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Mellow Johnny’s Classic

This was a big race. This IS a big race. I dunno, but for some reason, this race seems to attract a great deal of racers. I don’t know if it’s the name, or if its got a great purse for the winners, but over the three previous races the men’s Pro have averaged about 21 racers and this one had 63. And the increase trickles down to the lowly Cat 3 groups too. We had 32 finishing racers, which is about 8 or so larger than normal. Just kept this in mind as I tell the story.

I took some drugs.

Before you call authorities on me, it was just caffeine. But it was a lot of caffeine, like 200mgs. And I think it did help. I was one of the first ones off the line, and was in second place at one point. I let Raul pass me, cause I still think he’s a stronger rider than me, and I don’t want to hold him up. I am so considerate.

But that compassion didn’t really extend to those behind me. I ended up in 3 right were the single track starts and I didn’t let anyone pass me. I just worked on keeping up a good speed and keeping up with Raul, who was chasing the person in first. When the course opened up the first time, two people passed me and I dropped to 5th. Then the when it opened up once more, I got dropped to 9th.

As the race went on, I got passed by 2 more people and ended up in 11th. I knew this, and figured I needed to pick up the pace and start passing people. I passed one person, found out that they were in the younger group, so it didn’t count. Then I found Yellow Pants Man.

Known as YPM hereafter, Yellow Pants Man was this guy who had on a black jersey and these day glow yellow bike shorts. Needless to say that he was very visible and therefore a perfect target and an epic battle ensued. Well, mostly an epic chase scene. YPM was just slightly faster than me on the flats and the corners. I really actually wasn’t the bravest when I was cornering there this race. When it came to the uphills I would slowly catch up with him, only to lose him on the flats.

I just couldn’t close the gap.

The very end of the race is this uphill paved section, and he hit that with enough distance that I knew I couldn’t catch him at all. It was slightly disappointing, but since there was no one right behind me, I could let up a little on the finish. He ended up a whole 9 seconds ahead of me, cementing a 10th place finish for him and an 11th for me.

It was still a three-minute faster finish that I did last year, and the course was half a mile longer.  My two younger race buddies and former competition managed to do really well and finish 2nd and 3rd. If I had been racing with them, my time would have landed me in 4th place.

After the race, I hung around to watch the pros race. Here are some videos I took.

 

Here’s the Men’s start. They crash and I flinch and move my camera.

Here are the Men just racing. Looking down trail:

Looking up trail:

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