Singlespeeding at Winding Trails

This was my third time racing at Winding Trails and to me it’s the perfect singlespeed race venue, at least for Connecticut.  Similar to Harold, I recently put my skis away and while I began my training early by riding to work 2x a week starting at the end of February it wasn’t until mid March that I actually got out on a mountain bike.  Throw in a new bike that I finally got built up on Wednesday morning, my confidence was a bit on edge to say the least.

I got there early and did a prelap to get to know the course and it changed quite a bit from the previous year, largely loosing a half mile of the course but also taking out that dreaded descent to flat near the stream.  On my first race, in 2009, I nearly endo’d on my second lap through there.  I always find it helpful to do a prelap because you get to know the course rather than waiting for the first lap to get the Gomer Pyle effect.

At the start of the race, I started in the back at 11th place, or you could call that last because there were only 11 single speeders.  At the first major log obstacle the guy in front of me took the feature with too much weight forward and ended up going off the course only to try and re-enter the course by nearly crashing into me.  I got past him and started putting distance between him and but what took me by surprise was my elevated heart rate by which I was pushing myself.  Something I seemed to be lacking in my earlier training.  Nothing to worry about, though.

Photo Credit: Brian Cunningham

Right before the 6 mile mark on the course, just past the guy taking pictures wearing a bright green safety jacket, I wiped out.  I was feeling really good and decided to let loose on that downhill section but misjudged my speed taking the turn and the bike dished out from under me and I rode that pony into the ground.  My hip took the brunt of the fall, my forearm got a little scraped up, my shoulder got the rest of my weight and my helmet hit the dirt as well.  I took stock:  nothing really hurts beside the lacerations on my forearm.  No disorientation.  Good to go!  But I did notice was my bar end had popped off and while I thought about riding without it I knew if I was going to be climbing anything I needed it back on so I lost a few minutes getting it set right.

Tenth Place

Finished the second lap feeling good but my left foot was going numb and what usually do is unclip pedal with my heal but I was having problems clipping and unclipping, perhaps it was due to the new riding shoes and cleats, but what ever it was, it was slowing me down.  At the last big climb which I never rode all the way up I ran saw the 11th placed single speeder and realized that I needed to get a move on.  The walk up the hill helped my circulation issue.  Fortunately, the guy behind me never caught up and I finished tenth, which is the top ten for the Root 66 series, so I am starting out the season with 35 points!

Muddy Bike

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Singlespeeding at Winding Trails — 3 Comments