The trip to Rhinelander started off on Friday. With some clean bikes we headed up to the cabin in Eagle River. A Qdoba in Green Bay and the best ice cream the northwoods has to offer in Carter made the driver a little shorter. We arrived at about 9:00pm just in time to see Mike(my father in-law) cast out into Seven Mile Lk and catch a 13"er and 19"er.
Saturday was an early morning road ride to avoid the rain w/ the 700c's on the Top Fuel. Followed by lots of time spent on the couch watching Universal Sports Giro coverage and a killer dinner with the best fresh fish I have ever eaten. Feeling inspired we went out again and caught an even bigger Walleye. This one was 21" and Mike said it was the biggest he had ever caught out of 7mile.
Unfortunately during the Sunday morning photo shoot of the lunker he took a dive, landed on the dock, and flopped into the water. Only one photo was taken before the escape artist got away and it was with a crappy cell phone camera...bummer
We loaded up the car again and made the 45 minute drive over to Rhinelander. The race started pretty standard down the dirt road. As soon as we got on the trail I felt fast. I was carrying much more speed than everyone else and made a few passes on the first fast descents to get into 3rd position behind NG and BE. Eppen looked to be struggling. I passed him and followed Guerras surges until the feed zone. I took over the lead for a while on lap 1, but wasn't familiar with the new shortened course.By lap 2 I was feeling much more comfortable and the field was whittled down to 3. NG, Tristan and I. Guerra crushed the entire 2nd lap and was riding pretty good. I was struggling with the accordian effect in 3rd position, so Lap 3 I decided to go to the front. GO TIME....I crushed it in the singletrack and saw that I had gapped Tristan a litte, so I just went harded and harder. Eventually T was gone and it was just Nathan and I starting Lap 4. I needed a break after going so hard on Lap 3 so I sat on down the dirt road for a while. I was a little nervous T would be coming back....so I started to go again and eventually dropped NG. Soloed it in for the first W of the year!
Huge props to the Trek Top Fuel. The bike might have been hand designed just for that course at Rhinelander!
We had a safe drive home and now its back to the grindstone. 17 hours planned for the week along with a quick trip to Cleveland, OH to pick up a team car for Gear Grinder.
It finally showed up...so now it's even more official!