8.11.2008

RACE REPORT: Cranky Monkey #2 - FOUNTAINHEAD


this report does not seem too inspiring
considering throwing down a report from a different perspective
as this one is a tad dry
will give it a glance then hit PUBLISH AND POST...

RACE REPORT: Cranky Monkey #2 - FOUNTAINHEAD


sunday morning I packed my car and headed to Fountainhead Regional Park in Northern Virginia for race number two of The Cranky Monkey Series
promoter Jim Harmon has added a Clydesdale Class to his series so I thought I would join in on the big guy fun

the night prior to the race I was hanging out at the house of the man formerly known as CityBikesMike
at this gathering there was an effort to dissuade me from racing and luring me into a long fast ride through the trails of Patapsco State Park
as tempted as i was... the race was calling my name
partially because I knew that my only dirt worthy ride is a hardtail single speed and CityBikesMike and MattyD would be hauling ass on their long travel double squishy cross country race bikes
leaving me to eat their dust as I pick a line through stuff that they just hovered over

this saturday evening social gathering at CityBikesMike's had the kids up way past their bedtime
so lisa and I agreed that the family would join me on the trip to Fountainhead if and only if the boys were up and out of bed at 7-7:30

the morning came quickly
when I left out at roughly 8am the kids were still in bed asleep
so after a kiss on my wife's cheek I made the journey solo

the roads were clear and I felt like I had plenty of time to kill before prepping for the race so I rolled through the drive-through at Burger King
nothing to drink just a breakfast sandwich which I ate in two bites as I drove the final miles to Fountainhead

at the staging area of The Cranky Monkey #2 I meandered about the parking lot
I went through the basic race day preparation
registered... suited up... put the number on my bike... and then ate and drank more
I had not looked at the line up for who was signed up to race in the Clydesdale Class
a little time in the parking lot showed me that Chris Redlack was in attendance but would not be racing while DCMTB Australian Import Alistair McDonald would be stepping up to make a show of it
while none of the other racers in my category were familiar to me

when 10am arrived I stood at the line with a number of unfamiliar oversized racers
the race start always brings a certain level of anxiety
questions of how my body will perform...
questions of how my opponents will perform...
questions... questions... questions...
the thought that this race had a long up and back on a paved road had me worried that the geared bikes would leave me and my single speed at the back of the pack at the start of the race
so when Jim Harmon released the hounds I started spinning
hectically I spun my small off road gear as fast as I could
it was not long before I was overtaken by a cluster of Clydesdale racers with gears
I kept spinning but was conscious to not over spin things such that I got over cooked

rather than spin like a fool on the flats and the downhill
I only pedaled when there was resistance
never attempting to get into a more aerodynamic position
rather I just let my size build the momentum as I rolled down the rolling hills
only to hectically spin on the flats and the slight grade up hill
I just needed to keep the lead racers of my class within view
most certainly did not want them to enter the singletrack too far ahead of me

I entered the woods in fourth or fifth place
the leaders were a tad bit ahead of me
out of sight because of the twists and turns of the trail
but not out of my sites
once on dirt I had the right gear for what I needed to do
that little road spin had warmed me up the woods

Fountainhead is not as Single Speed Friendly as Wakefield
in fact... Fountainhead is not single speed friendly at all
the gearlessness only added to the challenge
the trails meander through the woods with a series of short fast climbs linked up by many short steep descents
there is some twisting and turning in between
many of the turns were a bit sandy which made me question if I should really let it rip on the turns

Fountainhead is fun!

it is cool to go out and race on a fast fun course
the climbs are difficult... but the course is still fun
fun and challenging... especially on the Single Speed
there are some nice swooping sections and lots of twists and turns to allow for some smiles
these trails really get your heart going!
if I were the type to wear a heart rate monitor I am certain that I would have seen an electronic description of my heart about to explode

I worked the course in a fast efficient manner
concerned more with SMART RACING than maximum speed or clearing each climb
many of the short steep climbs were met by a speedy dismount
the cluster of cycling traffic made it such that I was unable to maintain single speed momentum
so rather than try to muscle things and risk the cramp I accepted the granny gear pace and took a number of these hills on foot
marching the hills became the plan early on... rather than cramping in an effort to summit the hill at only a slightly faster pace

when I got to Shock-A-Billy I ignored the cowbells, the cameras, and the cheering
I focused on taking things slow... I rode it... but I snailed it down
the cowbells, the cameras, and the cheering were not for me

entering lap two I was pleased with how things had gone
there had been a bit of a hassle early on in the race
there were countless singletrack catepillars
some of which had segments that refused to let me pass
but those racers were behind me

this was not a mountain bike time trial... so passing the racers from the other classes was to be expected

on the second and final lap I think I may have sat up on my bike
not sure if I was riding hard or even racing
well... I was riding hard... but maybe not racing at my racing maximum
I do know that I was not caught by anyone else in my class and ended up finishing first in the Clydesdales
but not sure if I went as fast as I should have... when I was done I felt like I had another lap in me
which as me thinking I should have gone harder
would have like to hammered out faster laps to have a stronger finish over all
but at the time that notion had not really occurred to me
it was more about finishing strong, finishing first, and yes... finishing safe
had someone faster shown up... I may have finished behind them
on this day I was the fastest of the big guys
definitely the fastest of the big guys on a hardtail with one gear


Will Ramos Photography from Cranky Monkey #2: Fountainhead
www.waramos.com

Cranky Monkey #2 @ Fountainhead Results



No comments: