While almost everyone else was out doing some type of “epic” mt bike race, I stayed very local to do the 2011 edition of Sky Tavern. I admit, this is one of my favorite races:
- Tough climbing
- Twisty, turny singletrack
- Fast, technical downhill
And like the other Sierra Cup races the race was very well run. I took the entire past week off and this race would start my building for Nats at the end of the month.
Unfortunately the race wasn’t very well-attended due to Leadville, TS 100, etc, and I think there were exactly 3 people in the singlespeed category. Guaranteed podium! Whatever. Conrad wasn’t around to push/chase and the field blew up pretty quickly on the first climb, so there weren’t a lot of rabbits around. This is where the Garmin comes in handy – we were doing 4 laps, so I told myself I’d like to try make my laps consistenly hard to make sure I wasn’t slacking-off.
And since Conrad destroyed me in this race last year I wanted to see how I compared to his effort last year. I even created a few new segments because I knew he was putting minutes into me on the DH – I wanted to know how many. Unfortunately the new segments I created didn’t reconcile with his file from last year. So all i have is his overall time, which is 7 minutes faster than mine this year. Not good, for me.
Okay back to the race. Conrad and LT were kind enough to let me borrow one of their SS because mine is still getting fixed.
A couple things I was very interested in trying out were the Tubeless wheelset and the front shock lock-out feature. New things to me. And they were cool and seemed to work very well. However, I’m still very used to my 29er and my descending skills aren’t RAD, so even thought tubeless and at 28psi I didn’t feel too comfortable on the descents. But I did improve my times each lap (see below for Strava link).
The course was amazing though. As I said I love this race but it has been getting better (uh, tougher) over the last couple years because of the amount of water. The upper sections reminded me of a couple Oregon cyclocross races I did last year – deep puddles with the possibility of Loch ness lurking below, much mud, many dismounts and a lot of laughs. Very cool.
I finished 3rd overall on the day, displaced by Justin T and Mario G but won the singlespeed division. I love being on this team because it means Conrad doesn’t show up for singlespeed races. I’m 2 for 2 this year.
See below for Strava data – My highest “Suffer Score” of the year!
Until next time…