Friday, February 22, 2008

2005 Chain Stretcher

Racing in NY/NJ is still in full force for 05! Yesterday the H2H series took a stop at Blue Mt for the ‘Chain Stretcher” race. The race was held in the very woods that the Legend of Sleepy Hollow were to have taken place, and although I did not see any headless horsemen, I did see many happy mountain bikers and a lot of broken chains. Race properly named!

This race was particularly significant to me as it took me down on the pre ride last year when I broke my thumb. I had yet to go back, so I really felt like I had to do a pre ride the day before to get things straight in my head before the race. There was a slight dejavu when I met the same people in the parking lot as last year, but all went great on the course that day for the pre ride.

Call me crazy, but I decided to race singlespeed the next day. The course was probably a little too hilly for me on a ss, and pretty technical also, but I did it anyway. I looked at it as a challenge. The singlespeed thing has little to do with any macho stuff but more about transforming my attitude. Instead of steadying or pacing one’s self, it’s an all out and get out of my way, animal instinct thing.

The race was really tough, and as it turned out, my cranks ended up loosening up and throwing my chain off a lot. I did not really know what was wrong, but it was making a racket. Even with all that, I was having a great time. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your whole body into it and I didn’t need to announce myself on any of the climbs as my crickety, cranky, cranks were speaking loud for me. It was gratifying to pass a few of the men, and finish with a respectable time.

It was a great day and an awesome fun race. I can’t believe how many people commented on how fun the course was, even people who DNF’d. Kudos to the WMBA for putting together a great race! Thanks to Tahir and Geoff from Campmor for your extended neutral support including my cranks afterwards!! You guys were great and I know you got little rest as this course was eating bikes alive!

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