It's hot and it's summer and that's the way it's supposed to be. I love the heat and I love to sweat, but lately I'd like a respite.
KT and I drove up to Versailles on Saturday. We'd planned on camping, but then a friend offered us nice cool place to sleep. The three of us got to the park about the same time. They rode their course and I rode mine. They started to hang back and I said to just go one. I wasn't ready to try to ride at their pace and don't want to slow people down.
Cliffside was fun just like I remembered. I felt strong climbing and not too tentative with the steep dropoffs to the left. As I approached the end of ciffside I rode over some large rocks and heard what I thought was a burb from my rear tire. I stopped and looked at it, but it wasn't flat just a little low. I forgot my hand pump! I got back on and rode a little further, took a corner and slid out. I looked back and my tire was flat. Two guys came by and helped me get the tube in and inflated. This after I tried to inflate it once with a CO2 which didn't work. I thanked Norm and Nigel, they took off and I finished my loop.
The three of us got back to the parking lot within minutes of each other. We took off to our friend's house where there is a preserve full of single track. We rode about 3 miles , which is accessible right out the back door! Very fun place to ride with lots of twisty turns and a few places you can catch air.
We got cleaned up and went to dinner at a local winery. Free wine tastings and delicious food was enjoyed by all! We were all fairly tired by the time we got back. But first we looked at my tire. Tried adding Stan's, but it would not reseal. So I was going to put my tube back in, but our host gave me a used tubeless tire. So nice! I started to protest, but since they ride a 29er now has no need for 26 inch tires. What a good friend and super host.
It was after 11 before I hit the bed. It was nice to sleep in the cool. Morning came before I was ready, but we had a race venue to get to! Grabbed breakfast, packed the car, checked the tire and it held air all night, said our thank you's and headed out.
KT started at 10 and it was already a warm day and very humid. I made my way back in the woods and videoed the hole-shot. Looked like KT got a bad start but the 1/2 field was good sized at about 12 it seemed for women. She took 5th place after crashing, dropping her chain and having a good bump to the neck. She's one tough chick, for sure.
My race started at 12:40, major warmth. I had a bit of confusion about start time, but that was resolved quickly enough. I made it into the woods #5, not too far in someone had to stop so we passed her. I rode 4th for quite a while, there is no place to pass on cliffside. The girl in front of me was going to give way, but I said not since it was so precarious. I was riding as fast as I dared and felt strong. Then coming around to the left on a switchback at the creek for some reason I rode high to the right of the trail, my rear tire slid down and I wound up leaning against the hillside on my right and buggered up my right shin a little. The girl behind me got around which put me 5th. She had mentioned how hot it was but I just kept pedaling and breathing hard like I do. We were out of the steepness and I worked so hard to stay on her wheel. We got to the place where the long and short courses met and one of the women was pulled off to the side so now I'm in 4th. I started to get bunched up behind men. Several let me around. There was a teenager in front of me and waved me around him, but he stayed in the middle of the trail and there wasn't enough room. So I rode his wheel and bumped him a couple of times because he kept slowing down and I was right there. I rode in to the finish with a handleful of men. The woman I'd tried to stay with was lucky and got in front of those guys I guess. All in all a fun race. I have plenty to learn especially how to pass on singletrack.
Not quite ready for back to work. I'm tired. The heat today sapped my energy for the rest of the day.
Hope you all had a great weekend. I am loving these racing weekend adventures. Wish they weren't quite so hard on these bones though.