Cranky's Corner

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My first DNF

Well it was bound to happen at some point, so no point in hiding it.

I arrived at the PCX course much earlier this week to get in some warm up laps and I was feeling pretty good, even though I ate it on a soft corner right in front of someone. I was going about 3/4 race pace and trying to try out some new lines (not to mention we were racing the course backwards today so everything was different) and I washed out on this one uphill corner and bit the dust. No harm done, just a dropped chain. I finished the lap and did a couple of more w/o incident and I felt good when we were ready to start.

The whistle went off and I was hanging with the main group fighting for position around the narrow corners all the way up until the first barriers. I had a great dismount, cleared both barriers, remounted and then missed clipping in, my foot slipped and I sort of threw off my trajectory, I recovered as best I could, finally got my foot clipped in but now I was behind the lead group and probably let 2 people go by me during my mishap. I fought back to the group and caught them on this really narrow twisty section through the trees.

While I was making my way through the trees, I went wide on one corner and someone came  on my outside, so I went to squeeze on his inside and I guess he thought he was going to fall because he pushed me with his hand and I almost ended up in a tree. He apologized but I had to unclip to prevent getting up close and personal with some bark. I somehow managed to say in front of him at least down the back straight but then he overtook me on this slight uphill. No worries, I stayed on his wheel until the steepest part of the course when I got into some soft stuff and fishtailed up the hill and hand to run it for a bit. Not quite sure what happened but I was riding the same line I warmed up with and had no issues. I get back on and now really have to chase to catch up which seemed futile.

I was holding my own on lap 2 when I got to the barriers again. I went to dismount and I was still carrying too much speed and just took the bike to the ground. I was going full gas trying to catch up and got sloppy. I picked myself up, crossed the barriers gingerly and got back on the bike. I’ll well behind at this point as another couple of people passed me and I’m pretty sure I was in last place. No matter, I remounted and kept going.

Then I hit the stairs. My heart is beating through my chest at this point, I dismount, run up the stairs, shuffle my bike around the course, remount and… go over my handlebars. I really have no idea what happened, the remount is on a slight downhill so that played a part but not sure what I did. I managed to say on my feet as I jumped over the bars as the bike endo’d but it wasn’t pretty. I think the bike is ok, other than pulling some grass out of the levers and bar plugs.

I tried to race back on as hard as I could but I just felt so cooked at this point and I was getting sloppy. I got lapped just before the start/finish line and I called it quits as I rolled over the line to complete lap 2. I felt like I was going to hurt myself if I stayed out there and I wasn’t really having a ton of fun at this point.

Needless to say, I still learned a lot – like what not to do! Basically I panicked and over extended myself and got sloppy. I really need more practice on the course at race pace, warmups are ok, I can usually ride them flawless, but make me have to chase and I make mistakes a plenty.

2 Comments

  1. Sucks what happens when we start to tire out! Seems like you’ve got the right attitude though, brother.

    • Thanks. I checked out the results from last night, I wasn’t the only one who DNF’d and only 4 people finished on the lead lap. Tough crowd!

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