To be blunt - I'm an idiot. Usually I pile everything up in the garage the night before - this one time, I didn't, and I forgot critical gear. More on this later....
Half way thru the season and I'm very happy with the way things have been going. Around this time 1 year ago I was brand new to the sport - I didn't know what tubulars were, what a skinsuit was, who Nys, Albert, Powers, Johnson were....
Fast forward to now - rocking the skin suit, rocking the tubulars (more on those later too...), and learning a third language by watching SPORZA on Sunday afternoons. I'm also 8th in the points in the top category - very cool.
The course - wet grass with muddy corners, roots, a swamp, and a technical portion that I was too chicken to ride.
Weather - 5'ish degrees, drizzle
Bike Setup - My not-so-trusty tubulars - 26psi front, 28psi rear.
So, back to me being an idiot. With every other race, I religiously assembled all my gear and piled it together in the garage, ready to go. This time, I didn't. I casually threw together my kit bag, put a few things in the garage, set my clock back an hour, and left it at that. Where did that leave me? I forgot my pit wheels. More importantly, I forgot my pit wheels with really good mud tires on them (Clement PDX - the Cat's A$$).
I realized I had forgot them when I picked up the rest of the crew, who all had their spare wheels with them. I didn't have the time to go back to get them. My heart sank, but I told myself - I have my Vittoria Pit Stop Sealant, and my XG tubulars have been working good so far, what's the worst that could happen? Well, the course was wet. The corners were wet, and muddy - some with roots. I was all over the place. The bike was squirming underneath me - I was over-cooking corners - I had to take ridiculously wide lines in the corners to stay on the grass away from the mud - it sucked hard. There was one corner where I was literally spinning like I was on my trainer in the basement. I was pedalling, but going no where.
It was so frustrating.
I also need to get much better at technical riding. Being a roadie, the courses with the wide open courses (Darlings and Dieppe) are my style. Carrying speed, using momentum, leaning into those corners with confidence. This course was tight, like Centennial Park. I need to work on turning in tight spaces, and riding over more complex terrain. A wider cassette (I'm running a 12-25) probably would have helped too.
The start was also ridiculous - 200ft into a single track rooted mud pit - nice....and I messed that up too - lost about 4 spots hunting for my pedal.
All in all, whatever, its not UCI World Cup - but it still sucks that things weren't lining up for me today. Wrong tires, bad start, lack of mountain bike skills.
Oh yeah, and I crossed the finish line, came to a stop, and fell over - couldn't unclip - and sliced open the same knee I gashed up at the beginning of the season. Go figure.
On a good note, I won a draw prize - a pair of socks - with a stain on it. 3/5.
***EDIT*** Ended up 7th. Not bad, but could have been better.
Weekend off next week, then Fredericton Forestry in 2 weeks time. Its a good one. I'm gathering my stuff now.