Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Pinnacle EFTA NECS '10 #4

"@kevinorlowski the way this season is going, if your bike didn't blow up - I would say it was a good ride"

So true A. Brad, so true.  So I wanted to do a bit better at this race because I love it so much but all things considered I made a decent step to getting back on track today so I have to call that a win.

I liek the Pinnacle

I couldn't find my '06 shirt, can't remember if they gave one out that year or not...regardless I think I have made my point.  I love this race, I love the course.  Many thanks to the folks at Team Pinnacle that keep organizing things year after year (and this isn't even counting all my Pinnacle Challenge wardrobe).

Things were greasy today, similar to last year, which worked in my favor so I was still pretty pumped to get things going.  This year the SS'ers got to start in a group with the Elite riders with all the Experts leaving shortly after in waves to hunt us down.  I didn't get a good handle on how many were in our field this time around because we were all mixed in but I think it was in the 10-15 range.  Per usual things got going fast right from the gun and I was kind of hurting early, legs felt a tad sluggish but I was mid pack(ish) so I wasn't too worried.

Roots and rocks were real loosy goosy today, made for pretty funny riding and some traffic issues early on as people struggled to find the good lines and as the experts were catching me and passing things got a bit nuts.  Luckily most of them went by shortly after the water tower on the doubletrack climb.  I also caught a SSer at the tower and moved up a spot so I felt like my legs were coming around and I had a good day ahead.  Another mile or so after that a different SSer passed me on the last of the doubletrack climbing but he wasn't able to drop me and he was not as proficient of a descender as me so I passed him back shortly after and never saw him again.

The descending was awesome as usual, trails were holding up great even with some of the wet weather lately.  I caught a Junior Expert heading into the best of the descending and he was moving along nicely but was really slowing down in the corners and it was evident that I could be moving much faster on the other side of him but passing in that area is tough.  I told him I was going to try and pass when I found a spot and he was friendly about it so I can't fault him but I definitely picked the wrong spot to make a stab at the pass.  As he was slowing down for another corner I thought I had a shot at the tight inside line.  There was a big stump right on the corner and I thought I could just wiggle around it and then motor ahead.  Aaaaand I was about 3/4 there when my rear wheel clipped said stump and sent me ass over tea-kettle in short order and flying into the woods.

One of my NEMBA teammates (a very fast Sport rider who was already catching me late into lap 1) was just coming up behind me when it happened and he said it looked AWESOME.  Unfortunately he couldn't get his helmet cam working in the parking lot this morning otherwise there would be footage.

No real damage resulted from the crash, nothing broke on the bike and nothing banged up on my person, so I set to chasing again.  What I didn't notice at the time is that during the short time I was inverted flying into the woods my bottle flew out of my cage and disappeared for fluids the rest of the race for me.  NOT GOOD.  This kind of derailed my chances for really getting back in the game and catching any other SSers.  Luckily I have been racing long enough now to have a pretty good handle on what my body can do with a certain amount of calories, etc. before the dreaded bonk shuts me down and I was able to meter my effort to get across the finish line without going to la la land, trouble is I had to meter my effort.

Head here to see me cruising down the Pinnacle Plummet

Oh well, the rest of the day was taking the climbs conservatively and going as fast as possible on the descents.  Could be worse.  I was still having fun and as far as I could tell I was still in an ok position.  Finished up the three laps in what the results sheet said was 2:12 but my garmin said 2:07 so not sure how that works but whatever.

I also found out looking at those results sheets that there was a SSer about 1 min in front of me and I didn't even know.  If I had I probably would have had enough gas to hunt him down, it would have hurt a lot more and I would feel much worse right now but I would have had a 6th instead of my 7th.  When I left there were 9 finishers for SS.  I'm pretty sure there were more than 9 of us pre-reg'd so there might have been some DNF's or more people still coming in.  I saw a lot of people fixing flats... 

That's it for MTB racing for a bit, now its back to 100% focus on my tri coming up with a few weddings thrown in there for good measure.


  1. good racin, as discussed, we will need to plan a group ride at the pinnacle trails sometime, looks like there is a ton to explore - and you know how much I love exploring.

  2. I found this site as I'm looking to learn more about Pinnacle. I'm a new SS rider- I've been running 32 18 that works great in moderate single track and climbing (I ride Novice or Sport)- I've heard Pinnacle has a lot of climbing - do you gear down for this race?

  3. 29er or 26?

    I do gear down for this race. I'm on a 29er and ride 32-18 right now (which is more like 32-16 on a 26er) I'll probably run a 32-19 or 32-20 for this race.

    Course is basically a 2.5 mile climb, some cross fall line stuff and then a big 2.5 mile descent each lap. Def bring your climbing legs