I met up with Darin in Fruita and ditched out on the last twelve miles or so, and we headed to the site to make camp.We had a really good ride on Saturday previewing the 31 mile race course Darin was in for on Sunday. The time trial was going on in another trail section, so we took advantage of the good weather and light traffic. The veiws off the west rim are great, and I always stop in a certain place when I ride to throw rocks off the cliffs, eat lunch and have a little rest under some boulders. It finally feels like spring here in the ColoRADo rockies, with desert flowers in bloom the ride was more colorful than the last year at this race.
Darin had his race on Sunday. He was happy that we had already ridden the course so he could know when to pin it and when to relax and enjoy the ride. He knew that it would be a little rough for him, seeing as he was in the single speed open class and the race was too short for him. This guy does more distance than anyone else I know, so when the other guys are burning out he's just warming up. His gear ratio was a little lean, so he kept his pace fast and hard on all the hills but got spun out on the flats. The other ss dudes were running a 2:1, so with Darin on a 32x18 he made time on the way up and descended without brakes for the most part.
Just before the start, Darin handed me an apple and said meet me where you did last year and give me this apple. So I pedaled out a little before the start of the CAT 1 category where Darin's class was mixed in so I could get some shots and video of him and some of the other boys. I counted eight single speeders before I saw Darin on the way out. By the time I saw Darin again, he'd gained at least one spot in the twenty mile loop before the last stretch in. I handed him the apple, he took a few bites while pedaling up a hill, dropped it and took off. In the end, Darin earned a respectable seventh place. Congrats, Darin.
After the race, all Darin could say was it was too short. I think he's probably looking forward to 18 hours of Fruita coming up in the next couple weeks. That is definitely more his style of race, and we'll be out there to cheer him on. I will once again pedal out from my house, probably leave a little earlier in the day so I'm not scared to death on Interstate 70, racing hard to keep from becoming one with the front of a semi truck or the guardrail. Remember, kids, look fast, pedal faster.