In my long seven months of being a mountain cycle racer, 4th at the Big Bear Classic was my first good finish. I felt like a completely different rider than the one who struggled through the Month of Mud series last fall. At Big Bear I was pinning the turns, hammering on the climbs, and actually descended pretty damn well. But I still did I few things that were incredibly stupid. They were mistakes that I will not make again.
DO NOT stop to tighten a saddle bag.
My bag was loose. I lost my multi tool. I was angry, and I shall explain. My saddle bag was home made by me. Being the creator of the bag, I am totally at fault for its failure. I really did do a bad job making the thing. After bouncing down a big hill about ten miles into the race, I noticed it was flopping around. When I stopped to tighten it, I was passed by another SS rider. Which brings me to my next point.
DO NOT get passed.
Apparently, when one places well at a mountain bike race, they are paid. I won $50 for fourth place. This is a foreign concept for me. The most I have ever received at a running race is a medal and some pride. When I let those SS by me, I had no idea that I was in effect letting a few dollars fly away down the trail. Which brings me to my next point.
Riding rigid sucks. kinda. (I'm gonna keep doing this one anyway.) And I haven't a clue how that last point brought me to this point.
I was hurting on some of the downhills without suspension. I imagine that a lost a fair amount of time by being bounced all over the place. But when I crossed the finish line many a person was impressed (or shocked by my stupidity) that I had ridden that course rigid. I guess I have to ask myself if riding suspension free is worth it (it being about $500, the cost of a new suspension fork (and I know I'll feel like a wuss with a squishy fork.)(and they don't make a lime green Reba.) (look how many curvy lines this sentence has accumulated!)(Yay!))))