I made yesterday’s Hop Brook Dam MTB Race muddier than it should have been. My muddy-faced Facebook photo even drew comments (through my Dad) from my Mom. She thinks I’m nuts. At least she didn’t have to do my post-race laundry like the old days.
Hop Brook was the first Root 66 Race Series event of the year. It was a blast, but it was hard. Four laps of the five-mile course was a rude awakening for my legs after a long winter. It was on the fateful second lap that I poorly judged a sharp left hand turn on the upper part of the course, launched over my handlebars, and plowed left arm/head first into the deepest mud puddle on the course. It would have made for an awesome video. Alas, I was the only one who saw it. A few other riders saw me covered head to toe in muck, and a few spectators noticed the aftermath, but the actual fall was witnessed by no one else.
For the most part, the course was dry. I don’t ride on muddy trails. It just isn’t right. This course had a few wet spots, including the one I mentioned. Hop Brook is rugged and has a fair amount of up and down. I rode my Seven Sola SL singlespeed. The belt drive was perfect for the course and conditions, though on laps three and four, I walked more than I would have liked. Thankfully, my in-law’s (the Schieffer’s) live 10 minutes from the Middlebury course, so I was able to get to a shower and hose shortly after finishing.
Chris and Jill Logan do a great job with Root 66 and the series looks bigger and better than ever. I’ll race again in two weeks at Winding Trails, and then maybe once more later in the year. I would do more of these, but with trail running and triathlon to juggle, you can only fit so much in the schedule. I saw a lot of friends yesterday and pretty much everyone looked to be enjoying themselves. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but by early afternoon, the sun warmed up the air and it turned out to be a beautiful early spring day.
My teammate, Arthur Roti, brought his family to the race. The kids did the Easter Egg Hunt and then raced on their own. Art got to test his legs and his Seven, just like me. Hop Brook Lake has become one of my favorite venues. I was last there for the cyclocross race back in November. I’ve been there twice/year for the past few years between CX and MTBing. It was good to string together a few workouts this past weekend. On Saturday, I got to run 1.5 laps of the Traprock 50K course with Debbie and our friend, Cheryl Jackson. We had fun on the trails. Two days in a row was twice as nice.