The trails at Warrior Creek are pretty damn fun. Berms, smoothed-out singletrack, and minimal roots keep you flying around at a high rate of speed. However, you tend to forget about all the climbing out there.
I didn’t. That’s why I ran an easy gear for the 6 hour race. It’s tough hauling all this weight up the hills, you know.
Photo credit: Lunchbox (of course)
I felt pretty good for most of the second lap, and I finally learned how to pace myself. When gravity was on my side, I went fast. In fact, faster than most. Every once in a while I would nearly run someone over, until we hit a climb and they took off. I fought the urge to push myself too hard, and it paid off. I was moving along at a nice, steady pace, so Lunchbox had to run all over the woods (and cut the trail quite a bit) to find me.
I mean, he was really everywhere on that lap.
Eventually, I rolled through the last section of trail leading to the start/finish line. Somehow my kid was there too.
And, he’s smart enough to make sure he got the Honey Stinger banner in the picture. He’s pretty good at helping me whore myself out to sponsors.
Anyway, when I got to our pit, Good Guy Greg had just arrived. He went in the trail before I did, and hauled ass because he thought I was ahead of him. We took a few minutes to figure out what our plan was. Do we haul ass on the next lap, giving us enough time to get back for one more before the cutoff? While it did sound feasible, we knew we would both be hurting pretty bad and might not get back in time for that last lap to count. Damn that. I wasn’t about to do a lap for nothing.
Just then, Good Guy Greg got a phone call. It was TomTom, and he had driven all the way up there from
just to hang out. We decided that we would
wait for him, forgo an extra lap, and turn the rest of the “race” into a social
ride. We took extra time to make sure we
ate and had plenty to drink, and all three of us rolled out on the trail for a
It was fun, and definitely a good idea. We stopped every once in a while to shoot the shit and heckle the “real” racers, and we even got to help a couple of unfortunate folks that ran out of food and/or water. We were cramping a little here and there, but our slow and steady pace made the pain a little easier to handle. Hell, we even contemplated riding the Headwaters loop for a second, until we realized that our legs might now allow such stupid shit. We should’ve done it on the first lap, like D-Wayne almost did.
I was having fun in a race again though. And that folks is why I’ve sorta “retired” from XC shit.
Anyway, we eventually crossed the finish line. Three laps on a rigid single speed (both Greg and I) in six hours, and we had a pretty good time. TomTom got a “fun” lap in with us, and that made the pain and suffering quite tolerable. I was glad he came up there. Otherwise, Greg and I might still be out on the trail somewhere. And by the way, we didn’t even come in last.
As usual, the folks up there in Wilkesboro put on a fine event. I don’t care what else comes up…I will “race” the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek every single year as long as it stays around. You get to suffer, push yourself, see friends old and new, and ride some of the best trails around.
Now, if I could only find more events like this for the rest of the “season.”