Lost Valley Luau

Posted on 1:28 PM by Schottler

Drove down to Lost Valley with Green Beans on Sunday to race some mountain bikes. It was said to be 11.5 mile laps, with the Cat 1's doing 3 laps. There was an excessive heat advisory, 96 degree's with 70% humidity. It was super hot, but I was honestly expecting worse... but the mosquito's made up the difference. I donated a lot of blood to the little bastards, along with every other person there.

The start of the race was a little over a half mile of Katy Trail like double track, where I testing my drafting skills to use as little energy as possible to get ready for the upcoming climb. I hit the double track climb at about 3rd position still feeling fresh and picked up the pace, I looked back and I opened up a bit of a gap, so I tried to stay at a comfortable pace for a little while. Then I see Devin Clark, a strong road racer, coming up on my wheel. We took a couple turns pulling and then Ploch went by to get into the single track first, I immediately jumped on his wheel. I followed Ploch through all of the first section of single track, where we opened up a gap on the rest of the field, then made it to the next double track where we both pulled to keep up our average speed.

Coming into the 2nd and 3rd laps I had to CX dismount to grab a couple cold bottles and hop back on, which seemed to have wasted about 15 seconds each time. I lost Chris on the hill coming into lap 2 doing this, but I managed to catch him at the top of the climb. He told me to lead the single track, I was a little hesitant because I thought he would be running faster through it than me. I felt pretty good and picked up the effort quite a bit, losing sight of Chris after about 5 minutes or so. Once I was on my own I turned on cruise control near full gas the rest of the race. I will have to double check results when they are posted, but I think my finish time was about 1:56, 3 minutes or so ahead of Ploch. Total distance was supposedly around 34 miles... which would equal a ridiculous average speed, but I think Chris told me total distance was 30 miles... still pretty fast.

A lot of this race was flat double track, which is fine for me because I have become a Katy Trail/gravel Jedi over the last couple of years with the bocomo peloton. The single track sections were a lot of fun... pretty flowy, but I was almost positive one of the million sharp rocks were going to get me. But somehow again, my tires survived to let me win the overall a second weekend in a row. And thank you Team Seagal for the PBR after the race, pretty sure that saved my life. Also thanks to Mesa Cycles and Matt James for putting on a very well run race. I can't believe everyone managed to sit out there for 5+ hours in the heat and mosquito's, more impressive than anyone racing if you ask me.

Next weekend my MTB will be in route to Colorado with Green Beans and Mike Best for the Marathon National Championships the 4th of July, so no mountain racing for me. I will either race a local crit or most likely go out for a moderately hard 4-5 hour gravel ride.


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