This season started out on the slow side for me, or, at least it felt that way. A lot of that probably stemmed from a lack of motivation and a lack of snow in town over the winter for consistent mid-week activities. My fitness was heavily skewed toward big weekend days on split planks in the backcountry, and even still, a warm spring curtailed April missions, leaving me even more bitter and reticent to get on a bike. Suffice to say, I felt the weakest at the start of the riding season as I ever have. The fact than, that I finished as strong as I did, was pretty awesome.
I credit some of this to age and base mileage; but I also credit this to having some great friends and “frenemies” that lit the fire in me to get over it and get on with it.
One of the most remarkable things about the racing this season, aside from the great courses and weather we had (only one race where it actually rained), was how unbelievably competitive the Expert division has become. Within the main pack, there was consistently anywhere from 5-10 riders all finishing within 90 seconds of each other. In almost every race, one dab, or just the lightest ease of power, could cost a placement. It just felt like really raw racing where the results were totally up in the air every time, and it fired me up in a way I haven’t felt, probably since I got back into racing a couple years ago.
Arctic MTB 5 (Didn't race, only a day before the Soggy Bottom, but I did design the course!)