Race #3 of the New York State Mountain Bike Series was held this past Sunday July 28, at Stewart State Forest near Newburgh, NY. Stewart has some of the most fun, flowing, singletrack trails in the northeast. Certainly the best in the Hudson Valley Region of New York. This race is a new race and a welcomed race for the NYS MTB Series racers. Many of us remember the old Stewart Singletrack Challenge from back in the day. And we all came here for the singletrack.
The course was a muddy 9.5 mile loop with the majority of the trail being singletrack trails connected by short, but very fast, bursts of dirt road. After a very fast start on a slight down grade, I was the first in the woods, just where I wanted to be. This is the kind of course where I excel…fast, flowing, fun, singletrack. I held the lead for probably about the first four miles, with three of us right there at the front. Then getting passed by the two riders behind me, and trying to stay in contact, I crashed. Not bad…not hard…the front wheel just washed out in the mud on a drop-off. However, after that, something wasn’t quite right with my left middle finger. I couldn’t reach the brake lever very well and I couldn’t squeeze with too much pressure on the break lever. I though I probably broke the finger. At that point I just settled in, rode as fast as I could and enjoyed the trails. I did lose contact with the other two riders, but I was still well ahead of the riders behind me. While I thought that I was holding second, I did realize, after that, it was third. So, I ended up finishing a very strong third place…the first podium of the season!
After the race, I had the folks at the medical tent look at my finger. After my glove was off I could see that it wasn’t broken or dislocated. And after visiting with the on-site EMT’s, I could see that I new more than they did of what was wrong. A visit to my own doctor did reveal a stress fracture at the tip and as I thought, a probable torn ligament. I have no discomfort and no pain, I just can’t straighten the tip at the first knuckle. But, the best news is that I can continue to ride and race as long as I feel the finger won’t be an issue.
Full results for the S.O.S. Mountain Bike Challenge are now available online.