Classic Mud Bath: Highland Forest Race - NY
August 4, 2008 · Print This Article
One of the nicest benefits of off-road racing is the difference in sponsors and their mellowness…free organic beer! That just doesn’t seem to happen at stuffy road races. As you can see, it was a complete mud bath as we expected after several days of thunderstorms. Highland Forest is rarely ever “dry” but this was as bad as ever.
That’s Katina’s shoe. Miraculous that we could even clip back into the pedals carrying around all that crap. Here she is in her muddy glory:
We did three laps of 5.8 miles of varying degrees of mud - some thick and glue-like, some enormous puddles of soupy wet mud, some so clingy to the tires that you just spin and spin, some where pine needles would stick to what’s on your tires to make for cabbage-sized clumps stuck in your brakes, lots of off- canter wet roots to make you throw yourself off the bike…you get the picture. I chose, for once, to ride it more conservatively than I would when it’s dry, and only did one gentle endo. There was also a new section which was completely unrideable (I talked to a semi-pro who said he ran it all 5 of the laps he did, so there you have it - one of his laps was a mistaken extra, unfortunate to do more of that crap than necessary.) So you had to push your bike up and down these steep, thickly mudded, off-canter trails with prickers all along the sides, your shoes not getting any purchase in the greasy stuff. Just the thing you want to do three times..
So, as expected, there were just three women doing the expert race, Katina, me and a third who I didn’t know. Also as expected, Katina kicked my ass by more than 8 minutes on the 3 lap course, as she should. I got 2nd, which is ok by me.
Not a very flattering picture of either of us below. (My jersey is clean because I rode for the Sprockids in one of their jerseys.) The weather sure looks nice here, doesn’t it?
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