This weekend, me and three friends got together and raced the 12 Hours of Cumberland marathon XC race. We didn't have any specific target for laps in mind, and had discussed prior to the race just going out for fun. Well - the "laid back" approach seemed to work because by about hour 10 we noticed that we were in the lead of our category - mixed four person teams. It was almost shocking as we had no idea how we would place, and were mainly in it to ride bikes, drink beer and eat burgers all day (which we did).
Even more surprising for my pitiful contribution. I crashed on my first lap - hard. I was coming around a left hand turn on a section of trail called "Short-n-Curly" and I was going a little too fast, so my fornt wheel ended up clipping a log on the outside of the corner. BAM - I was over the bars and on the ground faster than I could realize what was happening. ON instinct I jumped up, spun my front wheel and rode about 20 feet from the crash. Then I stopped again as I was feeling a little dazed... I finished the lap, but wasn't feeling super confident and thus went pretty slowly. My middle and ring fingers on my left hand are still swollen, and I put a pretty good sized dent in my XC lid. My second lap was in the middle of the afternoon, and just felt sluggish. I think both laps were around 45 minutes (the loop they used is just over 9 km). Then, on my last lap, things were going awesome. I was passing people and charging the trail. Going into the last quick climb before the biggest descent of the loop, I flatted my rear tire. As I fixed it on the side of the trail I watched everyone I had passed throughout the lap pass me - even the one guy I passed on the very first climb. Well, after I got that flat fixed I was angry - so I charged off and managed to repass everyone before the end of the lap!
It was a fun day, depsite the sore fingers and new collection of road rash on my left arm and shoulder, and I have a new fancy-shmancy pottery mug to show off. Oh, and I got a pair of really nice socks as a door prize! WIN!!
I also spent some time fiddling with the suspension settings on the Banshee Spitfire I am currently reviewing, and I think I may finally have it dialed. We even went for a ride this morning, and the bike was feeling pretty fast.
Overall, a pretty awesome weekend!
OK - so as another activity, I convinced my partners that sponsoring a local, grass roots junior development racing team was a good idea. Thus, Wedler Engineering sponsors a team that was mainly set up by Jeff Beeston at Trail Bicycles and Glen Wakeling at Eatmore Sprouts (Eatmore Trail is the semi-official name). As a sponsor, and good customer of both businesses and a bike racer, I have been given honorary membership on the "team". And this weekend the "team" pretty much dominated - Andrew Brown took the men's Solo title and Amanda and Glen Wakeling took the mixed pairs! Way to go Eatmore Trail! Here's a pic of us winners!!
From Left to Right - Glen Wakeling (first - mixed pairs), Andrew Brown (first, Men's Solo), Andrew Gower (first, mixed four person team) and Amanda Wakeling (first, mixed pairs).