Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"I'm Back!"-- The Big M Report

That's right I am back. Fully recovered from all the physical, nutritional, and mental BS that I have been bending every one's ear about (You all know how you are and thank you very much for listening to me and helping me out). But it is awesome to feel strong on the bike again! Especially heading into the last few MTB races for the year. My last event was this past Sunday for the USAC Tailwind XC race #6 at Big M in the beautiful Manistee National Forest. This is a wide open trail deep in the woods with plenty of false flat climbing, fast down hills, and plenty of what West coast Michigan is known for -- sand!

I have been feeling a lot better since Ruby and was ready to fly for the race. The weather was absolutely beautiful - finally, and the trail was in the best shape I have ever seen it in the past 3 years. We lined up with the 19-29 year olds. And when the whistle blew, I shot out and started in about 4th position. Most of the young guys started peeling off about 2 miles. Then Brain (team mate) pulled up front and pushed a fast pace for me that blew the field apart. Brian suffered a flat in the beginning of the 2nd lap, so I continued to push on. Each lap I felt stronger and stronger. I kept talking to myself and made sure I stayed hydrated. I have not felt this good in a race since Bloomer. In fact when I crossed the line, I felt like I never even rode my bike. I was not only happy with the 1st place finish that was much needed to stay in the hunt for the overall series title, but I finished in 1:22. This was 4 mins fast then the previous year and my lap times were consistent.

So as mentioned before, there is only a few more MTB races left and they are all important. The TT series is up for grabs and will finish at Fort Custer State Park. This is my style of single track and I had the race of my life last year in the mud and on the single speed so I am mentally ready for this one. I just got to get there... That is another story. And in the USAC XC series, there are 2 more races with the overall title up for grabs. The first race is at Pontiac Lake, which I consider this to be my favorite course in the state. And Stony Creek which is sometimes my home away from home. So it looks like there is still a lot of fun on the bike in my future!

Before I go, I want to give Stan Cristy some dues. Stan took 1st in his class Sunday also. He probably had his best race of the year. It was inspiring to here his story on the way home. Knowing that he is a true beginner and knowing how hard he has worked this year to get where he is at, lets me know that we can achieve anything if we continue to strive for it. Thanks Stan for making me better!


Aryn Pongratz said...

Congrats on another win bro! Keep that focus and finish the season strong.

TP said...

Rock n Roll Brotha'