Sunday, June 17

lots of racing the past few weeks

Memorial Day Sunday at Krug Park in St. Joe, MO, the Roubidoux Roundup. Upon entering park, you see all these stones and you think, this could be rocky; but only a 20' section of rock, I guess the sandstone just breaks down to hardpack tread. Trail is about 7 miles long and fast. Got there late so went with 36x18, a little tall. Laid back race with breaks between each lap. I changed to 36x21 for last lap and climbed a few more hills. Didn't make 3hr cut off and wouldn't have went out for another lap if I did. Arms were sore, left hand sore from braking so much. Went to two finger braking to get enough strength. Fun race, nice course with 8 bridges, contour sections and hills.

First Saturday of June and at Maskentine near Stanton, NE with Dave N. Paul and Brian camped the night before and surveyed the course. First time in the Nebraska Lottery Psycowpath 4hr marathon. Based on hardly making 3 hrs the previous week, didn't think 4 hrs was doable. I was correct, with my last lap feeling like half speed with occasional cramps, I ended at 3:50 or so. I got 5 laps for 35 miles. Felt good to be able to ride that long with shorter breaks between laps. Lot of new additions to the course over the last couple of years. Nice work with a nice tree covered descent, twists and turns, wall ride, rock garden, and low branches to keep you from focusing solely on tread. I did and got my helmet rung three times coming out of a 180 because was focusing on a lower branch down the trail.

Second Saturday was Moorehead Park in Ida Grove, IA. Enjoyable trail with off-cambered rooted section, cement bike path, gravel driveway, log overs, narrow/wide bridge and a couple long descents and climbs. There is no marathon race, but a "comp" category between the cat 2 and 1. After riding a recon lap, the 4 laps for comp sounded about right, and it was. Rode hard enough to finish and be finished. Carpooled with Brian who competed in Cat 3 and gave handups between laps at my later race.

Third Saturday was at Ponca State Park, the most challenging Psycowpath race, imo. This race was even more so with thunder, lightening, rain starting on the second lap and lasting for several more. Fortunately, though slimy on the big BloodRoot desecent/climb and the wooden bridge that took out several racers, the rain was about perfect in my book for changing the trail conditions from dusty dry, to slimy, to tacky-fast by the end of the race; and helping pack and cement in a couple new trail additions in Bigley's Ravine. Didn't look to see how many laps I did but was able to go out for my last lap at 3:30, upon which I started to cramp up. Was surprised I could ride/push hills for 4hrs at Ponca. Legs were shelled more than any other race thus far. Again had problems with single finger braking, which I had to cock wrist to get 2 fingers. Also with rain, had problems hanging onto the handlebar over ruff terrain.

Racing four straight weekends has got me out to different trails, pushing my body in measured ways to its limits. Racing for me is mostly solitary since no one is riding the same pace I do, yet having people pass and often encouraging one another with a word or two. Different weekend life will be coming soon with no nearby races and plenty of work not getting done around the house. It's been fun.

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