I raced this back in 2006, but missed it last year for some reason. Again, it was my 1st race in a long long time. Other than orienteering, I have not done any other kind of racing at all since 2006. In addition, this was probably only the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve ridden real single track since I raced this same race in 2006! Granted, I do get some fire roads in now and then, but that is not the same thing. And the part of me that got the most tired was my hands and wrists. They are not used to having to hold on so tight like you do on single track! Luckily, Lake Crabtree is probably the easiest single track around.
This race starts with a very short sprint of no more than 50 yards on a road to get to the single track, so there is not a lot of time to spread out. I decided to start in the middle of the pack to avoid the more aggressive riders that are there win, but try to get in front of any of the slower riders. I was pretty much spot on, as I had to pass a few earlier on, but also got passed a little. Within 10-15 minutes, we were all spread out, and passing/getting passed wasn’t too much of a concern the rest of the way.
About 3/4’s of the way through the 1st lap, I thought I would probably fall apart on the 2nd lap, as my legs were pretty dead. (They had felt a little dead before I started, and my upper body was sore from yard work the day before — brush hogging with a push mower!). But while I slowed down a little on the 2nd lap at 39 minutes vs. 36 minutes, I never fell apart as I feared. The results show I was 13th out of 22, so note quite middle of the pack. I was never a super fast mountain biker anyway.
One final note. I did not see that this race was set for 7/20 until around July 1st, so I only rode my bike5 or 6 times in preperation, and only once or twice in the months prior to that! So I should really have expected to do much better. I do see there is another race on 8/24 at Harris Lake, so I will try to get out and do that.