Ok, ok... the recent blog inactivity has been unacceptable, i know. But here is a quickie recap of recent happenings:
Big Bear Shootout #1 - Classic Big Bear course; long fire road climb from the gun that strung things out. I followed Ty Kady's wheel all the way up 2N10, only to get dusted (literally and figuratively) on the ensuing descent.
I had surprisingly peppy climbing legs, but rode like a retard on the first two descents. My sloppy handling cost me a bent King Ti cage, a punctured front tire (luckily Stan's sealed *whew*) and about :30sec. I gave'r like hell on the loooong penultimate climb and found my mojo on the final descent to finish 3rd, :28sec back from 2nd. Oh well... i'll get'em next time.
Ellings Park XC - Charged hard from the gun like it was a world cup and ended up leading the pro/semi field up part of the first climb. Entered the first twisty, fast singletrack descent only seconds behind Ty Kady, but well clear of the inevitable 'conga line' caused by inept descending skills and 40 tires' worth of dust. Mission #1 accomplished. Rode the first lap as if it was short track; big ringing many of the punchy climbs and taking risks on the descents - effectively opening a healthy gap between me and 3rd place. Mission #2 accomplished.
After that i focused on riding a sustainable pace that kept me apart from any chasers. However, at the end of lap 3 my Cynergy pal bridged up to me and we agreed to work together for the final lap. That plan blew up when i dropped my chain on a descent several minutes after our pact had been formed, costing me about :15sec. From there it was a 30 minute time trial around the course one last time, that concluded with the onset of hip flexor cramps and extreme pain-induced drooling. I crossed the line in 3rd place (again) about :30 sec in arrears of the next semi-pro (again).
Despite narrowly missing 2nd place finishes two weekends in a row due to stupid mechanicals (my own damn fault, though) i'm still stoked about my results. Now it's time for a few weekends free of any racing - hopefully affording me a few epic MTB rides and time to catch up on my blogging.
Until then, keep'er rubber side down.