Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mashin' with the Best at Double Lake

Lake Lake
Lake Lake was on tap this past weekend. This race promised to have a big turnout since it was very beginner-friendly, fast, and close to Houston. On Friday we had 12 people at HART planning to race and 9 of those actually showed. With them, MOAT (Patti, Shaun, Dave) was there along with Houston Fit and other people I recognized from past bike races. It looked like it was going to be a mudfest according to the weather forecasts, but when I drove up to DL on Saturday after the morning rains, it was not the case! The rain actually packed down the sandy spots and there were only two mud puddles. It was going to be great for racing!

HART ridersWe headed out Sunday morning on time and hit DL at about 8am, on schedule. Mo got all my feed stuff together and headed up to the start/finish line while I rode around to warm up. I had a really good warmup this time, riding the park road all the way around the lake and then revving up my HR on the way back. I noticed that my HR tends to stay under control after the first time I get close to max, so I figured I would get that out of the way, before the race. It was a who's who at the race. My class alone was full of top guns: Warship, Shaun, Justin Cremer (Houston Fit bike coach), Chad (Houston Fit paddle coach)...the list goes on. It was time for the Sport classes to line up and that's when all the posturing started. Frank and Raymund were in the classes behind us, so we talked to them for a little while. We momentarily saw Messer, then he had to get up to the start as they were about to get going.

its onSS's and S1's were off, so we slowly rolled to the front. I was a lot more relaxed than I usually am at mountain bike races...not sure why. As the time ticked down to 15secs, I calmly started my watch and sat and waited for the whistle. Prrrreeeet! We were off! I worked my way to the top-middle, where I felt most comfortable. I could feel the Warship just behind me. We quickly split into two front groups--we were in the second. I sat behind this Ozone rider and we were all egging him to keep in contact with the other group. He picked it up some and we eventually caught up with the lead group. Then the first sharp turn of the course came and carnage. Justin Cremer took an over-bar tumble and we skirted past him. We were in okay shape, but we started to fade a bit. My heart rate was pegging, so I didn't try to bridge, but a few did, including Shaun Bain. I was hoping that I would have enough strength at the end to catch them, but this would be a gamble. For most of the first lap, I sat behind the Ozone rider. Then we caught up with another Ozone rider--the one I was marking was now acting like he was supporting this other rider. He was now "hostile" in my mind. I didn't have the strength at that point to pass, but I knew I had to pretty soon, just in case he really was doing some blocking maneuvers.

gettin my shred onI didn't realize it until a bit later, but Justin had caught back up to us. The leading Ozone leader wasn't pulling away that much, so I just sat there and waited for the right time to pass. We came up the powerline easement where the feedzone was. I really didnt need a bottle then, but I figured I would take it anyway. I saw Mo and headed towards her. The only problem was the Ozone riders were zooming up the trail and didnt look to take up a bottle, so I had to keep my speed up to stay with them. As a result, when I came whizzing by to take the bottle, I fumbled it--it dropped. Mo was audibly disappointed, but it wasn't bad--I still had one full bottle and my pack wasn't dry yet. Back to the pavement and the Ozone rider starts fading, so I pass him and bridge up to the leading Ozone rider, but am not quite able to get on his wheel. Justin comes by me and asks if he's in our class and I nod, "yes." He takes up the chase and I am able to muster some strength to pull in behind him.

Me and Mighy Mo!The Ozone rider actually is slowing down, so I have time to catch my breath. For half of the 2nd lap, we stay behind him, but Justin finally decides to make his move. He passes Ozone and I don't respond right away. I sit for a little longer then make my move on a straightaway. I slowly make it back up to Justin, quietly. Along the way, the leader for the S3 group comes up on us, so we let him go easily. Then the 2nd place S3 comes up on us and he knows Justin. They start chatting with me in between. Then, for some crazy reason, Justin cranks it up and tries to leave both of us in the dust just as I was about to let the S3 by. Sneaky. So, I speed up too just to keep up. Then the guy behind me yells out, "c'mon, Justin!" Apparently he didn't appreciate that acceleration either. He finally says he wants to pass and I tell him whenever he wants. He gives me the signal, so I pull to the side to give him a clear shot. But my butt seems to be too wide for him to pass and it felt like his handlebar poked my left cheek. I hear, "shit!" and look back--he's offroading in the brush. I didn't feel bad because I did move over. We get to the fast section of the trail and Justin's friend catches back up. He doesn't try to pass. Back up the powerline easement. This time I NEEDED that water bottle.

We're happyThrough the feedzone and I was eyeing that bottle in Mo's hand with serious intent. This time I went through a little slower, allowing Justin to gap me a little, and looked the bottle into my hand. Connect! Mo claps and lets out a yell of excitement. Too funny. Were on the pavement for the last time and it looks like Justin intends to leave me in the dust now. He accelerates and I do my best to catch him...thankfully I do. He looks back and sees me and says something to the effect that he didn't expect me to be back there. Right before we dive back into the single track, he yields to me. I don't know if he's playing tactics or is actually gassed, but I take the lead either way. He is gassed. I quickly increase the gap and his friend actually passes him and gets on my wheel. He is obviously fresher than I am, so again I tell him, "whenever you want." He picks his spot and tells me he wants to go and I move over. This time, it is clean. He gets past me and I try to keep his wheel. He is still strong and is pumping up the slight inclines. I cannot stay with him or risk blowing up, so I finally let him go. I actually can still see him as we dart into the final, fast stretch, but he slowly gets away.

we got blingAt about this time, the 3rd place S3, James Ellis, comes up on me. I tell him, "whenever you want" and he says its okay, "I'm not racing anymore." I told him that he was definitely 3rd. Then, perhaps because I was going too slow for him, he later tells me he wants to pass. I have no objections and let him go. This is where my nice, smooth race gets tarnished. For some reason I lose concentration and My left foot gets caught on something on the fast section and I crash and burn, hard. I couldn't believe it! I was almost done too! My handlebar had dug into my leg, making it a bit tight. Guh, all I want to do is finish! I slowly get back on Eve, hoping nothing is broken. I look back, but still no one. I get going again and kept my eye on the trail for the rest of the race. I make it to the finish line with no more incidents and no one around me at all. I come through and a ton of people are cheering, including the Willis' from Houston Fit. That was cool of them.

do they know who i am?!?So I finished a couple minutes behind Shaun and the Warship finished back a bit--he had a flat. I end up getting 8th. Jaunda had another puke-n-ride episode, but was still able to get 4th. We stayed a bit to watch the beginners start, but we had to head back to town to run some errands. It was a great day for a race and it was much better because of all who showed up! Good times. One more MTB race and that's it...another chapter closed. El Dorado, are you ready?


Blogger Justin.Cremer said...

hey man! I ran across this on accident! I could nearly remember this race and had to do a but of research to figure it all out.

Thanks for taking me back!

Justin Cremet

1:00 PM

Blogger K-SPoT said...

LOL. I'm pretty sure it was you, Justin, but then again its hard to tell sometimes underneath helmets and sunglasses...hope racing is going well!

12:24 PM


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