Monday, May 2, 2011

Race Report: Ocup 1

Glad that's over with. The first race of the season is always a bit of an exercise in blunders and nerves. Case in point, guess who forgot to pick up race gels until just before leaving for the venue!!

Anyway, now that's all worked out of the system. So next race will be better. Mansfield was not too kind to me yesterday in terms of results, but I felt decent enough (although a little flat in the legs by the second half) and it was a privelege to line up with some of Canada's best. Emily Batty even showed up -- one of a few riders helping to make our category the most stacked it's been in a long time.

We also said "Bienvenue" to team Quebec who decided to join us for some early season fun. Those girls know a thing or two about going fast on bikes, for sure.

The course started with a wall of a climb which was probably the most nervy part of my day. I knew it would be fast up that road, and success would be determined greatly by how well girls could stay together with their hearts pounding from rest to red line in less than 200m.

The singletrack at Mansfield is thankfully forgiving, because any tighter and I don't know if my oxygen-indebted brain could have navigated the handling after that climb.

The course also featured a few really fun downhills. A couple wide open, and a couple technical singletrack descents. It was good times for the full suspension, but for the rest of the day, I kept the rear pretty well locked out. This is now my new favourite thing. I can't afford to keep more than one mountain bike in my quiver, but with the new remotes from Shimano/Fox I'm laughing -- it's like two for the price of one. Or even more helpful: two bikes in one so I can now really customize my rig from lap to lap.

So the race went -- short course and fast laps so it was over before I knew it. I also tried racing with coca cola for the first time. Worth repeating I think, although it did kind of make me thirsty so some more honing in training before I get the hang of that.

The best part of the first race of the season is seeing everyone in the mountain bike community after a long winter. You can't go anywhere without stopping to chat for a few minutes. It's awesome seeing everyone and their new bikes, too.

Cherry on top? Although the forecasat said rain, it didn't do anything of the kind until we were halfway done the drive home.

Here are the results:

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