So I had decided to do the Rapture in Misery 6hr solo. Thought it would make a good training ride. Then it was really hot all week and I was wavering on whether to do it or not. Finally decided to go to Trenton and just take it easy and ride 6 hours without making myself miserable.
But when its a race and the pace isnt too high, its hard not to want to be at the front.
Lemans style starts crack me up. Everyone takes off sprinting, I took it easy. If all these guys are going to run as fast as they can for a few hundred yards to get to their bikes, then they should sprint when they get on them as well. I was pretty far back when I got to my bike but there was a lot of double track before the singletrack. It didnt take long at all to ride through the pack, as I assume everyone was gassed from running too fast. I entered the singletrack right behind Jeff Winkler and maybe in 5th. There was a duo team leading the charge but the pace was pretty managable, even for a 6 hour race. The first lap was slippery and muddy which made it interesting. Guys were sliding all over the place which let me by and I sat on the Columbia Duo teams wheel the rest of the lap.
At the start of the second lap I was still on the Columbia teams wheel as they switched off riders. I had to stop for some refreshments, but was able to catch back on. Essentially followed the entire lap and Mark Savery closed back on me at the end of the lap. Lap 3 was a bit of a disaster. I had lost the wheel of the Duo team so pace making was up to me. I passed Savery, who was doing something to his singlespeed and commenced to get a bee stuck in my helmet. It was not very happy about this, and I quickly stopped and got the helmet off. I was trying to eat my lunch on this lap so I wasnt going very fast and I wasnt really concentrating either. A slippery root took my front wheel out and I was on the ground pretty fast. At first I thought I might have done some collarbone damage, but the pain was temporary and I was back on the bike. Luckily I didnt choke on any of the pretzels I was enjoying.
Lap 4 went much better. Just cruising along at a nice pace, still sitting in 2nd overall and first solo rider. On lap 5 I pass Savery on the dam where the course doubles back on itself, this means Ive got about 15 minutes of lead. My motivation to keep pushing starts to fade. At the end of the lap Katie tells me that Winkler dropped out, I had it in the back of my mind that he would be coming up at some point, motivation fades a little more. I come up a a lady towards the end of the lap, ask to get by but I can tell she thinks she is going fast enough I dont need to pass. I ask again, She moves over a little and then starts scolding me, "if your going to pass me, hurry up and do it." If I was in the mood I would have explained to her that I was lapping her and after 5 hours of passing people like herself my passing gear has faded a bit. But I just laughed and continued on my way.
By lap 6 im still feeling pretty good but dont feel like pushing too hard. I see Travis Donn on the same dam as Savery the lap before, Travis says he is in 2nd now. I start to do the math...15 minute lead, 50 minute laps....dont want to go out for an 8th. As the 7th lap starts I see Winkler and Savery enjoying themselves in the venue, all cleaned up. I decide that Ill just back it off and make sure this is my last lap. I see Travis again on the dam, he has made up a little ground, but I still have 12 minutes or so. At about 5:55 I figure Im safe and wont have to go out again so I pick up the pace a little as I see Craig Stoeltzing a switchback behind and I want to finish my 6 hours as the 2nd overall, 1st solo.
Katie womanned the pits again and did a great job. She filled my pockets with tasty snacks and had bottles ready every lap. Plus she was able to make a good dent in her new book as she had 6 hours of reading time. Definitley couldnt do it without her.