Saturday, July 16, 2011

2011 Fat Tire Festival

Today was the Fat Tire Festival at Dryer Rd Park in Victor, NY.
I raced beginner, doing one 4 mile lap. Of course I started at the back of the beginner pack. It started in a sports field before heading up into the trails. This helped the pack thin out while people find their pace. Unfortunately there was still quite a bit of congestion before entering the singletrack, forcing me to dismount. Once into the first trail, Kasha, I felt like I was pretty much alone. But then the real climbing started and I found I was right on the heels of the last beginners, and again was forced to dismount. It was a little frustrating that no effort was made to make room for me, despite my requests. I guess they weren't expecting to get passed at that point. From then on I only had to dismount as a courtesy for any expert riders, and possibly sport, who passed me from behind. As usual there was the occasional train of riders forcing me to wait what must have been a few minutes. But hey, I'm on their turf, and I'm happy to oblige. I also wasn't really worried about my time.

For about the first third of the race I rode behind a child mountain biker who did outstanding! I couldn't believe the hill climbs he was making. Eventually he left me behind, making distance on all the downhills.

I didn't ride as strong as I have before. It could have been the sore throat I woke up with, or the heat, or whatever. But I still did well.

I received a lot of positive remarks from many people. Many riders and spectators recognized me from the recent Fat Tire Weeknight race series I've been doing.

There were tents set up in the field for the many bike shops and sponsors of the event. There was also a little skills area set up. It had about a 40' skinny section, made of 2x6's, a teeter-totter, a single log, and a 3-log pile. I had fun trying it all out.
Then a GT bike rep offered to give me a t-shirt if I rode the skinny for him while he videoed. So I did, though it took a couple tries to get the whole thing. I also did the teeter-totter, which was a new experience for me.
Later, the announcer for the event walked over to me and did a sort of live interview with me on the PA. He asked about my geared hub, brake, and wheel size. I guess it was kind of fun, though I don't normally like that kind of thing. Then he asked if I could demonstrate riding the skinny. Now all of eyes were on me, but I did it fairly well, and then did the teeter-totter too. Riding back to him, I powered over the single log. He wondered if I could do the 3-log pile, so I made an attempt to do a few side hops over it. I came close but failed the first few times, falling to ground, but without injury. Someone yelled, "Third times a charm!", so I gave it another try with success!!

As a reward for entertaining the crowd I received an awesome pint glass.

These were given out as prizes to the riders who placed, so it's an honor to have gotten one of these! A great memento.

Fat Tire Festival - 2011-07-16

EDIT 2012-06-06:
I was given some photos from an awesome mountain biker tonight at the Park Ave Weeknight Series race.  Thanks!!

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