It seems like just yesterday. Just yesterday, Liz and I were coming out of a long winters nap and loading up the truck/trailer to head to North Carolina. Trying to find some mountain biking, some road bike riding and to hit the Steele Creek GNCC. Wow, time flies. I suppose it is because I am getting old or something along those lines. But, wow.
(My friend Noah at this point is saying, of course you are old Joe. Have you looked in the mirror? Quiet!)
I am not going to do a full season retrospective just yet. There is one more local race and about 6-8 Cyclocross races yet to do before we can call it a season. But, things have turned out pretty well this year.
– I have won lots of races.
– Come 2nd in a few races.
– Had my best Moto Enduro finish ever.
– Done my first MTB Enduro.
– Kicked off my Cyclocross season…
All in all it has been pretty good. The last month has been really good.
Just after the big Trekworld show in early August, I got myself cranked up to hit the 2nd half of the season. The 2nd half is always a question for me, as I usually have to miss a couple of races in July, work a ton during that time, travel around the world a bunch, and basically do a lot of things that do not add up to holding onto fitness very well. This year was no different, but I did manage to stay sharp by riding my bicycle a bunch and getting some big Alpine MTB time in and ride my motorcycle a few times at Dyracuse or at Aztalan. Not a lot, but enough.
In July, I had one gap and with no riding or training or anything bumped over to Cecil and got that WIXC race in. Didn’t get the greatest start, but worked my way up to Pete by the end of the first lap and sat on him for a couple of laps. He made a bobble and fell over in the sand and I took off from there. I wouldn’t say I got a huge gap on him, but got enough that I did not have to stay at the ragged edge. He had some additional trouble and that one ended up being not too bad. That was good, because if he would have had a good race, it would have been tough to stay with him the whole time.
Next race for me was all the way at the end of August, at Sugar Camp. Sugar Camp is the best race of the year. I really wanted to do well, but did not trust my fitness. I took in my beet juice at the start and a Honey Stinger Gel and found myself completely amped up and ready to go when the gate went down. Pete always gets a good start and I seldom do, and of course this was one more time that it turned out to be true. It took me to about halfway into the lap to catch him. He followed me for some of the 2nd lap, but then I put my head down with a 2nd wind and took off. I felt really good, and I think Pete did not. He posted afterward that I was on it and he was not. But, I have to say there really isn’t that much difference between us this year.
I went to Cecil and won a complete mudder there (completely trashed my bike) and put the WIXC season away at that point. To be fair, Pete was not there so it was not really a dual for us there.
The next weekend I did the Adams County D16 Enduro and came away with a 2nd place in my class. That is the best I have ever done in an Enduro. I rode well, but I never really do that well with the stop and start sprint thing that is an enduro. Oh well, maybe I do have a future there. We all get old at some point, so I figure eventually I better figure out Enduro’s.
This past weekend was the D16 Harescrambles at Dyracuse. I won that race, after following Pete for the 1st lap. I was disappointed that we got caught so quickly by the sandbagger Joe Barr behind (he has raced XC2 pro class at GNCC races and lined up on the B row) on that first lap. I pushed my way past Pete and chased after Joe on that 2nd lap. I put about 1 minute per lap on my group for the rest of the race and stayed relatively close to Joe for a while, but fell over and lost the plot somewhere in the middle there. I picked it back up then, but after that Joe was gone. (Nice work – sand man)
There is one more race in the local series this sunday. After that, I will be going to Dyracuse each weekend for the month of October to bang out laps in the sand whoops – prepping for the Ironman GNCC at the end of the month. There are still a bunch of Cyclocross races to be done yet this year, so the year of 2 wheel competition is not yet over. But, it is winding down. I am going to race the A class this weekend and then contemplate lining up on the A class line for next year. I will see just how far off the pace I am this weekend. I find it a pretty interesting proposition to be on the A class line at 54 years old next year. We will see.
Lotsa thanks to all my sponsors for all the help this year.