One of the longest running, local weekly races in the region went off without a hitch last night, unless you count the total downpour that the camera didn’t pick up. Although attendance was way down, there were still enough folks to make this a race.
Catamount Family Center is a non-profit family organization that has secured an original Vermont farmstead for recreational use in the face of the ever encroaching sprawl. This is in the same town that box stores are popping up almost overnight. Family farms being replaced with clone homes, needless development, and the sort of consumption that is rotting this country’s soul. Yes it’s even happening here in Vermont. The biggest tragedy is that there is still no In N Out Burger.
Oh well, maybe next year…
There are 2 alternating courses, the “Hill” side and the “Woods” side. Until it stops raining, we will be on the Hill side, which this year, is actually fun. Being the high spot on the plot, it drains better than the wooded side, but it also means that there is a lot of climbing.
One of the coolest things, is that over the years, you get to know folks through the race. I sat last year out, as I was away most of the time, but I saw most of the regulars I have gotten to know over time. They were all surprised to see me. Not only because I have in years past, I have had a terrible attitude about racing in general, but because I also showed up in the pouring rain, with a 29er single speed.
I did the 3 lap race (15k), and remembered to pace myself for the climbing. That is the biggest thing I have learned this year riding the single speed. I metered my efforts to match the terrain I was riding, and essentially I “idled” the entire race. So much fun!
Everyone I passed, I never saw again, which was a brand new experience for me. Maybe it was the conditions. They weren’t good. I somehow got a really perverse sense of enjoyment out ot it. Riding in the rain is naughty. But I was also passing people in the tight and very muddy singletrack sections with my giant wheeled “poor handling mountian bike”. Many of my tiny wheeled co-competitors has trouble with parts of the course. I was expecting more myself, as I ran Exiwolf 2.3 tires. Needless to say, they are my new favorite tire. Even in MUD.
I ended up 11th overall in the 3 lap category, out of about 22. So I’m in the middle. If I can, I will try again to race the 3 lap, and beat my 1 hour 2 minute time. With one gear.