Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wilson Lake

In a way I'm glad it's over. The first big race of the year. It's always a little stressful coming into it because you don't really know what to expect. Wilson Lake was slated to be one of my bigger races of the year. I'm happy to say it went well, and everyone seemed to have a great, safe weekend of racing our bikes over the wild west terrain that is Wilson Lake, KS. That place really is awesome. It's like a mini paradise just a few hours west. Well, more like 3 hours, but close enough to make it well worth the gas money. It's totally unique and offers up a plate of sweetness as it snakes and winds around the cyrstal clear waters of the lake. Unfornately but fortunately the weather was awesome on Sunday. A bit warm on Saturday, and preferablly the same on Sunday but instead we ended up with cloudy skies and much cooler temps. I'm a fan of the heat. I always seem to do best in it, so I secretely was hoping for a scortcher to make the playing feild a little more even for us. Doug Chambers and his crew stepped up as always, not only flawlessly promoting yet another fantastic race, but also in offering a big ol' payday to the Elite class. That alone made it stressful, knowing that the best of the best was going to show to try to take their share. I rode down Saturday with the Donn's and Stevie. We did a pre-lap of about half the course to go over all the tech spots. I was still getting used to the Epic, so it helped doing all the tough spots before the actual race. I camped out Saturday night in a nice litte spot with fellow teamate the Pirate and his two wee ones, Sara W, and Justin Bay. Race morning comes and all the fast boys came to play. Cam, Aaron, Shad Schriener and Smith, TDonn and others. There were a handfull of dudes that were going to be tough to beat. Race starts and I almost take the hole shot. I say almost because shooting the hole wasn't something I needed to be doing in a race like that. I knew sitting back in 4th or 5th would be a smarter move. So I sat up, and let a few past me. S Smith took to the dirt first. We were still fairly packed up and rolling leisurely until the trail pasted the start/finish and started to snake up into the technical sections. It was there that the first attacks started. By time we got out of the technical section it was Cam and Schriener up front, with me just in tow. Aaron bobbled and let me past, but was fastly chasing followed by Tdonn and others. Cam, Shad and I rolled together for a bit. That was until Cam lit it up like the fourth and left both Shad and I in the dust. I was pretty impressive. I was 5 or 6 bike lengths back when he launched it and there was no answer form me. I kicked it up and resorted to sucking Shads wheel and being happy with that.
I managed to ride with Shad for most of the race. That was until I slid out on a corner and he got a 20 second gap on me. Or wrecking not but a couple miles later and almost being taken out of the race. It was one of those crazy, get all tangled up in between rocks and your bike, and slam your knee into the stem as hard as possible wrecks. My right knee instantly screamed in pain, and I quickly afer let out a few words that my mother wouldn't be proud to hear. Luckily the function came back a half mile or so later, and I was back on the gas hot on Shad's wheel. Long story short was that I never fully caught back on. I made up time on both Cam and Shad, but could never seal the deal on getting past Shad. He rode flawlessly and even with me pushing didn't make any mistakes. That's the difference some races. You make one or two little mistakes and you never gain it all back. Either way, I was more than happy to be less than a minute down on Cam, and even less on Shad. Both are strong dudes, and both have kicked my ass more than once. It felt good to almost be able to kick theirs.
Oh well, maybe next time.
TDonn came in just a few minutes later after us, followed by Shad Smith for 5th. Doug did a fantastic job of wasting not a minute in getting awards done. Checks were wrote, and we were all packed up and ready to drive home in less than an hour from finishing. That's nice sometimes. Thanks again to Doug and his volunters and to Bob and all the crew for making such and awesome trail. I can't wait to come out again and just ride. The Stumpy is begging to get out there and ride. Back to training. The Ute Valley ProXCT is up next.