Ever seen a dog chase it's own tail? Funny isn't it? Racing at Peaksview Park in Lynchburg, VA is alot like chasing your own tail. Pedal, turn. Pedal pedal pedal, turn. Pedal, turn, turn, pedal, turn. You get the idea. It is a blast, but it's as tight as they come. Throw in some recent rain to slicken up the rocks and roots and you've got some good racin'!
Heading into this race I was mentally prepared to see the Lynchburg locals I had been racing against in the first two races of this series hammer on their home turf. Four of the six entrants racing in the Singlespeed class reside in Lynchburg.
The six of us lined up at the back of the larger-than-normal Expert field for about 3/4 mile of paved bike path before making a half-lap around a soccer field, then into the twist-o-rama singletrack. Someone in our group got the idea that we should stay on the back of the Experts from the gun, which required us to spin our one gear at a rediculously high cadence. I looked down at one point and my bike computer said "you're an idiot". I tried to stay on the wheel of the guy in front of me all the way into the singletrack, but there was no way. The pace was just too high. I backed off, losing a minute and a half to everyone in the Singlespeed class - until we reached the woods.
To my surprise, everyone was bunched up less than 100 feet into the singletrack. Cool. I passed my teammate Aaron into the first chute, then jumped onto the wheel of Robbie Bruce who was in fourth place. I followed him and Quinn Hershburger for at least half of the first of our two laps. I could see two of the four guys who I knew where in front of me. My legs and lungs and Rig felt good. The Stan's Tubeless with 20 psi were sticking like glue to the slick trails. I could see the guys in front struggling a bit to keep traction. I began to look for my spot to pass. A bobble on a root strewn uphill grunt presented the opportunity. Quinn and Robbie had traded places, so I was able to get around Quinn first. I paced out behind Robbie for a bit longer before another tricky section allowed me to pass him as well.
Now I sat in third and could pick my way through some traffic to see if I could make up some time on Michael Coco who had handed my butt to me in the previous two races. I knew I couldn't catch him, but I was going to try. In the process I was able to catch Ben Warren who was in second place for most of the first lap. After the singletrack ends, the paved path begins again to lead racers back to the start for lap 2. I spun at a pretty high pace on the pavement, but not as fast as the race start.
When I reached the trailhead to begin my second lap, I was all alone. I rode within myself, keeping my wits about me to ensure I wouldn't wrap myself around one of the billions of trees that lined the trails at Peaksview. The Rig was sticking like a mag-lev train. Fun.
I made it to the pavement for the finishing stretch, but this time I put the hammer down. I spun at about 160 rpm for the entire length of bike path. By the time I reached the finish line I was seeing stars. It was as hard spinning at this cadence for this long as any stiff climb me and my Singlespeed had ever tackled.
...pics to come soon.