US Cup #4 – Sycamore Canyon: In The Books!

Count the “Kendas” in this pic.  Seth and Lilly are growing up so fast!! Oh, man.  You ever feel like your heart is a water balloon that you’ve filled too much… and when you go to throw it, it just blows up in your hand?  That was me today.  Good news – I placed 7th – my best so far in the U.S. Cup Series.  Bad news – with an average heart rate of 181 over 2 hours and 15 minutes, I worked way too hard.  For your viewing pleasure, here is the Garmin Link to my 1,931 calorie burning effort today.  Lots of crashes, blood, busted bikes, and even one guy got taken away in an ambulance – Stoked that I came out with only a fake n’ bake dirt tan.  Reminded me why pre-riding is so important.  Other than making me realize I should switch from a 20t cog to a 21t, I also got a chance to scope a few dicey descents and rock drops- which were tiny to Mammoth standards (bottom 2 sections of Lower Rock Creek should be open when I get home… who’s in?), but I still wouldn’t wanna roll up on them blindly.  I had my lines scoped, and all was good for me… luckily.  So yeah, with over 900′ elev. gain each lap, I’m glad I went with the 21t.  I battled it out with another rider for the whole race (Jimmy Johnson), and was stoked to beat him by 5 seconds at the end.  He was superior to me on the flats & descents (and was using a 20t), but he had to walk most of the hard hills by lap 2.  I’d pass him on the climbs, and he’d catch me on the flats.  I held back a little on the 3rd lap, knowing that if I just hung with Jimmy, I should have enough in the tank to break him on the climbs during lap 4.  Break, he would not.  But I still was able to put some distance between us on the last climbs.  Luckily the strategy worked.   But Jimmy did his best to catch me on the flats during the last mile… I didn’t want it to be that close… he pushed me hard!!  This is racing 🙂  I used everything in the tank today, completely spent – great to see The Gross Klan at the finish line… an awesome cheering section for sure!!  Stoked that Lilly and Seth found a steep hill to slide down on and some lizards to chase.  The race promoter gave them old trail markers to put under their butts, and down they slid on the life-sized ant hill!  If I wasn’t so beaten up, I would’ve climbed the hill too.  Next time!  Now I’m starting a job for a few weeks -poo! April will be mostly training and rebuilding, as Sea Otter is up in the air with work… I’ll do  a few tweaks to the bike (like going tubeless!!) before the next US Cup event in Big Bear.  Life is grand.  With 4 of 7 races of the U.S. Cup in the books, I’m currently sitting in 9th place.  Let’s hope I can stay there 🙂

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