Saturday, February 23, 2008

Falling Creek Park Mountaincross - Race Report

Falling Creek Park in Bedford is becoming one of my favorite places to ride. Every time I go there I see newly built trails. Kenny Palmer at Bedford County is doing an incredible job at building fun locations for a day on the bike.

When he posted on his site that a Mountaincross (part MTB race, part cyclocross race) race was soon to go down, I was in from the very moment I found out. Kenny does a great job at running these events. He alway picks fun and challenging courses - today was no exception.

The Blue Ridge School MTB bus was a pretty cool thing to see. What an awesome idea and a great advertisement for promoting phyical fitness and mountain biking to the young 'uns. These guys were super nice and very good riders. It's always nice to run across folks who have as much fun at the races as I do.

Low and behold, T. Roberts was frolicing about with his trusty doggie sidekick. He did a quick Rig inspection to ensure all was in order. (This was not an official capacity, more like "Hey Todd, check out my cool bike.") He tells me he'll be time trialing again this spring. Go get 'em, Todd! (The dude is a former VA state road racing champ - and faster than greased moose poop.)

I did a pretty long warmup. Almost an hour. Legs felt good, bike felt good, I felt good. That's good. Good is always better than not good.

The crowd assembled, and riders started by order of ability from Beginner to Expert. The Equalizer format is pretty cool. The more inexperienced a racer you are, the more of a head start you get. The beginners went off about 15 minutes before those of us who lined up in Expert class. I was in the company of Mike Coco and Calub Walton, so I knew the race would hurt. One of the fellas from Blue Ridge School was also racing Expert. Luckily I am in the geezer (Vet) Expert class and got a 30 second head start on them.

I tried to ride as hard as I could for as long as I could. I knew I would have some fast company coming up from behind.

One other racer decided to line up on a Rig. Another of the Blue Ridge School group. He rode strong and held his own again all the other geared folks.

About 3/4 of a lap in, I was surpried to still be all alone. I kept hitting it as hard as I could. There were a few sections of downhill in an open field that I expected the other Experts to catch me. They all brought geared bikes to the party.

I wasn't until the end of my 2nd lap when I saw Calub about 200 yards behind me. I kicked it a bit more, looked back a couple minutes later but never saw him again.

Lap 3 goes by, then I reach the start/finish area where Kenny tells me I have 1 more. I start lap four and get passed shortly into it by the Expert dude from Blue Ridge School. He was way smooth. It was fun to watch him ride. It looked almost effortless. I guess it would be easier if I went back in time and started riding and racing when I was 16. I expected to see Coco next, but somehow he never passed me. I found out later that Calub DNF'd due to not feeling well.

In the end, after the Equalizer equalized everyone, I finished 5th overall. I had an awesome time and really enjoyed the course. Kenny is talking about possibly having another MX in March...I certainly hope he does. I'll be there if it goes down. You should be too - it's short, hard as crap, but loads of fun!


Jen said...

Yo Warren, saw you heading back towards Roanoke as I was heading towards Lynchburg... can't miss the gold subaru with the red-fendered, purple bike on top! Sounds like a lot of fun. I'd like to try that type of race eventually, but felt like I would have been seriously in the way today. Looks like the trails are in good shape?!

Davetoo said...

Thanks for the pictures and the kind words in your race report. We had a great time coming down from Blue Ridge School - nice way to start the season.

In case you're up for a little more early season action, check out the BRS race up our way in late March:

VaughnA said...

It was a great race on a great course. Kenny does a great job. I wish we had more people show up to race. Hopefully there will be a few more folks there on March 8th. I've posted a few photos that my wife took during the race at our website http::// .