Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Off Season Over - Devils Revenge Duathlon

After the previous weekends artic blizzard blast, I was looking for forward to some jeans and t-shirt weather. Headed out on Saturday morning at the crack of dawn to Clinton Lake to help with course set-up for the Devils Revenge Duathlon. Had no intention of racing since I rode SMP the night before and just didn't feel good or ride good. Got out there at 7am and spent spent the next 3 hours dropping cones, pounding stakes, putting up signs, course tape, ect. Around 10am I got the wild hair to jump in the bike-only Mtb race, just to get some race time on the new 29er. No warm-up or anything. Just suited up and went to the line. I figured i'd get crushed on the 1/2 mile paved start before the single-track but somehow had my single-ring 32 wound out pretty good and hit the dirt with Tige Lamb leading and Graham Adridge in 2nd. Now I figured I'd just hang on to this train as long as I could then settle in and ride with some guys and have fun. Surprisingly, I stayed on without too much agony. Graham bobbled over a log and I ran past him and got into 2nd behind Tige. Tige was riding well and we were making Graham work to get back on. I led onto the Green Mile climb on the first lap and gave it a good effort. Tige fell away (he also spent 3hrs setting up the course) but Graham stayed with me. He tried a small attack near the top but I went back by him. We came through lap 1 together, then the fun really started. By now the course was choke with duathon riders and we were passing something every 15 or 20 seconds. We stayed together the whole 2nd lap till about 1 mile to go. I heard him go off the course behind and into the bushes. I was not looking forward to a sprint finish and now didn't have to worry about it. Graham didn't exactly get going again quick so I just cruised in. Felt OK but this was a sub-hour race. My cross fitness still lingering. Had I had a 3rd lap to do, things would have felt different. After the finish, I got back into the jeans and t-shirt and it was course tear-down for 3 hours. I'm still on the fence about the Niner 29'er. The single-ring setup is still a hand-full somethings but for 80% of the stuff it's fine. Running tubeless at about 23psi sure helped.