Saturday, September 23, 2006

Race report: Moorhead

Fil, Lynne and I loaded up the Cat6 team car and headed out to Fargo after work on Friday. We made it in about 11pm, but the race wasn't until 12:45, so we had time to sleep in. It was raining the whole evening, and drizzling a bit in the morning. By the time we got out there, the rain had stopped. We pre-rode the course, and it was extremely greasy from the recent rain, and the mud underneath was thick and sticky from several days of rain. By the time the race started, it was the consistency of peanut butter, and stuck very tenaciously to everything. I got off to a great start, and led the field through some of the technical parts. Fil caught up with me and we rode together for a bit. But slowly my bike started feeling like the brakes were stuck on, and looking down the mud and leaves were forming and extremely thick, compacted glob on my rear brake area. I have a wishbone rear stay with very little clearance. Soon Fil, then the stronger riders from the field passed me. Before the end of the first lap I had to stop because I couldn't pedal anymore. I pulled out some of the clot so that I could barely move, and plowed through to one of the grassy sections where the mud didn't accumulate so badly. Twice a lap the rear wheel would lock up and I had to get off and clear so it didn't drag quite as much. Needless to say I didn't do well. Lynne had the same issue, except on fork. It didn't help that I brought the Ritchey tires, expecting a grassy race from what people have been saying. Fil was riding tires like my Continental Twisters, and had no trouble. His sweet Bianchi also had more clearance front and back. Congrats to Fil - he won the C race! His technical skills prevailed over another rider's stronger sprint.
__Tomorrow is the St. Cloud race - hopefully I'll do better. Even if not, I'm still having fun! I'm very happy with my technical progress thanks to the clinics and practice. No squashing of anything sensitive, fast remounts, great runups, no crashes, all of that went well. Only my bike let me down, so I can't really complain.