Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Long Sock Classic

Weird name for a bike race, right? Why name a bike race the “Long Sock Classic”? Is it because only those with long socks are allowed to race? If so, how long must these socks be? Well, as anybody who has ever visited the Ganaraska Forest knows, there is a good reason for long socks. This venue is home to a thriving population of poison ivy, so in your complimentary race package is a set of excessively long bike socks, sweet!
The race itself is a 2 lap, 65km mountain bike race that spans the sandy, hilly acres of Ganaraska Forest, just south of Peterborough, Ontario. The race start shot us straight into a corner, then maybe a hundred metres before being shot into a twisty uphill bit of singletrack. My best buddy Alex Schmidt led out the race with his series leader jersey, and I was happy to catch his wheel after the singletrack. The next section was wide trail with lots of gradual uphill and Alex and I gapped off of the front of the pack. Alex set the pace so high that I couldn’t keep up, and soon found myself in a group of riders working with another guy to set the pace while Alex and one other were up ahead. Things were going well, and I was in front of the train controlling our pace through singletrack (still in the first 20 minutes of the race) when my shifting stopped working properly.

Sadly this is the only photo I have of the race, thanks Tori for everything else though!

I was confused, my bike is *perfect* and has had no problems whatsoever, then I realized it – my rear axel had come loose which meant that my derailleur had no solid point to pull from.  I had to stop and tighten everything up, by which point the guys that I was leading through the trail were gone. In my haste to try to catch back lost ground, I went flying off my bike and over the handlebars – resulting in a cut bleeding from my knee down to my socks. It was this point that I realized that though I had lost some ground, I have a long race ahead, and can’t afford to race and keep falling like that.

The next half lap was spent catching the guys back, with concerted efforts on all hills and conservative efforts in the technical bits. By the end of the first lap I was sitting comfortably in 4th. I maintained this position comfortably throughout the race, keeping a conservative pace, as it is the first long race this year.
Congratulations to Alex, you beat me fair and square in a long race!

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