Saturday was my 21st birthday. I drank water all day. Can't decide if thats cool or not.
I celebrated it at the Marysville Stage Race. That I know is cool. It's the most fun you could ever hope for on two wheels, and has a way of making me remember why I race my bike again. Cause it's fun.
Rain showers on Friday created a slippy course that would gradually dry out over the course of the event. The time trial, though, was sketchy. Complete darkness, slippy, slimey roots and heavy fog over most of the course proved challenging. A race of who could lose the least amount of time. My take on the race was to stay smooth and steady, while sacraficing a bit of speed to do so. During my run I could tell it wasn't going to be one of the best times of the night, 6th place. The final times were all close, 2nd through 8th were all within about 20 seconds. For the XC on Saturday I had some higher hopes. Again, I played it safe from the start and was mid pack once the singletrack came, banking on the high heat and humidity to take its toll on most of the guys in front. I steadily ramped up the speed each lap, catching a guy here and there until I was sitting in 3rd. Ryan and Harlan were setting a fast pace but Ryan slowed a bit on the final lap allowing me to close the gap a bit, but not quite enough to take the second step on the podium. Legs felt great though.
Sunday morning brought the mass start hill climb. In years prior, this has been my least favorite event of the the weekend. Theres just something about red-lining yourself for almost 20 min up a mountain at 9am the morning after two days of racing. This year I didn't feel too bad and was able to pull off another 3rd place for the weekend. After racing the two leadout quads back down the mountain I grabbed some "hammy" cakes and took a seat to check out the upcoming short track events. My favorite.
By the time noon rolled around I could already feel the butterflies rolling around in my tummy. I get them before every short track. Its a good thing though. It would be a bad sign if I didn't get them. This years Elite field was enormous and after the opening lap there was a lead group of about 9 guys. The first ten minutes for me were intense. The lenghty weekend was starting to set in and I was having a tough time staying on the lead group. Each lap I came around 3-4 lengths off the back, a position I'm not used to being in. A few more laps and I could feel myself coming to life a bit more and was able to move up into the top 5 as guys were popping off the back. As the lap count dropped lower and lower the group began to shrink until only myself, Ryan, and Harlan were left. Another lap and it was my turn to fall off as Harlan as Ryan duked it out for the win. Harlan won in dominating fashion, taking the win in every event and overall for the weekend.
I think its time for some new cables....