Fat Tire Fool

For those of you that checked my Facebook status recently, you’ll know that I competed on Wednesday in a mountain bike race. Competed may be a bit of a strong word, as I was really competing against myself. It’s the first such race I’ve entered and my goal was to finish in one piece, not actually beat anyone. I also had a target completion time in mind based on the times of some of the other beginners.

It was a little hectic at first as I got there about 5 minutes before registration closed. Between getting out of work, getting ready, and a little traffic, I was seriously delayed. However, I made it in time. I’d never ridden the course before so the first (of 3) lap was more to feel it out. I took it easy and didn’t make too many mistakes. I also had to get around a nice young fellow (looked to be about 14) in front of me so I had some clear room. Once I got going, it was not bad.

The course was a little challenging. I wouldn’t call it hard, but it had some rough spots in it. A couple of the hills I never got all the way up on the bike and had to walk it. There were some mud puddles in the back part of the course that made things slick (more on that in a minute). And some of the turns were tight. One slightly scary part was a narrow trail on the side of a hill that made you feel like you were going to slide off the thing.

However, I trucked through pretty good. I was making good time by the 2nd lap. I slowed down a little as I was developing a cramp and saving my energy for the last lap so I could pick up the pace. On the last lap, I was in great shape. I came through the hills pretty good and the rest of the course was mostly either downhill or flat. I had a couple of mud puddles to navigate and then I was home free. Of course, the last puddle was the biggest. As I’m trying to get a line on the side so I didn’t get stuck in the middle of the thing, my handle bar grazed a sapling and BOOM! The bike slid out from under me and planted me right in the middle of this big mud puddle. I was covered from head to toe on my left side.

After rather loudly using a few not family friendly words and getting my chain back on the bike, I did the only thing I could. Got back on and kept pedaling. Filthy though I was, I finished the race. At a time of about 51 min 30 sec. Most of the beginners were coming in around 45 to 46 minutes (my goal was about 48) so I did pretty good! Unfortunately, I was solo that night as Nicholas had a soccer game so Ellen had to take him to that. Meaning, they weren’t there to laugh their asses off at me covering in mud and take a picture. Sorry!

I was lucky enough to have a hose available to me so I literally hosed as much mud off of me and my clothes as I could, did a quick cleanup of the bike, and rolled home. I used a lot of muscles I never have and was expecting to be way sore, but so far, 2 days later, I’m pretty good. I even tried to do a quick ride through the neighborhood yesterday after I cleaned my bike and lubed up the chain. WOW! That hurt and I felt like I was crawling! So I guess I need a little recovery time. And a nice ride with the Wife tonight. I found out there is another mountain bike series in August and I believe I’ll enter one or two of those races. Cause you can’t let little things like mud and tired muscles slow you down!


Jude said…
Good for you for doing so well! It sucks that you had to take a nose dive into the puddle, but you carried on! I'm proud of you!
sydwynd said…
Jude: Thanks! Getting dirty is part of mountain biking. And man was I dirty!
Anonymous said…
Ohmygosh! Isn't being on your bike the BEST? It makes me feel young! A friend of mine use to say "go faster! Don't stop!" But I wasn't riding for him. I was riding for me. You go Vince! That mud is a badge of honor. You know it. No one else has to see it. We just KNOW.

Momcani, cause google hates me.
sydwynd said…
Momcani: Sorry to hear about your feud with Google!

Thanks for the encouragement! I was indeed riding for me. However, it would be nice to go faster. It'll come.

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