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Winding Trails

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

Teammate Chuck N. and I were both entered in the 30-39 beginner class, and to be honest, we really had no idea what to expect. We figured there was a chance we'd get our butts kicked, due to our serious lack of experience offroad. Besides, the day before we both did the cat. 3/4 road race up at Turtle Pond in NH, so we were already a bit fatigued.

We got to Winding Trails and it was already pouring rain. After a nice brief warm up on the trails, we were already drenched, so off came the slickers. Our group was gridded 2nd behind the 19-29 beginners who took off 1.5 minutes before us.

The whistle blew, and I gunned it, cross-style. I immediatley found myself at the front of the 20 or so guys. Chuck came by me when we hit the fire trail, and there was one guy on my wheel. At the end of the fire trail (about 2 minutes into the race) I looked back and there was nobody even close to our group of three. By the time we hit the first singletrack, we were already passing guys from the group that started before us. The one guy that was trying to hang with us was gone when we hit the first climb.

ImageChuck's chain fell in between the cassette and the spokes in a technical section, so I went by him. I didn't know that he would have drop out. I kept looking back, hoping he would catch back up, but I never saw anybody. I later saw him at the start/finish yelling stuff at me after the first lap.

So, I ended up passing everybody from the group in front of us, then I basically was just timetrialing through the woods. I had the suspension locked out and I was hammering on the bigring 80% of the time...it was basically just a moderatley sloppy Cyclocross race to me. I assume this would be considered an "easy" MTB course, because I kept wondering where all the hard stuff was that I've been hearing about, and it never appeared. I think I had to hop over three logs total per lap. I got off the bike once the whole race because I couldn't ride some big wet roots.

I finished around 7 minutes ahead of the 2nd place guy. I guess I need to move up to Sport, huh?

Steve Morse
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