Monday, April 22, 2013

Maxxis Southern Classic Mtn Bike Race #4, Stump Jump, Spartanburg, SC

Sunday, April 21st, marked the 4th race of the Maxxis Southern Classic Mtn. Bike Race Series at Stump Jump in Spartanburg, SC. I had missed the 3rd race at Tsali because I decided to race 6hrs of Warrior Creek, so I was pretty excited to be back. 
I had my friend, Jim Heckman, ride with me and made a strong effort not to scare him with my horrible driving skills. We arrived with vehicle, bodies and bikes intact, but I was a bit disappointed at how chilly it was outside. The sun was out and shining but there was a frigid breeze blowing. Hmmm...could’ve been worse, I Charleston...rainy...muddy...freezing. 
We arrived close to 10am with plenty of time to get ready and warm up. The first group was scheduled to go at 11:30am, which meant I would be starting about 15 minutes later. I soon learned that a fellow Charlotte racer was in need of shorts and was super happy that my careful OCD gear packing would come in handy (by the way, I pack back-ups for back-ups so if you ever forget anything, I probably will have an extra. Just come find me). I did a final mental check of “important items”: tube & cartridge...check, snack...check, Garmin...check (and the most important item) chapstick...check!!! 
I pedaled to the start after I finished my warm up, and to my horror, discovered that I had lost my chapstick! Oh well...the show must go on, I thought. The start consisted of a lumpy grassy field and a right turn onto a gravel road with a slight incline. We then had to cross paved road and continue in more tiresome grass before a final turn onto dirt. I was first through the bumpy grass but then my legs started to slow down (without my permission) up the gravel road. Oh great, I’s gonna be like legs said “peace out”! That was when I got passed, so I was second into the woods. 
I made a handful of mistakes at this race. I took some sketchy lines over roots and up climbs that cost me here and there. Note to self: you might want to preride in the future, Dummy! My most costly mistake was taking the wrong way to the right around a tree. I was so focused on tailing first place that I didn’t see a shorter route over some logs to the left. In an instant we went from 1st and 2nd, to 4th and 5th. Ugh...really, Elsa?!?! Luckily there was a pile up later on, and I was able to slip around and gain 2nd place again. 
My entire 2nd lap was spent trying to chase down 1st place. As I was coming in from my 1st lap, she was going out for her 2nd. This would be the last time I would see her before the end of the race. She was nowhere in sight in the woods. I crossed the finish in 2nd place. 
After pics on the podium, Jim and I headed back to the car. Just as I was about to pull the door shut I see my chapstick perched on my windshield wiper! Some sweet soul had  found it for me!’s the little things!!!

Many thanks to: TotalCyclist, Bicycle Sport, Mark Kane, Giordana, Infinit Nutrition, Meg-Art, Carolina Realty Advisors, OTR & Luke Sagur.

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