Teammates: Mike S.
The fitness is willing but the spirit is still weak...
Switched over to thinner Michelin tires this week with a Mud 2 in the front at 40 psi and a Jet in the rear at 40 psi. The thinner, lower volume tires don't seem much different from the 42 mm Ritcheys in terms of handling and have the bonus feature of being one pound lighter. The rear slid out a bit when turning in the mud but I was going so slow it was not a problem. Never bottomed out either until I took the long sandy and sometimes rocky trail around the park.
Juan showed up so Mike and I had the usual crew for the BOP honors. The course was changed up a little bit from two months ago with the addition of a small run up, an additional few hundred meters of looping around some tape, and double barriers at the top of the course instead of the single.
Tried something different at the start and tried to keep up with the lead pack. The plan got discombobulated when we hit the small singletrack funnel at the top before the mud section and I had to stop for traffic to clear and the group dispersed. This still put me at the front of the BOP as one of the other old and slow guys behind me reminded me. On one of the next laps Juan put in a attack and pulled ahead of me and I had to dig deep to pull him back, and put in a response of my own on the hill. Probably a little too much as I spent a couple of laps recovering from this. Mike then passed me near the bottom of the course and I was able to pull him back on the hill, then he passed me back again near the bottom of the course and I could not respond this time.
Was able to close the gap a little by the finish but not enough in the tank, so this round goes to Mike with Juan a close third. Slightly longer race in terms of time than last time but pretty much the same numbers considering the slower course conditions. The longer laps also meant I was *not* lapped this time so that's an improvement!
Joe Fabris keeps passing me from the 45+ wave in a downhill section, need to learn to keep pushing all the time instead of just on the uphills, and the hardest thing for me to do - push hard into the corners instead of coasting, just so used to conserving energy in road races...
On the mechanical front - new Eggbeaters fixed the pulling out when pulling up hard problem. But got a new problem with bad shifting, probably just overdue with adjustments. Went to the big ring only on the last lap, and it felt OK, maybe should have used the big ring the whole race.
S: 20.0 kph