Monday, October 10, 2005

Ringwood Number 2

Ringwood number two... We brought our snorkels and managed to stay afloat. The trails were full of deep puddles and newfound rivers but not as bad as I anticipated. Guess anything is good compared to my 24hour race a few years ago (7+inches or rain in 20hrs). The rain held out so we didn't have to worry about anything falling out of the sky.

Rudzik had a great showing in the beginner class (1lap) mustering a 10 to 12mile loop as opposed to the required 7mile loop. Needless to say everyone passed him on the correct course but he had a great time and got a nice ride out of it. Great training for the ms tour's 100miler this coming Sunday. Rudzik went on to provide Tim and I water bottles during our race. And a mighty fine job he did.

Tim brought the singlespeed and competed against a fairly competitive semi-pro and pro field (3laps). He dominated on the singletrack but was passed on the fireroads. Felt good considering he wasn't feeling well last weekend and dislocated his shoulder back in June. Wound up finishing 5th while his Cannondale teammate took 2nd right behind "Fast Eddie". Fast Eddie set a blistering 1hr 30min time for three laps.

I was one of 6 in the Expert 19-29 (3laps). Had a great start. One guy took off and I grabbed onto his wheel. A mile or so down the trail I was like "this is a good pace. I'm not going full bore. think I'll sit here and open up an attack on lap two to go for the win." A mile later I turned around and there was no one to be seen. Great. Opened up a huge gap and now fight for 1st. Three quarters through the first lap we're flying down a doubletrack descent and all of a sudden "pfssst". F u ck! my rear tubeless tire just let go. Pulled the valve stem out, put a tube in and pumped it up with my two c02 cartridges. By the time I was filling it up with the 2nd cartridge people started trickling by. It seemed like an eternity. I didn't realize we were that far ahead.

Got back on and now was in the chase to get back to 2nd place. Caught 3rd as I finished the 1st lap and about halfway through the 2nd lap I caught what was now 2nd place. Pulled past him as we finished the 2nd lap. His bewildered reaction was "Didn't you flat?". Then I went onto lead the 3rd lap with him right on my wheel. That was after I grabbed my last water bottle with my left arm as Rudzik was on the right side of me. He thinks it was an accident waiting to happen but it seemed to go smoothly to me. As we came to the descent I flatted on I put the hammer down hoping to open up a gap, hold and take 2nd place. I did pull away but by the time I started climbing the switchback singletrack he caught back up to me. By now my legs were cramping (again) and I had no gas left. He felt good and took off. I was left to run up the hill and do my best to get through the rest of the terrain.

Finished 3rd (2hrs and 2mins) about a minute behind 2nd. He was strong and I was exhausted from playing catch-up. So, it was well deserved. I think 1st was around 8 minutes ahead of us. Don't know what happened to the tire. The bead was still sealed when I pulled it off so I'm guessing a rock sliced something. I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Time to sleep. Enjoy!


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