It's been at least a two years since I raced Platte, and probably four years since racing cat 2. I thought I would try the 50+ class to compare myself against my peers. I'm going back to racing marathon and comparing myself against myself. Platte chewed me up and spit me out so badly I was ready to turn in my chip after the first lap.
I tried to pass people and went into the red zone and promptly cooked myself. The second half of the first lap, my muscles felt weak and I was walking hills I haven't had to since my cat 3 days many moons ago.
Fortunately, Dave N was at the BMCC tent kicking back with a beer. I had one too, figuring that would cement my decision not to ride anymore. Instead, Dave encouraged me to finish the last lap. With a different attitude and goal, I rolled away feeling better than when I rolled in.
Dmars was also with us riding the marathon. And a new guy at his first race, Ian. He just got his bike late last year, I believe. He has been hitting the trails quite a bit. For Platte being his first race, Ian ended up with 3rd place in his cat 3 class. Congratulations Ian!
Pushing up the first hill, I came across Jen who was on her 4th lap as a marathon woman. She was thinking of turning around. I suggested we push to the top and maybe things will look different. We ended up riding, talking, and walking the rest of the lap together, encouraging one another. I enjoyed the second lap much more than my first.
Found out a couple things: I like the slow steady pace with the goal of riding as many laps as I can, not a few laps as fast as I can, i.e. marathon, not xc. I enjoy socializing on the trail rather than competing. Surprised a beer actually made the ride feel better. Usually beer is a detriment to my strength and bike skills.
Going to try and roll the Robidoux Roundup in Krug Park, St Joe, MO on May 27. Never been there but heard good things from those who have.