“It’s all about the game and how you play it
All about control and if you can take it
All about your debt and if you can pay it
It’s all about pain and who’s gonna make it”


Crystal Ridge was a blast, and by blast I was thinking of a blast furnace.  You know, the kind they use in factories to melt lead.  Holy HOT!  This year the Alterra crew served up another awesome race, and once again it was dry as a bone and hot as Hades.  There were new sections of trail and a new prologue lap designed to separate the big boys (and girls) from the wannabe’s.

Running my single-speed, I wasn’t super excited about the time-trial-like start of the race.  I do like the uphill start, and I do like the rollout to the woods, which gives us a little bit of distance to determine pecking order going into the single track.  The problem (for me) was that the single-speeds started in the 4th wave.  There were already lots of pokey people on the single-track before Don even yelled “GOOOOOOO!”.  The extra spinning my brains out seemed to just tire me out early, not give me an advantage.

I ran a 32:16, and last year that felt just right at CR.  This year my intuition said 32:17, but I didn’t listen – I stuck with the :16.  (Funny, I over-geared at the last race too…) I could have spun a 17 just about as fast on the few flat sections, but it sure would have helped with those climbs in the heat.  That’s the real opportunity to pass for me, and I didn’t have as much energy as I would have liked.  The balls-to-the-wall pace at the beginning in that dusty heat kind of caught me off guard.  I was expecting the speed, and I had warmed up, but my body acted surprised when I ramped it up.  I could feel my heart beating through my helmet.  My usual strategy is to start fast, settle into “my” pace and then try to pick guys off one at a time.  On any other course this strategy works pretty well, but Crystal Ridge’s super-tight single-track means if you’re not out in front, you’re just behind.  At one point Rob Hofmann and I were joking out loud about “…seen any good movies lately…?” because you just couldn’t get around people.  Finally somebody would either move over, crash or hesitate enough for me to make a move.  The atmosphere at WORS races is a fun one, especially in Sport class – last time I checked no one was being paid to race – so it doesn’t make much sense to get pissed at people who are trying their hardest.

During my warm-up I noticed a creaking coming from my seat tube.  As the race got started it became more prominent, and finally I heard what sounded like someone breaking a handful of dry spaghetti noodles.  It was actually my FSA carbon seat post letting go at the seat bolt.  That was lap 1, and there was still lots of racing to be done.  I did my best to hover over the saddle without putting any weight on it for the better part of the next 1 1/2 laps until the post finally fell off climbing garbage hill.  As badly as I wanted to cross the finish line with no seat, and go down in some kind of folklore (in my own mind), I was completely gassed.  I rolled down the hill and handed in my tag as a DNF.

Credit to “Tyson” Hausdoerffer for once again CRUSHING the field (by over 5 1/2 minutes) the day AFTER placing second in the Single Speed category at the 75 mile Unnamed Epic.  I think he’s a robot.  Thank God he’s bumping up to “Open” at the next race.  He’ll crush it there too!

It was a great day, saw a ton of people I know and had some great competition.  I really wish I could have finished, but I guess that’s racing.

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