First Race 2009
The Fort Custer Stampede was my first chance to fly the 2009 edition of the Adventure 212/Specialized Team kit at a race. Great singletrack, a new course to race on and a chance to feel the burn before the WORS opener in Iola was all that I expected from the day. The field was small for the elite men where I finished 8th out of a possible(?) 16-20 starters. This race was smaller in participant numbers and the atmosphere seemed very low key compared to a WORS event with just a line laid out across the grass for the starting line/staging area. For not having this race in my training schedule, I was very satisfied with my result with the amount of travel, fast food diet and lack of sleep which was my own fault for staying up until 2 am the night before this race. I liked the fact that the XC Elite races in Michigan are longer in time(2:32) and distance(36 miles). For a slow starter like myself, I feel that I may have a better chance to pick off a few places towards the end of a race when times exceed 2.25 to 2.5 hours and distances go above 30 miles or more. Another interesting observation was the use of chip timing with the ankle strap and the use of a new disposable timing chip that sticks to the back of the number plates. After the event they had 3 or 4 flat screen monitors set up where your result, lap splits and overall time could be found using the touch screen.
Body wise, my shoulder did survive the weekend that saw three straight days of good hard efforts at a few of my favorite riding locations in Southern Michigan. The only obstacles that caused any pain were the drops on a few high speed downhills where my front wheel would drop away from me and when I left some skin from my bad shoulder on a tree where I got a little to close for comfort. Sleeping is the worst on my shoulder as it still aches anytime I try to sleep on my right side.
A big thanks also needs to go out to my sponsors for getting me off to a good start this past weekend...Adventure 212, Specialized, Scrub, Ergon, Twin Six, Crank Brothers, Hidden Bay, Bar Mitts, Keen, Easton and the Hostel Shoppe.