Sunday, April 29, 2012

Return to Michaux

I have raced in Michaux probably 10 times since I started racing bikes in the early 90's. I'll admit in the past 10 years, I haven't made the trip. Today, I headed out to do the Michaux Maximus 20 miler. When I did my normal google stalking of the registrations it looked like there were 3-4 guys who I knew would likely beat me. Foremost of those was Jason from Eastern Woods Research. Jason handled me pretty easily at Ironhill last year, and previously to that  beat up on some of the local guys that pretty regularly  beat up on me.
I have to be honest, in my past 10 races at Michaux my best results were 2 top tens. This is based a few factors:
1. I suck at point to point races
2. I don't ride rocks all that often and not always so well
3. fatmarc is not the world's greatest climber.

TedLogic joined me for the trip out, which like the last time I came out, turned out to be quite a bit of an adventure. Let me say this, downtown York is beautiful in the morning, and we had at least 25 minutes to get ready to toe the line.
Ted Logic finishes up his race..
So the race started off on a fireroad. TedLogic took off the line, I was a little more conservative in my start. I looked up and TedLogic was clear of the group. I made sure that no one went with me, and bridged up to his wheel. Ted nodded when I made contact, and I felt him ramp up the pace. As the road rolled up TedLogic flicked his elbow looked at me and said, "get out of here Faticus!" I took the lead.

I kinda figured that I'd get reeled in at some point. I focused on riding smoothly through the rocks, and not making any mistakes early. In the back of my head, I knew Jason was coming. I was running scared. I stayed focused on what was in front of me, and never looked back.

About a third into the race, I caught up to Dan also from Eastern Woods Research. Dan was the leader in the Single Speed class. Dan and I would ride the bulk of the race together. I can't speak for Dan, but it was awesome to pace off of him, and keep me honest as the race wore on.
Dan (the pickle)  was awesome to ride with on this day.
As we came through the first road crossing and towards Dead Woman's Hallow climb. Dan pulled up along side of me, and said, "the is a long one, stay steady". Dan crushed it on a single speed. I was impressed.  I'd also point out Lance from Adventures for the cure, who we had passed in the single track with a flat flew by us on this on this bastard long climb. We were about half way through, and I admit I was running scared. As I crested the Dead Woman's Hollow, for the first I thought that I might pull this off... but still he was out there...

On the three mile trail, known for it's big gnarly rocks, I almost launched myself over my bars and onto the to ground. I felt myself going over, and just when I was about over the tipping point, my seat hit me in the ass and the rear wheel went back to the ground. Disaster averted. "keep your head in the game, don't blow this now" I said to myself.

Dan and I continued to pace each other, and drive the pace as we slipped through the trails. At mile 15 or so I started feeling like I was cracking. I took a couple of drinks from my camelback, and focused on staying smooth, Dan was right there and we were still rolling pretty good. But I was getting tired, and I knew he was back there...

We rode past the final road crossing and looked up at our final 2 mile climb that would twist its way back to the finish. I never felt so excited to climb 2 miles. I got a little gap on Dan, and bit my lip, and focused on keeping a good cadence and finishing thing off. I was feeling good again, I could taste it and for the first time today, hell the first time this spring I allowed myself to look back, all the while thinking, "please don't be there, please don't be there..."

He wasn't... I crested the hill, and roll up the finish straight into finishing gates. I'm not sure how, but I had won the Michaux 20 Mile Old Man Race (35+)...
Dan and I after the race..
Yeah, I'm pretty stoked. Wins are hard to come by and this guy doesn't see too many of them, so I'm all smiles today. It's been a pretty crazy spring since I started school. A spring that I didn't expect that I'd really be able to race much at all. I'm riding less than I have in years, and well. It's the strangest thing...Sometimes it's best to not question these things. Lord knows I not gonna...

Buck and Company greeting us at the end !
Great to See Melanie out today!
Great to see Jerry and Todd- 2 guys I've been chasing around for 20 years.


d.lowe said...


Mark Featherman said...

way to go!

MB said...

AWESOME!!!!!! Congrats, my friend.

I just love me some EWRs. . .

forty f15teen said...

best read in a while on old congrats on the W!

1speed said...

Way to go, Marc! Winning at Michaux is huge! Great job!

leoferus said...

Congratulations! By the way, perhaps riding leads is good for you. I mean that you might have needed more recovery inn the past but now you are forced to recover. This is just food for thought and not a scientific observation. I'm no racer but I benefit greatly from training hard and also recovering properly.