Well, 2 weekends now and 2 races. I can say at the very best, I am achieving mediocrity. I keep reminding myself that it has been at least 5 years since I had a focused cycling season, and it is very apparent I am not yet at the level that I was. I say “yet”, because hopefully it will come together.
My current situation is all to similar to my college racing days. Since we were based in central NH at the start of the White Mountains, we had snow for a lot longer than say Penn State, West Point, UConn, etc. I more or less started those seasons racing myself into shape instead of having any actual base fitness to rely on….
ANYWAYS…..yesterday was Echo Red to Red out in the thriving metropolis of Echo, OR. I drove out on Friday night and split a hotel room with a co-worker Lindsey and her husband. Echo is approximately 190 miles from Beaverton, so it was a decent haul that I did not want to do on race morning.
We went from temps in the upper 50’s on Friday to a race morning temp of 29 degrees. There were a few snow flurries thrown in for good measure too. However there appeared to be more snow east in Pendleton. A few of the cars coming in from that direction had about 1-1.5″ of snow on them. Luckily nothing fell in Echo.
Without rehashing my mediocrity during the race, I will just say that the course was pretty sweet. 24 miles of decent trail with some nice flow and very little technical. My legs refused to cooperate on any section requiring power, but I was gaining time on the tighter trail sections and the very short “woods” section that had some technical aspects to it.
Many racers fell victim to the goat head thorn. In this day and age of mountain biking riding…….why the heck are people not using something like Stan’s Sealant? I must have passed at least 10-15 people fixing flats on the side of the trail during the race. Many of them working on tubes!?!? I refreshed my sealant on Thursday night, and had no issues whatsoever. About 30 minutes ago I pulled one of these out of my tire too. I spun the tire, got the sealant to seal up the hole, and I expect to be good to go for the time being.
For those of us who where preregistered, we got to choose between pulled pork or mac-n-cheese for lunch. I went with the mac-n-cheese. The best description is to say that it was like my race, mediocre, a little over cooked and salty. That being said, it was like a little bit of heaven after racing. Just having something warm inside of my stomach was a gift.
I’ll be back next year. Hoping to improve my time and hopefully the temps will be just a tad warmer.
The host town of Echo deserves a huge thank you to putting up with a bunch of bike racers taking over for the day.
That’s about it, thanks for reading.