Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Nimby Fifty

This past weekend, for the third time, I participated in the hardest but funnest race I ride all year. The day started really well; not a cloud in the sky, and knowing Pemberton well, I knew it was going to be a hot and dusty day. Before the race started I had the chance to take a picture with Catharine Pendrel and my two girls. I've met her before but this time I asked for a picture - maybe next time an autograph...
I posted a while back about this race and how hard it actually is; it never fails. Even though I raced it before, it was the hardest I have ever done. The course was the same but it was hot and dusty; the dust actually made some sections very slippery.
My starts are never very good. I'm always too nervous and lose a bit of time getting passed by the overly excited riders that bonk early, just to pass them back on the Nimby climb. Funny as it sounds this is where I gain my focus and start picking up speed. The only problem is because of my poor start I get caught behind and have to play catch up. Once the big climb is done you have time to think of what's to come...

My kids, me and the next Olympic gold medalist (photo: my wife)
Overnight Sensation (the downhill section of the course) is hard enough on a good day; with an XC hardtail, the seat all the way up and baby tires, it's a challenge to say the least. Even though I was taking it easy, for fear of flatting (more on this later), a few times I came close to losing it. I finished it without a scratch.
Up to this point, I was doing really well and was starting to pass a lot of riders that seemed to be fading on the second half of the course. That’s when it happened. As I was following a rider that I had just passed on a climb, he passed me back on a downhill. Not wanting too much of a gap, I started to go a bit faster than I should have...
Knowing that my tires were not up to the pounding, I was telling myself to slow down to avoid a mechanical. My ego took over and what had to happen happened. BANG! Pssssss…CRAP! A FLAT! Changing the flat was not a big deal but pumping it was horrible. Never will I bring a pump with me again, it seemed to take forever. Next time a CO2 inflator; that would have saved me so much hassle.
By that point the race was almost over. Feeling a bit disappointed, I pushed on to the end as hard as I could, trying to make up as much time as possible. By the time I reached the finish line my legs felt like over inflated balloons ready to pop. As I was collecting myself, out of nowhere, comes the legendary Bret Tippie who gave me a rock star interview! That was pretty cool - thanks Bret.
Rock star interview with legendary Bret Tippie (photo: my wife)
Minus a few mishaps on the course, I had a great time as usual. The BBQ and beers were a nice reward for what was a hard few hours on the saddle. I'll be back next year for more of a beating, without a doubt.