2 for 2
That's two starts and 2 finishes.
I went into the race looking to beat my 8:32 from last year. Inside, I really wanted to see a 7 at the begining of my final time, but I didn't know if it was possible. I did a pre-ride of the inner-loop on Friday and the trail was in great shape.
Race started around 7am and was slow. I thought it was supposed to be a fast rollout, but I thought it was very mellow. I stayed in the top 20 or so riders and ended up riding by myself for most of the race with a SS'er from MN behind me. I did a 1:50 lap, which was around 8 minutes faster than last year. Lap 2 was 1:54 and I was feeling good, but riding all alone again. Lap 3 came and I was again alone pedaling along on cruise control until I hear a smart-ass comment about my bike come from behind me. It was none other than Lummis coming back from a mechanical problem. I picked up my pace a rode with him for a little bit on the inner loop while passing 3 people. It felt good to open the legs up a little more, but then I decided I was only 65 miles or so in, so I needed to keep my pace a little slower. Two of the riders passed me back a few miles later, but in the outer loop I caught them again and put a gap on them. I did a 1:59, which meant that I had 17 minutes to spare on my last lap in order to beat 8 hours. I knew that all I had to do was turn the cranks and I would achieve my goal. Yeah, that happened, but my mental game went down hill. I was at the point where I was wondering what the hell I was doing. I do not like having an inner and then outer loop go by the pits/parking lot, beacuse there were a few times I wanted to call it a day and go sleep. On the outer loop, I broke a spoke, but easily stopped and twisted it around another spoke before going again. There were a few times I was feeling sleepy tired, but I knew the bugs would kill me. Once I got over that monotonous flat and bumpy section, I was doing much better. I got to the climbs and got back in a rythm which helped. I ended up getting 17th overall in 7:56, 36 minutes faster than last year. I think if I would have had some people to ride with on the last lap, I likely would have been able to keep the pace up. I did get passed by 3 people on lap 4, which costed me places, but that is endurance racing.
Overall, it was a great weekend. A blast. Rick puts on a top notch race and great awards banquet. This is quickly becoming Michigans best race. Sure we have Iceman, but LJ100 is a class of its own.