This past Sunday I got the opportunity to ride in the MFXC 2011 Non-Race hosted by Team Seagal. First let me say thanks to everyone that contributed to putting that thing together. The t-shirt is awesome, the location was fantastic and I really did have a blast.
I left the house around six am on Sunday and headed down. It took me around 3 hrs to get there, but I did get to see some great scenery along the way. The weather looked like it was going to be fantastic despite the forecast. I arrived at the DD/32 parking lot and found several cars already there. I had never been there, but didn't have any trouble finding it.
I haven't been riding alot of singletrack this year. Well I guess in comparison to probably everyone there, I haven't ridden a lot of singletrack ever. I still was feeling pretty good about the day. I rode at Sac River a couple of weeks ago and felt like I was making pretty good pace. Funny thing about riding by yourself and going pretty fast, or what you think is fast. You are never as fast as you think once you start riding with everyone else, or at least that is what happened to me. The start of the race was staged with the winners of last years event going first, then the first ten to register, and then everyone else. I knew from my only other mtn bike event ( Berryman Epic) last year to just try to stay out of peoples way and let them go first. I just held towards the back of the pack so that everyone that wanted could get around and go fast. I was riding at what I thought was a good pace, but soon everyone was completely out of sight. I am not sure why I was going so slow...... perhaps I just don't have the guts that everyone does, or maybe it is just lack of experience. I am guessing the latter of the two, I always just feel like things are pretty sketchy. Maybe it is my bike, who knows.
A couple miles down the trail I noticed that I wasn't feelling that great, I didn't feel like I was going out that hard, so I wasn't sure what was happening. I stopped to rest for a minute and realized that I still had a long sleeve shirt on and that I was really warm. I stuffed my shirt in my pack and headed on and started feeling pretty good, and really enjoyed the ride for a while. The course soon hit some roads and a monster gravel hill that seemed to go forever, it did have a killer descent though. And by killer I mean " killer", as in if you start screaming down and lose it, you are going to be hurting. Eventually the course found its way back to single track. Shorty before I hit the trail I noticed that I was starting to have an uncomfortable pain in my left knee. I stopped and stretched it out a little, checked my seat and it seemed like maybe it had slid down a little, so I raised it just a little. Once I had started riding again the pain subsided for a little while. Back on the trail though it quickly returned and was making the ride not so enjoyable. I just kept pedaling away, enjoying my solo ride, since everyone else was long gone. I eventually made it to a water stop and found Jim Davis manning it. I told him about my knee pain and that I just wasn't enjoying riding with it. He said that something was probably just out of line with my cleat or something, but not to further aggravate it. He was going to be heading in soon and offered me a ride and I graciously accepted. About 30 minutes later while waiting for the course sweeper it began to rain, and I have to say I was a little bit glad to have a ride back that was dry. By the time we got back to the parking lot several people had already finished and more were coming in. It was raining pretty hard and I didn't really know any of the people that were there so I loaded up and headed home, knowing that I still had a long drive. I thought I could get home early and suprise Crystal, but she had made other plans and was gone to town.
I really enjoyed the trail that I did get to ride before calling it quits. I always enjoy riding single track, but it just doesn't seem like I am ever going to be fast enough to keep up with anyone. I have been thinking about doing some other mountain bike races later this year, and had even planned to return to the BT Epic. But after Sunday it almost seems like I either need to ride a lot more before that stuff or limit my off road biking to adventure races.