Saturday morning Jerry Hoff and I drove to Ponca for the 2010 Ponca's Revenge Psycowpath race. Jerry, for those who don't know, is a stellar motocross racer since the mid-1970's and a lifetime athlete. He is a super nice guy as well.
Early this year I had no plans on riding this race, partly because I didn't plan on racing as much as I have been and partly because Ponca kicked by ass so badly the last time I raced there in 2008 its been a giant mental block. A huge, demoralizing monolith. But after having a bit of success this year I decided to give it a go.
Jerry and I rolled in right on schedule, got registered, and rolled a good warm-up lap. A last minute flat (stupid dried up sealant) was fixed in time to roll to the line and get sent off. I have some sort of phobia about being in front so I let Jerry go ahead and followed him into the singletrack.
We quickly made a gap on most of our field and started picking off riders who were dropping back off the groups that started before us. Up the first big climb my legs were really pumping up and by the time we got to the top I was maxed out.
Some traffic at the top forced me off the bike and on foot. I managed to get some oxygen back to my brain just in time to see Jerry disappear around a corner. That was the last I saw of him.I tried to catch him but never could get a bead on him and finally just rode hard so I could hold onto second place. He built a good gap on me as I did on the riders behind us.
It was great riding well and finishing well. I managed to nip Jerry at the line the last race but he was clearly stronger this day. It was also very cool to have EVCC take the top two spots in the race, and to have Dan and Clayton also podium in their races.
What to do different? Not much in the way of fitness other than really train the climbing. The rest is coming along nicely and is head and shoulders above any past efforts. Tactically I need to get over the fear of leading and just go for it.
Most importantly, I am no longer a slave to the fear of a park. Ponca doesn't own me anymore.
Onward and upward.