Chris finally convinced me to ride the Big Sky State Games this year. I decided to do the 25 mile race. I'm not competitive or fast so I thought I'd completely bomb the 40 mile race. I thought I might do okay with the 25 miler though.
The race started in Laurel and traveled up Buffalo Trail to Molt and back finishing on a climb. The race also started on a climb, not a good thing for me. I warmed up a little before the ride and the group started a little too slow for me so I attacked early. As I rode past riders that I knew I shouldn't be passing, I got nervous, but I was also on a climb and didn't want to slow down. My weakest point is cresting a hill. I work so hard to climb that its hard to transition to the faster pace flats without slowing to catch my breathe. That's something I need to work on, but it drives me crazy to go slowly up a hill. On short hills it's usually to my advantage but anything over a half mile and I loose steam before the end. That's exactly what happened this time. As I reached the top of the hill, when I should have picked up speed, I watched the majority of the group leave me in the dust and I only overtook a few of them later on, again on climbs.
Because my riding style differs from others, I rode most of the ride alone. I would hook on to the back of a train on the flats to catch my breath and then try to lead on a climb but I usually ended up dropping everyone and have to ride alone again.
On the decent, I realized that there was no one ahead of me for mile and no one in my age bracket behind me. I had no chance of catching up and no one behind me to lose to so I jumped in a group with two women, one, Cheryl, I'd ridden with before. They helped me on the flats and I pulled them up the hills trying to hold back as much as I could so I wouldn't drop them on the climb. I lost some time but no one passed me and I was glad for the help and the company.
I didn't finish strong like I hoped I would, but like I said, I was last in my heat so where's the motivation. I'm not a racer so I wasn't in it to win it but I did have fun. Maybe next year I'll be ready for the race.
Congrats to my friends on their medals.
25 Mile Race
Ryan - Gold
Cheryl - Gold
Nash - Silver
40 Mile Race
Chris - Gold
Brenda - Gold
Janet - Gold
Dale - Silver
BTW - Had I ridden the 40 miler, I'd have taken home a Gold by default.