Just got home from Bump'N Grind USCUP in Birmingham, Alabama. Katie and I went down friday night and I headed out to the venue Saturday morning after filling up at the Waffle House, which was a bit of mistake. The course was really fun, it was a short lap with a lot of singletrack and a pretty good road climb section where a lot of passing went on. After the pre-ride we went and explored Birmingham and saw the sites.
Sundays race went pretty well... It was hot out and Katie had to leave the race a little early to catch a flight to get to NYC for work so I knew I would be without a new bottle on the last two of five laps, but luckily I was able to get bottles at the neutral feed. The race started on a pretty long road climb before it dove into single track. I took it easy at the first part of the climb and then accelerated towards the top and went into the singletrack in a great position, I would guess in the twenties. Then we were just cruising through the singletrack, watching some people trying some dumb passing when I slid out on a pretty easy corner. I jumped up, only lost one spot until I realized the derailleur hanger was bent. I stopped and fixed it, which cost me a good 15-20 spots, and maybe more importantly a bunch of time. I couldnt get by the slower guys in the singletrack and watched as the main pack got away from the group I was in. It was really frustrating, that guy should have pulled off and let some of us by instead of making us follow for a good 5 minutes at a really slow pace. When we go onto the road, I attacked hard and rode away from the group and almost across to the next group. That is when I went down for a second time, this time pretty hard when I overshot a corner and went off the edge of a bridge... I jumped up, a few guys came by and I hammered to catch back up to the group I had just caught, but I slid out for a third time. So with 5 stops in two laps I was pretty upset with myself because I was feeling really good. I regrouped and started reeling back in all the people that had gotten by with all my time on the ground. No one ever passed me all day, barring crashes, and I was picking people off all the way to the finish to end up in 31st I believe. I would normally be pretty excited with a 31st at a national, but as good as I was feeling I know I could have been further up without so many wipeouts.
No pics b/c Katie has the camera with her in NY, so ill put some up when she gets back. So now its two weeks of good training before we head to Colorado Springs for the next USCUP.