Barton is ALWAYS a brutal race. Two nasty runups – it is long and hilly, always wet and muddy, and is a great finish for the Cross Crusade. While a little bummed I did not do more Crusade races I am glad to have done Heron Lakes and Barton. They are both great courses and really challenge you. This course is so spread out Jessie could not run around too much and get pictures – PLUS I was pretty shot and did not make my last lap. I was the cut off for our group. While Heron Lakes was just a victory getting out there, Barton ( I knew it was going to be tough) was a severe blow to my mental state. In the first picture I started way up at the front. I have NEVER started that close to the front at Barton. Going back over the years almost every picture shows me staging literally in the last row. On the first lap I had so many guys go by me. Very depressing when I used to be one of those guys that passed the slower riders up front. That was one of the reasons I always liked starting at the back of Barton. I was usually at my strongest by this race and it was fun to catch and pass people. This time I was “that guy” in the way of the faster riders. On my last lap I even hit a barricade and knocked it over into the racers on the other side. My ego was more bruised than my body. That shut me down for the rest of the race. I did not want to do one more lap after that. I just wanted to finish w/o hurting myself. BUT I did have enough pride to beat the old guy in front of me. Sort of a sad state this year. All my battles have been with the 60+/70+ racers that start behind my group. Really fitness has not been the issue the recovery from the vestibular neuritis is the problem. I can turn pretty well to the right, the left is much more difficult, and anything really bumpy makes it hard to get a clear picture. I hope I can rehab out of that. Also great to see our friend Patrick Hunt out and racing. It is always fun to share in the suffering.
Krugers, our traditional finishing race, was canceled this year do to Single Speed World Championships taking place in December so I will do Corn Cross the following week. I have always wanted to do that race and now I can w/o the guilt of missing Krugers as I don’t think I could do back to back races.
Enjoy the pictures below.