Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reforestation Ramble WORS #9, 2011

Don’t forget tonight is the first of many Ronsta rides at Lapham Peak State Park.  Great late season fitness tuner with riding for everyone, we do a social lap followed by hot laps at whatever pace people can handle.  People usually bring food to pass around by a bon-fire afterwards!  Always a great time.
A bit late but here is an update from 2 weekends ago at the Reforestation Ramble.
My daughter Asa had another Great Race taking 2nd in her 8 and under Age Group again, and a few other Vision youth had good races like Connor Mccoll and Andrew Guerra in this short video edit.  Marty Tank also found his way into one of the pics at the start of Connors race?  Asa sure knows how to give a good post race interview with all the Mountain bike lingo.
As for my race…
It is ironic how much fun you can have with people of whom, in just a few moments, you will give every ounce of effort in your body to get as far away from as possible!  The level of competition in the Wisconsin Off Road Series is amongst the best in the Nation, yet the camaraderie ranks just as high, with a growing sense of community.  The smiles at the Pro/Cat1 call-up line is becoming ritual to our bi-weekly brawl of cycling prowess.294575_2289594130359_1564156322_32455604_2045296_nThe Reforestation Ramble is usually anticipated to have a roadie type feel to the race, which this race did not disappoint in the latter laps, but the start this year was a bit different…IT WAS FULL THROTTLE from the word GO!
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In this picture you can see the sling-shot coming from Ben Koenig on the far left.  He seemed to be on an HTC-Highroad lead out mission for the first mile or two. 
I decided to test the group and see if anyone wanted to push the pace along after Ben was done, but there was no real effort from anyone else.  In hindsight this effort was a mistake as it put me a little over limit right before the 1st single track, which is when I should be in place to make a move.  Cole House jumped to the front for the hole shot followed by Brian Eppen and I.  Cole got a sizable gap right away, which no one would, or maybe could, work together to chase and he was out of sight very soon.  I attempted the chase briefly but was over limit having worked way too much early on.  Eventually Matter went to the front and Tristan and I were the only ones able to follow.  We came back to Cole at about the half way point in the long 12 mile lap. 
Cole is a very experienced road racer and had his tactics planned, he was obviously resting as we came upon him.  As soon as the we bridged he started attacking hard into and out of each single track section.  I was at the back and suffering pretty bad from the yo-yo being created and when Tristan started throwing the elbow to come through I knew we may be in trouble.  I have not been over limit in a race like that since Subaru Cup I think.    Been a long 4 weeks straight of racing and my base might have been lacking a bit.
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Tristan and I rode to recover for a bit and were caught by the chase group  a little ways into the 2nd lap, which made for a group of about 10 riders.  I rested a little but with that size group I tried to snap the elastic once or twice during the 2nd lap in the single track.  My legs were still not ready for a big effort so I shut it down and rested at the back till the start of the 3rd lap.  As soon as we hit the 1st single-track I started attacking in and out to whittle it down.  Tristan, Ted Hanes, and I were able to survive the efforts with 1/2 a lap to go.  I was the aggressor of the group and kept getting gaps but could not hold them off for long. 
There was a hilarious moment going into the last single track climb, pretty much the only semi-significant climbing section on the course.   My Dad was doing all my water hand-ups and he was like a ninja out on course showing up in the oddest places.  On lap 2 he was in the middle of no-where in the single track around a blind corner and all I heard was him yelling to take a water when suddenly  the bottle was in my face and I was grabbing it as I came around.  Talk about Star Wars speeder bike hand-ups!  So when it was down to just the 3 of us fighting for 3rd, I was going into full on attack mode trying to drop Tristan and Ted on this climbing section before the last straight away to avoid a sprint finish and suddenly my dad comes flying out the woods on my right running along side me at like 20 MPH…I am standing/sprinting uphill, but in need of water, and with Dad’s effort I could not let it go.  Somehow I grab the water while entering uphill single-track in a standing sprint while yelling at lap traffic that I am coming on the left and still get a gulp down and start descending while placing my water bottle in the holder.  Definitely had a few laughs and comments about my Dad’s ninja abilities and record breaking 50 yard dash.
Even with all that the attack didn’t stick and it was 3 of us coming into the last long straight away with Tristan leading and Ted trying to come around.  I was in good position for  the last corner and had a good jump left, but it was decided by lap traffic as Tristan was taken off-course trying to pass a lapped rider.  Pretty sure I had the best legs and sprint left amongst the 3 of us, but I think Tristan would have had 4th as Ted had to work really hard to get back to us in that final stretch.
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Asa missed her podium so she got in on the Pro/Cat 1 action!
Thanks for watching and reading,
Nathan
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