Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chugging at Chanute

The summer heat has returned big time here in Kansas City.  Overall the summer has been very mild in temps with no real heat waves to speak of.   Some off-road racing organizations usually take a summer break to avoid the normal summer heat.  The Forward Motion Hare Scrambles series continued on Sunday and wouldn't you know it we are in a heat wave.   On Saturday the temp was 109 in Carolynn's car.   So much for that plan.
Despite the heat Christopher still wanted to go.  I was all set to head to the lake to do some kayaking.  Christopher does not really do well in the heat nor do I usually.  If I pace myself and ride really within myself I can usually escape the event without getting heat sickness.  I agreed to go but my plan was to really ride easy chugging along.  I have been training some in the heat and was ready.  Christopher took the opposite approach and instead of training headed to the Gun Show which had AC. 
We almost did not make it to the Taylor Family farm for the Chanute Hare Scrambles round. I thought the most direct route was to take US-69 Hwy South to KS-7 S.  This would take you to KS-39W.  What I did not know was that KS-39 was closed due to construction.  The detour nearly took us all the way to Oklahoma (at least it felt that far...).  With no map and limited coverage I had no idea where to go.  I do not like getting lost and at one point just resolved to head back home because I did not think we would make it on time.  After my little temper tantrum Carolynn said she was going to buy me a GPS for my birthday! Sometimes good things come out of troubled times.
We finally made it to the Taylor farm with enough time to unload and get signed up.  We barely had enough time to warm up the engines before we had to head to the starting line for the 11:00 am start.
I was still recovering from being lost and really not in the mood to race anyway.  The result was a very poor start which was o.k. with me.  I did not know the trail route much anyway and usually the first lap is kind of slow.  The problem was the darn dust.  When you were behind someone you could not see the trail.  You basically had to trust where they were going. This was a little unnerving but did allow me to ease into the event.

Once the first few miles went by the course cleared out some and I made some passes.  I was so thankful to be out in clean air chugging along.  I really like the course at Chanute and have had good success here in the past.  I started to really flow and having fun as I started to remember the course and find some good lines.   I did not even mind when I came around on the first lap in 5th place.  I was out riding my dirt bike having fun.  I had no worries at all which actually made me ride well.

Christopher lined up with a good size field in the Sportsman class.  He needed a good start for sure unless he was going to spend the next 2 hours breathing in dust from 20+ other riders.  This did not happen and he got a near dead last start. 

The course was a little tricky and slick in spots.  If you over road the course you could end up like Dennis and on the ground.

Jason had a solid day and handled the heat well.  He used the power of his 450 to his advantage and earned a 4th place finish and moved into 3rd place in the points.  Very good day for Jason for sure.

Christopher overcame a few crashes and the heat and ended up 10th place on the day.  Not what he wanted, but you reap what you sow. 

I put in a solid 4 laps and with each lap passed more riders.  Each lap was faster for me despite riding really easy and basically just chugging along.   Somehow by the final lap I had worked my way into the lead.  Funny how when you try the least you seem to do your best because you are really relaxed and have no tension in your body. I should do this more often :-)!

After the race I quickly took off my race gear and got into my swim trunks.  It was time for a nice ice bath for me.   I actually felt good despite the heat.  The humidity was a little low which helped.  Also, my current fitness is getting better and I think with heat it pays to be in good shape. 

Overall a nice weekend with MTB riding on Saturday and a very hot hare scrambles on Sunday.  I enjoyed the weekend but I am ready for a change in season.  Cyclocross is only a month away and I am hoping to have a fun season this fall racing in much cooler conditions. 

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