The Keweenaw Chain Drive was this past Saturday. We hold the Jr. Camp in conjunction with the Chain Drive weekend to let the campers test out their new skills and knowledge in the race. It's a low key race with an awesome atmosphere. We took the campers out for a pre-ride on Saturday and the course was in great condition. Towards the end Pete(super fast camper) and I took the 32 mile split while all of the other campers and coaches continued on the 16 mile. We ripped the downhill section, crossed the river, and got in a few efforts on the way back up the mountain. Saturday morning I loaded up with a Belgian waffle, plenty of Nutella, some powedered sugar and a banana. I was ready to rock....excpet for the big slice in my front tire. Luckily Snuddy and Demo Ken hooked me up with some new rubber. I rolled to The Bike Shop and slapped on the new XR3 with some Stans and luckily it held.
The race was off with a controlled start down main street, across the lift bridge & over the canal, and then down the pavement for a few miles with a big tail wind before the KOM $50 prime up the climb to the cemetary. I wasn't really planning on going for it...but nobody really jumped that hard. Pete was crushing it down the pavement and led up the climb...I was content to sit on his wheel and was hoping he had a little more in the tank to jump the last 100 meters, but I sensed the others(MA, TG, & DB) getting ready to jump so I went around Pete and snagged the cash. Pete would have won it if he would have played it a little better before the base of the climb.
I sat up after the line and followed TG, MA, and DB into the singletrack. Immediately I knew I had too much tire pressure and the new 2.3 knobby tire was a little more aggressive than I was used to. It took me about 10 miles to get comfy. MA took over in the feed zone and TG was slowly gapped off. On the next climb Mike seemed to be going a little slow so I went to the front to keep up the pace. I guess it was enough to hurt Mike...I looked back a few miles later and saw Mike waving Darrin through....I thought he had flatted. I had about 10 feet on Darrin so I picked it up a little. Looked back again and had 20ft. Cruised the next singlerack - 30ft. Crushed the next two track super hard to be out of sight out of mind. Settled in for the next bit until I realized I was back on the part of the course we had pre-rode. Then I crushed it the last 10 miles. Ended up winning by 3+ minutes! The best part was seeing Andrea, Coach Joe, Coach John & 3 campers out on course and seeing the other campers as I was crossing the finish line! They were pumped and so was I. I think I got some pretty good cheers up on the podium!
Then I found out Pete won the overall 16 mile race. Nina won the overall womens 16 mile and Emily was 2nd! Moriah won her age. Keely, Emma, and Rachael swept their respective age podium. One of last years campers Parker was 2nd overall in the 16 mile mens. Ben & Curt were 4th and 5th in their age groups. What a great day of racing. Thanks a ton to the staff of the Chain Drive for a job well done!
Home from the camp Sunday night and pinning on more race numbers Monday morning....this time it was a 80 mile road race in Greenbush. Needless to say I was a little tired, lacking motivation, lacking proper equipment & proper preparation. I don't have a road bike and haven't ridden one in 3 or so months. I've been on my cross bike, but the brakes are iffy at best on the road....so I borrowed Andrea's bike complete w/ compact crankset. I didn't have anybody to give me bottles(and I only own 2) so I rocked the Camelbak to the pelotons dismay.
I was out of sorts on lap 1 and was almost dropped 5 or 6 times....I wasted a lot of energy. Lap 2 started and there was a crash going up a climb at 6mph that took out close to 15 guys. A ha this is why I don't road race...it was raining, I was on the back, the pace was high, the break must have been going. 7 guys were up the road, one of them Tristan! Starting lap 3 I went to the front....ah Now I remember how to do this road racing thing! I jammed up the climb towards the upper parking lot of Greenbush. I was feeling good. 5 guys went by me and opened a little gap...Brian Schaning jumped(old school friend and team mate for the day)so I sat up and the chase group was formed. The peloton thinned by this point and continued to thin for the next 40 miles. I was feeling better and better throughout the race and crushed it up the first couple of climbs on the last lap. I think I softened up the field a little and around the next corner Tilly jumped. I waited a bit then jumped and the two of us were gone. We crushed the last lap together and started cathing the back of the shattering chase group. I jumped again after the last corner, but it was way too early and Tilford got me at the line. 13th! Not bad for my first road race in a year.
It was just what I needed to get back into the swing of things after a good race week and the jr. camp. Next up...
WORS - USPROXCT