This weekend was the Big Bear Classic in the beautiful countryside of West Virginia. Nestled up in the hills is Big Bear Lake surrounded by 4000 acres of private forest land with approximately 40 miles of single track. The terrain offers a variable mix of technical climbs and descents with twisty single track in between.
The experts race had an interesting twist in that they had a short prologue with a $30 prime for the first one across the line. This brought the racers back around for some cheers from the waiting sport and beginner racers. The sport and beginner was a mass start with all charging down a short section of double track and into a bottleneck at the first incline. The bottleneck is of course a large rock on one side and trees on the other. I worked my way through some stopped riders and into the middle of the pack and was feeling pretty good until I dropped my chain the first time. Something that was going to be part of the rest of my race. We got into the single track which was nice and twisty for the first couple of miles and then got more technical. Miles 3 and 4 consisted of some nice technical and muddy singletrack. There were some fun rolling rock drops and some narrow jaunts through boulders. I caught my wheel a couple of times that resulted in a little "a" over teakettle. My legs were feeling pretty good and whenever I stopped it gave me a chance to get something to eat and drink.
There were some nice climbs with flowing downs. It seemed like I would work my way into a group and then get past them and have a problem. At one point I lost my heart rate monitor watch and had to go back to retrieve it. Luckily somebody had picked it up and handed it off to me as they passed. With my watch back on and about 3/4 of the way through the race I wanted to make up some of the places that I lost.
I came in at 8th place for my class which was about the middle of the group. Amanda on the other hand did a little bit better. Here she is at the end:
Look at that smile, she thinks she did well.
Here she is with her second place mug. And here is my award which they gave to everyone:
The last piece of info is Amanda's prize from last week, a new floor pump.