Monday, April 19, 2010

Yankee Doodle Dandee!

In 2006 I did my first mountain bike race. I was over 230 lbs, I crashed 3 times, and suffered a slow leaking flat tire with no tools. I finished something like 11th with a time of 1:20 or so in a 12 mile TT. That was it, I was hooked. And the place it all happened was Yankee Springs. A lot has happened over the 4 years since I raced at Yankee springs. My kids have grown. I lost 50 lbs. I have moved from a beginner Clydesdale to an Expert racer. Heck, I have even been through a few new bikes! So with the beginning of the new bike season upon me, I wanted to go back and race Yankee...

I have not been to Yankee since my very first race, so I was excited. It almost felt like riding single track for the first time. Not only was I jonesing for some dirt, I was looking for a real good result. Training has been going extremely well, and I have been feeling strong, fit, and ready to compete! So The Yankee TT was the perfect place for me to test the legs on a short technical course, go up against a deep and strong filed, get in some awesome training time, and test out the new Dillinger Single Speed under race conditions.

So in my typical fashion, I got a quick warm up in and strolled over to the start line to see what was happening. I still had 10 mins before the start of my race, but then noticed that hey I should be the next one on the line! They moved up the start times!?!? I threw my bike over the tape and lined up. I clipped one foot in my pedal and the guy said in 15 seconds! OMG! GO... I was shot out of a cannon, and I never looked back. Instantly in the trail I was picking off people left and right. And then I noticed that about 8-9 of these people were in the single speed class???? How can this be when I was in the 3rd wave, which meant I was the 5th rider off in the Elite/Expert Single Speed Class. After that, I ran into a lot of traffic. Especially on the climbs at the worst possible times. On your Left, on your Right. It seemed like I was calling this out all the time. Oh well, enough of my bitching, but I was not the only one.... Back to racing!!

So I railed the Dillinger as hard as I could, and it respond well. My legs felt like jack hammers on the climbs and I was able to power through all the flats with ease. When I thought I may have been slacking, I was able to call down to the engine room for full speed ahead! I came across the line in 51:23. This was good enough to hold 6th place out of 20 in the Elite/Expert Single Speed class. Not bad for the first real mountain bike race of the year.

I was very happy with how the day went, other than the way the start waves were handled. But I know my training is on track. My bike handling was crisp. And I had a lot of fun!

Congrats to Tom Payn for his 4th place in the Expert 30-39! Your off to a great year...

The start of my real season starts next week with the opener of the USAC XC series at Pontiac Lake. This is one of my favorite races and venues to race at. It is also another TT which is right up my alley. So It is not a peak week for me, but I am looking for another good result. And if I'm lucky, I would love to see a top 5...

6 comments:

Todd Shorkey said...

Great story John! You have come a long way and have been an inspiration to me for a number of years now.

Go get 'em this year! You are off to a good start

cjsbike said...

Sweet race, Chunky!

Chat later,

Chad

TP said...

CHUNKY MOTHER F#@KING DUNKER!

swwwweeeetness!

Paynful said...

Thanks John!!

It will be a fun year and I am looking forward to racing with you.

Nice job at Yankee!!

jbhancock said...

Best of luck to you at PLRA...

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