Sunday, March 6, 2011

Budu #2: Black Diamond

I'd been to the Black Diamond area twice.  The first time, as a novice mountain biker, I slipped on a wet root and broke the master cylinder on my right brake after thirty minutes.  The second time, for the Budu race two years ago, it was snowing, turning the course into a muddy, slushy mess.  I finished DFL.  Last year, I skipped it and was planning on doing the same thing this year until I found out I was going to miss the Soaring Eagle race in two weeks.  I still wanted my series points, so off to Black Diamond I went, hoping that the new course would leave me with a better taste in my mouth.

Upon arriving, we sought out some beta about the course.  Switchbacks.  Slow.  Narrow.  Twisty.  Tight.  No open spots.  No room to pass.  These responses were not heartening.  But worse than the course reports was the pain in my tailbone from my epic sock-slide fall last week.  I hadn't ridden all week, so I wasn't really sure how riding would feel, but I popped some painkillers at the first aid tent and hoped for the best.

The painkillers did eventually kick in, but not until my second lap and by then, the damage had been done.  Unlike Dash Point, this time the race started on a wide gravel road before plunging into the singletrack.  I had a fairly good start and held my position well for the first half of the course.  But then, the tight turns and twisting course got under my skin.  I made some stupid mistakes and got passed by a few people.  Made more and was passed by a few more people.  In all that tight terrain, I couldn't find my groove and began to get frustrated.  The pain in my tailbone still hadn't gone away, so every time I had to manuever over a root or around a turn (which was every three seconds) pain would shoot up my back.  And this on the first lap.  As I crossed the lap transition, I honestly didn't know if I could make it through a second lap.  Aerobically I was doing fine, as there were no real climbs and no place to really push your speed, but mentally I was loosing it, my butt really hurt, and I did not want to pedal another four miles of tedious twisting.  Thankfully, the painkillers finally kicked in and I felt much better the second lap.

Luckily, the other GL6 racers didn't share my luck!  Luke Brechwald won 2nd place in the Expert Men's 19-29, an excellent mountain bike season opener, and Courtney took 1st place honors in Sport Women's 30-39.  Dani, Edward, John, and Kyle also raced, and we were joined by fellow Capitol Forest riders Nancy, Lito, and David, as well as OOA racer Karen Metcalfe.  Though the course chewed me up, the conditions were perfect!  The trails were muddy but super tacky, which was very helpful in negotiating those tight turns, there were only a few tire-sucking bogs.  Much improved from the snow I rode in last time, but humbling all the same.


Beginner Women 30-39
Dani Vergara, 6th

Sport Women 30-39
Courtney Anderson, 1st
Erin Roe, 5th

Sport Men 30-39
Edward Vergara 20th

Sport Men 50+
John Curtin, 9th

Expert 20-29
Luke Brechwald, 2nd

Single Speed
Kyle Curtin, 6th

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