Howie and I flew into Newark and met up with Tyler(US TM) and Eric (new mechanic) for the drive up to Windham on Thursday evening. Since it was dinner time we hit a Chipotle and were suppose to meet up with the other new mechanic, Dolf but he got lost in a maze of N.J. side streets. We ordered him a burrito and eventually ran into him on the NY State thruway where we did a burrito hand off from mini van to sprinter van at about 80 mph, the guy should be driving a team car in the Tour with those skills.
I spent the weekend at my family’s house and it was nice to sleep in my old bed and hang out at home for a while. Snoodle also stayed with us so it was just like being back in Durango. NY had the wettest June on record this month and with Windham getting an inch on Thursday I thought for sure the course would be muddy. The mountain drains really well though and the course was nearly in perfect shape with just a few wet spots.
Race day was warm but not in the upper 90s like it had been earlier in the week though it was still just about 100% humidity. I felt good again at the beginning and found myself off with the usual characters midway through the first lap, Ettinger, Bishop and Howie. On lap two we dispatched Howie on the climb and Ettinger crashed on the descent so it was just Bishop and I. I was feeling pretty good until lap five of six. Bishop hit it hard at the bottom of the climb and I popped off on the lower third of the climb. It didn’t blow like Missoula though and kept a steady pace going. On lap six Zandstra caught me near the bottom of the climb and I suffered to hold his wheel most of the way up the climb before coming off a few minutes from the top. He put about twenty seconds into me and I brought it down to about ten before we dropped into the descent. I couldn’t catch him though and had to settle for third.
I rode the Epic on the rough course at Winhdam with Fast Track tires, a Control casing in the rear and S-Works in the front. It was the same setup I ran last year when I had a great result in the World Cup. This year the result wasn’t as good but the bike worked just as flawlessly and luckily I didn’t have to put Dolf and Eric to work in the tech zone like I did in Missoula.
I flew straight from NY to Sun Valley to get ready for Marathon Nats. When I landed in Boise it was 108 degrees! Sun Valley is much cooler though with temperatures getting into the low 90s but then it seems to cloud up and thunder storm so the temps drop way off and the trails are in great shape. Not a bad view for a race course.
We descend down the Warm Springs trail which was part of the big Enduro for Ride Sun Valley this past weekend. The trail goes through a burn area from about 5 years ago. The forest is resilient though and now there are wild flowers everywhere.
I’m a little disappointed the course is less then 50 miles and it’s going to be a short “Marathon” race. It is plenty hard and the best rider is still going to win but a Marathon should be 4 hours or over, not under 3. Just my 2 cents.
I really love Reba’s home town and I have been hitting the Java on Forth every morning. They have amazing scones so I have been riding more then I should to burn off the extra calories from those amazing treats. Today I had the Maple Bacon, Lea would love this one.
Finally I have to give a big “thanks” to Reba for letting me borrow her blender this week and to Elephant Perch for helping with my tire choices. If you’re in Sun Valley and have any bike needs Elephant Perch is the place to go.
I wonder what Winston and Rude are doing right now……