Sunday, Nov 22nd. Rockburn. Very different course from last yr. Shorter, more technical. The starts were delayed becuase of an accident on I-95, which, fortunately for me, my GPS routed me around. (Have I mentioned how much I love my Garmin?!)
This meant I had a long time to get ready. That was nice. I was able to help Gary out and pin him up since he was one of the unfortunate ones. Got a good lap in on the course and decided that the file treads were not the way to go. I got my usual horriffic start position and went off up the hill. I managed to squeeze up alongside the curb and grab a few places. I'd fairly quickly lose them as someone stopped in front of me. Again. Had to dismount and run a bit.. Then, later, I dropped my chain. ugghh. Carlo passed me at some point during all of this. I saw him with 2 laps to go and kept getting closer to him. I finally caught up with about 1/2 lap to go and decided to pass him at the end so he couldn't pass me. Bad decision. His MTB skills helped him through the last technical section faster than me, so it was no catching him. Great food and pie afterwards almost made up for it.
Saturday, last, PA State championships in Whitehall. A 1230 start. Nice! Windy as shit though. I expected mud. None. I got there early enough to get 2 laps in before I warmed up. Also nice. Small, strong field. I liked the course a lot; it suited me. long, sweeping turns, power sections, and not too much technical stuff. 1 longish climb on asphalt slowed me down, but i wound up fighting off acouple of guys who tried to pass me. wound up getting lapped by the 1st 3 guys with about 1/3 lap to go, finishing 34 out of 42 finishers. Not great but considering the strength of the field, I wasn't too disappointed. Nice to see Dan K there, cheering me on.
Sunday, Taneytown. A short drive, nice weather. I expected a grass crit. Boy was I wrong. It was a friggin bog in lots of places. Got a good start and didn't get tangled up in the melee going into the 1st muddy section. I decided to run quite a bit of it and that was actually a good move. Thor didn't fare so well. Neither did Dave T. I rode hard but the back side just killed me. I also got my bars stuck in the tape 2x because the line was better near the tape, but that's the risk you take. i dropped my chain (again) with about 2 laps to go after falling on the end of the section I had run on lap. I caught 2 guys on the pavement after the last bog and then proceded to get my bars stuck in the tape, letting the 1st guy pass me. I couldn't catch him. 40th out of 62. My best mud finish, ever.
One more weekend. Maybe I'll get a decent result at Marysville or Reston....(where there is a good chance of snow :-) )