Raced the 28 mile Log Splitter point to point XC race today. BTW every time I hear, read, or type Log Splitter I think of the term "ball splitter," which I am pretty sure you have to be a dude and been wronged by the crotchial seam of your Levis to understand. Where was I? Oh yeah, the Log Splitter (giggle)...
With the race being a point to point, logistics were an issue for the 'Splitter, but the race folks came trough with place to park for folks that was an easy 5 mile road ride to the start and a not so easy 5ish mile ride back to the car after the race. So that was taken care of. Thank Loggers!
There were a good deal of folks at the race, which was cool to see. The race started in a field and went into some XC ski trails for the first ten miles or so. The trails were pretty flat and fast, with some sand pits (of course) to make things interesting. Eventually the course took a turn onto dirt roads and sand bogged snowmobile trails. There were a couple spots were folks (including me) had to get off and run/walk to get through the deep sand. It was like riding on a beach, with no ocean/lake around.
The speeds were fast though and often I would look down to see myself going 15 mph or more. Then we finally hit some solid ground and singletrack as we approached Hanson Hills. The single track was super fun and my legs were feeling awesome! I of course was NO threat for a win or top 10, but I was feeling SO much better than last week's race at Boyne!
I was really in a grove when I looked up and was not sure I was on the right trail. Not sure how that happened. I slowed a bit and then saw a due way up ahead, and could breath a sigh of relief. Soon though I was bombing down a section of singletrack and the trail split. One buff trail went left, on newer looking trail went right. F*CK! "Which way do I go??" I thought. I kept going on the newer looking trail. "This doesn't seem right," I thought, so I turned around and went back to the split. There I waited for 2 folks that I JUST passed to come down the hill to consult. We agreed to go left. It seemed correct and luckily they let me pass and I put the hammer down.
We started climbing a bit and the trails were super fun. Then all of the sudden I found myself on the wrong side of the tape. HOW THE F*CK??? I back tracked and soon found a dude I passed about 4 minutes ago coming at me. I followed him back up and too the correct turn. DAMN!! Again, I had to put the hammer down to get back the time.
Before I knew it I found myself at the top of Hanson, and I remembered these trails from the Hanson Hills 100 back in May. Fun stuff down to the bottom. But we weren't done! There was about 3 miles of lumpy, bumpy fresh trail to ride before we hit the double track back to the finish. I passed a few riders (most from the beginners that were no back on our part of the course) and then pushed to the finish. Done.
I finished in about 2:01, 38th place out of 80ish (at least that's what I saw on the paper being passed around, I will have to double check again). The legs felt great, the Spearfish was AMAZING! I can NOT say enough about how much I love racing/riding that bike.
Shorts Brewing was on hand with a couple barrels of free beer and it would NOT go to waste. I had one quick cup and then rode back to the car. Changed, grabbed a sticky bun from the farm store that let us park on their property, thank the old man owner, and then drove back down to Hanson for a couple more beers, awards, and good conversation with some fellow racers.
I needed this race. Sure I wasn't in the money, but I never really think I will be. There were no classes here just one big ass Men's Open, so I feel good about 38th out of 80ish especially with a couple wrong turns and backtracking. (B-Man disagrees though. Brat!).
Great weather, good riding, good people, and great beer. That is a day my friends. I love racing my bike! Er.. I men RIDING my bike. ;)