Heading into that weekend Naro started working on a bit of an impromptu bachelor get together for Dano. Saturday pre-Pinnacle was what was going to work and the plan was hitting just about every brewery in Portland before a BBQ back at Naro's house. Initially I didn't think there was any way I could pull both off but the extended forecast was looking so good and I REALLY like racing The Pinnacle...
Plan was hatched to go for the double knowing full well it could end in catastrophe. Had a blast rolling around Portland trying all kinds of craft beer and throwing bean bags into a hole in a board in parking lots. Back at Naro's it was just meat, meat and more meat (and beer). Many in attendance thought for sure I would bail in the morning but I got up feeling "ok". Luckily the expert race didn't roll until Noon and it was only 1.5hrs from Naro's to Newport.
I got my bearings and some hydration and figured I felt good enough to at least head up there and give it a go. I'll be honest there were several times on the drive and shortly after arriving that I contemplated bagging it in and just going home to get in bed. Just kept hydrating and eventually started rolling around the parking lot and my head started to clear. Started chatting with some teammates about their race earlier in the morning and catching up with the usual suspects and mentally got in line, LETS DO THIS.
Felt pretty normal at the gun and thought I might have a shot at a decent race. Vet I field was about 10-15 strong. I slotted in about mid pack in the initial parade loop but as we went up and up and up I could tell I wasn't quite firing on all cylinders and I was definitely sweating pure IPA. Got overtaken here and there by a guy or two and before long I was tail-gunning the group but holding on. Towards the top of the first round of climbing I dropped my chain in a rooty section and that was the last I saw of our group. Vet II's swept through as I was trying to fix it.
I have begun to have issues with this 1x setup keeping the chain on in the rough stuff. I dropped the chain again two other times later in the day. Not a hard fix but certainly very frustrating and excellent at killing any momentum you might have. Best guess is the clutch in the derailleur either needs some tightening or adjustment (if you can even do that?) or its shot and I just need a new one.
I tried to get back on terms but I could only really ride threshold, any punch I might have had was weighed down due to excessive meat consumption. I settled into an ok groove though and actually felt pretty good for laps 2 and 3 all things considered. I was certainly having fun at least and that was the goal. Having suspension and gears for the first time on this course certainly helped to decrease the required suffering. Not sure I would have survived the day on a rigid SS.
Felt like I finished strong, I passed a few guys later in the race to avoid the DFL and still had some gas in the tank so I'm feeling good about my 100K and possible 100mi goals for later this year. Early season block of racing/training is done. Its a bit of a break now, NEMBAfest, fun riding and eventually the Carrabassett 100K. Vive le Summertime!