Sunday, May 4, 2008

IMBCS #2 - Ingawanis' Revenge

(Actual number worn by the author)

IMBCS #2 was today at Camp Ingawanis south of Waverly. The Rasmussen Squad was well represented with at least 8 riders toeing the line at the start of the sport and expert races. I haven't ridden at Ingawanis before, and the recent rains meant that the course was moved to the "upper half". Upper half meant the part of the course that was built into the side of the hills, and had a ton of off rocky off camber areas. To say that the course was challenging would be an understatement. Kent Carlson and I left around 6:30 AM to make the trip up. We arrived around 8:45 AM, said hi to Cam and Bruce who came up together, and then went to check in. The photo at the top shows the number I happened to get, and omen of things to come. The expert, sport and single speed fields were on course at the same time, with the expert field getting a 5 minute head start. The sport field was large, and although we had plenty of room going up the road to the single track entrance, we quickly formed a very slow single line of bikes. The off camber climbs and descents worked to really slow things down for everyone. Unfortunately, the number 13 struck about 5 minutes into my race, as the quick link in my chain decided to self destruct right at the start of a small climb.

I grabbed the bike and chain and ran out of the course to get a replacement link (note to self, carry a quick link in my seat bag from now on). At the start finish line, I asked if I could still race for points if I fixed my bike and got off course. After checking with someone else, the start/finish people said I could still race for points. I headed to the truck and fought with some regular chain links until a kind soul two trucks down asked if I could use a quick link. I put the link back in and headed out on course, dutifully finishing my alotted three laps, slowing down and letting everyone else coming up behind me pass unhindered. The course itself was very challenging, with only one really flat part, and the rest of it consisting of either fast descents with roots or other treachery along the route and at the bottom, or various long or switch backed climbs with roots at various points along the way. One broken chain, one scraped ankle and a good hour and forty minutes later, I crossed the finish line. After the awards ceremony, I checked my time and it was listed as DNF. Appears that the start/finish people were misinformed about the legality of me completing the race. So $25 entry fee, a tank and a half of gas later, I'm home, with only a nice piece of road rash around my left ankle and goose egg on my right hip to show for the effort. I did have a good conversation with Kent on the way up and back, and saw Paul Jacobson and Paul Varnum from Ames, so the day was not a complete loss.

The Rassy riders placed well, with Cam Kirkpatrick taking the Expert win, Kent Carlson taking the Sport Single Speed win, and another Rasmussen rider taking the win in the women's Sport class. Congrats to everyone who won and finished. It was sweet seeing all of the black kit on the start line.

The new hand grips Donny Q suggested I use worked out well. My hands felt fine after the race and my shoulders and neck have much less stress now than they did after Sylvan Island. Over all the fit that I had Donny do for me seems to have cured the issues I've had with my hamstrings, so it was well worth the time and effort to have the fit done. 

I may need work a bit on adjusting the angle of the grips relative to my arms as I had some issues with burning sensation along the two tendons in the middle of my left wrist during the last lap. It was making it difficult to use the front brake, and hard to put any weight on the wrist on descents. Sitting here now, I'm feeling the same thing in my right wrist too.

I didn't bring a camera, so no photos from the day. If I find some, I'll link to them.

Update: Appears that the computer had it wrong. I actually was counted among the finishers of the race. I'm happy to report that I was not DFL either. :) Thanks to Mr Bidwell for getting to the bottom of things.


B I D W E L L said...

Good to see you again Steve. Not sure what was up with the DNF, checking into that. We were totally cool with having you fix and go... Wish I could have gotten a picture of your finish, would have been priceless! Thanks for coming out!

Steve Fuller said...

While the photo would have been priceless, I think there are enough of those of me floating on the net that we can let this one slide. I was just happy to finish the ride at that point. Hell of a challenge for an old guy like me just getting into the sport. :)

kent said...

hey man...nice recap. the results are posted on the ingawanis mtb site. you're not a dnf...way to hang in there after your setbacks.