The Heat Was Hot in Philippi
Dumb title huh? You try and come up with something all the time and tell me how it goes.
The course was a little loose from all the rain we've been getting, and the heat and humidity were at an all time high, making it hard to push the pace.
We had a rider all the way from Argentina in for the race, WVMBA is gaining some international prestige as where to go for sweet singletrack courses and real mountain bike racing. Lucas Abdala contacted us and said he'd heard about West Virginia mountain biking and wanted some. He said he'd be in for the Race to Little Moe's and could we get him a bike to ride/rent. Thad, owner of Sports-n-Spokes and promoter of Little Moes said he could bring a 29'r out the day of the race for him. Some fiddling around with pedals and cleats (Shimano cleats will run Ritchey pedals, but not the other way around) last minute and we had him ready to race.
The kids race went well, Thad had a new course cut for the kids that doubled as the big kids (adults) finish trail. It had log crossings, bridges, lots of turns and lots of mud. Thanks to Thad for giving these kids a taste of the action. He even had a little kids lounge set up with freeride videos, haybales, a fan running, bug repellant, snacks, and ice cold drinks. What a great showing at a great event.
There was some suffering in the main field as the course was loose and the heat was hot and oppressive. It felt like it would suck the life out of you on the exposed grassy climb. Luckily most of the course was in the shade and they had a water stop setup with cold water at the top of the hill where I used most of my cup over my head in a primitive attempt to lower my body temperature. It works for a little bit, but on the River Trail all I could think about was how bad I wanted to be swimming instead of riding my bike.
One of the challenges to an all singletrack race is finding places to eat and drink. The camelback is a lifesaver because if you an get the spout in your mouth, you're good. I almost wrecked a couple of times trying to fiddle with bottles. Some kind of GU on the second lap would've really helped with the bonking and seeing double near the finish.