Sunday, March 23, 2008

Good Start to the 2008 Season

It's the beginning of a new race season and what better way to start it than with a new bike! Just this week I picked up a new Scott Scale carbon fiber hardtail. This is possibly going to be my lightest bike set-up yet. It's not quite under 20lbs yet, but a few more tweaks and it should just get there.

So, my first race of the season was a small local affair at Ft. Ebey on Whidbey Island. A super fun course, made up mostly of sweet singletrack. Considering the rain we've had recently it was surprisingly dry, and it made a pleasant change not to be slogging through the usual mud bogs of courses this time of year.

I was a little nervous going into this as it was my first race of the season and being still in base training I hadn't tested my legs with much high intensity stuff yet. I also didn't quite know how the new bike would perform either.

The bike and body did great together. The bike was light, nimble and fast, yet comfortable and compliant whilst not losing stiffness. I wouldn't exactly say 'effortless' climbing, but as close as you can get without an engine! Without my usual competition around me it was hard to judge my own performance, but I felt I raced well and had the luxury of being able to pace myself how I wanted to without immediate competition breathing down my neck. After 2 hours, some of the hills were decidedly 'effort-full' and although I had some left inside me at the end, I was glad it wasn't much longer. I did push myself to chase down some of the men and ended up taking first place in my field and wouldn't have fared too badly in the men's field either.

Approaching the finish line

I'm looking forward to more competition at the next race in 2 weeks time, but all together, a good start to the new season.