Not in the way that races are supposed to hurt either. This one really, really, hurt.
That night was an interesting one. Sarah and I tried a double hammock for the first time. Hmmm. Not sure how that is supposed to work. We would have gotten a better go at it, but it started to drizzle and the three of us that rode up together all huddled back in my Passat wagon for a good nights......sleep?
Woke up ready to ride some awesome trails that I hadn't seen in a roughly a year.
The race started off in the usual Arkansas Cat 1 fashion. Kinda fast tempo start, hit the single-track, and the group is immediately split apart. I was riding with a fast dude racing for BMC-Walmart for a little while. He was working the hills a bit harder than I was, but I was making the ground back up on some faster sections of trail. It was a pretty non-exciting race with me just yo-yo'ing any where from 10 feet to 10 seconds behind him. I was just waiting for him to peter out a little bit so I could pass him. I figured it was going to be around the 1h30min - 1h45min point. He was wearing a speed-suit, so I figured he was a short distance racer.
Then the race got realllly interesting. I was on lap two descending a long fast section of single-track at roughly 20mph when I accidentally caught my left Ergon bar-end on a small tree. Before I even knew what happened, I was lying on my back, bike on top of me, unable to move, and oh yeah, screaming. I laid on the ground for around 2-3 minutes before even starting to drag myself off the race course. I got to my knees, waited a couple minutes, and then started to stand. Wow, that hurts! Front-flip to back with rocks and roots for a landing zone. I chat with the ever-friendly Bob Ocken of Ocken Photography for a short bit and then get back on my bike to finish the race.
Once on my bike, the pain really wasn't so bad. I mean, it hurt really bad, but it was bearable. Pushing hard with the right leg however, not bearable. I rode conservatively, but still in a hurry. I thought that I had been passed by Drew Medlock of Competitive Cyclist, so I was trying to chase him back down and at least have a shot at 2nd place. When the race was over, it turns out that I did get 2nd place! Yay, now I can put that money towards replacing the helmet that I broke in the crash.
At least the Hobb's course was a great trail, and the atmosphere was great. I'll be back next year sans bar-ends for sure.
That is a baseball sized hematoma folks.