Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Land Mine MTB Race

This past weekend I participated in the land mine mountain bike race.  The park was at one time a land mine and torpedo factory.  The park is called Wompatuck, 3500 acres of park in the middle of thick suburbs just east of Boston.  A lot of people showed up, because of the close proximity to Boston and the fact there was a bike festival the day before.   There were about 300 racers.

The turn out for my category was pretty slim, only four people.   I think the riders in my category must be getting burnt out this late in the season.   This race is part of the root 66-race series.  In the beginning of the series there were about 15 in my category showing up at all of the races.   I’ve gone to all the races this season except for one.   I have been trying to win the series.  I thought this would be difficult but my competition hasn’t been showing up to races so I’m doing better than I should be.

I felt pretty good before this race, I had a good chance to get a good amount rest in; I hadn’t raced in three weeks. That's the longest I’ve gone with out racing all season. I was chomping at the bit to get back to racing by the time this race came along. In the back of my mind I was a bit worried that I would be a little stale from not riding at race effort for a while.

I started off in last but worked my way up through the crowd of riders (all three of them).  I had a 3-minute gap by the mid point of the race.   It was a one-lap 22-mile race with lots of twists and turns. It was well marked but it was important to keep your head up to look for the next turn.  Especially because being in first meant I didn’t have anyone to follow. 

The year prior, someone went out and took down race makers, just before the race. The organizers sent out volunteers to inspect the course just before the start of this year’s race, so this wouldn’t happen again. I wonder why anyone would want to take down trail markers anyway.  I would like to think that it was a good person thinking he or she was cleaning up litter but more likely it was a jerk trying to screw with people.

Anyway back to the race.  I finished in first place, three minutes ahead of the next rider.  I guess I didn’t gain any more time in the last half.  The win solidified my lead in the overall series lead.   My teammate John Burns came just shy of coming in second.  He was 25 seconds off, if it wasn’t for having to stop twice for mechanical issues, I think he would have been able to have come in second.

Next weekend is Mount Snow, pretty nice venue for a regional race series.   I think the participant turn out should be better for this race just because it’s mount snow.  Everyone who races mountain bikes in the east coast knows about Mount Snow.

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