My neck is red, swollen and itches like the devil!
Yesterday was the Ruby 50 mountain bike race put on by Fun Promotions.
Somewhere along my second loop, I was on the Avoca trail pushing 20 mph sucking down a gel, thinking about this song from the Greys Anatomy soundtrack:
When I was stung by something that must have been flying butt first down the trail. It hurt like the dickens and I couldn't stop slapping and scratching at it until I was back in the single track concentrating on the trail.
The gnarly switchbacks pushed the itch and burn from my neck right out of my mind!
Overall, I was happy with how the race went.
The first lap was the worst, I missed the break at the beginning and never made up the gap.
Once I was into the single track I let all the "intimidating" stories people had told me about the trail take over and it turned me into a total mess.
I had trouble ascending and descending the switchbacks and almost toppled face first into the river. On my way back to the timing tent I saw Kevin (Laroe) from wheels in motion coming up behind me.
Kevin and Josh had discussed gopro filming tips at the Island Lake Demo and I saw he had his camera with him at Ruby. Thats when I remembered I was supposed to be riding with our camera today (and that I had forgotten it at home).
I told this to Kevin as we exited the single track and started the climb back up the driveway.
As we came to the top of the climb, Kevin pulled off the trail and jumped off his bike.
Just off the starting line he had hid a gopro camera to film the riders coming in and out for laps. I started laughing as I was leveling out onto the rode.
This pulled me out of my slump and from then on I felt better (minus the sting).
A very nice single speeder demonstrated a clean line down the switch backs and the river crossing became air conditioning for the feet.
I never did see the first place rider, Melanie Bermier (Reynold Cycling), after the start...she was having a great ride and after my mistakes, I wasn't going to make up the lost time.
I pretended I could anyways and pushed past my normal comfort zone. I kept my legs in just "enough" discomfort that I am still considerably sore today.
I was also able to push through every lap without stopping and even performed a very fancy extraction of a gel from my hydrapak while riding.
Coming in second, without any injuries and only one bee sting was worth the price of admission...and now I can say I survived the Ruby course...and if anyone asks me what I think of the course...I would tell them....it's a blast!