The final stop on the GP circuit
Personally, I was bummed to know that the National Championships were not going to held again this year in Bend, OR. So, when I learned that the final stop on the GP was moving from Portland and going to be held on the Deschutes Brewery Distribution Grounds near the Old Mill District, I was stoked. I have traveled to Bend the last two seasons for Nationals and I have had the luxury of staying with some friends that have been more than happy to show me around and give me a good lay of the land. I really enjoy spending time in the town, and the Nationals courses of years past have treated me pretty well. This year’s GP course would nearly mimic last years Nats course.
Although the course was identical the lack of moisture was the factor that made the most difference. Typical mid December weather in Bend brings snow and freezing temps, and from what I could gather most people were expecting, even hoping for some mud. While I was ready for cold I have to admit the nice weather and temps in the mid 40s was a nice break from the single digit temps we have been having in the Colorado Mtns.
“Always check your seat height before every big race, especially if you have removed the seat post for any reason during travel.”
Even though I felt like my saddle was a little low on Friday during the pre-ride, I didn’t bother to double check my bikes. I just assumed it to be good. Midway through the race on Saturday, my low back started to cramp up which rarely happens to me. While loading up the bikes on Sunday morning to head to the venue, I noticed that I had a little less seat post showing than normal. I decided to check it and it was substantially low. I raised it up to the proper height for Sunday’s race. My back was already angry from the previous day and after solo TT’ing for most of the race my back began to cramp up again with three laps to go. I was luck to finish inside the top 30.
This was my first year to race the full Grand Prix Series. I am very impressed with the series and the great group of people involved to make it happen. It is also always good to catch up with the folks that you only get to see when the traveling circus is in town. I am already looking forward to next season and hoping to get some better results at some of the venues that I raced at this season. However, my focus is still on the National Championship in Madison, January 8th. I have decided to race the Masters Division as it is my last opportunity to race in the 30-34 age category. But first I am headed to Belgium for 2 weeks. A goal that I set at the beginning of the season, and an opportunity that I can hardly wait to experience