After work today I went to New Fane and surprised myself with two very solid practice laps in what was probably my last tuneup before Saturday’s WEMS race. Rain will arrive sometime tomorrow, and Friday could be a complete washout. I had not ridden at New Fane since Sep. 3. Seeing the current condition of the trails was important to my preparations.
I could not have expected a personal record, but that’s what I got on Lap 2. My time of 24:27 beat the old mark of 24:41 that I set back on August 28. At just 25:32, today’s first lap felt like a warmup, but seven laps at that pace probably would put me near the Top 5 finishers on Saturday.
The Northern Kettles Fall Epic will be my 20th trip to New Fane this year. When the race is done, I’m done with mountain biking until next spring. The good wheels and tires will come off, the backups will go on, and my 29er will be a recreation trail cruiser and (damn it all) a winter bike.