I know it's been a week since the race and it almost seems pointless to write anything about it and I really don't have any photos uploaded yet but I feel the need to talk about it so I will. I know most folks have already posted up their race stories days ago and most have already forgotten them but I've just been too dang busy to read or write anything in the blogger world until today. Melinda was off all this week for Spring Break so we took advantage of the vacation and stayed till late Monday afternoon in NC. The weather was near perfect all weekend and we almost stayed till Tues but we had projects and 2 new kayaks calling us at home.
Last weekend was alot of firsts for me. New camper, the "Eco" so setting up was an adventure never having done it before so I had to consult with the very generic owners manual several times. Our manual was for Eco trailers in general, not just our trailer but all of them so it was kinda difficult to determine if I had a such and such or a such in such. It all worked out good and the trip was a success with the exception of two very loud snoring dogs and a noisy fan. Other than that we slept very comfortably.
Racing a solo endurance race was a first for me as well. I think I picked a good one, just 6 hours with 10.5 mile laps. The course was an extremely fun, a swooping course full of berms and turns but one that was very taxing on your body if you were trying to maintain a quick pace. I told myself I was going to take it easy have fun with a goal of 3 laps. It was also my first time on my bike in a little over 2 weeks so I was a little under prepared but with no real goals other than 3 laps I wasn't too worried.
My first lap went by a little slow as I got stuck in a train of folks some who didn't understand the concept of using your speed on the downhills to make it back up the other side. They would try and run through their gears to get to granny which usually resulted in someone stalling out and piling up 4 to 5 riders who were all lined up trying to pass. I even got blamed for one foul up which was totally not my fault and I lost my chain in the process allowing 6 or 7 people to pass me. The jack ass who screwed us all up just gave us a quick sorry and walked up the hill and rode off while the rest of us cussed him and I got off the trail to put my chain back on.
Lap 2 went alot better, after a few minutes in the pits stretching out my back and a pb&j that Melinda made me I went out for a 2nd lap. The crowd had spread out so the traffic was alot better. Occasionally someone from a team would fly up behind me and I would let them pass but other than that it went smoothly. Every lap I went out with friends and we rode together making what was supposed to be a race more like a ride with my buddies.
After my 2nd lap and cruised into the pits and stretched out in the sun ate something and seriously considered calling it a day but I knew if I did I would regret it. Slowly several of my friends trickled in some on the same lap as me some a lap ahead. We all got together and decided to do one more lap together taking it easy and just having fun. Eric, Brad, Anthony, David and I all left out with me taking up the rear and had one of the best laps of the day. It wasn't my fastest but it was definitely the most fun. Halfway through the lap the course ran through an open grassy field with a lone tree near the lake. As we entered the field we could see Melinda and Amanda sitting under the tree watching the race so Anthony and I decided to stop and rest a bit and say hello to the ladies. After a hug and a kiss from the girls we were off to finish the 2nd half of the lap which seemed to be the most punishing with one short punchy climb after another.
We rolled into the pits happy and glad to be done but with a new appreciation for endurance racing.
Once the race was officially over we headed back to camp cleaned up and got ready to hit the free BBQ and beer (Boone Brewing). The food and beer were excellent I even scored a few items via the raffle. I was glad I did it and I'm ready to give it another go at the 12 Hours of Tsali in May but nothing is set in stone yet.
I had originally planned to video some of the race and and take a bunch of pics but I failed to do so. Melinda did snap a few pics from the weekend and I hope to post them up soon. I haven't sorted through them or begun the uploading process yet so stay tuned all weekend.