Got to the race with plenty of time to head up and do a couple miles in the woods to get a feel for the tight technical course that has the most climbing of any race in the area. Chris Reed, Rob McKillip and John Peters all from the HBA Team had shown up to race, good to see some more guys out there doing the mountain bike racing this year. Lined up, and with the combined start of Cat 2 and Single Speeder's there was 46 of us, and once again being in the front was the spot to be. We take off in a grass field, heading towards the turn point at the ski lift, was in 3rd place at this point and held that place when we hit the singletrack. I was keeping no more then 10-15 feet between the 2 guys in front of me, and me, and not sure who was behind me or where, but didn't look back, kept going. First lap is always hectic as everyone is fighting for position on the 7+ mile loop since there isn't much passing once you get in there. Made it up the back hill and back down into the valley to start climbing the backside of the main hill for the first of many times, and the guy in 1st bobbles on one of the skinny bridges, fell off and took the guy in 2nd with him, I was able to get by, and didn't look back. So now we are about 2 miles into the race, and 4 of us have about a minute gap over the field. I was starting to hurt from the high pace and turned it down slightly, and was sitting on 4th place with still a good gap. Thats the nice thing about this race is you can see alot of the course, so you can keep an eye on others. Then it happened, I was cruising along just flowing through the corners, go into a right-hander a little too fast, and wash out. Well when that happened I turned the bars at a 90 degree angle and ended up tacoing my front wheel, DAMN not another bad time at this race. I sit there for a few seconds, look around and noone is caught up to me yet, but I can see them coming, so I see if I can ride it a little bit, and yes it is rideable since it is bent away from my fork it isn't rubbing, all is ok. Going straight isn't bad, the faster I went it got easier to ride, and turning right wasn't and issue, but left turns it just wanted to wash out, not good. So I am going slower now, but still going. I do let Chris, Nick, Rick and a few others go by me, and then when I get to where my wife was taking pictures I stopped and let about 10 guys go by me, not sure if I was going to continue or abandon. I decided after about 20 seconds I would try and ride it for as long as I could. I am sure when I came down the hill going into the second lap I was getting some strange looks from spectators, but I wasn't going to quit.
Started the second lap feeling pretty good, just had to focus and work a little harder to keep the wheel straight. I could start seeing that I was reeling in a few guys now, one of them was Nick, and the other was Chris. I would catch Nick on the descent into the valley, and just pace myself off him for a little while. The 2 of us kept hitting it pretty hard on the spots we could, and eventually caught up to Chris, so the three of us were now riding together. We hit a flatter section, and I was feeling really good, so I got around Nick and was now riding Chris's wheel, he was carrying too much speed going into a corner, and had the wrong line, and I was able to get around him at that point. Made it through the corner I had crashed on during the first lap and just never looked back. I had begun to catch up to one of the Experts that started 5 minutes ahead of us, and was able to get around him, so now I was at a point where I knew I had 2 guys right behind me, but not sure where the guys in front were at. I made it back to the top part of the course, and just pushed as hard as I could to finish.
Came across the line in 9th Place overall and 5th Place in the Cat 2 Open, and furthering my lead in the series. The one thing I have noticed about that is I have yet to win a race, but I have been consistant and have been participating in all the events which is really what has kept me in the lead. Coming up next is the 24 Hour's of Seven Oaks in 2 weeks, and we still only have a 3 man team, so hopefully we can find a 4th before then, if not we will still have fun with it.