With this year coming to an end, I set out to compete in one last MTB event before the 2016 season. The SoCal Endurance 6 and 12 hour events have always been a blast, so I couldn’t resist the temptation to race. I found a partner, and signed up for the 2 Man Open 6 Hour. Unfortunately, the day before the race I found out my partner had gotten a nasty cold. Luckily, after some scrambling I was able to find a new partner, Josh Kolbo who is fast and always willing to race! After getting the partner situation sorted out, I rushed home from school so I could start preparing everything for the big Saturday ahead.
The morning of the race I was feeling anxious to get out on course, and was even more anxious to find out how the legs will hold up after not racing for so long. Before I knew it I was on the starting line hearing the 10 second count down. Off the start I maneuvered myself around some obstacles and was now making my way towards the front of the field. Due to the mass start of all the racers, the first single-track sections were cut out of this lap, making a fast drag race until the next single-tracks. I was sitting in a group of 10 or so other riders, where we had a legit pace-line going, but I felt good and could see the first 2 riders just ahead. I attacked on the fire-road that led to the “tunnel of love” section, and bridged the gap to the lead racers. When the first descent came I sat in 3rd, and was super excited on how good I felt. When the course opened up again the 1st place rider had opened up a gap, and I was able to drop the other racer who was in front of me. I had the leader in my sights, I felt great, and I was closing the gap. Now the course was hitting the really steep climbs. I knew this was my chance to close the gap, so I picked up the cadence, and by the time we had reached the highest point of the lap I was only a couple of bike lengths behind the 1st place rider. Now came the descent, and it was a technical one. With the combination of adrenaline and excitement running through my body, and trying to stay near the lead rider on the descent, it ended up in my face going straight over the bars into the sandpaper like dirt of SoCal. I quickly squirmed out from underneath my bike, and tried to make it down the rest of the downhill in one piece. Now I had lost sight of the lead rider, and finished the lap in 3rd.
Once the baton was in my partner’s grasp, he was off like a cheetah. Now I could relax for a bit, and get into my routine in between laps. I would cool down on the trainer for about 10 min, eat, hydrate, and make sure the bike was ready for the laps ahead. When my partner came back, we were leading in 1st place! Not that I was surprised (Josh is really fast). On my 2nd lap I was able to see the full lap of the course, and had to deal with a bit of traffic from lapped riders. At the end of this lap, I still felt good so I headed out for another one without taking a break. Once I was back, our team was still holding 1st place, and had completed 5 laps. I cooled down, ate a banana, PB&J sandwich, and some banana walnut bread, and then relaxed. Before I knew it Josh was back, and I was ready in the transition area to head out for our team’s 7th lap. I went into this lap just as focused on keeping up the power as on all the other laps, and had mastered the course. Next thing I knew I was out on my last lap of the day which would be our team’s 9th, and my 5th lap. I began to check off all the things on the course as I passed them, and now could begin to taste the victory!
At the end of the day my partner and I came out in 1st place in the 2 Man Open 6 Hour Race with a total of 9 laps in 5 hours and 31 minutes. I also got to catch up with some of my mountain bike friends, I was stoked on how good my legs felt all day, and the Habit Burger is always a nice reward for my efforts!
6hrs of Temecula, November 7, 2015
2 Man Open Category_teammate Joshua Kolbo
9 Laps_ 5 hrs 31 mins