I thought I would give a quick update from the East Coast. Today I did my fourth race of the season. The previous two races I didn't report on, namely because they were both so freaking hot that my brain melted in my skull and my memory of the events have been erased forever. I'm serious, so hot, that even when you go downhill, it feels like someone is blasting the air from a furnace in your face. But in truth, the trails are still really cool and the races really well-run. The people out here are super nice. I'd like to really thank the visitPa.com team for hosting me in an in-laws RV and for being super cool in general.
The race today would have been great for any colorado racer. The climbs were short, but the trails were super smooth with only a few roots and rocks. Stevens would have liked it because, as I found out, it was perfect to "fake" your true fitness. The soil was nice and tacky, the temperature was manageable as long as you dumped some water over your head every so often. The ride was super fast too, we did 27 miles in just over 2 hours. As per usual, no license was necessary, the entry fee was day-of only and was $40 (the most expensive fee I have paid so far), and there were aid stations every 5 miles with iced water bottles awaiting you. Pretty much paradise for a bike racer. I finally had a decent race, and a fun one with 6 of us being right together nearly the entire 2 hour race, making for some fun and strategically stimulating racing.
At the end of it all I was fourth and I received a paper certificate saying how good I did (unlike Colorado this one had a dollar sign and a bank account attached to it). I saw that other categories got some really good schwag. It's cool to see how people know which races will pay out the best and in turn they come out and support the race. Each race here is put on by a different club/team so I think there is some good business competition that keeps the races fun and well supported. Granted, I miss the views, climbs, buff singletrack, dry and cool air of Colorado, but from a racer's standpoint, you can't beat it here.