King of Burlingame Race Report


After 13 days without racing I was getting pretty antsy, and more importantly, I was running out of blog fodder. There's only so many ways to write "I freaking love riding at Otis," you know?

Fortunately, today brought the King of Burlingame MTB TT to me, a very different and very awesome kind of mountain bike race. Being an individual start and only 7 miles, it had a lot in common with a 10k ski race and bore little resemblance to the 2-hour, soul-crushing beatdowns that most mountain bike races are. Given that I've done a ton of the former and tend to suck at the latter, I considered this a good thing.

It turns out I was lying big time when I said it was only an hour from Boston. It's actually closer to two, and I can never make another "LOL RHODE ISLAND IS TINY" joke again, because I got up at 5-freaking-30 to drive down there.

ANYWAY.

The early departure was worth it for the preride, since I really wanted to get 14 miles in for a 3.5 hour round trip and I was sure as hell not riding after I finished. The preride revealed a mostly-dry-but-occasionally-wicked-muddy course, and also a good deal of flat and smooth roadie-tastic sections punctuated with technical rock gardens. Post-ride, Linnea and I retired to the car in a vain attempt to warm up before racing while whimpering about how our legs were going to get ripped off on the smooth sections. You might think a whole cross season of whining about that kind of thing would get it out of my system... but you'd be wrong.

Start time kind of snuck up on me so I didn't really warm up, I kind of just rode a bit on the road to make sure it was still cold out and then went to the line. Thanks to various no-shows I ended up with a minute cushion in either direction (should have been 30 second intervals), so it figured to be a lonely effort.

I had my Garmin on the bars with the timer in SUPER BIG FONT so I could actually read it, the idea was to go hard from the gun and hang on, convincing myself to keep the pain up by counting down the minutes remaining. Of course by the top of the first climb I had to shift into "just hang on" mode and when I looked down my clock said 3 minutes. Ooh, this one is going to hurt.

Riding a 30-minute race is really cool, I got to use my big ring way more than usual and ride everything much more aggressively, sprinting out of corners and lunging through rocky sections. I thought to myself, "hey, this must be what it's like to be John Peterson... except I'm getting tired."

Around the halfway mark I caught my one-minute man, which seemed to be pretty good news except I remembered overhearing him say pre-race to someone "so I decided to take [someone's] spot, man I'm gonna get killed in Expert!" On top of that it turns out he had gone over the bars early in the race and possibly broken his collarbone.

Every time I thought I was getting toasted, though, there would be a little downhill rest, so I was able to keep it mostly in the big ring and mostly all-out. Near the end I caught my two-minute man (surprising!) and he told me there was another guy just ahead (!!), so I tried to hang on to going stupid-fast right to the line, where I got my 1:30 man (wtf!).

I'm either in surprisingly good form early (yeah right) or a short, solo race really plays to my strength (more likely). Either way, I ended up clocking 31:23, good enough 4th overall and a sweet new fender for my commuter bike.

Total fluke or mostly a fluke? We'll find out next week at Hopbrook, because you can't fake two hours...

Comments

rosey said…
i chose to get my extra miles by dragging Yash to Vietnam for another mtb ride on the way home. A pre-ride would have been nice although it probably would have just confirmed that the 32-17 gearing I had would be insufficient for the course.
Still a really fun way to spend 30+ minutes riding and 2 hours driving.
Colin R said…
32-17, that would mean you were undergeared, right?

I've always wanted to check out Vietnam. Do you offer guide services? :)
gewilli said…
nice job colin... nice job...
rosey said…
yeah, i was undergeared. i can offer guide services at vietnam. unfortunately i will not be around for many weekends until late august. i'll let you know next time i go though.
josh said…
Next time you see a smooth section, just think "what would josh do" and man up and start riding your damn bike. Remember to stop thinking like me as soon as it gets not-smooth/technical again.
megA said…
and how did your sweet lady do?
Colin R said…
meg -

she won, which is hardly even noteworthy at this point :)

yeah...that's why i didn't mention it... not because i'm a self-centered ass or anything.
solobreak said…
How many more ways can you come up with to pretend that you're not fast? And did I see you two riding in Arlington tonight?
Colin R said…
solo -- if you had been on the ride with myette/gewilli/jamner/me last weekend, you'd understand why I say these things.

You probably did see me riding tonight -- rode around Mystic Lake and then some repeats on Eastern Ave with Linnea. When did you pass? What were you wearing? Someday, we will meet.
solobreak said…
I was sitting in my car at the Mass Ave light and you rode past me. Linnea has "CU" shorts, right?
Colin R said…
yup, that was us.
solobreak said…
We did meet, sort of. How do you think that I recognized you?

I'll have to go research this ride. I did not keep up with the blogs last week. I was staying on Walton's Mountain (literally, there was even a country store where you could buy a John-Boy bobblehead) and we were sans broadband. But you probably never heard of John-Boy...
gewilli said…
ahhh yeah that ride...

it was goodness...

colin's fast on the mt bike cause he's little and got skillz

road? um... he'll get there, eventually...

when he does. holy shit watch out
matt said…
My fellow commentators, please don't buy this "I'm not fast" line. One can not be an expert mtn biker, a A-/B+ cross racer and a slow roadie. Can he climb with the diminutive JJ? Probably not. Is he a classic sprinter? Not really. But he could very easily hang in a 23+ mph group ride... provided he gets over his fear of the rear wheel of the guy right in front of him.
Colin R said…
but...but... it's SPINNING AT ME!
solobreak said…
Blue Hills, access road repeats, tonight, 6-7 pm if you're interested. jellysidedown at gmail. Also, Blue Hills reservation re-opens for (legal) mountain biking April 15. Only sections west of Route 28 and inside 128 are legally open.
megA said…
wait--

why is it hardly worth noting?

confused. please. help.
Colin R said…
Meg -- because she always wins! talking about it would be like reporting that josh crashed out or that gewilli wrote something inflammatory by accident. you know, it's just business as usual.

(Note: Linnea's winning percentage may not actually be as high as this blog makes it out to be)
megA said…
linnea does always win.

damnit.

ride soon?

xo
m
www.myspace/bravoshot said…
Hi,

My wife and i follow your blog. good stuff, very funny. inspired my to start my own (from the point of view in the Novice catagory) at www.myspace.com/bravoshot.
btw, your right grip looked to be loose in the pic from Winding Trails, is that correct?
Colin R said…
Thanks for the kind words, I'll be looking for more race reports from you. For the record the problem isn't that my grip is loose, it's that the brake/shifters are too far in on the bar so it looks the grip is pulling off. It's one of those things that I have been meaning to fix for a good 5 months now.

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