|Dampness from last week. The rest of the spectators are oogling the new Subaru BRZ off to the left of the frame.|
|The finest concrete descent in the greater Barrie area.|
|...and finally, a photo from somewhere other than Hardwood Hills! (Pretend it's from Albion Hills)|
It was warm enough that most riders are self-splashing in the feedzone and taking advantage of the organizer-operated hose on the last corner.
Drawing a big goose egg from the OCUP points basket last week (helped partially by a spectacular over-ze-bars three car pile-up in the feedzone - I'm almost certain the guy pulling out of the tech zone didn't signal...) dashed any hopes of a front row call up. Starting on the back row was a blessing in disguise as it would help keep me honest when trying to take it easy for the first half lap or so.
I may have been a bit too relaxed as I cruised into the first singletrack with no one in tow. Got my act together and picked up a few spots a lap over the first three laps.
Some concern slipped into the thought process when I started to feel half drunk and 5/14ths asleep, with traces of crampiness with two laps to go. Noticing what might be referred to as 'goose bumps on the arms' was not confidence inspiring either. Did we switch to the imperial unit system when I wasn't looking? Usually 30 degrees is associated with... ...not goose bumps.
Lukewarm attempts at shaking off a certain J. Slaughter have failed since the start of lap four (of five), but I'm still willing to give it the ol' college try on the last incline with less than 1000m to go. I swing out to pass and my assertive *stomp* *stomp* *stomp* quickly transitions into *cramp* *cramp* *cramp*.
I crest the hill and assume the dead sailor / robaxacet man pose while waiting for my legs to start cooperating again. The small gap I've created should be enough to hold my spot to the line, but that's assuming that I'm moving my legs. Instead, I'm coasting to the last hairpin letting the gap close and confusing any spectators.
I decide this is a good spot to resume pedaling, despite the protesting muscles, as continued lollygagging would result in me tipping over and being sprayed indefinitely by Chico's Hose of Refreshment (TM). I pedal enough to make the sprint difficult for the timing staff, and then proceed to drink as much chocolate milk as possible. This turns out to be one carton - it's so hot... Insert relevant Will Ferrell quote here.
Next stop: Another race. Possibly XC nationals.
Several kudos to Andy for trekking over to the GTA, for without him there would be no post-race team fist bumping. The solo fist bumping is not nearly as satisfying.