Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 TSE - Day Four

Today would be an awesome day of riding but a horrible day of recovering post race.

Dicky drank a lot of alcohol the night before. I rested for the last '10 miles' of stage three took a lot out of me and I wanted to have some fun on stage 4.

Stage Four was at Raystown MTB Trails which was about an hour or so from the campground. Word on the street is that these trails are some of the most spectacular fast and flowy singletrack trails in PA. Built by IMBA and a blast to ride. Everyone rides with a smile and goes home with a giant smile.

A little preview of what was in store for us from local riders last fall.

Another hot day but it was sunny. Start was delayed because someone forgot their cycling shoes back at camp. Once everyone was at the start/finish and ready to ride we started the race. Total of around 30-38miles for the day. 100% fast singletrack. Wow. Awesome!

I opted for my very own, custom, Team Dicky jersey.

Photo: Peter

The start consisted of a road climb for an 1/8 mile to 1/4 mile. As I was climbing out of the saddle I watched in sheer amazement of how quickly Mark Weir was pedaling up that incline. He and his WTB buddies wanted into the singletrack first and it showed. I felt pretty good and that got me into the singletrack ahead of all the other singlespeeders. Greg caught up to me prior to entering the singletrack so he was right on my wheel. Wow. The first few seconds on those trails were so much fun. Throwing the bike into turns. Hauling ass around a bend to the next one. Pure bike handling skills coupled with strength to pedal fast.

Greg and I were enjoying the pace I set (tried to set a pace that wouldn't blow me up) and were just chatting as we rode. A gentleman's race if you will. Not really paying much attention, I heard a rider coming up on Greg and Greg letting them pass. Naturally, I let them go as well but without looking. Dicky came speeding past us.


While we immediately took off after him I was also complaining to Greg for letting Dicky by. We stuck to Dicky's wheel and the three of us motored through the awesome singletrack. Probably 5 to 10 minutes later Dicky sits up with a "That's all I've got" and let us pass him. As we passed he was laughing. He just fooled us.

We mustered on with myself setting pace and Greg following. Garth eventually caught up to us and Dicky was a few seconds back. Enough to see on previous switchbacks. I was slowly starting to fade but tried not to show it. Eventually both Greg and Garth passed me and kept on going. I did my best to stick with Garth's wheel but that did not last long and they disappeared. Meanwhile, Dicky was somewhere close behind. He'd eventually pull back up to me and set pace and then I'd set pace. Back and forth and eventually I got out infront of him and pulled away.

An awesome photo Abe snapped.

Probably halfway through the race we came up to a gravel road. The trail we were on kept going straight and the course direction arrow appeared to be pointing straight. Not thinking anything of it I kept going straight. A few minutes down the trail I see both Greg and Garth riding towards me at a high rate of speed screaming "Wrong way!". I turned around and saw Dicky not that far behind me, also turning around.

"We pulled a 'Dave' and made a wrong turn. Son-of-A..."

We were supposed to turn left and go up the gravel road. Guess now the singlespeed race was starting over. Greg led us out with Dicky right on his wheel and myself on Dicky's wheel. Garth pulled on all of us and took off up the climb. I passed Dicky and did my best to stay with Greg. I felt okay but not well enough to stay right on Greg's wheel as he slowly pulled away from me. Slowly..

Up to the top and back into the singletrack. I couldn't see Greg but kept on riding as hard as I could. Perhaps I'd catch back up but at the same time I'd minimize the time he puts on me if I keep riding hard.

At one point I thought I was lost again. I was all by myself and didn't see a course marking for quite a while. Part of me wanted to stop and backtrack while the other part of me wanted to keep on going because the trail was so much fun. Eat and drink and ride fast. I kept on going and eventually got to a sweeping left turn where at the apex of the turn there was some coursemarking tape and I saw another racer. Sweet. Guess I'm going in the right direction.

I eventually came back out onto the road at the bottom of the climb from the start. Down a little descent to a big sweeping left turn to the finish line. WOW, that was some of the most fun I have had racing/riding a bicycle.

Greg took 1st place singlespeed in 2hrs 44minutes.

Dave 'Fourth Place' Cormier snuck in and took 2nd place singlespeed in 2hrs 47minutes. Guess he got ahead of use when we were off-course.

I finished in 3rd place singlespeed at 2hrs 48minutes

Dicky was not on the podium as he finished 4th.

Peter, Dicky and I packed up Dicky's truck and made our way back to camp. We made a pit stop at Subway for some food. The heat did a number on me that day and my diarrhea came back in full force when we got to Subway. (I had it the week prior to the race and days zero and one.). This plagued me for the remainder of the night. I was in a world of hurt and not sure how I'd hold onto 2nd place overall, or even try to close the gap and possibly get into 1st.

Photo: Peter


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