Friday, September 10, 2021

Getting ready to roll!

It's finally time to race again! While things slowly opened later last year, Florida racing is now in full swing with safe protocols and fun Mountain Bike events. Having been away from racing for nearly two years brought back the passion that made the hard work fun. Slow, solo, aimless riding just to escape from the mundane daily pandemic lockdown life, has turned into training days, remembering how to apply technical handling skills and ultimately, modest fitness and a race calendar!  

Weather is providing great training days

Summer was spent building enough form to dive in to a few Endurance races to see if my reinvigorated spirit was really ready to dive into a race calendar with mixed, but positive results. Started in early August with one of the biggest South Florida events of  the year, the Rumble in the Jungle. It's one of Markham Park's largest Trail Fund Raising events usually met  with hundreds of racers. Not sure of the turnout this year, but it looked as big as ever. My prep for this wasn't particularly focused, but just wanted to get out and see some old friends and have fun in the scrum again. This one didn't last very long as the rust was apparent and after clipping a tree and briefly dislocating a finger (popping them back in is quite an experience), I decided to call it a day before I hurt myself more. DNF wasn't a great start. 

Dusting off the Race legs at the Rumble!

I wouldn't mope around too much as the Rumble was for fun and dusting off the legs. Next up would be a few weeks later at a Down2Earth 30 Miles of Amelia Event. Usually a smaller turnout, this would still be a good test of fitness and form. I focused on riding skills in the leadup and managed to ride as consistent as I have in ages. Was actually riding 2nd in my class until the last hour. I faded a bit after the 2 hour mark and ended 3rd on the day in class. Would have liked to have held on to 2nd, but was happy to take home some hardware before kicking into XC race mode. 

Started putting it together for 3rd at Amelia!

The rest of the year will shift to the Coconut Cup, the South Florida Premier XC series by Gone Riding. First up is Markham again in October, then will keep it rolling to Alva, Fl in November and back to Amelia Earhart Park in December. Will keep things going in early 2022 as the schedule is finalized, but looking forward to getting back to regular racing! Check back soon for updates!

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