I had a two race weekend to close out October. Not unusual during ‘cross season. But this time, day one was a mountain bike race. Actually it was a night time mountain bike race, the annual Darkness at 909. This race is held each year on Halloween weekend at the Taconic-Hereford Sate Park, Multiple Use Area 909 in Pleasant Valley, NY. This is the first time I’ve raced Darkness at 909. With lights ready to go and a 29er singlespeed, I arrived ready for a good ride on some great singletrack. As usual, Eastern Sports Promotions put on a well organized, very good event. Your number plate was your start time and I had number 728. The first rider is off and pedaling at 7:00, with one minute intervals between each rider. I’m not sure how many riders were there, but I did see number plate 825.
I’ve ridden these trails many times, but night riding is just an entirely different animal. My Cygolite Rover II did a great job keeping the trails bright, but I did miss a trail once. I don’t think it was the fault of the trail marker, the last time I raced at 909, in the daylight, I missed the trail in the exact same spot. So I’ll consider that operator error.
This race was a great time and I completed the 8.7 mile TT in ~1:14:00.
Next up on Sunday morning was the Wicked Creepy Cyclocross Race in Bennington, VT. I do have to say that racing Saturday night made for a tough Sunday morning cyclocross race. With short sleep and short recovery, Sunday’s race felt like I was wearing leg weights. The Bennington course was a pretty fast course and pretty much not technical. There was however, a very steep run-up led by mud. I thought that it was a pretty good course. Not as good as last week’s Saratoga course, but a good course. I like the fast approach to the barriers and the tight, twisty turns.
I finished in 19th place of 21 riders, -1 lap with 5 laps completed. After lap one I didn’t even think that I could finish the race. But I hung in there for my 19th.