29Er Guy can write, but I post for him…
This past Sunday was the beginning of race season for many here in Southern California. The Sagebrush Safari plays host to those looking to compete in both the Kenda Cup and US Cup West series.
My good friend Joe and I made it out to Sagebrush to test our spring fitness. We had had a week of rain before Sunday and the big question on everyone’s mind was what the course would be like. Thankfully the rain stopped Saturday night and the soil there is sandy so it drained pretty well. I thought about changing tires the night before the race, but I stuck to my tried and true Bontrager Jones XRs front and rear. As for the bike I went with the SuperFly hard-tail set up with the 1×10 drivetrain. The Sagebrush course has two major climbs and both are on paved roads, so the hard-tail seemed the perfect bike.
I raced Cat 2 in the 45-50 age group. Our course was an 18 mile loop with everything from pavement to single track to hike-a-bike. The race starts much like a road race with about 3 miles of pavement. We shed several riders from our group even before the climb. If you didn’t know how to draft like a roadie you were in trouble. Once we hit the big climb we started to catch riders from other groups and it was hard to tell who was in your race.
I used my Garmin Edge 500 during the race and monitored my heart rate the entire time. I was amazed at the end to see my average heart rate for the race was 184bpm. At the top of the climb the fun begins and we were treated to miles of swoopy fun single track. The rain had left behind lots of puddles and mud bogs that had to be navigated along the way. I got into a rhythm and started to enjoy the ride. The race official warned us at the beginning about a large water crossing near the end and he wasn’t kidding. What was usually a stream had become a small river due to all the rain. Riders had to decide if they wanted to risk riding it or dismount and wade through. I went for it and was able to ride through without a problem. Sure was glad it was toward the end of the course as the water was cold. It did however do a good job of rinsing off the Superfly so I looked good crossing the line.
I managed 5th place, which was good enough for a medal and a place on the podium. My buddy Joe got 4th in the Cat 2 40-45 class so we were both happy with our results and stuck around for the awards. The Sagebrush Race draws a serious crowd of racers, but still has a fun down home feel. I saw some other friends and we enjoyed hanging out and re-telling our race to each other.
I ran into friend of the shop and Pro racer Rebecca Tomaszewski. She managed 3rd place in the women’s pro race riding her single speed. Dam that girl is tough. All and all we had a fun day at the races.