but I felt completely empty. Nevertheless, I persisted, thinking I might reel a few back in on the single track.
On the first lap I kept catching a glimpse of a few riders ahead and seemed to be gaining through these sections. But, the last two miles were open ski trail with another three miles of this in the beginning of lap two and I never got a glimpse of these riders again. So, I was pretty much riding by myself for most of the race until the end where I passed a few riders participating in the shorter, one-lap event. I ended up 19th, earning a whopping two points towards the Maine Winter Fat Bike Series.
Not the race I had hoped for after all the training I’ve been putting in, but there were also a lot of fast riders in the positions ahead of me, so realistically, I never had a shot at finishing higher than 16th. I actually placed higher the year before when I was able to ride a lot of the degraded single track on the first lap where some of the usually faster riders could not.
I enjoyed the race and the trails all the same and appreciate all the hard work that went into making those stellar conditions happen on race day. And, Elisa managed to bring home some maple syrup for us by placing 3rd in the women’s one lap Nordic trail race.