Yesterday I received an email from my friend Isaac containing this picture and a description of his first mountain bike race. I like racing stories and even better if I know the guy telling the tale. Congratulations to Isaac for taking that first big step and entering the competition. One can go out and ride hard during training but nothing compares to pulling out all the stops and pitting yourself against fellow cyclists in a race. Even thought It's been 15 years since I last rode competitively I still remember the experience like it was last month. Emotions encountered during a race can run the gamut from the highest highs to utter despair. I believe this is why we do it. The sense of accomplishment is very fulfilling and of course addictive. So without further ado here is Isaac's report:
"Just thought I'd give you a race report from a few weeks back at Mohican. I ended up entering the novice senior class and was the only person on a single speed!(Novice ran two concurrent laps on the short loop for a total of 12 miles from the start at mohican adventures) I got there extra early and got warmed up. I was a bit nervous but stationed myself at the front of the starting line on the far inside. I got a great start and was second onto the path leading into the trailhead. Unfortunately I was out of gears and my heart rate was through the roof from the mile sprint into the woods. I ended up getting passed and maintained a solid 7th place after mile 2 on the short loop. The rock gardens however would end my day as I flatted out on the rear end and struggled getting my tube out and back in only to lead to another pinch flat because I didn't put enough air in. Frustrated and dejected I rode the rest of the loop out and rode back to the car only to enjoy some Great Lakes draft courtesy of OMBA.Even though my first race didn't go as well as expected, I had a blast and realize I need to change my training and bike set up if I want to be competitive. I love my single speed for just going and banging out some miles but I think a 1x9 or even 1x10 with a front suspension fork would probably be beneficial."
I told Isaac don't feel bad. During one race at a place called Duncan Falls in south-east Ohio I ran out of water and food and experienced the dreaded "bonk". I literally could not pedal any more and collapsed onto the forest floor in exhaustion. Eventually I got up and pedaled out to the finish line. Luckily the race organizers kept some spaghetti hot and a cold beer at the ready. Somebody has to be last and it was me that day.