Saturday, August 20, 2011

Singletrack Stampede II

Today was the Singletrack Stampede II mountain bike race at Sprague Brook Park.
I had gotten permission to ride over a month ago, and tried the course out a few times. It's a super rooty 7+ mile loop.

Like in many races, Beginners do 1 lap, Sport 2, and Expert 3. There classes for age, gender, and for single-speed bikes.

I registered in as a Beginner. The weather was good, and the race went fairly well. My stomach was bothering me in the first couple miles, but I don't think it slowed me down. I had eaten a bagel with jelly about two hours before the race. Maybe that was the problem? I guess I need to work on my pre-race nutrition.

For a good portion of the race I saw a couple of the volunteer riders who were there to help anyone with medical or mechanical problems. They'd pass, then rest, then I'd pass, etc. I passed a few riders who has issues like a broken chain or a flat, but later they passed me. It must have been at about mile 5 that some experts and sports started passing me.

I did well. I'd say I rode about 98% of the course, but had to dismount for some steeper hill climbs.

My time was 1 hour 35 minutes. The top mountain bikers were doing laps in less than 50 minutes. So I'm going about half their speed.

My lower back muscles got sore, but not too crazy. But I was glad when my lap was done. It's a tough course with the constant battle of roots. My left knee started feeling very sore hours after I was done riding. I was on the edge of limping once I got home. Ibuprofen and icing helped a ton. This happened to me last weekend too. It's something I need to figure out.

Once all the racers came in, we had pizza, pasta, and salad. Then the top three riders of each class got medals. Depending on the class, some of the top riders got money too. For example, the top beginner got their $30 registration fee back, and the top expert rider doubled their money.

At the very end of the awards ceremony, Scott, the race coordinator, asked if they had forgotten anyone. Someone yelled out something like "UNICYCLE CLASS!". Earlier, Scott had hinted to me about an award so I made sure to stick around. So I think he had it planned. He called me up and gave me a medal and my $30 registration back! Thanks Scott!
Pint glasses were also given to all the racers.

I talked to a lot of riders while I was there. It's surprising how many of them either own a unicycle or have tried one. Most who have tried haven't stuck with it long enough to get very comfortable. I hope seeing me out there encourages someone to work their way into muni.

There were plenty of cameras around, and it looked like someone had some serious video equipment to document the event. I'll have to look for the footage online.
Actually, Peter, one of the volunteer riders took a quick video of me on his android phone. Nothing overly exciting, but here it is:

I'll add more pics and video if I get some.

Click here for the race results.

Of course, I tracked my ride:

Singletrack Stampede II - 2011-08-20

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