This past Sunday, we did a little family trip to Augusta, MI for the Fort Custer XC race. The proceed of the race goes toward trail maintenance so not only I had the possibility to have fun on the trails I ride once a year (twice a year if I am lucky) but it also feels good to know that the money will be put to good use.
The elite group was fairly large, loaded with power house riders. For this edition of the XC, it seems that the organizer purposely removed any trails going up… just kidding! The area is pretty flat and anybody would be hard pressed to make a course with more elevation changes: 35 miles of racing and just over 1000ft of ascent. (see on Strava.com)
There were 4 laps to complete; the first lap was spent moving from 4th place to 1st place. I was wondering if I could keep the incredibly fast pace much longer. I was pushing extremely hard while the 2nd place rider was coasting… at some point, I considered let him in the lead. However we were approaching a bumpy single track section and I knew that my Specialized Epic will give me an advantage.
Sure enough, the bumpy trail was long enough to create a 30 yard gap: no more coasting for the pursuers on the next flat portion! A few minutes later, I was on my own. No matter how many times I did it in the past; riding solo is tough. The only “information” is how bad the legs are hurting. It is not such a good indictor to know on how the competition is doing. Are they catching up or slowing down?
As always, it was such a relief to come to the finish line and finally give the legs a well deserved rest.
Next race will be the N.U.E. #2: Syllamo’s Revenge on 5/19.
Have fun on the trails.