Mud Fest…NIght race… Unbelievable conditions…

ok so I raced last night (date night series) afterwork.

Weather called for possible afternoon t-storms. Well as I left work heading to the venue you could see that possible was probable.

The plan was to show up walk the course, pay and warm up for 20 min on the trainer.

Started large drop sprinkles as I walk the course getting heavier over 10 min. The black clouds still building. I decide to not pay yet to see what happens. One race finishes, then the beginners line up and by now it starts to rain in a torrent. I head to the car to change and talk myself into it.

It rains/hailed for a solid 30 min as the riders tear apart the flooded muddy course.

I decide to race as I won’t be able next week. As our wave lines up to start the rain stops but after half an inch of Oregon rain the damage is done.

The course starts on hard surface at a fast pace, changes to gravel still fast, I’m on the right and a rider hurrying to pass me (so he can be mid pack) bumps me pretty hard shoulder to shoulder. In his way I suppose. Then it’s on the “dirt” which 7 days prior was a hot windy dusty ride is now a muddy trail with 3 inches of oozy gooey muck.

You partle steer and partly let the mud ruts pull you untie right direction. An off camber section brings the pack out of the pedals time to run. Back on down a hill to the run up. Last week very rideable Sunday still rideable tonight a wall of 2 inch mud, then Down an equal off camber hill that becomes a “run down” .

Then back to the pavement for a break.

Lap 2 was less crowded but just plain Muddy,  shifting becomes more and more difficult.  I have use of my 32, 28, 25 then it skips to about the  15.  the bottom 3 will be  enough.  Steering becomes more of an idea than an actual thing.  Like steering a jet boat at low speed, just slides around.

with less crowds more of the course is rideable,  after I am up the run up the second time I am moving right along, and next thing I know I am being pulled towards a 4 foot stake with a shop light attached, (remember night race, there are shop lights on stakes connected by extension cords powered by a combination of PGE and generators, about like a bunch of 12 year olds would set up in the back yard, sounds safe right)  well this particular stake/light seemed to be pulling me towards it like an ever closer planets gravitational pull, until I am sure I will hit it.  and or course as I slow slightly I do hit it in slow motion, the post folds over, and I continue over it, until I am clear.  HUH  i keep pedaling, on my way.  Sweet.  no real changes, I pass a few a few pass me.  As it all pans out I get the checkered flag at the end of lap #3.  Huh that was short, not even tired, in fact for once I WANT to go more.  Possibly 5 miles I imagine in 30 minutes.  the mud was slow, the road was fast, about 10 mph makes sense.

All said and done I places 51 out of 70.  about 72%.  I will take this.  I was quite happy with my transitions, off and on bike.  run ups etc.  I seemed faster in these areas and actually made some key passing in these areas.

I wash off the bike and shoes, and Pack the car and head home.

Mud is fun.

If I can find a photo Ill post it.

Still looking to finish better than 50% maybe this season.