I GOT 5!!!!!
5 laps that is. As you may have noted from my previous post, I had a plan to figure out how to get 5 laps in for the first time at a GNCC. 5 laps has eluded me all season. I have come close, but in the end no cigar. In fact, at Ohio I came within just a minute or so of getting the 5th lap in. You will recall from my previous post that I was going to sign up for a class that started earlier to try and stay ahead of the leaders – thus getting in the 5th lap. In the end, when I got right up to the counter to sign in for the race, I just could not pull the trigger. It felt like cheating to sign up for a different class just so that I could get 5 laps in. I made a decision right there, that I was not going to cheat myself. I started the season in the +40 B class, I was going to finish the season in the +40B class.
The flag went up on my wave 14 minutes after the pro’s went off. I hit the woods in 5th and rode my ass off. Nathan Kanney came by me at the beginning of my 2nd lap. I rode hard and did not fade for my 2nd and 3rd laps. Nathan came by me again at the beginning of my 4th lap, and I kept my focus and did not fade nearly like I have in the previous races. I came through ahead of him still and got the white flag (one lap to go)! I cheered, out loud when I came through the finish chute at the end of lap 4. I suspect the course workers thought I was whacked.
I did come apart on the 5th lap, but it did not matter at that point. Unfortunately I came apart enough to fall out of the top 10. I did not finish in the top 10 (11th), but it did not matter to me. I got my 5th lap in.
I GOT 5!
This has been a tough season for me. I had a couple of bike problems, but that is racing. You cannot do 10 or so races in a year and not expect that you might have a problem or 2. I have had good fitness all year also, so It was not my fitness that limited me. But, there were 2 things that I struggled with all year.
- My knee. It was harder to recover from my knee surgery than I admitted to myself or anyone else. I have not been confident in my riding at all this year. It has been tough for me to race and not think about my knee. Hurting my other knee mid season did not help matters either. But, i am starting to feel better about it now. Only this last race have I felt even close to my old riding ability.
- I have never been passed so much in my life. I am used to one or 2 or the really fast local B riders catching me (they start behind me in the local races), and the winner of the AA class catching me and putting me down a lap. But that is normally it in a local race. I race forward for the whole race. Because we start so long after the leaders at a GNCC race, I only really get one good racing lap in. Then from the 2nd lap on, there always seems to be someone from the head of the field catching me and passing me. I don’t want to screw up their race, so I spend way too much time staying out of peoples way.
But, I would not have traded the experience of doing this season for anything. It has been great fun, a huge learning experience and a barrel full of life experiences. My sponsors have all been super. My Vesrah Suzuki is absolutely the best bike I have ever ridden. I am looking forward to racing another one again next year.
I finished the Crawfordsville race and proclaimed to Scott that the Ironman GNCC Crawfordsville race is the best race of the whole GNCC calendar. It is.
The dirt is the best, the mix of woods – fields – rivers – hills – crowds – weather – mud etc… is just perfect. There are hills there that are super super hard. I had to have a human chain help me get up one of my 5 times up Ironman hill. Scott says he had to have help twice. The gulleys that you have to ride up and down are super hard. The rocks under the bridge crossing are amazingly difficult. The straight up a hill after coming out of a culvert under something is crazy tough. The loop is long and tough to learn. The lines are hard to find.
Scott goes through list of people we have met during the year on his blog. I will not recreate that list here, but it has been really fun.
So that is it for this GNCC season. We don’t yet know what next year holds for our offroad team. Stay tuned here and we will try to make that clear very soon.
Thanks for following along. Sorry about no photo’s. My photo file got corrupted, and I lost all the photos from the weekend. (Sorry John)