Monday, June 12, 2006

NS Classic

Mud, Mud and more Mud! I was surprised that the race even happened because it had rained for so many days leading up to Sunday. I learned that Nemba fest was cancelled due to soggy conditions at Wompituck state park and thought for sure that paved the way for efta to cancel the race at Bradley Palmer...Thankfully not.
I peddled down to BP early Sunday morning to warm up and scope out the race. Met up with Roz at the Luna tent and proceeded to eat 10 mini luna bars for breakfast. Went out for a slow loop 'round the course to check out the new stretch of single track volunteers made for the was a greatly needed section to eliminate a washed-out downhill - the new section rocks! Dumps out at the Ipswich river dam with a tough corner to a small grunting climb. Thanks to the volineers I'll have a sweet new section to rock on my morning loop...nice.
Huge turn out for this race...saw more racers than at any efta event...ever. Must have been 250-300 racers at the start. Would have been a disaster to mass start everyone, so the Pro's went off first with 2 minutes between categories. Huge Expert field. Don't know how many guys in my cat.
The expert class got underway with a sprint for 10 minutes. The pace slowed on a muddy climb and I was able to catch my breath. We dove into the new single track and I was having a blast! Was glad I pre-rode the course and knew about the climb by the dam..dumped it down to the granny and made the climb passing a few guys. Up into the 1st grassy field, cruising along I decided to pass on the right and got a bush caught in my derailuer...won't pass in the high grass again.
After the first 7.5 mile loop things were going better than expected. I had made a bunch of passes and was in good position. I Felt great.. then a flat tire! How is it that I have raced two 100 miler's this year and no flats- and in my own back yard get a flat? Oh well, I didn't dwell on the situation. Had a tube, made the swap, two co2 cartridges filled it back to 40 psi...three minutes lost...big deal.
The next two laps were increasingly muddy. My front tire found one mud hole that was three feet deep! It added a challenge for all the riders and was a good way to level the field. I was running a front fender to keep my face and eyes clear of the end I was clean from the neck up.
I saw Thom Parson's and Skip Brown finish the pro category one after the other. Thom put in a HUGE effort this race. Wish I had a camera to capture that image of the two muddy single speeders coming across the line, totally encased in mud from head to toe. Skip had several inches of glistening thick mud on his chest and shoulders and Thom's face was completely speckled with only his eyes and teeth showing. Good job going balls out!
I didn't stick around for the results, I think I came in mid pack with the experts...but will be checking later this week when the results are posted on-line.

Got together with the crank racing team after the race for some burgers and free beer for Ipswich Brewery!


IF Chicks said...

5th out of 13 with a flat..good race. Now subtract 3 min for change and you were faster than 3rd place !!!! I escaped the rain and mud in WV.

Jason said...

great job andy.
think any of us will race in dry conditions this year
I'm 2/3 with the mud. Hope this weekend is dry.

See ya