by: Jason Bailey
You ever have that feeling of, "wow, I wasn't ready for that?" That's how my first lap went. I haven't really trained or ridden my bike as much as normal in the last three weeks. Most of my time has been spent staying up late and waking up early to move heavy boxes and furniture. NOT the ideal training for a mountain bike race, but my arms haven't felt this strong in years! So the first lap I started a little fast, blew up and then settled in.. which is about normal. Rode with Jay for a bit, then he dropped me, then he dropped his chain and I dropped him, then I dropped my chain and he... well we actually rode together for a bit. My legs started feeling a little better on the second lap and I was able to put a good effort in on the big hill in the beginning of the lap. I started picking off a few people here and there (none in my category of course). Towards the end of the second lap I found it hard to see as the clouds rolled in and sky went dark. If you haven't noticed before, there seems to be a small calm, a little wind, an increase in humidity and a subtle drop in temperature just before the rain drops.. and did it. I actually got pretty excited since I wasn't racing near the front, at least I was going to have some fun out there. Since I wasn't able to see through my glasses anymore, I decided to hand them off to fellow Metal monster Mike who was kind enough to stand in the rain and hand bottles to Jay and I. The third lap was filled with puddles, mud and grinding gears. My pace slowed a bit, but I still managed to pass a few more people before the end. Didn't think about bringing a towel to clean off with so I used the next best thing, the inside of my wet sock. Worked quite well. Drove to a biker bar, had a burger and a beer with Mike and Jay and then drove the long drive home.