This race was billed as “Vermont’s International Mountain Bike Championship Race Of the Universe!!!!” (yes, with four exclamation marks) on Onion River’s web site. I’m not sure if it was quite that extreme, but it was definitely a nice race. Apparently, they’ve been having a weekly race series at Millstone for the past several weeks this summer; but I only found out about it on Wednesday, thanks to Dave Tremblay. I’m hoping they hold the series again next year so I can do more of the races. There’s nothing quite like a race to get a good workout.
In typical fashion for me, I was late. A late afternoon meeting ran long. On the drive over, my daughter felt car sick. Not only did this make us even later, it also took her out of the race that she wanted to do that evening. After that, I was followed for several miles by a county sheriff car through many 25mph roads in Barre. It’s not that I would push my speed too much, but it added to my slow pace. Once we were at Millstone and unpacking, I discovered that I had forgotten my gloves. Joy. We managed to arrive with about 8 minutes to sign up and get ready. It worked out.
The course? It was Millstone. Plenty of single-track: nearly all of it was rocky, twisty, and technical. The climbs were short, but so were the descents which didn’t leave much room to rest anywhere. Much of the short, 3+ mile loop was part of last year’s Millstone Grind race. Very nice terrain. My Strava data for the race is here.
I’m horrible off the start; I always have been. The fact that I haven’t slept well over the past few nights didn’t help things any; no kick. Three riders took off and put some distance on me on the first lap. I was never able to reel them in but held my place throughout the rest of the race. On the third lap, I took a pretty good digger on one of the tight corners in the woods. I think it was because my grips were nicely lubricated with sweat. I haven’t gone down that quickly in quite a while. On my final lap, I started to get a second wind. I heard another single-speed rider behind me, briefly, while in the woods; but I was able to keep him from gaining on me before the finish.
I came in the middle of the 4 lap overall but was the first single-speed rider. For that I won a really, really nice Patagonia backpack. Well worth the drive over. Thanks Onion River! I’ll be back next year. Official results are on Onion River’s website.