Photo by:Jason Berry
This was my first SS race, and I think it was a great one to do SS. The Lodi course near Fredricksburg seems to get twistier and twister each year. The course is up to 9.6 miles compared to the 7mile course in years past. The 12 hours of Lodi was my first Mt. bike race back in 2000 I had never done a night ride and the race started at 12am. This year the race starts at 12 noon, to 12 midnight. I miss the midnight start but like not having the hassle of almost sleeping driving home.
The plan was to have Alex, Erik then myself go out. I was on antibiotics and was getting over a lingering sinus infection. I didn't know how I would ride until I was out there on the course. Alex went out and did a great 1st lap. Erik did a solid second lap, and then it was my turn. The Pedal Shop team was in front of us, so I tried to catch him on the starting climbs of the race. I was able to catch and pass him but those first 2.5 miles hurt!; really steep up and downs. I finished my lap with a 101 I think so I was pretty happy with that. So we were now in first place and we would continue to build on that as the day went on.
I changed my gear from a 21T to a 22T and that really helped. The coarse has no flat sections to spin a gear out. It was more important that you could spin your rear wheel up quickly out of turns. I had a small mechanical on the second lap, but still did a 105 or something, my ride time was only 30 seconds slower then my 1st lap.
The weather was great, was even a little hot with the sun being out. Then around 7pm the skies opened big time. The race course went from dry to thick sandy mud. I figured out with the longer course and with the Mudfest I would only have like one more lap. So I went out juiced to ride as fast as I could which wasn't too fast if I didn't want to fall down. When I came to the finish line I found out the Pedal Shop Boys had bagged it since they were already an hour behind us, and the Bike Lane wasn't going to be able to catch up so we ended our race at 10:20pm!
The other DCMTB team of Ilana, Vince, Kevin doing the open catagory got 3rd so they were really putting in some solid laps. I heard that Ilana's last lap was like 2 hours so that must not been that fun.
I had a sinus headache, so I left the place around 11:20 to go to a nice warm shower and bed at my parents house about 30minutes away.
Was a great race and Erik, and Alex were great teammates wanting to have fun and be competitive at the same time. I don't think I will ever race Lodi not on a SS I mean there is not the need for gears cause your speed is so slow. Also with a SS the mud was not as much of an issue, my last lap there were so many people with broken bikes, chains, derailleurs. I was happy I didn't have that stuff.
Looking forward to racing with Alex again at the 12 hours of Cranky Monkey.
Also Sara gets the trooper award for coming out to the race with some mid race Soft tacos from Chipotle. I was happy she came and she seemed ok with the rain.