June 4th, 2017

Training is really getting dialed in and I’m noticing some big improvements recently. My big ‘A’ race is coming up at the end of July, being XC Nationals at Snowshoe Mountain in WV. Looking forward to taking a long week off from work and tying in some travel before heading to WV.

Sunday was back to some XC racing. The next few weeks are scattered with races on the calendar. Glad there are so many so I can get everything dialed in before Nationals.

6/10: Acworth, GA

6/25: Spartanburg, SC

7/9: Greensboro, NC

This past weekend was also up in NC in Winston-Salem at Hobby Park. A fast trail system with some technical parts​ and a few steep punchy climbs thrown in. I hadn’t been there in a few years, so I was interested to see how the trail had evolved.

Temperatures reached into the mid-80s by our 12 o’clock start time and plenty warm enough for this prior-northerner (see bio). Nearly 17 of us lined up in the Cat 1/Pro race. It was a fast start with the first 1/2 mile being pavement including a steep paved climb before hitting the first singletrack. I found my sprinting legs early to put myself in the top third of riders heading into the woods. We cruise through the twisting turns with Robert Marion leading Charlie Mullins followed by a few others then me. We come to an abnormal rocky section reassembling that of a gnarly Pisgah trail. I skid over it with grace until I hear a clunk! Carbon-rim-against-rock sound. A few minutes later I knew what happened. As I slow to a snail’s pace with no traction, my rear tire is only holding about 5psi. I jump off, aggravated, hoping I’m not too far from the parking lot. My initial hope was to air up then go back out for more laps. But, as I attempt to find my way to the parking lot through deer-trails and following the sounds of spectators, I’ve lost a considerable amount of time. I reach the van to assess if maybe I could salvage at least another lap to suffice my drive to Winston-Salem, but a gaping hole, not enough sealant, and enough time to maybe only get another lap in at this time, I pack up for the day.

Puncture, sealant, 👎

I get to watch the finish of the race with Charlie taking the win. I also hear several others from the race were having tire issues. The situation wasn’t completely lessened, but at least I knew I wasn’t the only one with bad luck today.

I endured the long journey back to SC for another 4 days of work-life; zoned into my favorite podcasts and planning next week’s adventures.

#southernclassicseries3, Hobby Park

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