Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of, the Boneyard

Happy 4th of July.  Hope everyone enjoys themselves, relaxes, has a cold one (or two) and manages to maintain all their digits - those illegal fireworks can get you!!

So I got to pre ride the Boneyard last Thursday.  Big thanks to Fabian (who is getting the course ready and led the ride) and to Craig and Charlie for showing a newbie how it's done.  Charlie and Craig ended up showing up for the 4:30 ride, which I had originally hoped would be Fabian and I before the fast guys came out to play, so I was a little nervous.

Craig stated he was out for a leisurely ride, and Charlie offered to wear a pink jersey to ease my nerves.  Great group of guys, and I really did enjoy riding with behind them : )  I got some good advice from all, which I greatly appreciate.  I had fun on the course, a great mix of technical features, climbs, and sweet descents.  I got hung up a few times... some stupid mistakes on my part, and some just plain technical trail.  Having seen the course I feel that I will have a good race.  I think the most challenging part on race day will be contending with other riders in technical areas.  But, I have a good idea of the trails I will ride to prepare for the race - working in a good mix of technical trails, distance, and climbs to be ready to rock the Boneyard.

The "boneyard" section of the trail wasn't nearly as scary as I had imagined, but will still present a challenge.  I'm still up in the air as to how I will tackle it during the race.  Opinions varied on the trail as to the best strategy to handle it on race day.  We'll see how I feel.  I didn't clean it on my two attempts (getting hung up in about the same section each time) but with momentum and a clear line it is doable.

As we got back to the finish/start area there was another rider waiting to join the ride, Neil.  We stopped to chat for a bit while Fabian jumped on his trials bike to lead the fast riders as they toured the course.  I bowed out as one lap was good for me, and I certainly didn't want to hang up the guys any further... plus, keeping up with a motorcycle???

I'm looking forward to the race.  But talking with Charlie and Craig, and seeing them in action, I certainly have a long road ahead of me in the race world.  I am not discouraged by it, but more refreshed that this is a sport where guys at the top of their game are happy riding with guys at the start of their journey.  I don't know if there is another sport out there like mountain biking, where no matter what level you are competing at there is such a shared sense of camaraderie amongst all competitors.

Thanks again guys!!

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