When I signed up for ORAMM this year I talked with my coach about the race, he said it was a great race. He told me there were long, steep climbs mostly on fire roads and two tracks. Some single track climbing and a couple of hike-a-bike sections. OK I am good with that. He then described the downhill as “check your fear at the top, narrow, steep and technical”. Umm………Here this was in the race packet.
Umm….Yeah. That sounds like a fun organization to do a race with right?
ORAMM is in some ways quite a civilized race. The start is at 8 am. Wow that beats the 6 am Leadville start by a lot. The temps were in the 70’s. Which is a whole lot better than the 32F that I experienced at the start of Leadville last summer. This was tempered by the fact that the forecast temps for the day had steadily risen as we got closer to race day till they were forecast to top out in the mid 90’s the day before the race. Distinctly not North Country weather. The 8 am start meant that my brother and I could leave the hotel at 6 am, get some breakfast and still be to the race venue before 7 am.
Given the stomach issues I had at Whiteface this year I really wanted to make sure I had the right breakfast, early, and was able to “clean out my system” properly before starting. The right breakfast? Pancakes! It was a great thing to go into McD’s and see “600 cals” written next to my pre-race fuel. Down the hatch.
Being nervous for a race has one great benefit. Yeah it makes the whole sleeping thing a little more exciting and you have that voice in your head going off telling you all the bad things that can happen (Been missing you this summer Meat. Howdy Yeti, been missing you too!), but there is one great thing that can outweigh those problems. It helps to promote pre-race cleansing. My stomach was in knots, my body cleansed.
Time to line up. Wait no, time for a pre-race selfie.
No blood. No broken bones. Bike in tip-top shape. Neapolitan Fatty Kit for my first sponsor. And my splurge for the race. New socks.
In homage to my second, newly acquired second sponsor JenniHoops.
The Team Bohl super crew was prepped and on their way.
I was ready to rock.
My brother Dave had a bunch of friends up from Florida for the race and so he went to find them to say hi and get a team picture. Mean while I lined up somewhere in the middle of the pack. Dave lined up closer to the front, he had a specific time goal, I had a more relaxed goal (not killing myself).
The gun went off and we clipped in and started to ride. And then jammed on the brakes, unclipped, and stopped. And then clipped in and started to ride. And then jammed on the brakes…well you get the idea. Mountain bikers, in a pack, on pavement. Sheesh.