After what seems like weeks of riding in rain and wind every day, I was looking forward to the local CCCX mountain bike race scheduled for Sunday, as Sunday's forecast was sunny and lovely and oh-so-nice. But as luck would have it, the race got rescheduled for Saturday. Saturday's forecast = more rain, more wind, more misery. It turns out those meteorologists know what they are talking about once in awhile. Ft Ord is usually the best place around for getting some mountain biking during the rainy winter months because the sandy soil drains so well. In fact, Ft Ord is at it's best in the winter as everything is generally remains rideable, as opposed to the summer months when huge sandpits make the trails better suited for cyclocross than riding. Unfortunately we've had so much rain over the last week or two that even the Ft Ord trails were a muddy, mucky mess, and the rain was still falling. This was going to be epic.
There's that old adage that goes something like "showing up is half the battle." Well yesterday that was the whole battle. I was the only entrant in the women's pro/expert field. Luckily my old training buddy Sue finally decided to cat up and raced in the expert 35+ category, so we got to race together. She was also the only entrant in her category, so we both won! Don't think that made it easy though! Sue and I love to push each other silly, so we drilled it on the course. She's a ridiculously strong climber, so every time I would get a little gap on the downhill or flat parts, she'd be right back on my rear wheel on every climb. We battled together for the better part of 3 laps and then somehow I got a gap on her.
This photo of rain drops and mud splatters from Tim Westmore pretty much sums up the day.
By the 4th lap the rain was pouring and my rear derailleur was no longer cooperating. The drivetrain wasn't liking all the wet sand. I was left with only the front chainrings, and even then I still had some chain suck issues. I was relieved when I came through the start/finish line at the end of the 4th lap and they told me I was done. We were supposed to do 5, but in those conditions, 4 laps was good enough for me. I haven't done my 'cross races in conditions like that, much less a mountain bike race. Two hours of good hard racing in less-than-ideal conditions...mission accomplished.
The best part of tearing up a drive train in mucky muck conditions is that I have a brand new drive train that will be ready and waiting for me up at Bike Station Aptos this week! Yippie!
Here are a few photos of that Terry took after the race (and after he decided to unlock my car holding all my dry clothes 20 minutes after I'd finished!). You can see that it was a little mucky.
Muddy bike and Wellie's Wellies.
Sometimes I disgust myself.
Lovin' Sue's boots!
Lonely podium (but I'll take it!).
And hats off to teammate Ron Riley for another win! He's 76 years old! So impressive.
Up next...Boggs 8-Hour next Saturday.