La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Rim Nordic June 28 2009

My last CA state cup race of the year, Rim Nordic was quite an adventure for the Chicken Ranchers.

I was carpooling up with our Cat 2 contingent so that meant getting up way too early to catch the van. Paul, Gabe and I rode up together and when we started prepping the bikes, the fun began. Paul’s grips (just installed the night before) didn’t stay on the bar. Nothing a little Hammer Gel won’t fix!

Paul Hammer Gels the grips

I watched Rob finish up his Cat 3 race (got 2nd by mere inches!!)

Big Rob right after the finising sprint

and did bottle duty after watching the 2’s go off. (Yes there was a rider wearing a mask to keep out the dust .. probably a smart move)

Paul leading out the pack

Gabe (on the left behind the masked man) ended up with the victory! Though Gabe’s win was mighty impressive, it was rivaled only by his all-out 100 yard sprint to hand me my dropped water bottle on my second lap!

It was a tough course, probably the only course all year which required the “granny gear” to make it up the climbs. It was a lot of singletrack, very narrow, sandy terrain, just technical enough to keep you on your toes and steep. There were precious few sections of fireroad where you could grab some water or pass. And with temps near 90, lots of dust and the sun blazing through the thin 7000 ft air, the conditions were tough.

By the time the Cat 1 30-34 lined up, it was way too hot out and I was already feeling the sun and altitude. The field was small but super-competitive. Looking around at the start I realized that we had all been trading spots all season.. there was no clear winner and I could just as easily get first or last depending on my luck. About 1 hour into it, I found myself battling with the top four who were all bunched together within a few seconds (a pretty rare occurrence in MTB races). The brutally steep climbs got the better of me and James, Griffith and Justin pulled away but I kept 4th place and was satisfied that I left it all on the course after finishing 3 laps in 2:12. Bob was close behind at 2:20.

Rim Nordic Matt P

After the race, I was surprised to see Gabe and Paul hanging around waiting in vain for their results to get posted. There were all sorts of screwups with the results from all categories – supposedly they gave the win in one Cat 1 race to a DNF. How hard can it be to keep track of results and post them in a timely manner? Pretty hard apparently. Never mind the “official” results – Gabe just grabbed a medal and we staged our own podium ceremony!

2009 cycling pictures 078

But the crazy part was Paul’s crash. He went over the bars, falling 30 feet down a ravine and getting pretty cut up. No stitches required and the med tent had him cleaned up in no time.

Rim Nordic Paul D

Rim Nordic Pauls bloody mess

After 7 hours in the car and a pretty brutal race with all the mishaps, its easy to question why we put ourselves through it. But as always, its for a great time with great people. Its fun to get to know all the “regulars” throughout the season and the community and friendships are really a big part of what keeps us all coming back to suffer for 2 hours on the trails every weekend. That and a shared insane desire to push our bodies to the absolute limit.

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June 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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