I last raced at Farmington 4 or 5 years ago and hated the 100% doubletrack course. I’d heard from Matt and others that more and more singletrack had been incorporated, but was thoroughly unprepared for what I found today. It is now largely Robinson like singletrack for most of the 4.5 mile loop. The torrential rains of last night transformed a good portion of this seldom ridden track to slickness like nothing we experience in the northern reaches of the Ct River Valley. It was something to keep you on your toes…
The race: Jeff and I arrived about an hour before the start of the Cat 2 race. We registered, chatted with Howie, Art, Mark and a few others before riding some of the course and prepping for the race. Jeff was racing his first post-junior race in the fast and furious 19-29 class, while I was in the midst of the largest 50+ field I can recall. I’d just put the skis away last saturday afternoon and begun thinking about the riding season, so with a grand total of less than 5 hours or 70 miles in 2011, I wasn’t expecting to be able to hang with the front of the pack. Little did I know, by not challenging for the hole shot, I’d get to stop dead and wait what seamed like 2-3 minutes for the carnage to clear from the first log crossing 100yards into the single track.
This course winds around the perimeter of the Winding Trails Recreation Area, and considering the rain last night, was in pretty good shape except for the 2 intentional drive train destroying mud patches. While churning through these, I can’t help but glancing to either side and seeing lines that would totally avoid this crap, obviously this is something the hosts think Mountain Bikers like!
3 laps, 14 miles 1:34:12 per my Garmin, I can’t recall the official, but suspect it’s pretty close to that. 13th out of a field of 22 old guys – not bad considering the lack of base!
ps. the rest of Team Green didn’t do so well – Jeff was 23rd of 24 and Matt, though getting the hole shot and finishing lap 1 in the top 5, ended up well back in the Pro field. Something about slack geometry on a ‘race bike’ didn’t sit well with his hips… (I told him to loose that 140 fork)