Good things about my weekend:
-Racing hard. Really hard. The results with lap times aren’t up yet (order of finish results HERE), but other than the pedal thing, my lap times were very consistent. Lap #6 was one of my fastest. I’m usually not consistent… to the point of being notorious amongst my peers for blowing up early and death marching late.
-Mean-mugging Pua during the pre-race meeting. She’s so damn fast, I figured that it’s not often that someone looks at her like they’re about to rip her legs off. It’s a skill worth practicing, and I was bored, so I gave her the WWE staredown. I don’t know if she even noticed, and if she did, she was probably wondering wtf was wrong with that chick in the green… then she proceeded to lay into the trail like it had insulted her mom and was the fastest person all day to complete 6 laps.
-Training really damn hard. After thrashing myself for 6 hours, 11 minutes on Saturday, I found a motel room in south Hot Springs, ordered a pizza, and kicked my feet up. Sunday morning, I met up with Todd the Antique Gun Show and Frank (who was a top 10 finisher at SouthernX) to pre-ride the first (and likely hardest) part of the Ouachita Challenge course (~4 hours and close to 40 miles of riding). Everything hurt, and I was moving a little slow, but I still had a good time.
Bad things about my weekend:
-Equipment failures of my own doing- first, the chainring thing… I made it over that rock without incident during the entire race on Saturday. Also, the fact that I failed to bring spare anything- bike, wheels, pedals, etc. I chock it up to not being in the lap race/pit mindset. Just before I found someone to borrow from during the race, I was flipping my sh*t on myself big time.
-Equipment failures not of my own doing- the pedal thing sucked, obviously, but it was kind of a freak accident. Will I switch to another type of pedal? Not sure yet. I like my Crank Brothers. My bigger complaint is that I’m riding a component group that retails for >$2k. It really didn’t work like that this weekend. Unrelated to the chainring/rock thing (which I am confident is totally fixed at this point), on several occasions, it groaned and strained to shift to lower gears. I had another chainsuck incident on the Ouachita trail when I tried to shift small-large before a long descent. The result was chainsuck so bad that it yanked my front derailleur sideways into my rear tire. Then, this morning, I noticed that the x-loc on my XX fork lockout is not really working.
I can take care of this stuff- either through working on it myself or calling up SRAM and getting warranty replacement parts. It’s not often that I feel entitled to anything, but I feel as though if I’ve meticulously installed a really expensive component group onto my bike that it should work perfectly. If I didn’t mind occasional reliability issues, I’d pay half as much for cheaper parts.
I’m not 100% sure about what I’m going to do equipment-wise. It’s likely fixable with a couple of phone calls. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a giant PITA to fix it before Ouachita Challenge in a week and a half.
In other news, here are some race-day photos…