The 2013 race season has come to a close for me, and overall, it was a very satisfying season. I had some great results, some good results and some so-so results. The highlights of my season was finishing 2nd overall, in category, in the New York State MTB Series. This included three podiums with one win. And the other highlight came in min-June at the Wilmington-Whiteface 50K. Although I didn’t podium at Whiteface, I finished 4th in age category, only 1.5 seconds off the podium. That was actually a big surprise for me. I knew I rode mostly well, but I didn’t think I rode 4th place well. I think that my mindset might have improved after that race. The final highlight for 2013 was a second place finish at the annual Darkness @ 909 Night MTB Race. I love the trails at 909 and add night riding, this is just such a fun race. I also had a handful of mid-pack mountain bike finishes and so-so cyclocross finishes.
With my cyclocross results, I’m mostly ok with it. Although I love cyclcross, I have always said that just because I love it doesn’t mean I’m good at it. I’m proficient in the skills of cyclocross, but it’s so much of a different animal for me. I kind of find it hard to adjust to “cyclocross fitness” compared to “mountain bike fitness”.
The “lowlight” of my season was a ruptured tendon in my middle finger on my left hand. I injured the finger during my 3rd place finish at the SOS Singletrack Challenge (NYS MTB Series). As I look back at that race, I think that was the difference for me between second and third in that race. While the injury kept me out of only one mountain bike race, it certainly did affect my cyclocross racing. I had to wear a splint to heal the tendon and reattach it to the bone. This greatly affected the use of my hand, and I pretty much couldn’t use the left STI lever on my cyclocross bike. I tried, but after a few ‘cross races of struggling with it, and having some very close calls, I decided to build up a fully rigid 29er to race ‘cross. Sure the bike was almost 10 lbs heavier, but using a flat bar with MTB brake lever worked for me while a drop bar and STI lever did not. I wanted to keep racing, so this was the way to do it.
Again, overall I am very pleased with my 2013 race season. I’m continuing to ride and train through the winter and I’ll be ready for 2014. And, the tendon in my finger has reattached to the bone. While I still don’t have full range of motion with my finger, it no longer affects my cycling.