The Woodstock All Terrain Challenge, race #4 of the NYS MTB Series, was held Sunday at the Wilson State Park near Woodstock, NY. A 10 am start with two 6 mile laps great singletrack, steep ups and downs and a couple of stream crossing that went up to your hubs. This was a fun course for me to ride, although, some of the steep ups where very steep…suitable for walking.
It was, however, not meant to me my day…at all. I felt pretty good until the bee sting. At least I think it was a bee. I’m not allergic, but I was on a very steep technical downhill when I was stung. I did manage to save myself from what would have been a pretty nasty endo. Once I got myself together I continued on and into my second lap.
I tend to be a little faster on the second lap. Lap one is usually like a pre-ride for me. The second lap I tend to remember things about the course. This was definitely the case in this race. Or at least for the first 3 miles of the second lap. That is when my race was over. Not from the bee sting, not from fatigue, but from a mechanical. That is when my rear wheel locked up and stopped me dead in my tracks. A broken spoke and a bent twisted chain. Yeah, I’m not quite sure how it happened either. After the spoke snapped, somehow, the chain got caught between the cassette and the hub, twisted, bent and became lodged in there. On the trail I did everything that I possibly could to try to get it out and to continue on. That just wasn’t happening.
At that point I picked up the bike and started to continue on by foot. I wasn’t looking forward to carrying the bike for the next 3+ miles. (Side note: a full suspension bike with the rear shock to the top tube, is not meant to be shouldered.) After about 100 yard like this, I finally cut through the woods and back to the start/finish. That way out was only about a mile and a half.
I went in to this race 3rd overall for the series. I came out, probably 5th or 6th. The final race of the series is in four weeks. We’ll see if everything can stay together and get back the places that I lost.