I raced the Erik’s Spring Cup today at Salem Hills. It is the first race of the year for the MNSCS series and I figured I would give the course a try. Little Guy cleaned up at this race last year on a cross bike and after riding the course on Saturday I figured I was ready for a sweet time in the saddle. Well, they ran the course backwards from what I rode yesterday and it through a wrench in my plans!
My goal for the race was to come in around 1:05-1:06 and I ended up finishing with a 1:09.21. Things were going great in the beginning as I easily took the hole shot on my cross bike and slowly dilly-dallied through the “singletrack”, but a ton of riders were getting antsy behind me and I kept plugging away. Yet, when the race went up and on the open parts I was able to pull away or catch back up to the lead group. For a while I was around 15th place in the group with almost all within eyesight, and I put in a huge effort and passed a fair amount of riders to get in the top 10 before I took a nice crash. My bike got all janky and the bars turned. My body was fine, but watching dozens of riders flying bye was painful to watch. Topping it all off was the fact that I lost my frame pump!
I think if I did the race again I would be able to meet my goal and finish in the mid-50s of the Sport class. One thing is for sure, mountain biking is pretty damn hard and I need to get better at the technical stuff. I feel that I have the legs to do real well in the Sport class and hopefully make Comp by end of the season, but I need to learn how to not crash so damn much!
1:09.21 would have placed me in the top40 last year (although the couse was a tiny bit different). My target time of 1:05/06 would have been good enough for a top10. I don’t know if the racers are faster this year, or if the course was a big difference, but regardless, it was ton of fun.
The highlight of the day was racing with 4 of my teammates and flying the Behind-Bars/LGR colors. Lots of questions were asked about the sweet kits and almost everyone had a smile on their face. Mountain Biking rules.
As I led the very first section of the race I came around a sharp corner and noticed a little sign that said, “Drop.” By the time it registered to me what it was I was going off a fairly large rock. Lot’s of people cheered when I barely landed it, but I made sure to go wide on the following laps to get out of the way.
My track racing skills came into play when a guy tried passing me on an uphill section and dropped down right onto me. Although, I am not the most aware of the “rules” I am fairly confident that if you try to pass someone you need to make sure you get past them before you come down onto them. Well, we rode shoulder to shoulder and I kept my position and finished a minute or so up on him to complete (although he probably whooped me up in the overall).