Downievilee 2008

July 17th, 2008

Raced the Downieville classic last weekend and did way better than I expected.  I was really hoping to complete the cross country course in around 3:15 but the final result was a time of around 2:56.  In the processes shaved about 10 minutes off my best time up the climb.

 The weekend as a whole was a good time.  I met some new people and ran into and hung out with a few old friends.  We met Stacy and Jesse on the first day.  Had diner and wine after the race with Derek and Jeff on the balcony of there room after the race.  This was really cool the the local Sierra City store owner was locking his door as we walked up.  He opened, made us sandwiches and sold us what we needed.  As a result he ended up letting in about 8 other people.

 The race itself was a blast.  I did not get up the hill without walking but Derek did.  Woo Hoo.  It seemed the climb was hotter than any of our prerides because there was not any wind.  I actually managed to get in a couple of passes on Sunrise, I also did almost all of my passing on the climbs.  For the most part people were receptive to passing with the exception of getting stuck behind someone for almost all of Third Divide.  The person did fine on the runouts but was to slow in the technical section leaving me with a continual feeling of being pitched over the bars.  I need to learn how to pass at speed.  hmmm, perhaps someday.

 After Third Divide I did OK until Upper First getting in several passes.  Upper First I again just could not pull off the pass while going at speed. 

 I jumped in the first shuttle, rode to the campsite then cleaned up in the river, changed, drank some fluids then drove back to Sierra City.  Ran into Derek and Jeff.  First thing Derek says is “Your in First”.  First thought was I was the first one in from the campground, then it dawned on me.  Initially this was difficult to believe.

 My race time was way better than expected.  Before the race I was was thinking best case 3 hours 15 minutes.  Maybe an outside chance on 3:10 or 3:05 but did not really think that was all to realistic.  But, toward the end of the race it was looking like I might be able to get under three hours so I started pushing as hard as traffic would allow.  I was really surprised to get the 2:56.  When I first saw my time I figured it was good enough for a top 10.  I was very surprised to get on top of the podium

 Mei initially was confused since she could not find her name. After searching she found it in the Men’s Sport.  She contacted the Time Keeper and Race Coordinator and the assured here that this would be corrected. 

 When it came time for the podium call I got ready to take pictures.  They called everyone except her.  I know she had to be bummed since she put an incredible amount of time and energy into training for this.  In doing so she improved her time, over last year, by about 1 and 1/2 hours.

  Sunday we had breakfast with Derek and talked bikes and riding for several hours.  Mei and I had talked about not riding next year but Derek once again got a full commitment from both of us.  So I suppose we will be back, or else.

 We drove down to Downieville looked at the expo’s talked with Brian Lopes.  Walked up and watched races come in.  Talked with Lopes’ Mechanic and took pictures of their van and car.  Then finally drove home.

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