Today I along with the other racing husband of wife team I know went to St. Joe State Park for Mark Grumke's super grand mountain bike race. I had never ridden there, never been there, and had no idea what to expect.
First, the online directions from your favorite mapping software were way off on time needed to get there. We got there almost and hour earlier than the thought we were going to. Once there we all got signed in and ready. I raced sport on my single speed. I actually planned to race my shifty bike but figured today would be so messy that having gears wouldn't be good for reliability. Also, I can easily hose off the Rig and cleaning the shifty bike takes more time. Hey, I have a kid and time is an issue now. The warm up ride set the tone for the day. Ride in soft mud, not really sloppy mud, but very slow going. Felt like I was riding in tall grass. Talked to a few guys on SS and based on my non-scientific survey I was over geared compared to them. They are all running 19, 20, and 21s. Me? 18. I'm tuff. And stupid.
The start was on pavement so I was hosed for getting a hole shot. Then we hit the slow mud. Stack up 1 occurred on a slight up hill. I avoided that with some fine cross dismount and remounting action. Then another stack up on another short hill. More cyclocross for me. I drop a few positions initially then I started to pull some guys back. I pass a few, then I get to Matt and drop him no problem. Then I just work on not crashing, not flatting, and maintaining a good pace I can carry for 16 miles. I did the first lap a few ticks under and hour. Not too bad for a guy on a SS. I wasn't really sure where I was on the order because we had a large field and I didn't really pay attention to how many I passed and who I saw ahead. I just road. I spent most of the race with one of the Team Seagulls riding behind me. I asked him if he wanted by and he said no. I told him I was in Sport and not SS so at least he knew I wasn't competiting directly with him. Eventually at about 5 miles into the second lap he went around when another SS went by us both. Then at 6 miles into the second a sport guy got around me. I was done. Just trying to finish. I had decent fitness, but I was fading. The slow mud was grinding me down. I ended up 7th out of 25. Not too bad I thought. I also will point out that Sally beat Matt. She did 2 laps. Matt did 1 lap and quit. Sweet!!!! Sally is getting better every time she rides so I was glad to see her do well in a super big womens field. I think she got 7th out of 10.
Overall, Mark Grumke did a great job posting trail markings and it was good race. If the course was dryer it would of been much faster and more fun. But it was good none the less. I'll me missing the next mountain bike race for the 100th Annual in Rolla.
3 years ago