I decided to ride part of the course before the start to see what I had ahead of me. I think I made it about 1.5 miles before I cut out of the woods and back down the mountain. In that short distance, I'd already coated my drivetrain in gunk, washed out in a mudpit onto my side, and gotten off to walk through unrideable muddy climb sections. Knowing that I'd be doing enough of that come race time, I thought it best to cut my losses. My biggest concern was the descent because I knew how technical it was and how wet it could be on the driest day.
|courtesy of Pat's Peak|
Over the next two laps, I not only regained the lead, but I pushed myself hard enough to gain 4 and a half minutes over Hattie. It all came down to getting out of my own head and just riding my damn bike. The downhill was just as awesome as I remembered it being and not nearly as difficult as I was making it out to be... I just had to put a little bit of trust in my bike (cautious trust... it was slippery out there). It was a well-earned win. It feels good knowing that my fitness has improved enough to be able to gain back lost time and then some. I'm looking forward to the next few races!