My buddy Gian and I made a quick trip down to Bend, Oregon last weekend for the Cascade Chainbreaker XC race. The race was held on some private property just outside of town. It was hot and oh so incredibly dusty (by my Bellingham standards anyways)! The course reminded me a little of South Seatac, but east of the mountains.
After a bad start, I sat about 15th wheel as we entered the first singletrack. I could see Barry Wicks and Carl Decker riding away from everyone on the front and thought I might never see them again. After some sneaky passes in loose corners and dusty descents, I was able to work my way back towards the front of the race and bridge across to the lead group of Barry, Carl, and two other riders. I rode with them, wishing I had x-ray vision to see the trail beneath all the dust. My brain actually hurt from concentrating so hard on riding the invisible trail under me. To make matters worse, I noticed my front tire felt a little soft in the corners, but seemed to be holding air. Shortly after, though my back tire started slowly going flat. I quickly pulled over and tried to air it back up with my hand pump (I hate CO2s but I'm gonna start using them again). Patrick rode by and very kindly dropped his CO2, so I used that and got both my tires aired back up and jumped back into the race, probably in around 10th place now. And then... my my back tire went soft again. After a lot of pumping and inspecting, I figured out that it was my valve stem that was leaking and I had to resort to putting a tube in.
I finally got rolling again and was glad to be able to keep riding. I was really bummed out and kinda angry for a while, but the riding totally relaxed me and put my head back in the right place. Mountain biking never fails to put a smile on me face, even if I am a half hour behind Barry Wicks. The beer-feed in the infield area helped too.
|The river felt soooo good afterwards!|
Next up is the Stottlemeyer 60 mile race out at Port Gamble. Did this one last year and it was super fun.