Better late than never. I was hoping for some photos — there were like five people with huge cameras on hand Saturday, and it was a very photogenic race, all trees and mud — but sadly no.
Such a straightforward race: mud and more mud, followed by mud. The mud was surreal, slippery and sticky at the same time. Spin and spin, digging for the bottom...and haul all that crap up into your gears and brakes.
The small field size gave the whole race a vibe someone on the OBRA list called “intimate.” It was like riding with two dozen good friends.
Thom and I started together, I passed him Lap 1 or 2 and put a long lead over him and the guy chasing him. Finished 7th of 27.
The course had tremendous flow, I never felt like I was elbowing my way through a turnstile. The field thinned almost immediately, I had moments where I wondered if somehow I were in first or (theoretically) DFL. I knew I wasn’t DFL because I only recall being passed twice.
I managed four laps with the Gunnar — disc brakes plus gears — before the deraillers gummed up. Switched to singlespeed for the last two, and its v-brakes got stopped up. Thom passed me while I was in the pit. Still, I finished.
I (finally) counted the teeth on Nature Boy: 39/16. This explains why the last two laps were such a Godawful slog. At moments I felt like I was doing trackstands, all my weight trying to turn the wheels and going nowhere.
I skipped Barton Park yesterday to work. Barton is one of my favorite courses, with a great mix of pavement, singletrack, gravel, runups, and mud. I regret missing it, and I even had a callup, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...