Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SCS #7 Hobby Park

It's hard to believe we are already on race #7 of the Southern Classic Series.

Hobby Park is a cool little park out side of Winston-Salem, NC.  It has a flying field for RC planes complete with a paved runway which served as our starting grid.  It also a soap box derby hill complete with gravel runoff and guardrails.  We made use of this hill as the initial climb to break up the pack before heading into the single track.  The Park also features off-road RC car tracks and what looks to be an overgrown dual slalom course.  There were 2 paved circles that were possibly from the days when RC planes had strings attached.  Riders used these to warm-up before the race.

The MTB trails were a bit of everything a cross country trail should be, albeit a bit condensed.  The race lap was a little over 5 miles of twisty single track with punchy elevation changes and the paved climb up the soap box derby hill.  It's rooty in places, but not in the nefarious diagonal-off-camber-wash-the-front-wheel-out kind of way.  There were some rocky sections, some loose and sandy surfaces and some smooth hardpack sections.  Throw in a few drop-offs and you've got a lap at Hobby.

I opted for the Blue FS 26" bike to take advantage of it's ability to climb and change direction quickly.  I had done the 100 mile NUE race at Cohutta last weekend and had just done some VO2 Max intervals and long tempo training on Saturday but still felt pretty racey for the warm Sunday afternoon start.

I took my usual place at the back of the grid knowing that our field of 10 riders would have to slow to be able to make the sharp corner on pavement on knobby tires then climb the soap box derby hill.  Two guys made it about halfway up the hill before dropping (or breaking?) chains.  My goal was to hang with the lead bunch then attack at the end.  Knowing the trail is key at Hobby.  It's a fast trail and tough to see what's ahead.  I wanted to follow those that knew where they were going.  Alas, I couldn't keep up the pace and had to back off and recover.  By lap 2 I felt better and by lap 3 I knew the trail pretty well resulting in 3 laps of very nearly identical lap times.   ..and 8th out of 10 riders.  There were 2 DNF's.  ...leaving me wondering if I'm trying to be something I'm not.  Clearly, absolute speed is not my strong point.  I am a lot better suited to the endurance events.

As I rode 2 more laps after the race concluded I remembered why I CAT-ed up: to race the longer distances against the fastest XC racers.  It will teach me skills and motivate me to be faster which will pay off in the long endurance races.  I just need to remind myself that these are training races.  ...and not to dwell on how far down the list I need to look to find my name in the results column.  The payoff will come later.  So I'll be back racing at the next Southern Classic Series race at USNWC  on May 20th.

After that: Trans-Sylvania Epic MTB Stage Race.

See you on the trails!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Bruce! Keep your goals and why you are doing it at the forefront. It's easy to get frustrated in the moment as you see folks riding past you (believe me I know!)

    Godo for you being ou there and rocking it!!