Sunday, September 07, 2008

Millstone Grind race report

the millstone grind course was superb; classic new england singletrack, rooty, rocky stuff. great fun, test of skills, hard to ride on "the limit", had to be in control, cheating corners usually had me dabbing or on the ground, baby-heads would jump-up and grab a pedal, but mostly i was loving the ride - the rigid fork was great, really fun in the rollers, pump-track riding. worries evaporated and my only regret was forgetting my gloves at home. a last minute 2nd wrap of gel tape on the bars was great, almost completely eliminated the usual vibrations and subsequent hand numbness. the lack of long, rocky descents helped a lot too as those are usually the downfall of the rigid fork. on friday's pre-ride, the course was crazy-dry. rain showers sat changed things-up a bit, bridges got slick, as did roots and goat climbs. skid turns and rear root-slides were in order, this was old-school ne singletrack at its best.

i took the lead into the singletrack from the gun. as i pushed the pace, i'd make mistakes, wasn't riding very cleanly when nearing the limit. my rear tire wasn,t hooking-up at all, so stopped on a dab to let-out at least 5lbs of air - and begin the chase. with the tire hooking-up i was crusing, having a great ride. by the middle of the 2nd lap it was apparent my max speed was slower than ethan and peter's. brook had missed the start, but found us somewhere on the 2nd lap as we wrapped back and forth. those 3 slipped away, leaving me in no-man's-land for the next 20+ miles.

tried to keep the pace high. heavy traffic into the 3rd lap had me anxious, trying to move-up, stay steady and smooth, keeping the power down, hoping to see brook, ethan or peter in the distance, but folks were everywhere on the narrow singletrack. late in the 3rd lap, on an attempt to pass a slower rider, i managerd knock the guy off the trail. i slowed and apologized - and realized i needed to take it easy, that the guys in front were dealing w/the same situation, ride hard when appropriate. from then on, when the trail was clear i'd hit the gas, work hard, then take rest when gearing-up for a pass. the system worked well, but made for a slightly casual race at times, then i'd snap out of it and push hard until the next pass or technical pick-the-clean-line-or-crash horribly section. the junior field was huge, really great to see so many "new" riders out there crushing it. in the end, i couldn't bring anyone back and finished-up in 3rd, 6mins back from ethan in 1st. it would have been 4th if brook had checked the website and seen the start time change, instead he was out there killing it unofficial-like.

thanks guys (andy, et all) for putting-on such a great race! i heard efta will be picking the event up next yr, congrats on a job well done. and congrats to my buddy shawn who took 3rd in vet expert. this being his 2nd yr racing, that guy is on a mission to get fast fast.


video from pre-race news clip.


At 9/09/2008 8:28 AM, Blogger Thom P. said...

Rigid? No Gloves? You didn't mention it, but were you Single-Speeding?
Swap the Gel Wrap for Hard Plastic Bolt-Cutter grips and a piece of straight gauge frame stock for a handlebar and you are beginning to resemble Skip Brown in a frightening way.

Nice one, see you at Da Fitty!


At 9/09/2008 9:44 AM, Blogger jeff said...

no ss, i ordered the spacer kit waaay too late, good excuse, eh? i'm no brown or parsons!


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