La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Rabbit Valley

Fruita is hailed as the next Mecca of MTB so the Rabbit Valley Rally, a 31 mile single-loop XC race, was definitely on my schedule.

The weather on the trip was crazy…
Sat 11 am: Driving up Vail pass in 20F in with heavy snow accumulation, ice and blizzard conditions
Sat 3 pm: Biking along Westwater Mesa singletrack, sweating in the desert sun

It was a little much to pre-ride a 31 mile course the day before but the trails were awesome, twisty, technical and the views of the canyons, mesas and the CO river were amazing. Glad I did it on saturday…

I camped Sat night and spent Sunday morning hanging around camp slowly getting ready for our 12:1512:45 race. Our 30-39 Cat 1 group went off down the fireroad start and I was stuck in about 20th. I made a good surge to get up front before the first climb and led out the field. That split things up a bit and by the top of the first ridge, I was in a group of 4 that had some good time on the field. I knew I could hang with these guys climbing so I observed their descending habits and, when I saw them hesitate a bit on some technical descents I thought, “This is where I can make some time”.. I threw it in the big ring and attacked. I was taking risky lines and got a big gap going when I caught up to some stragglers from an earlier group. They were going way too slow for me and I saw the chance to sneak ahead of them before the singletrack and put some serious time on my chasers. I was too impatient and took a huge risk bombing down a line that I hadn’t really studied in the pre-ride. Big mistake. I went down and got a little scraped up. Nothing serious so I jumped back on and realized my front tire was loosing air rapidly. I tore a good gash in the sidewall and stans fluid was not sealing it up. FS&$%%#CK!!! I busted out the tube, hit it with the CO2 and realized that my valve didn’t bite down hard enough to pierce the cartridge and I’d forgotten my pump. I walked back and found some spectators with a pump , aired it up and by that time 25 minutes had gone by. I rode back to lick my wounds. Big Fat DNF.

So I’m a little scrapped up but mostly just frustrated that I spent all this time and money to race for 30 minutes then DNF. It makes no sense to spend so much effort training, eating right, dialing in the equipment, planning, traveling etc. if your’re gonna pull some dumbass move like not bringing a viable tire inflation tool. I can live with the crash – I was pushing the DH pretty hard and took some big big risks to get the lead and I’m willing to accept crashing as a result. But having a paperweight race tire (Maxxis Aspen btw) and not bringing the stuff to repair it – that’s just not acceptable.

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April 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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