Monday, February 21, 2011

Budu #1: Dash Point

Sunrise broke over the manicured lawns and four-car garages of Norpoint Way, a wealthy neighborhood in Tacoma whose upper-most houses enjoyed a 360 view of the snow-capped North Cascades, Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound and the Olympics.  This was not a neighborhood used to seeing a solid line dirt-smeared Subarus and aging Vanagons lining it's sidewalks, especially on a Sunday morning.  Yet on the morning of February 20th, that was the scene; dirty cars, spandex, and lots of mountain bikes.  Like last year, the weather was clear and sunny, a rare February gem, and with the good weather came mountain bikers anxious to blow the dust of their legs for the 2011 racing season.

GL6 had a good showing (both of racers and dirty cars): Edward, Dani, Lee, Erica, Mike, Dave, Erin, Courtney, Kyle, and John all raced, with Kerry and Brian shouting out encouragement and good-natured heckling from the most spectator-friendly part of the course (i.e. the wood bridge rooty mud bog)  Joining the ranks from the Olympia Orthopedics team were Ann Mitchell, who took 1st place honors in the Sport Women 30-39 category, Karen Metcalfe, and Stephanie Werts.

Due to construction in the park, the race was staged from a roadside trailhead (hence the line of dirty cars along pristine neighborhood streets) instead of from the campground like last year.  Every other category was started according to age, but not the women.  Usually all women start together because the age categories were so small, but today there were twenty four total women and were were all released together.  There was no place to spread out, no hole-shot, just straight into the singletrack from the start.  By that time, what had been frosty hard-pack for the beginners and experts had melted into muddy mush, which we were used to after riding all winter in CF, but combine racers of varying technical ability packed all together onto the singletrack and you get confused carnage.  Luckily I started in the middle of the pack so I was able to make it through the first few miles of swearing (not just from me), run-arounds and near-pileups without loosing too much time.  Unfortunately, Courtney started near the back of the pack and was stuck at the end of the line of slipping tires, nervous dismounts, and slow climbers, which take much time and energy to get around.  After racers sorted themselves out, the course twisted and turned, dove and climbed through the park.  The most challenging components of the course (other than managing energy) were roots made slippery by all the mud, keeping good speed and flow through the turns, and a few narrow wooden bridges over especially muddy spots.  There were several spots I had to jump over logs too big to ride over, or run up a particularly tough climb.  The course ended with a muddy, root-filled drop into a bog which was covered by one of the wire bridges.  I heard from Dave that he went down hard in that section and since there were so many spectators there,  I didn't even bother trying to ride it.

Though I had ridden all winter long, this first race drained me.  Riding all-out for an hour and twenty minutes was much different then cruising through the woods on the Rita.   Though I really enjoyed the course, I was thankful to cross the finish line and be done and even more thankful for the happy hour beer at the nearby Harmon Brewery.

Beginner Women 30-39
Dani Vergara, 3rd

Sport Women 30-39
Erin Roe, 4th
Courtney Anderson, 7th

Sport Men 30-39
Edward Vergara, 18th

Sport Men 50+
John Curtin, 8th

Mike Scholl, 8th

Singlespeed Women
Erica Keller, 1st

Singlespeed Men
Kyle Curtin, 7th
Lee Peterson, 12th
Dave Snyder 19th

No comments:

Post a Comment