Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fat Tire Classic

So on Sunday we headed down to Farmington, CT for the second race in the Root 66 series - the Fat Tire Classic, at Winding Trails.  We had skipped the first race in the series two weeks ago since it was down near New Haven and deemed to be too long a trip for a 2pm Sunday afternoon start.  Conveniently on Sunday our race was at 11:30 and it was on a course that Cory and I were racing for the third time, Shane for the second.  Maiden voyage for Big Bird.  Cory drove down with BB and Shane and I carpooled since none of us can handle four bikes on the roof.

We were all racing Cat 2 and I was alone in the 40-49 age bracket while Cory, Shane and BB were racing each other in the 30-39 race.  The course was almost exactly the same as last year and is a great combination of flowy singletrack and open fire roads, sandy in some spots.  One major rooty section, two mud bogs, and two climbs (one of which was a gravel fire road) were the major features.  My race had about 40 dudes in it and there were about 30 in the 30-39 field.  Age groups go off 2 minutes apart with the 19-29 first, then 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, singlespeed, etc.  You get the picture.  As you get deeper into the race it gets confusing as you begin to catch people from the back of the field ahead of you, while in my case also getting caught by the singlespeed winner and the top two guys from the 50-59 field.

I was pleased with my race - no crashes, went hard, and didn't experience any shock to the system in the first long hard effort of the season (nearly 1.5 hours).  The racing was tighter on Sunday and I was going from small group to small group, picking up spots on the uphills and not giving up ground on the technical parts where I am weakest.  On the last lap I was riding with two other guys when I ended up with a stick in my rear derailleur.  Had to pull off to the side of the trail and they both went by me.  Remounted and took up the chase but could not reconnect and eventually began cramping as I neared the end of the lap.  At one point I thought my legs would lock up completely and I would keel over on the trail but thankfully that didn't happen.  Unfortunately I lost a little ground on that last lap -- finished up in 17th. 

Biggest results news is that Cory finished in 7th and Shane was just behind him in 9th. BB finished up strong in 21st. Good first race of the season for the MTB squad.  Next up is the Weeping Willow in Ipswich on May 11.  Hopefully we'll have Glenn and Mr. and Mrs. Devo back out racing that weekend.

Submitted by Ken