The Big Ring has to be one, if not, THE most popular race in the WORS series. It draws a big numbers with fast riders. It is a great mix of ski trail, punchy climbs, one big climb, and single track littered with rocks. I have come to love this race…that is until Sunday!
In previous years we had a good two, maybe three mile ski trail roll out. This year they threw in a hard left, then a right, then a left again before they funneled us down into some twisty single track. Positioning was the key and positioning was not what I got.
We hit the first single track section and I found myself stopping/starting slowing/on the gas. It was a bad combo and when we spilled out onto the ski trail I had to be some twenty or so wheels back. The chase was one. Typical.
Lap 1 was all about patience and waiting for the right times to “enter the pain cave” and gain on the riders ahead of me. I managed to latch onto a mad “cross” riders wheel. By the end of lap 1 and all throughout lap 2 we would take turns pulling. We would reel in riders, pick our way through traffic, and then drop riders on the ski trail sections. Funny thing was we would also get caught by riders in the single track sections (more on that in a bit).
Lap 3 was about hanging on. My body was punished and beaten down by the single track sections that had boulders the size of Volkswagen Beetles (seriously, no joke). I fell back a bit midway through the third lap but managed to hold my own and sprint it out to nab a 15th pace finish. It is so much fun being able to ride bikes and to try and ride them faster and faster each time, pushing the limit of just how fast your body can make the bike go.
Yea…about that single track. A few years back I thought it would be fun, fast, and way lighter to ride a rigid. I have fun riding rigid. It forces you to always ride clean lines and gives you little to no forgiveness when you do take a “wrong” line. Sunday sucked. I was a lone pin ball being bounced around and off of rocks, stumps, and trees. My ass was one big bruise Sunday night. I’m not old…but maybe it’s time to rethink this rigid thingy.
Firecracker in two weeks! Here’s to racing on a home course for a change.