Sunday, February 25, 2007

Uh. No thanks, I'll pass

Yesterday was to be my first big race of the year. The Valentines Day Challenge at Tahuya State Forest. My sport race was not to start till 1:30 so I woke up casually and looked outside.... Pouring. Absolutely Pouring. My friend J was already over near the race staying at an in laws place. I patiently waited till 8 to give him a ring. I did manage to reach him as he was driving through town out to the course. "An inch of snow on the ground, but it's melting" was his report. I looked at the Doppler, I looked at the forecast, I remembered that Tahuya is moto territory and I bagged it.

My psyche was shot. I knew I wimped out. I knew J would give me loads of grief, but I didn't care. I was warm by my fireplace with my family.

J called later, and to my surprise, he told me I had made the right decision. Much of the course was covered in over 6 inches of water. He froze solid. Many people made the hour or two drive and didn't race. Many who did dropped out, and many many bikes were trashed by the grit. Here is his report:

For those that missed the first Indie Series race, the skies parted, the sun came out, a warmth filled the air as smiling racers maneuvered over dry packed single track. Then I woke up...

The day started out with a small dusting of 1 - 2" of snow on the ground. As I pulled into the camp at around 8:00 the rains started and it rain like a monsoon was going through, but without any wind. At the start of the beginners race it had warmed to a balmy 34 degrees and there the temp sat for the duration of the day. Many huddled under tents, sharing heaters or around the large bonfire. The downside to the bonfire was having to deal with the rain.

The trails were a swamp with massive puddles and running water every where. Luckily there did not seem to be many hidden roots in the puddles, or I was lucky enough to miss most. Most puddles were not too (used with hesitance) deep, but a few seemed to sink to hub depth. Since most of the trails are hard packed the water seem to hold well and grow deeper as the day progressed. It also seemed to be warmer with each lap. I think the water helped keep the frost bite away. Some of the newer trail that was a mushy mud that was near impossible to make it throw, but all was ridable. If you happen to steer slightly off of the main mud trail you would find yourself stopped instantly. The whoops that are a lot of fun when dry were filled to the brim with water. It was the wettest race I have ever seem. The day saw many racers drop out due to conditions and mechanicals.

I'm traveling all this week, so I hope to get a run or two in and that's probably it.

Date: February 21
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Rail Trail-Road/Tricross
February mileage: 143
Year to date mileage: 310

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