Headed over to Gainesville College Trail to try and get a heads up on the course for the race Saturday. Heres a look at the field where the timing, vendors and pits will be taken from the parking lot.
This area will be where a lot of the race will be decided IMO. The wooded section you see behind the building is where all the singletrack is, and once you get back there, it will be hard to pass/be passed. The thing about this trail is, when you get into the tight sections, it sort of dictates how fast you can go. Most of the corners are tight and have blind exits to immediate short climbs. There are a bunch of sections where you really have to watch that you don’t slam your shoulder into a tree.
One cool thing that has been done for the race is hat a section of the trail that has a really tight dip has been upgraded to a bridge. Here are pics from the side and the approach.
This might not look like too big a deal in the pics, but believe me, the bridge is much nicer than having to ride through this section as it was previously. The transition is so tight and sharp that someone would end up going over the bars. After I hurt my arm, this was one of the sections I had to walk because the impact of hitting the bottom of the dip caused a huge shooting pain up my arm and into the shoulder socket.
As far as the trail being wet…well, so far it is still damp, and there are a few places on the gravel roads between the woods sections that have big patches of standing water. Hopefully good weather on Friday will dry it up a bit more. As it is now, it seemed kind of slow and you sunk into the dirt a little more tha you may have wanted.
I’ll probably head back over tomorrow for another lap or two, and hopefully they will have the non woods sections taped off so I can get a feel for how I’ll do time-wise on a real lap. Also, there is a big bridge that is covered with leaves, which is one of the faster exit-to-hard-turns on the course, and if they don’t get the wet leaves off of it, someone is going to eat it bigtime. G-Dub said he wrecked on one of the slippery bridges during his ride there today.
Oh yeah, on the way home I had the bright idea to strap my helmet to my bike while it was on the car trunk rack, thinking that the wind blowing through it would help dry out the sweaty pads. Well, it actually acted sort f like a parachute and damn near pulled the bike off the rack once I got up to highway speed. When I got home, I realized that when the bike moved around on he rack, it pulled the front derailluer cable loose. Gotta fix that first thing tomorrow.
More updates to follow….