1st, the new cables decided to stretch or break loose from something and get out of sink by exactly half a shift. I got off the bike and fixed that, and it stayed good for the rest of the race. About 5 minutes later, still on the 1st lap, I made the mistake of shifting into the granny and I got an almost incurable case of chainsuck. I got off the bike and spent some time fixing that. When all was said and done, a ton of people whizzed by. By the second lap, my bike was back into racing shape.
I had a good time riding the single track on the front end of the course. The bontrager Mud Xs were absolutely great in the muddy, curvy, hilly singletrack. I could punch it at full throttle up the steepest of inclines, and tear through the greasy corners. The second time I got to the Stairway climb I decided to walk up it instead of my usual strategy of riding 'till I can't. I really regret not trying. Not that it would have made me finish any differently, but I am just disappointed I didn't give it everything on a hill. I had a solid ride through the quarry, both times. Some other riders were a little squirrelly due to the limited traction, but for me, it was just point and shoot, with no issues at all.
Overall, I think I had the most fun at this race than I have all year, and I didn't have a total disaster like every other time. Unfortunately, I think I blew it trying to "taper" for that race. Now I need to basically start over from scratch and get ready for the end of MTB season. Next race, I'm going to be sure I take my bike for a dry run a couple days before.
Until next time ...