Monday, June 7, 2010

Afton Avalanche:pwnage

Well that was hands down the hardest, steepest, gritted teeth, grinding race I have ever done. It continues to amaze me just how high the tempo was at this event. I was very pleased with how I rode for the first 2 laps, but after that things quickly went downhill.

I got a really good start considering I started on the back row, but was somewhere mid pack when we rolled into the single track. A few positions got juggled as a rider would drop a chain or hurtle off the trail, but I stayed pretty static for the first lap. I was definitely pushing the pace beyond what I was capable of sustaining, but whatever.
There were 3 distinct climbs on this ski mountain, and 2 of them involved switchbacks that totally took me by surprise. Living in KS and NE does not exactly hone your switchback skills, and I bobbled a couple times, but was able to hold my position. the laps finished with a screaming descent down to the chalet. Great fun.

you can see the St Crouix river in the background
2nd laps was really fairly similar but I accidentally dumped my chain into granny while I was climbing and I lost about 5 spots trying to get that sorted out on the mountainside. By the 3rd lap (of 4) I was cooked, and I realized that this was gonna be a "just finish" race. I managed to catch a few guys that exploded in a little more glorious fashion than I, but they had the sense to quit after the 3rd lap.
I do need to really focus on being a better seated rider. Too often I found myself out of the saddle pushing a big ring, whe I did not need to be. I just am more cormfortable standing, but it is not efficient, and the traction sucks. I was really pleased with the Scale and how the bike performed. I do think I will try to get some Cane Creek Ergo bar ends. I was witsing for some other hand positions on the long open climbs.
The Crossmarks hooked up really well
The middle of the 3rd lap was also when the Sport "Comp" guys came blazing through. Apperently the fields are so stacked in MN they have a Comp class that sits in between the true "Sport" class and the Pro/Expert field (a fertile spawning ground for sandbagging I am told) The last lap it started to rain. just enough to make me nervous about all the offcamber rooty sections. Right after I finished it started pouring rain.
One thing that has been bothering me is I have this really sore/raw feeling in my throat and chest that started right after the race and has continued through today. not sure if it is from the dust (wasn't real dusty) or exertion related.

Overall impressions:
The promoter did chip timing so that was nice, and it allowed for almost instantaneous result posting on a large flat screen. There were easily 500 racers, so it definitely helps with the scoring.
The course was extremely challenging.
The fields were SO deep. I was also impressed with the courtesy and skill of must of the racers up here. I only saw one guy screaming and swearing after he got dumped in a sandy section when he was jockeying for position going into the singletrack.

Minneapolis is pretty pimp. I couchsurfed with a UMN grad student, and he took me to a really awesome mexican restruant last night (there was even a band with an Accordian player that was rocking some serious latin/gypsy fusion sounds).
Now I have 2 days of business meetings here in Minnetonka. I can almost smell the yuppy greed in this part of town.


RD said...

dude you should get some surly beer it's pretty good

Noah said...

+ 1 for Surly, bring some back!

MN and WI both have massive cat.2 classes hence the comp. distinction. I think it's a nice stepping stone to Cat. 1 as you race an intermediate distance between Sport and Elite (usually 20-25ish mi.)

Joshua Stamper said...

Ok I picked up some surly, and you are right. I hava a can of the limited edition "Abrasive Ale" for the two of you. Get it at the thursday night mtb ride.

Noah said...

dude, I missed the TNrR. Anyone want to ride this weekend?

Joshua Stamper said...

Lemme know if you want to do some night riding. Tranq is probably the only thing that will be dry, and even then it may not be dry until sunday night. I have extra lights. 3364691526