1st Place Expert Overall

Hello everyone from sunny and warm Missoula Montana. Last weekend I traveled to Lewiston Idaho and competed in the Devils Slide Mountain Bike Race.  Here is my story.

Saturday morning I woke up and for some reason decided to spend extra time cleaning the car.  A simple clean-out turned into a complete vacuuming and washing of the interior.  After this spring clean fit I was able to finally get out of town at around 11AM.

The trip is the usual windy road 50MPH affair except I was worried that the conditions in Lewiston were going to be wet and cold, worse yet snowy. As I went over the pass into Idaho I watched the inboard thermometer in my car.  150 miles to go and 32 degrees … oh no. 100miles to go and 45 … getting better. 50 miles to go and 50 … ah yes.  My worries were unfounded and the day turned into a 58 degree and dry day.

I arrived and got nestled into the cabin that my friends had graciously reserved.  The cabin was a stones throw from the course. At about 4:30 I set out for a pre ride.  After an hour and a half I was totally exhausted from riding great singletrack and just playing in the dirt.  I was in heaven.

M friends showed up later and we enjoyed a great cabin experience complete with front porch and warm temperatures.  We watched Wallace and Grommet and tucked in for a pre race sleep.

The next day did not disappoint in the weather department.  It was a balmy 60 degrees with gusty winds. The weekend was already a success but there was one more thing to do … Race!

At the start I notice that there were 11 pros that would start 2 minutes before the experts.  I turned to my racing compatriot Mike Longmeir that out goal was to catch the pros.  The gun went off and so did I.  O got a slow start but within 100 feet I surged ahead and headed into a dusty 4 foot wide trail (horse trail).

The wind was blowing very hard and I thought to myself that I had gone too early.  I thought the pack would just stick together and wait for me to tire.  So I turned it down a notch.

We approached the first climb and I spun up without going too hard.  I looked back.  No one! Now all I had to do was keep upright, have no mechanicals, and not flat for two and a half laps.

At one point I hit a corner in  the wrong gear and had to do a run up. Other than that it was pure fun.  I was leading the race which totally surprised me.  I decided to enjoy every turn of the crank and I did. I was able to hang on to the great pace and finish strong.

After the race my friends and I hit the Pizza parlor for the traditional post race pizza.  The drive back was hard due to the lateness of the day and I said goodbye to my traveling partners on top of Lolo Pass and dashed for home.  Now I have yet to unpack the car.  Maybe Ill do that before my friend flies in tomorrow evening for Spring Break.

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