Well, April has been a whirlwind for me. After doing the Tuscarora Endurance Race at the beginning of the month, I finally closed on my newly purchased house and was off the bike for 1.5 weeks. Not riding my bike for that long was killing me and I wondered how bad my fitness would be after taking so much time off the bike. In addition to not riding much, I also missed two races I pre-registered to do: the Amish Roubaix and the MASS Michaux Endurance Race. But, there really was no choice in the matter with so much to do at home. So, with my lack of riding and preparation, I registered to do Greenbriar for a chance to qualify for USAC MTB XC Nationals. I'm not even sure I'll be doing XC Nats, but I figured qualifying for them needed to be done just in case.
I like racing at Greenbriar. The course has a good mix of technical and fast trails. I've always done well on this course, but my lack of training had me concerned about how I would do at this showing. Overall, the course was in pretty good shape on race day. The final descent was a little sloppy, but it almost always is.
When the race started, I figured it would be wise to get the hole shot and stay in the lead for as long as I could. This always seems to work for me and gives me a chance to figure out who the fast riders are. I was able to enter the trailhead in the lead. I stayed on the gas for the first lap and seemed to be feeling alright. By the second lap, I had a pretty nice gap on my closest SS competitor and decided to ride a bit more conservatively. The next two laps went smoothly and I ended up with an unexpected victory for the day, about two minutes up on second place.
It felt good to be racing again and I'm happy that my fitness didn't seem to be effected too much from my riding hiatus. Well, I guess I'll need to give Nationals a little more thought now, since I'm qualified to do them. Now I just need to decided on whether I should do my 45-49 age class or SS. Maybe the races will be scheduled on different days and I'll be able to do both!
Next up is the Cohutta 100 this coming weekend. I'm sure it will be a much tougher race than the 21 mile XC race at Greenbriar and I sure hope my body will be up for the challenge. Check back next week for an update!
Happy Trails... Gerry
Also, thanks to Abe Landes for another fine photo!