Night Shift 2015 (SORBA) Chattanooga Race

The results are in: 2nd place Coed Duo

Night Shift SORBA 2015I love a podium spot!

I arrived at the race venue a little bit early and had a closer parking spot than last year. Last  year I was all the way up the hill and had to go back and forth and wanted to avoid that this year. I ran into a friend, Skipper while parking. Skipper is this really cool guy who I met on the same trails awhile back. I have to tell this story!

I was unloading my mountain bike out of the van and glanced over at an older man unloading his bike. I thought to myself that I needed to get on the trail before he does because I didn’t want to pass him. I think he was thinking the same thing about me. We both got on the trail almost the same time and proceeded to passing one another many times on the loop. He passed me on the downhills, and I passed him on the climbs. It was one of the fastest laps I have ever had.

When I saw him at the race, I told him it was one of my fastest laps and how he had made me laugh when he introduced himself and said he never wanted to see me again! Nothing like pushing yourself to the max. Many times riding alone you tend to back off and not have that person to chase. That day was great for training.

My partner Sam arrived, and we signed up but didn’t get the t-shirt. They ran out. Bummer.

First lap was off and I waited for my lap. When it was my turn, I jetted off falling behind a singlespeed bike who was flying fast. I had no idea who it was but noticed Carey Lowery was at the lead of the four person group. I didn’t know the second guy or the third but continued to stay with them. My heart rate was through the roof. Finally, the third guy said, “Hey bro, you need to pass?” I said, “No.” I suppose my female voice wasn’t expected, and he asked who I was. He told me he was Jeff Bartlett, and I beamed. Here I was hanging with this pack, and they are super fast. It was their second lap and my first, but I was still beaming a bit hoping I wasn’t going to bite the dust by taking it faster than my normal comfort level in the dark. I pushed it the whole lap and sprinted at the end with a lap time of 52:41. Hell yeah.

The second lap was more alone. There was no one to chase and I felt a bit tired. Later, I realized that I had spent a considerable amount of time in anaerobic zone, no wonder (heart rate > 174 or so for me). My second lap time was 53:09.

The third lap was very odd. Less people around, and I saw a rat cross the trail on TNT. Talk about spooky. I finished in 55:58. Overall, I was very pleased, and I hope to be able to do it again next year!

Night riding is different, but I tend to like it better because the light falls where you are looking. You keep your eyes where you are going much better and usually less distractions and mistakes happen. My depth perception was a bit off, but other than that, it is quite fun, especially if you have someone to chase!