Monday, February 11

Snow much fun!

Before I get into the main entry today I want to thank Sterling and the crew at Cycles of Life plus everyone who helped out from the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center that put on Saturday night's race. It was so much fun and everyone who didn't come really missed out. I mean where else can you get a great race on a well marked and staffed course, a great dinner with free beer and wine (and whiskey) and TONS of prizes for racers and in the raffle. What a deal! Alright on to the report.The Ride Against the Machine crew made an awesome showing at the 2nd Leadville winter race series event, the Tennessee Pass Night Jam. Dave, Marni, Bill, Mike and I caravaned up to Leadville Saturday afternoon and rolled into the nordic center around dusk including catching a great view of Mt.Massive on the drive in. We had plenty of time before the 7pm race start so we got registed and began to get bikes and gear ready.

Marni was playing with her camera while I made sure everyone had enough light. We got my 2nd Dinotte 600L taped to Mike's helmet with liberal use of electrical tape since I broke the mount in a crash and forgot to order a new one. Whoops.
Then Dave's light wouldn't fire so we scrambled to pull my small but trusty Princeton Tec EOS off my helmet for him to use. Score one for velcro.
Rut row. No light.
The gang getting ready for battle. Yes Bill is actually wearing a jersey, at least below all those other clothes.
Get ready, get set...
Go! Just the lights of the cabin near the start remain.
The race itself went really fast. It was supposed to be 7 miles although I haven't pulled my GPS track off yet. My guess is that it was shorter than that. Someone else rocketed off the starting line and I just sat on their wheel hoping that they really had no intention of going that fast the whole race. Luckily whether it was their intention or not, once we hit the first long climb in earnest he was gone as was the rest of the pack. Happy to have a good gap I pushed harder to Griz, the biggest descent on the course, and put enough distance on everyone by the bottom of the descent that I could no longer see any lights. From here on out I kept the pace high and checked for lights but never saw any. Soon I was back to the start/finish area for the first of 2 small loops and Marni cheered me on and told me to go faster because other people were right behind me. I didn't really believe her but I went faster anyway. The snow conditions were perfect and with the Endomorphs aired down slightly I never had to walk. Plus the trail was wide and I could almost straightline all the really fast corners.
The rest of the course went really fast and I pushed hard up the paved road on the last lap as I could see lights behind me. I was almost certain I was a lap ahead anyway but I didn't want to find out I was wrong.
I crossed the line, posed for Marni and headed out to do the last 2 laps again to cool down, stopping to put my jacket on along the way and eventually finding Mike finishing his race.
He did a great job on his SS for his first time on a MTB in 6 months due to the broken collarbone at King of the Rockies. 2nd place SS!
Post race frozen bike parking.
The RATM crew looking good. 2nd SS, 1st overall, 3rd SS and 10th place mens. Great job everyone!
Yesterday Marni made me a cake to celebrate, yum!
Don't forget the final race of the series is on March 1st, The Mineral Belt Mayhem! The course is a 11.6 Mile loop on a groomed ski trail around Leadville. Don't miss it or you'll be sorry.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go plan what to do with the bottle of wine I won and when to have our free dinner for 2 at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse!


Anonymous said...

Congratulation Chris and where did you get that awesome-looking knit hat???

Cellarrat said...

Way fun!

Good times!

Meredith said...

Nice race, nice saddle, nice jersey! For real! You're dangerous this year. I will tell you, riding the AZT 300 without suspension would be stupid with a capital "thu". We did miles 65-85, and they had a lot of rocks. ;)

PS, this is Dave. Doh.

UltraRob said...

Congratulations! One of this days I'll be in shape during the winter and try some snow racing.

Marni said...

Congratulations Chris! You did awesome and I'm so glad I got to see you get the big W.

Fonk said...

Nice! Congratulations! Those races sound really fun. I gotta not let my fitness slip in the winter next year and give those a try.

Scott said...

I dig those knickers, I wish I'd gotten some...

Anonymous said...

Chris, thanks for the great post and congratulations! I hated to miss the race but was committed to 4 days in Aspen, yea that really sucked ;-) The March 1 ride should be a blast, hope you and the crew can make it. You guys know how to have a good time!