Pictured below is the actual thing that stung my arm 2 miles into lap 1 at Treadfest yesterday:

It hurt like a mofo, then I forgot about it until after the race.  Today my arm is as swollen as Oprah at an Old Country Buffet.  I must be allergic to pterodactyls too, because I haven’t been able to stop sneezing or blowing my nose for the past 24 hours.  I get bee stings every year and have no allergies.  I seriously think whatever bit or stung me might not have been from this planet.

On to the race itself:

Definitely a favorite course of mine.  The only sad part of this course is the fact that it’s on private land and aside from the pre-ride on Saturday it’s not available to ride.  Lots of climbs, although none too crazy.  Lots of flowing single-track and ample passing lanes.  Certainly not as many as Iola, but not as few as Crystal Ridge.  5th place for me boiled down to lack of effort.  I wasn’t racing for 1st yesterday, that’s my only excuse.

That’s not to say I couldn’t come up with a truckload of crap to complain about, it’s just not the real reason I lost.  The biggest compliant people had (and legitimately so) was the fact that everyone’s race was shortened just before the start.  The justification was that lap times were too long, so I understand WORS decision, but there was really no communication that went out to the crowd about it (that I was aware of).  When you prepare for an X-lap race, and on the line you find out it will be a W-lap race, it can throw you off.  I made a last-minute decision to change out the rear cog on my single speed before the race started (based on 3 laps), and I would not have made that change had I known it would only be 2.

The gear choice, or the sting/bite or the shortened race or the fact that I blew out my fork seal is not why I lost.  I rested when I got behind the pokey people in the single-track sections.  I didn’t make all the moves I should have.  I got caught with my pants down on the first lap recovering and 4 SS guys blew past me.  I never made that time back up, and finished 5th.  I was still riding a 3 lap race – I never made the adjustment in my strategy or pace to a 2 lap race.

People were definitely complaining about the lost lap.  There were crashes.  There were slow pokes in the single track where there was no opportunity to pass.  It was dusty and dry (and warm).  In the end – who cares?  The fastest guys (and women) still won.

And that’s what it’s all about.

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