Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sundance Race Series

Despite being violently ill this week, I knew I had to get back on the bike and try to get back some fitness.  I was feeling good enough to test out my race legs at the first of many Wed night Sundance MTB races.  When I say "I felt good enough", I mean I can finally last 3 hours without having to rush to the bathroom.  Oh, and I'm eating again which helps. 

The Sundance course is about a 15 min drive from my office.  A perfect way to unwind after work during the middle of the week.  It has some of the best single track dirt in Utah, and attracts several of the local Pro and Expert riders.  Especially from the Utah County scene (which has a lot of good riders).

The field is usually pretty hard core but the scene is very casual.  No podium, no times are posted until a day or two after the race.  Usually everyone has a great chance to walk away with some cool prizes despite their finishing times.  And the race is only $12.   I can't think of a better way to get some hard, fast training rides in than this weekly race series. 

But it's not all roses. Sundance has the most horrific start to any race.  The start is a paved road meant to shake things out before hitting the single track which is 99% of the course.  But the paved road is steep.  Very steep.   It's not super long but it sure hurts.    

The trick is to hit it as hard as you can to get the hole shot before the single track.  Once on the single track, it's really hard to pass.  It's not easy going from a cold start to complete redline and holding it for several minutes without totally blowing up.

I managed to get a pretty good start by punching it just before we hit the dirt.  But I knew I wasn't going to be very fast tonight so I settled for mid pack (Expert and Pro race in the same group so mid to near the end of the pack seemed about right for me)

Lap 1 was good.  I was hurting and really wanted to pull out of the race until I hit the downhill.  It just makes you smile.  It's THAT good.  After coming through the start line, I was anxious to climb again just so I could do the downhill section one more time.  My legs didn't have much punch for lap 2 and I let at least 4 riders pass me.  Towards the end of the 2nd climb I started to get my legs back but it was too late.  I just enjoyed the downhill and almost forgot I was in a race.

There were a lot of Racer's Cycle Service kits riding SuperFly's.  I'd say Racer is selling a lot of those machines. 

I donated several Salt Cycling jerseys and t-shirts for the prizes but I didn't stick around to see if they handed them out.  Had to get home and see the kids before they went to bed. 


Aaron said...

Sounds like you had a great race considering your current state. That is awesome you donated some jerseys. Hopefully they gave you a plug when they gave them away.

South County Ciclista said...

I still need to get a medium t-shirt from you. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Sometimes I think I have a flat tire on the second pavement climb, but it is slow, very slow legs.

Grizzly Adam said...

I didn't see any of the jersey's. But I was not paying too much attention to the raffle. I do know that your name was called though.

You rode well last night. I kept catching a glimpse of you on some switchback or another but was never able to get back on your wheel. You made the right move in hammering to the hole shot. We all got stuck in a cluster that was just ridiculous...