Pontiac Lake TT was my first race of the year that had temperatures above freezing. The weather was absolutely perfect 65 and sunny. It doesn’t get much better than that. It reminded me how much fun it can be to ride a bike and why I rode all winter in the snow and cold. The trail was mostly wet sand with relatively few slick spots. Great conditions considering the dump of rain the night before. The only other notable pre-race condition was with registration taking much longer than expected. They delayed the start of the race 30 min which allowed me to do a mostly normal warm up. A small logistics issue as new ownership takes hold of a great race series.
Pontiac Lake is a trail I have not ridden in two years. I am racing in a new class (Elite) and now also in a additional series to last years. I was unsure of my expectations for this race. My only real goal was to ride hard and I had a vague goal for a the time I wanted (1 hour 20ish). The first lap was a swift awakening to the flow of the trail. The hills that were not that big in memory are much larger in person.The rumors of the flat east side of the state are exaggerated. The hills all seemed steeper and always had an additional switch back. Was that hill there two years ago? Also not in the memory bank were the long flat connecting sections between the more technical and hilly terrain not a welcome surprise. Although flat sounds like a place to recover from the hills. Every passing second had me feeling like I was slipping backward, loosing time and falling behind. I did what I could to hammer these section out after a brutal assault from the “extra” hills. The second lap felt much smoother and less energy was spent powering through bobbled lines and remembering terrain. It was a blur of trees only interrupted by the occational splash of a puddle. A few placing of standing water became grease traps after everyone’s first lap. A small amount of extra care was needed in those corners. Then again it was head down and hammer out the flats. I finished working hard and giving the best effort I could. The results were what I had hoped for. A time of 1:20:55 min for two 10 mile laps. I rode hard and had felt smoother. Mission complete. The results when they posted showed that I was in 6th place overall. That will do for now and give me something to work toward in the future. Next week, to the Fort, for the first non time trial event of the year. It should be fun.