With the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) season opener in the books the Wisconsin mountain bike racing season is officially underway. The Iola Bump and Jump is located at the Iola Winter Sports Club and features a 60 meter ski jump. The race course offers rolling hills, open ski trails and sandy wooded singletrack with quick ups and downs. You even have the opportunity to wind underneath the ski jump itself and several chances to catch some air jumping into the jump bowl.
The goal for this year's rendition of the Bump and Jump was to win. Several factors, not the least of which was a chain issue on lap 2 while right behind the leader, contributed to a 2nd place finish instead. I could get into the other reasons, but I'd rather just say overall I had a pretty good race and I had fun. Which of course is what it's all about for me.
So while I was having my chain issue, I was passed by the 3rd and 4th place riders (maybe more, it was hard to tell). I eventually caught back up to the 3rd and 4th place riders who were still running together with a couple miles left. On the last climb of the course some guy on a 29er comes out of nowhere and and passes all of us like we were standing still. I had no idea where he came from but he appeared to be shot out of a cannon. So then there were 4 of us riding together with me at the tail end of a our small group.
I followed the guys through about a mile of singletrack and took the opportunity to rest up for a final push. In the second to last wide open section, I sprinted past 4th place. In the last clearing I sprinted past 3rd and 2nd place (2nd place was that guy who blew past us on the last hill) and finish in 2nd place 9 seconds behind the leader. It was a really exciting finish and I had a great deal of fun.
Big thank you's go out to Erin at BBG Bashguards and Race Face for their contributions to the 1x9 setup I used at the race; Erin for the superlight bashguard and Race Face for the sprocket. BBG Bashguards offers light weight but strong bashguards at an ultra-reasonable price of $18 ($12 for the guard and $6 for shipping). Thank you so much. You guys ROCK!!!!
I'm really looking forward to the next couple of races. The first is the only downhill race in the state of Wisconsin where I will be riding my new Airborne Taka (assuming I have it by mid June) and the next is the Subaru Cup Pro XCT. The downhill race will be my first ever downhill race and the Subaru Cup is one of ﬁve premier mountain bike race events held in America during the 2010 racing season. Suffice to say I'm really excited.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments.