What a great night for a Team Ride! We had over 25 along for the A and B ride. The A Group was a well oiled machine rolling double paceline for 47 miles finishing at over 21 mph avg. But the real treat of the night was open mic night. The bands were quite diverse and they seemed to bring in a lot of unusual customers. Great people watching! Checkout Napoleon live on stage.
From their website: Lumberjack is a traditional style American Pale Ale brewed with 100% malted barley. Lumberjack is full bodied with a perfect citrus hop aroma and smooth hop flavor. Although brewed with plenty of hops, Lumberjack also has plenty of malt character. This traditional style ale is crisp and refreshing presenting a smooth and enjoyable drinking experience for any time of the year.
I got suckered into buying 2 bottles of this since it was called “Lumberjack”. I wasn’t expecting a good experience, the label is yellow after-all? How Lumberjack is that? Anyway, I never heard of Tri-City Brewing Company over in Bay City but I like to support Michigan breweries so plunked down $3-4 for the two beers. It poured a nice yellow pale ale color but it had zero head and upon first sip tasted like all those cheap commercial pale ales. You know the ones and Founders isn’t one of them. Very light in body, corn meal in taste, more cheap lager than an ale. After my taste test I searched the Internet for reviews. The beers produced by Tri-City don’t score very high, I can see why.
Experts rode four laps of eleven miles and the course reportedly had 1800 feet of climbing per lap. Brent Walk, promoter of FunPromotions, put together an interesting course. All of the course was on trails we’ve ridden before, but Brent linked and looped sections together to create an inventive and interesting course that in some cases felt like a new or different race.
I was off the back after a mile into the event from my four other competitors. My goal was to ride to finish and perhaps maybe catch a trailing competitor in the last lap. This did not happen, however.
Lap one, nearing the end of the lap, there is a quick downhill and up onto the side of the last mountainside singletrack which I was enjoying for the severe off-camber and technical features and then I noticed two mountainbikers down on my right zooming down a bike path parallel to my ride. I thought either they weren’t racing (recreational riders) or they or I was on the wrong section- it was me! Second lap around the entrance to that last singletrack section was visibly blocked. There had been an arrow at the bottom of the downhill but you are going so fast you miss it easily. Several other racers reported doing this same off-camber section including Brenden.
Lap two saw a crash while cornering close to a tree to avoid a sandpit. I banged my knee pretty hard and had pain trying to pedal. This occurred near the water station and major road crossing and when I got there, I considered DNFing since my knee was hurting and as I pedaled down the road a hundred hard to DNF, the pain seemed to go away and I determined to turn around and finish.
Lap three was the most painful. On one climb, I missed a shift down and tried to stand up to pedal the climb causing my right calf muscle to knot up severely. I tried to unclip but instead tumbled over and unclipping on the fall, tumbled over down the small hill clutching my calf in agony. I laid there trying to relax the knot for a minute before clambering up and walking the last section of that hill.
The thought of dropping crossed my mind again as I rode through the chute but I stopped at my tent to get more Endurolytes and fresh bottle of Heed. I went through less than a bottle on laps one and two, but on three and four I needed to re-fill at the aid station, draining the bottles less than five miles into the lap! I used up 12 Endurolytes on the first three laps and still suffered that third lap cramp.
Results are not yet posted online but I think I am still 5th of five racers (unless someone DNFd) in Expert 50+ category with almost 5-1/2 hours for four laps.
Brenden raced his new Redline 29er Singlespeed bike for the first time, taking a 5th place spot in a field of seven racers in Sport/beginner Singlespeed in a two lap event. He also missed the last right turn onto the paved golfcart path which may have cost him a spot in the standings.