Cat 1 Singlespeed, DNF.
Bit late posting this obviously, but since I reference these blog posts when planning for races, this one may come in handy for 2014.
Having said that, if the future Finn is reading this...RUN 32X20 at Domnarski, you moron.
So for a person who believes that things happen for a reason, I sure messed up this time. On the day before the race, Adin Maynard comments in my blog asking about gearing and I inexplicably don't see it as a sign that running 32X18 is too big a gear for me. I figured out it was in the warmup. I didn't bring extra cogs to the race, so I'm stuck with what I was running. Most everyone else in the Cat 1 field was running 32X20. Adin, too, ran 32X20 and won the Cat 2 SS field (in front of a strong 3rd place for my teammate Gabe).
As for me, the Cat 1 race starts out in a 32x20 conga line up hill and me with my big gear, I'm struggling. Too hard a gear, and being in a different gear in the conga line means I'm not going fast enough to be in a groove, grinding too hard, rubbing tires. Up we go, I make a couple passes, the first 5 of us stay pretty close.
The thing about running too big a gear is that the lighter geared guys can go away from you on the steeper climbs, but you figure you'll get them on the gradual climbs and flats. But you're spent from the steep climb, then you push to catch up on the flat. You make up ground, but then by the time you get to the next climb you're spent from chasing and away they go. On a hill I attacked on last year (in 32x20) I ended up walking some this year. I wasn't having as much fun as I should have.
So midway through the 1st lap Arnold Roest (eventual winner) goes by. That put me in 4th and I decided that if I could see Arnold by the end of the lap, I'd suffer through a 2nd lap. I saw Arnold all the way up the power lines, about 20 seconds in front of me (I counted). Could also see the two leaders up further. Then I lost Arnold on the downs leading to the start/finish, but figured it was tight and twisty enough that he was probably right there. But near the end of the lap I was pretty bushed.
I came upon a slightly dazed geared rider on the side of a rocky downhill trail and stopped to see how he was doing. He was hurting. Things happening for a reason and all, I decided to pull the plug on my day and ride out with him.
Domnarski Farm is a fun race (with the right gearing) and a good time. There were a bunch of exciting finishes too - guys sprinting right to the line. And it was great to see all the Root 66 crowd I hadn't seen yet this year -- bunch of really good guys.
So, now looking forward to the Pinnacle. Curious to see if my climbing legs are adequate. I'll be in 32x20.
I'll be breaking my 2-hour commute rule (again), but I've never raced there and it's supposed to be a fun race and it'll be my last one for a few weeks before I pick things back up in late July (so I say now...). I have a shoulder injury I've been nursing since March that just isn't healing, so I'm hoping a bit of down time might help. Of course, an X-ray might help too. Maybe in October.
Thanks for reading.