Race #5 in the Arizona State Series was to take us to Prescott and into the thin air and pine tree forests. We were expecting a break from the heat of the desert and what a break indeed! Arriving at the venue to find 6 inches of fresh snow I was excited. Having many snowy races under my belt I knew exactly what we were in for and looking forward to the bizarre conditions.
Unfortunately the race was decidedly cancelled so we drove the 2 hours home to ride in 70 degree sunshine. Arizona is such an amazing place to be a cyclist. You have all these climate zones and varieties of trails within just a relatively small area, combined with year round sunny weather and amazing scenery I can't imagine anywhere else I would rather be.
The big race for me this year was to be the whiskey 50. Unfortunately I missed the registration cut off and was unable to get in. Lucky for me the State Criterium Championship was the same weekend and I was able to enter 3 races. Finsihing 5th was the best I could manage for the weekend in the Masters Catagory.
Thanks to Trek and Bicycle Ranch of Scottsdale I was able to get on this new Trek Madone right before the weekend. This thing is smooth! And the fit is so intuitive .
Next up was Ohio State Championship Race #2 at Mohican State Forest. This is one of my favorite trails in the east. A single, 25 mile singletrack loop with tons of climbing and loads of flow. The weather SUCKED. IT was in the 40s, windy and cloudy, I was freezing before the start. The start by the way had been moved up one hour since the last time I raced one of these and I arrive just in time to line up without a warmup...uncool.
The race started and the large field rolled out down the road towards the trail. I dropped my chain and ended up in about 6th going into the woods. Surged up into 4th and then it was like the brakes were starting to drag. Somehow I was having trouble closing this rather small gap up to 2nd and 3rd. Something was wrong and I eventually figured out that I had not tightened my seatpost clamp after the post air travel rebuild.
The course was awesome and I just raced as best I could moving back up to finish 5th by the end.
After the race there was an awesome party with beer and fire and all things wonderful. It was great to hang with my longtime friends and fellow racers again. I got a little drunk I must admit but not before properly rehydrating with HEED from Hammer Nutrition!
Tomorrow is the final Arizona State Championship Race and basically my fate is sealed as long as I finish. So it's going to be a good race to experiment with a new strategy and enjoy some Flagstaff, high altitude singletrack!