Thursday, 4 July 2013

BC Bike Race Day 5

No commute this morning, just rode from camp in Sechelt. I started in first group as it's more appropriate now that I've ridden myself into shape a bit. Same gravel pit climb to sort everyone out, then into an hour of soft new singletrack. Lots of energy to ride. Trish was doing awesome on the climbs, and all three top ladies were near each other. I saved some energy for the last bit up to the traverse, knowing that is steep and saps energy. Fun all the way through the technical sections.

Funny occurrence number one: this is big tree old forest, and when one blocks trail they just chainsaw out a piece. I went through the channel of one such fallen tree, and it was huge enough that the top of it was almost eye level. As I approach (slowly on a climb) I see something to my left... a little chipmunk had apparently been working up the courage to gap jump to the other side of the log, and launched right in front of me. He was 18" from my eye level just full spread eagle flying across. Hilarious!

We popped out of one trail, did about 100m gravel descent then headed left off into the woods. High speed left on a sketchy corner into the woods, and buddy behind is riding my ass for a pass, he's fast and flatted or something earlier as he was monkeying around on side of trail. But I see the slow sign, he doesn't. He essentially doesn't brake early enough, realizes it, could have slowed down straight and gone in behind me as we were clearly separated going in, but takes the inside as compensation for less braking, forces me to the bush. Dickhead of the week move (I let him know it).

The picture shows the clouds hiding one of the most fun descents I know - Highway 103. Flowy, smooth, fast and fun. It doesn't get much better than this. Funny occurrence two: I'm enjoying the loamy corners, trying to really get to know the side knobs on the Nobby Nics. The Pivot makes carrying a lot of speed really comfortable. I come hauling around a corner, left toward the upslope hill, then right and around the ferns I see a log skinny across a ravine, probably 12" wide log. Not deep, but you've gotta make it across regardless. I see it, and realize I'm not on line and on balance enough to make it across the whole skinny. I picture the flying chipmunk, and set up to hop once I'm to the edge. It could end up flat slamming into the opposing edge, or just enough to squeak by. I was hoping not to splat and crack a frame to shreds like a few have done this week... and I just barely made it. All week my measuring rubber ring on my rear shock hasn't pushed off due to bottoming, but today it was the lowest its been from that hit.

Felt good at the finish. Let it fly on the loose rock section at the bottom. Rolled in smooth, 2:48. I'm not positive, but I think that's actually same time as last year, which is a relative improvement of some un quantifiable amount - chatting to Pat and Trish on the ferry we were trying to guess how much new trail was added in the first bit, and what we concluded was "a bunch" and "it was soft fresh cut chunder trail that sucked energy out of you".

Trish was 3rd again and felt good. I was twenty first again.

I couldn't make my mind up at the food truck in the Langdale ferry terminal, so I opted not to unduly stress out and just got both the tacos and the pulled pork sandwich, then got on the early ferry before the ones with the race, hoping I'd find a ride. Turns out Pat and Trish were on it, and Pat's going riding and we're going for lunch and coffee!

While Trish is checking into the hotel with Pat, I do a work conference call in a quiet room, but drop by the bar and ask if I can have a virgin cesar as I'm craving salty. In another instance of walking flat into good luck this week, she says cesars are on special and that she makes "the best cesars". She was right, it was downright amazing.

Trish and I went for a snack to Two Birds Eatery, named for the lack of males in the... uhh... partnership. Delicious as usual, and we did it in honor of a racer who's not afraid to show those colors either.

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