Long time, no update. Let me tell you, it isn't for a lack of wanting to write but simply a lack of time. Since the Mohican 100K we've been doing some racing, primarily of the mountain bike variety with two NEO Power Series races, but there was also the Shreve Road Race by RideOn Wooster the weekend after Mohican. Brief synopsis of our results:
Shreve Road Race (June 11th):
Unfortunately, Lorena had to work that day so only I ventured down for the Cat 4 race not knowing how good my road racing form would be. I hadn't done any road races all Spring while prepping for Mohican. Turns out, it wasn't too bad as I managed to finish with the main group (aside from the RideOn breakaway). It was amazing how many people we shed on the big climb every lap. According to the results, I came in 17th out of 35 finishers. I wasn't too upset about this and was generally happy with my overall effort. Props to Robert Sroka for helping me try to keep the pace up late in the race as we tried to reel in the break. Neither of us had teammates and it seemed like only a handful of us wanted to do any work after the break.
This was a well run race, but I do have one complaint. The centerline rule was well enforced by the race official following our group... until he came around us when the breakaway went up the road. Then everything went to hell in the group with people moving up at the end across the centerline. Mainly, it was disappointing because those rules are there to keep us safe and we don't get the luxury of closed roads. The same rules apply to EVERYBODY and I hope they enforce it better next time.
Reagan MTB Time Trial (June 19th):
The first race of the NEO Power Series and only the second mountain bike time trial I've ever done. Funnily enough, Lorena and I were staged such that she started immediately after me. Nothing like the motivation of trying to not get caught by your wife to make you go fast! The course was in good shape and we both had a good race. I crashed about a mile from the finish that cost me a little time and then burped my front tire a half mile later in a turn. Thankfully, it managed to reseat itself and hold air. In the end, we both finished before the big thunderstorm hit and drenched all of the poor beginners still out on the course.
Chris - 7th in 52:28 (7 seconds out of 6th and 8 seconds out of 5th) - Sport Senior 30-39
Lorena - 5th in 59:53 (only 4 seconds out of 4th!) - Sport Women 19+
Vulture's Knob Double-Down Enduro (July 16th)
We've grown to enjoy the Knob more this year and have ridden there a lot, but we also knew that 4 laps (~28 miles) was still going to be a challenge, especially in the heat. I had a really good start and was 3rd behind fellow OCC rider Paul Dunn. We continued this way until just after The Snake when the leader dropped back. Some other rider came past me right before The Cradle to put me back in 3rd. Something happened to Paul at the creek crossing and I was back in 2nd until right before Hubcap City when Todd Bolgrin came around us. In the short, rocky downhill after Hubcap City I managed to hit a rock and puncture my rear tire. I saw a squirt of sealant and hoped that it would seal itself. Well, it didn't and I was stuck putting in a tube as what seemed like every other racer went by me. Turns out that my sealant was a dried up ball inside the tire and wasn't going to seal anything. Time to play catch-up and so I went as hard as I could from then on to make up time. My second lap was faster than my first and the third faster than my second but I paid for it with a little slower fourth lap.
I also had my chain drop behind my cassette on my second lap that seemed to cost me 10 minutes because it wouldn't come out and I couldn't get the wheel out of the bike! I also managed to lay my left knee open on the second lap in a loose, downhill turn after The Furnace when my front tire washed out. That's just part of racing and I wasn't the only one with a story at the end of the day.
Lorena had such a great race that I never caught her after my flat! I heard her near the end and tried like hell to close the gap, but the heat was getting to me a little bit and I just couldn't go any harder. She finished 2nd (!) on the day behind Julie Lewis-Sroka.
Chris - 9th in 3:37:06 - Sport Senior 30-39
Lorena - 2nd in 3:30:34 - Sport Women 19+
Click Here for more of our photos.
Click Here for race photos by Bob Grimm.
In between the races and training we managed to squeeze in a great trip to Michigan over the July 4th weekend for three great days of mountain biking with Marty and Traci. We rode 56 miles of some of the most flowing singletrack around with stops at the Potawatomi Trail, Maybury State Park, and Pontiac Lake. The only other mountain bike time trial I've ever done was at Pontiac back in 1997 when I raced against Marty and didn't know him let alone that he'd be my future brother-in-law.
Speaking once again of mountain bike time trials... Up next for us is yet another time trial tomorrow at Findley State Park with the Thorn Time Trial as stop #3 in the NEO Power Series. Should be fun, but we'll have to see how fast it's going to be after the storms that blew through today.