6.26.2006

Richmond Xterra Event

Xterra Event
I never got around to posting a report about the Xterra event that took place in Richmond, VA a few saturdays ago, so here I go...

the day prior to the race I decided that my desire to ride could be satisfied by racing this event in Richmond
tried getting the word from my buddy Redlack about the need for gear and shock for this event
did not get the word in time so I packed up the geared Karate Monkey with front shock
arrived in Richmond, Virginia to the madness of many Xterra events being run from the same central location
there was a tri-athalon, a running event, skateboarding, and much much more
with no trouble I found the registration for the Xterra Mountain Bike Event
I sucked it up and paid my late registration fee... it hurt... but I had the option not to race or to register in advance

it was just a week since the 24 Hours of Big Bear so I was still feeling a little tired
the choice of the geared bike started to make more and more sense as the start time approached
the lay out of the course and the other events was nothing short of unusual
more unusual to me since I am not at all familiar with Richmond or it surrounding area
the course started on one island on the James River then onto another.... then across to the other shore... it was really a great race design on a network of trails that are clearly made by mountain bikers for mountain bikers
well, mountain bikers that do not mind running up and down multipole stair case

I lined up with the Expert Vet 35+ for a Lemanns Style Start with the other Experts
the run was short, but it allowed for those who were more hungry to really make their move for their bikes
I moved forward fast... but I had no intention of trying to win it all.... so I let the more assertive racers move ahead, until we moved into the singletrack
at that point we were in a bit of a queue whick could be settled out in on the fireroads
there were those that were hungry to pass
there was no where to pass
they should have run faster knowing that the line of people arriving to their bikes would be the order in the singletrack

the course moved from a short section of singletrack
to a long stretch of doubletrack fireroad
then off the bike and up a few flights of stairs to a bridge that took the racers to the first set of urban singletrack
the trails were awesome
the trails were awesome and it may have been more than a few flights of stairs

I had no idea where I was or how long I was riding... but I knew I was having a darn good time
people were all racing hard and having a splendid day sweating on the bike in the Richmond heat
the singletrack looped around and back and back again taking the racers across a different bridge, down some stairs then back onto the same fire road, up the same stairs, across the same bridge then turning onto a different set of urban singletrack trails

the trail was well marked
but perhaps not well marked enough
I took one turn which I feared was wrong.... then backtracked
then realized it was the correct turn.... only lost one space
then later in the race I took a very wrong turn down a hill
enjoyed the long speedy descent
only to find myself dead end at the James River.... had I been planning for fishing for carp I would have been fine but I was trying to race bikes
so I had to hike it back up the hill and back onto the course


lost a few spaces there
in reality the drop from maybe 4th to 7th or 8th is really not an issue
I was there to race and ride my bike
winning it all was never anything that I thought was a realistic goal

there was one more bridge crossing then some road sections through some neighborhoods
then more singletrack
maybe more singletrack than I was looking for
well more climbing on the singletrack than I was looking for
even as short as this race was my body was wishing that it were shorter
my endurance is not here
especially at high speed
okay maybe endurance at high speed is something I have never had
I had burst myself and was just hanging on to what remained
which is usually my style

the course ended and everyone was smiling
it was a sick course
RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF RICHMOND!
imagine having those trails right there for riding during lunch at work?
awesome!
glad I raced there
glad I experienced that
would be psyched to race or even just ride there again
it was a super fun event
the Xterra Event would have been good entertainment for the whole day
my kids would have loved to see me race
and would have loved even more to see the people at the skate jam


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