Quite unintentionally, I allowed four weeks to pass between visits to the mountain bike trails at New Fane. When I rode there on May 19, I posted lap times of 26:25 and 26:10. Those were my fastest laps of the year.
Not anymore. This evening I turned in laps of 25:59 and 25:49—roughly a 30-second improvement per lap—and I felt as good on the bike as I ever have. In the last couple of weeks my road rides have gotten faster and part of my performance today at New Fane was due to better overall fitness, but everything seemed to come together. The trails were in great shape: a little tackier than usual thanks to recent rains. The bike worked well and I think I had the perfect tire pressure for today’s conditions. I took good lines … seriously, everything came together.
Back on May 3 I said that I wanted to go sub-26:00 in June or July, and I’ve done that. The next challenge will be to string together multiple sub-26:00 laps in an effort that more closely resembles the September WEMS race for which I am preparing. Tonight’s laps were separated by a return to the parking lot, a luxury I won’t be able to afford in competition.