Race number 2 in the Polartec series and the final weeknight race at Gunstock. Word must have gotten out a bit from the last race because attendance was bumped up at least 20 or so riders I would say. And that is despite it being quite a bit colder this time around. Last race was maybe 20+ degrees, no wind...last night was maybe single digits with a nice solid breeze making things pretty damn RAW.
I think I layered about right but trying to do relatively intensive cardio "comfortably" in single digit temps is a pretty tough nut to crack. We hid out in the warming hut until the start. Things got pretty hilarious within the first 30 secs. I was lined up next to Eric from Chainline and got a slight jump on him in the initial scrum. But then he screamed #braaaap! and tried to shoot a gap to my left. He pretty much made it but clipped my bar mitt going by sending me into a pretty sweet tokyo drift. I was able to steer into it and eventually got sorted without going down.
Turns out it was a fortunate mishap because about 200 yds later there was a carnage pileup just after a 90 degree right hander at the bottom of a hill. Very likely I would have been right in the middle of it had it not been for my earlier dust up. Thanks Eric! Got around the tangled bodies and bikes and got to freezing my ass off. Caught and came by Eric early on the first climb. Thought about returning the favor but figured luck would have me going down as well and it was far too cold for too many shenanigans.
Lap was longer this time around. They sent us a bit farther out and increased the length of the climbing. There was even a hike a bike section that was just a bit too steep to ride seated and traction did not support out of the saddle hammering. Pushing a 35-40lb bike up a snowy slope in bike shoes is really fun! Luckily it was just a short little headwall.
Descent on the course was rolling and fun but COOOOOLD. There was one section I was actually getting caught on because I was just rolling it while others were hammering. I didn't feel like creating any more of my own windchill and I was usually catching those guys back on the climbs anyway.
No clue where I was again this time around. Felt like top 10ish after the start. There was a bit less lapping this time around due to the longer lap. A bit after the halfway mark I was having issues with my right foot. For some reason my left foot was completely fine but my right was a brick. Completely numb. My hands had a rough patch early but came back around as I warmed up. I was lapping through at one point and for some reason I had it in my head that there would likely be 2 laps left. There were 4.
No idea why I was that far off in my head I could see the time on my Garmin and knew how much was left. Temps must have been affecting my math skills...or maybe I was suffering from HACE. Either way this was a pretty decent mental blow. I was getting a bit worried about the thaw out horror show I was going to have with my foot and I even thought my face might be at risk as the temps dropped and wind picked up. Wasn't sure I had 4 more laps in me. I kept at it, I was still feeling ok from a power standpoint and I wanted to get a good effort in.
I was coming into 2 to go and feeling pretty certain I was going to call it and head to the warming hut. But lucky for me I had been caught and lapped by the top 2-3 guys on that lap and I was no longer on the lead lap. I was still thinking about just calling it and getting some hot cocoa but when I came through they yelled one to go! and quitting with one lap to go just seemed silly. Kinda funny looking at my lap times my last lap was about 30sec faster than my second to last lap and was I think my 4th fastest lap overall.
Finished up in ?th place and then tried not to puke while thawing out. GOOD TIMES.