|Bikes lined up at the start of the Chequamegon 40. Mine is at the other end!|
I've been racing fairly well this year. The only problem is all my WORS races have been around 15 miles. I did have a 24 mile race a few weeks before Chequamegon, and did well and felt strong. But 24 miles of mostly flat ski trails is not quite like the roller coaster ride that is "the 40"!
I got to the start area around 8:00 a.m. and put my bike in the start area-behind over a thousand bikes! I knew I should have gotten there earlier if I wanted a better starting position, but I figured I had 40 miles to improve my standings. Next year I will get there a little earlier, as it took me over two and one half minutes to actually reach the start line!
After that, I had a good race. After the road roll out, I hit a bit of a bottleneck when we actually hit the trail. Again, I just took a deep breath and kept telling myself to be patient. After all, with 1900 riders, I knew I wasn't going to win-DUH! Things finally opened up and I settled in for the long ride to Telemark.
It was a perfect day for the race. Things started out chilly-34 degrees when I left the hotel-but warmed up nicely. The course was in great shape, maybe a little dry and dusty. Only a couple wet spots, and those had a way around them.
Since my number one goal was to finish, I just settled in to a hard, but what I hoped was a pace I could hold. I passed when I felt good and followed a wheel when I could. Although I had to get off and walk a portion of the Fire Tower climb, I rode strong the rest of the race-in my opinion! After the Fire Tower I think I passed more than I was passed. I finished hard and felt like I had a few more miles in me.
All in all, I am very happy with my race. Sure, I wish my time was faster, but I always want that. I raced smart, felt strong and most important enjoyed myself. My Specialized Epic worked flawlessly - no surprise. And I was surprised that my training got my through the way it did. Maybe, just maybe, I'll add some endurance next year and see if I can't knock a few minutes off my time.
Until next time, thanks for checking this out. Gotta go........