Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Camp Hilbert Redux

Well, the results are posted for Camp Hilbert #1 and when I saw them I almost fell over. I actually was first in my category, Men Beginner Vet 35+. I have been racing my bike since 2004 and never even sniffed a podium place. Needless to say, I didn't stick around for the awards so I probably missed my chance to stand on the podium and get the offerings from the podium girls. OK, I didn't see a podium or podium girls but a guy can dream, right. Hey, I already had to pinch myself when I saw the results. Looking forward to the next race.

Monday, March 10, 2008

2008 Camp Hilbert Race #1 - Maidens, VA

I entered and rode in the Camp Hilbert Beginner Men's Vet 35+ race on March 9, 2008. I had never ridden Camp Hilbert, this being my third actual MTB race. About Camp Hilbert, the course was fairly flat. There were only a few climbs and only one was steepish for about 50 feet. There were quite a few whoop-de-do's. To be honest, I was not sure what a whoop-de-do was before doing this race but now I know. There were quite a few dry stream crossings that had 6-10 foot drops in and rises out that were the aforementioned whoop-de-do's. The day before had been mostly rain with strong wind so the course was in super shape given those facts. There was only one 30' muddy section where there was standing water the rest would be considered dry mud to dry and only one tree down across the course. Notwithstanding the roots, of which there were plenty, I would consider the course to be fast since I was able to ride the 12+ miles in around 1.5 hours.

The race organization left a little to be desired. There was no table for pre-registered racers so everyone had to wait in the same long line. Since it was ~30 degrees this was not too fun but the promotor promised to make amends for it for race #2. Given the long line and the desire to let everyone race, all the race starts were delayed by more than 30 minutes. Given the temps, that was also not fun, especially if you warmed up thinking that you were going to start at 9:30, got sweaty, then stood around for half an hour chillin', literally. BTW the sun breaking above the trees while we stood in the field provided a little warm-up but shifted the freezing feeling from the hands to the feet. At the start, most of the fields were grouped together (except for the men's enduro which was by far the biggest field) so it was rather impossible to figure out who you were racing against. Of course, it is not easy to look back to see the number of the person you just passed to see if it is close to your number and they are your competition nor do you want to look back to see the number of someone overtaking you for the same crash defying reason. I guess the best thing is to just ride hard, pass as many as you can and let those that need to pass you go by and don't sweat the small stuff. Results were not available when I left so I had no idea where I finished in my category. I will probably do race two because all-in-all it was fun and why not.