Whew, that went fast! A lot happened this summer, and I haven’t checked in on here in a while. I put together a story in pictures (‘cuz nobody really likes to read anyway) that revisits most of the events I attended. We’ll start off with the Trans- Sylvania Epic, because I don’t feel like saving the best for last. The line up was stacked with fast pros and there was never a dull moment! I had some bright days and some dark days, but overall ended up pretty well. I finished out 6th overall for the week in Open Men, and 5th in the U25 ranking.
After that, I took a week completely off the bike before getting back into the groove. Next on the agenda was the Big Bear 2×12 Relay in West Virginia. I raced the CoEd Duo category with my teammate Vicki Barclay. Both of us still feeling sluggish from recovering from TSEpic, we gave it all we had but it was not our usual performance! A wicked fast duo team of Cheryl Sornson and Cole Oberman were tough competiton and edged us out for the win. Vicki and I finished in 2nd place through rainy and messy course!
There was a long break from racing through June and July, but came back into swing with a bang at the Boston Pro XCT. This would be my first pro only race, with top racers from across the country in the mix! I really just wanted to get the experience of racing an event like this so I have something to build on for next season. I ended up 18th out of 30 starters, and was content with that for my first one.
Next up was some real mountain biking in the Michaux Endurance Series! The Curse of Dark Hollow is a technical course that was slow and muddy from heavy rains the previous week. It was also very hot and humid which played into my favor perfectly! I took the lead as soon as the single track started and rode by myself the rest of the way, and scored my 2nd win for the year!
One of my favorite local trails in Mt. Gretna, Trail 15 will challenge you in every way!
It was then time to fly out to Colorado for the Breck Epic! I was there two weeks early to travel around and try to acclimate to the altitude, in which I was unsuccessful. I felt very low on power/ aerobic capacity the entire time and my results were mediocre. However, it was still an awesome trip and I got to experience so many cool rides and spectacular views!
As a “recovery” weekend, I headed up to the Osterling Farm for “THE International Intergalactic Global Open Cyclocross Team Relay Championship of the Multi-Friggin-Verse!” As you can tell, it’s a very serious matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Jokes aside, it’s just a fun way to kick off the cyclocross season in a team relay format (with a friggin slip n slide!). My duties for the day were to help set up the slip and slide, heckle riders when they don’t slide down it, and spray them with the hose no matter what they do. It’s a pretty good gig.
The Shenandoah Mountain 100 was 2 weeks after the Breck Epic, and was one of my favorite races last year. I love the strategy and grit that it takes to be successful at these races! I started out fast to stay with the lead group, then settled into a very conservative pace for the entire middle of the race. After getting over the Death Climb alive and well, I knew I could throw down a faster pace to the finish. So I really kicked it from there on out and passed 3 riders on the last climb! Finished 16th overall in 8 hours flat, so close to sub- 8!
The perfect way to wrap up the mountain bike season was the Terror of Teaberry, the last stop in the Michaux Endurance Series. It’s probably the most technically demanding course on the east coast. In fact, Jeremiah Bishop once stated that mile for mile, it’s the hardest race he had done in the world! With endless rock gardens and huge boulder features, it requires 100% focus and great balance. On the starting line, a buddy of mine pointed out someone particular lined up on the front row. It happened to be former 6 time 24 hour solo World Champion, Chris Eatough! This gave me a little extra fuel to the fire to really pin it in the first few miles to get out front. That’s exactly what I did and stayed in the lead the whole race! It was great to finish the Mtb season on a high note, by sweeping all three of the Michaux races and wrapping up the series win. I couldn’t have done it with out the help from my sponsors; the Trans- Sylvania Epic, Stan’s NoTubes, BMC, BikeFlights.com, and of course my supportive parents!
The final event for the year is The NoTubes Iron Cross race on October 18th. Taking place in Williamsport, PA, it’s a 70 mile paved and gravel road course with a little bit of single track! Choose your weapon wisely 🙂 I better see you there!