Our most recent weekend brought us the infamous 'Bowl of Death' at the Louisville Rec Center. This venue is used each year, and features a stadium-like bowl, the sides of which had two long run ups, as well as a high speed, off camber turn, and a long, fast, twisty descent. Sunday was held at Rhyolite Park in Castlerock. This is the same venue that was used twice last year, but a slightly modified, and now permanent course that is awesome! Carl's Report:
I never seem to have good races at the BOD, although I always enjoy the course. It has just historically played to power riders, which I am not. I lined up Sat morning hoping to change that. I got a decent start and settled in feeling comfortable and on the second lap I started moving up. I was into the top 10 and gaining on two riders in front of me when I dropped into a dusty line and crashed hard on a turn (sounds like a couple weeks ago, huh?). It took me a little bit to get my bike unstuck and going again, by which time 4-5 riders had passed me. I dug deep to try to get back into it, but was only able to climb to 13th by the end. The course had 100' of climbing per lap, and we did 7 laps, and I was completely wrecked and barely lucid after the race. So, if nothing else, it was a great training day!
Castle CX had a different schedule, so I raced with the 35+ Open field instead. It had been a couple weeks since I jumped in with them, so I was interested to see how it would go. I hung in well at the start, which was a long paved climb, and dropped into the course just behind mid pack. This course was also twisty and dusty (it's been a really dry season) and my tire pressure was a little too high, so I was skidding a bit on turns, which was costing me energy getting back up to speed. I ended up in 18th, feeling pretty bad about the result until I looked at my lap times and saw that I would have been somewhere in the top 7 in my 'usual' category, and had done an additional lap. So, I guess I'm still on track! Two more weekends to go in the Colorado season--sure has passed quickly!
Saturday was not a good day for me. I started my warm up as usual and felt pretty good. Then about 30 min before my start I got a terrible headache and didn't feel well. I took some aleve and hoped that would help. I had a good start and a pretty good first couple of laps and then I started to feel even worse. Full body fatigue and nauseous. I continued on but stopped with my full effort. I finished 7th and well behind the girls I'm typically competitive with. I was feeling pretty bummed and generally ill. The whole family came home and took naps!
Sunday I still wasn't feeling great but wanted to race since it was a Gold Level points race and I really like the Castle Rock course. I did my first preview laps nice and slow trying to ease my body into the day. My warm up continued as normal and I actually felt better when I was riding. I was cautiously optimistic that I would continue to feel better as the race went on. I had a terrible start and found myself at the back of the field. Lots of room to move up! Fortunately I did start to feel better and eventually moved up into 2nd! A great ending to a not so good start.
The best part of my day was riding with Cate in her Pre-J race. Even big bro Nick followed along!