Sunday, May 3, 2009

Racing out of the Saddle

Usually, when someone speaks of being out of the saddle, it means the race was fast and hard. Well, the second stop on the WVMBA XC Series was the Mountwood Race and it has always been known as being a challenging course because it has many climbs. I raced out of the saddle today not because I was going all that hard, but because about 6 miles into my 22 mile race, I cracked my carbon FSA Seatpost off at where it enters the frame. At the point in the race where the post cracked, I was leading the single speed class and had worked my way up to about the top 5 overall. I was feeling good and enjoying my ride in the nasty mud, which covered the course.

I am not too sure how the post cracked because it is only a week old and I was not even riding on anything that could be consider too rough. When I noticed that it cracked, I grabbed it with my hand and carried it for a short distance, trying to consider all of my options. I thought about putting it back in, but knew it would not do too much good because of the short length. Since I figured that getting the remain post out of the frame would be a very difficult task, I ditched that plan and decided to try riding without a post. I then saw a course volunteer standing by a truck and I asked him if he could hold onto the post until the end of the race. He agreed and off I went.

It did not take much time for other riders to start catching me as I got used to riding a bike without a seat. I was surprised, though, that more riders were not catching me and that no other single speeders had caught me yet. I kept pounding away on the course out of the saddle. After doing this for a few miles, I could tell it was definitely taking much more effort than spinning along seated on my bike. My arms and quads were certainly beginning to feel the effects of my extra effort. I challenged myself, however, to keep going and to not give up. I figured that I paid my entry and drove 2.5 hours to the race, so I might as well get a good workout out of the day, if not anything else.

It took quite sometime before the second place single speed rider caught me. He rode behind me for a short distance and then came around me. I was a little bummed to be caught, but did my best to hold his wheel. After riding a mile or two with this other rider, I started to catch my second wind and decided to pass him to keep my pace up. I did not see him again until after I finished the race. It was an ugly win, but I must say a gratifying one for me, since I had to overcome such a difficult obstacle.

There will be no racing for me next weekend. My plan is to do two long rides each day. I will do at least 100 on Saturday and probably about a 4 hour hilly ride on Sunday. Anyone care to join me? I will be sure to bring an extra bottle of pain along with me if you like, but this time my bottle of pain will include a seat. Later Friends, Gerry


GenghisKhan said...

Just read about your seatpost on one of your buddies blogs. I don't know why you say it was an ugly win--14 miles with no seatpost in less than favorable conditions? Sounds like a wicked cool win to me!

Peace and happy trails!

P.S. you stickin' with FSA?

Gerry and Andy said...

I called my win ugly because I looked like a BMX racer high on crack trying to pedal around the course. To me, ever win is sweat...even if it is an ugly one. Love your T-shirts by the way! Later, Gerry

GenghisKhan said...

Yeah, BMXers high on crack are ugly! ;o)

Glad you like the shirts--feel free to pass us along to folks you know!

Thanks again for sharing your race story.


John Proppe said...

I was at the race and had no idea that happened to you. Wild, and pretty awesome that you were able to pass people like that.

Was that post on a Lynskey by chance? I was ogling one before the race started that was singlespeed had a carbon post. If so, wow nice ride.

Gerry and Andy said...

Yep,,,that was my bike, but now with a Thomson Post instead of FSA. Other than the seatpost mishap, the bike was one fine ride.

Happy Trails, Gerry