Thursday, July 5, 2007

wydaho racing

Yesterday I rode the WYDAHO Mountain Bike Race at Grand Targhee. My second career mountain bike race, I opted for the intermediate category (there was also a beginner and expert), two laps around a fast, single/double track seven-mile course.

A half mile into the race after a clumsy downshift and subsequent chaindrop, I managed to get my chain all cockeye tied up between frame and small chainring and in my frantic move to fix it, snapped a link in my chain. Oh the fury. I had such a good feeling about this race. Just a half mile into it and I knew this race was mine to lose. And I lost it. Because I can't adjust a front derailleur. (Though, to be fair, this had never happened before.)

Out of frustration I picked up my bike and hurled it off into the woods, stomping around muttering bad words and feeling sorry for myself. Finally, I retrieved my bike and started walking back to the start/finish. Then I noticed my computer had fallen off. Thinking (correctly) that it must have come off in the frustration toss, I went back and rooted around in the underbrush for a while until I found it.

When I got back down to the start/finish they asked me if I needed help and I held up my chain. I hadn't at all expected there to be support for this kind of thing, otherwise I wouldn't have wasted time hurling bikes and stomping bad words. But this dude opens up his little box of tricks and pulls out a new chain which he proceeds to trim down to size and install on my bike. A Shimano chain too, so popping it on took a few minutes.

Anyway, after probably 10-12 minutes of pooping around with all that, I was back on the trail. Way, way behind everyone. But I rode fast, passed well, and despite dropping my chain two more time--drops which required a dismount to correct--ended the race in sixth place (~20 starters), only ten minutes behind the leader, and six minutes off the podium. Frustrating. I could have so easily won.

After the race I stuck around for a prize raffle and won a fuzzy Michelin visor and a really nice Cloudveil windbreaker. There is some solace in materialism.

I also spent some time playing with my new camera. Pictures to follow.

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