Bearscat 50 - Hewitt, NJ
by Paul Simoes • September 26, 2018
Well the Bearscat 50 has always been one my favorite endurance races, just so so many rocks and roots in a 50 mile race not only a test of your endurance but maybe even a bigger test of your mt. biking skills. But, also a super nice venue; nice beach and park, almost hard to believe your so close to NYC.
And we're off for two 25 mile laps. The start was a fast 4-5 mile prologue before the fun really starts. Before entering the first single track I found myself in a fairly good spot. The lead group of 6 or so riders were still in view and not that far ahead. I was going back forward with a couple other riders, pass a couple of riders, and one passed me and I wasn't able to keep up. At this point, I was trying to find the right rhythm and right pace. Somehow I seem to forget how nasty this place can be and I caught a rock in the wrong way and over the bars I go. Ok nothing major, just a good wake up call.
After my wake up call, I started getting my nerves out of the way and found myself going back and forth a couple times with Ken Welch. Ken and I basically finished the first lap at the same time. Luckily, I had a faster transition at the end of the first lap, so I took advantage of this the most I could. At this point, I finally found my rhythm in a big way. I started the second lap going hard. I wanted to put in a good gap in this transition, one of those things, out of sight out of mind. I didn't want Ken chasing me. Four years ago, Ken and I had one hell of a race on this course. I didn't catch Ken until only 6 miles left on the course and only won by a minute or two. So I know that Ken is fast and it was enough to keep me motivated for the whole 25 miles of the second lap. Really put in a great effort and time on the second lap. Felt real good to have a good second lap after being a little shaky on the first lap.
Had a real good ride and time and ended up finishing 2nd in the 45+, 5th overall, Joe Johnston got the win by six minutes and finished 3rd overall and Ken ended up in 3rd. Super fun day of racing as usual at the Bearscat 50 again, and a big thanks to the Bearscat crew for putting together a great and challenging event.