Sunday, May 17, 2009

ICUP Soldier Hollow, 2009

The race started and I was feeling pretty good off the gun. On that very first little stretch of single track after the pavement, a gap formed between the fast dudes up front and the rest of us. I was fourth wheel in our group and felt I had the legs bridge the gap, so I made a couple of passes once the short double track downhill started. I was still only second wheel, and I got a little carried away in the moment. I tried to make another pass on the inside of that really sketchy right-hand turn before the trail starts to climb again. I was in the weeds and I was about to lean back and make the corner when my front wheel got caught in a rut and got washed out. I was down before I knew what hit me.

I don't know what hurt worse. The actual crash or the shower when I got home. Washing out road rash (or in this case, trail rash) never feels good.

I hopped back on the pony, and fortunately Craig pointed out that I left my water and sunglasses on the trail. Yeah, I was a little dazed, not even realizing I had lost my shades. I hopped off, cleaned up the yard sale, tried to shake off the crash and got back going, but not before going from a good position to dead last.

I'm still beating myself up for making such a rookie mistake so early on in the race. I had 26 more miles to make that pass (like, for example, the double track climb right after where I crashed), and I picked about the worst possible time to try it. Instead, I spent the next 26 miles paying for it. It took a bit to clear the cobwebs, but once I did, I went out a little too hard trying to catch back on. I made a few passes, but really blew up on lap two. Motivation went down, my hip hurt from the crash, and I wished I was racing Sport again so I could call it a day.

Finally on lap three I got some energy back. It was much too little too late, but I was able to make a few passes. Although my 3rd lap time wasn't great, it was my fastest lap of the day by a minute.

Even though this is a tough course, I'm actually looking forward to next year. It's fun and challenging. I raced it two years ago as a Sport and I felt that the course got the best of me, and I felt like it got me again this year. Next year, Soldier Hollow is going down.


nails said...

Sounds like the hammerfest hammered Racers Cycle Service. Joel, Adam and myself went down too (i didnt go down hard) and TM had a hell of a time with his bike. And that's just one category. Missed you after the race, bummer dude.

Grizzly Adam said...

That hurt. Although I was hoping that when you crashed it would give me an opening to try and hold on to your wheel for a while. It worked - for about 1 minute.

I saw quite a few people who looked like they had hit the dirt pretty hard. I just about went down on the singletrack descent up at the top of the course.

Why does that race always hurt so much?

Aaron said...

Nails - yeah, somehow I missed you. You were probably in the tent reserved for the top riders so they can get their well-deserved post-race massages. Great race, once again. You are living up to your Superhero name. Quite amazing considering your time off the bike.

Adam - this course just doesn't cut you any slack. As soon as you let up, you'll lose serious time either on the climbs or descents. I almost lost it a few more times as well on that descent.

South County Ciclista said...

Sorry about the crash. I am sure it wasn't fun after that. Stick to the Wed night race. One lap is good.

JZ said...

I was cleaning dirt out of my ears for a few days after my digger and I am still pretty sore. I really tweaked some muscles in my crash. I crashed on the upper downhill section on my second lap. The rest of my race was a suffer fest. Even without a crash, the third lap on that course is a true test of endurance.

Aaron said...

JZ - From the looks of your torn up shorts, you took a hard fall. Way to get back up and still get a good result (even if it's not quite what you're used to). I have a feeling that both you and Adam H. will be out for blood on Monday.