Another good mountain biking experience has me feeling better about my progress as the racing season approaches. This evening I cut two minutes off my best lap time at New Fane, so I’m down to a respectable 30 minutes and I’m really just getting started. The air was chilly—only a little more than 40 degrees—but otherwise the conditions were very good. I did a full warmup lap, then returned to the car to shed my windbreaker. I timed myself on my second full lap, then finished with a quick lap of Loops 1 & 2. Familiarity with the trails is definitely starting to show up in my lap times, as I no longer slow down at all on some sections that I used to approach with a handful of brake lever. And having a bike that fits is helping too. Today it occurred to me that last year my balance and center of gravity were compromised by riding a bike that was too small.
The WEMS race at New Fane is still five months away. You don’t suppose I could be good by then, do you? I mean, I’ll have many more opportunities to practice on those trails, and I should have several other mountain bike races under my belt … not to mention a few road TTs and cyclocross races. My fitness should be good and my weight should be down. Who knows?
Team Pedal Moraine has scheduled a trail work day at Greenbush this Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m. I’ll be there to help prepare the trails for the Northern Kettles Endurance Challenge, a WEMS race scheduled for May 12. Once that’s behind us, we’ll focus our trail building and maintenance efforts on Sunburst in anticipation of the WORS race there on July 22. I still need to take the 29er to Greenbush to see whether I can ride those trails better than I did last year, but if I don’t do any practice sessions then I certainly won’t try to race there. I should have some opportunities to practice at Sunburst. Just as with New Fane, I might be able to gain a little “home field advantage” before raceday.