That about sums up my race at the Barlow race yesterday. After squeezing in one last warm-up lap, and showing up late to the line-up, I had a good start. Went from near the back up to the front 3rd of the group. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, that I, along with a lot of the other Master A’s, were racing with the young guys. So I was pretty happy with my start, and was right in with all the Master A’s too. The first three laps were extremely painful. The pace felt brutal. It was a pretty rough course without a lot recovery, especially after the run-up. At the start of the 3rd lap I felt like I was starting to settle in some. Went around Ian Leitheiser and then…..yup got a flat front tire. That stuff isn’t supposed to happen with tubulars, but then again I am not supposed to launch off some roots on a downhill either. I did get to experience the other benefit of tubulars, the ability to ride a flat to the pit. It wasn’t fast, and I fell all the way to the end of the A’s and the front of the Master’s race caught me at the pit. But it was still better than running it the whole way. Trying to keep looking on the bright side, I also got to try my new tubeless set-up on the pit bike. They worked fine, didn’t seem to loose any air. Granted I ran a higher pressure than the tubulars. At least I had something to run. I spent the rest of the race half racing, half riding. It was hard to feel motivated. I would fight off some guys as they would catch up and either drop them or let them pass and then go back to half-ass racing. I would have quit if my mom and sister hadn’t come out to watch. In the end it is probably good I didn’t. It was still some good training. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t totally taking it easy for the remainder of the race, and I am feeling pretty spent today. But I'm probably feeling a bit better than had I not flatted. Looking at the results, the Master A’s that were in the A race all finished between 15 and 20. That is right were I was before I flatted. So in my mind I’m a top 20 finisher. We don’t need to talk about my ability, or lack there of, to keep that pace past three laps, but I guess we will see next week at Alpenrose when we are all back in the Masters race. Add in the guys who won the official Master A race yesterday plus a couple guys that weren’t there and it looks like a really strong field this year.
In the women’s race, Margi had her first race of the year. She has upgraded to the B’s, and she showed why. Taking 4th place, even with a crash and a dropped chain. She’s one heck of a racer.