The days following the River Ranch GNCC were spent at the beach, and in hotel rooms trying to recover from the three hour sand-fest. I broke down on Thursday and got a massage because I couldn’t stand the way my legs and back were feeling. I was hydrating and eating as often as possible to try to get my fuel levels back up before the General GNCC.
I raced the General once before in 2008 and I remember it being extremely rough and rutted. With rain early in the week, I knew that the 2012 edition of the race would be very similar to the race that I had experienced four years prior. I arrived at the track with the Otto family on Saturday to catch the start of the Pro ATV race and man were those guys muddy! The forecast for Sunday showed a chance of rain and I kept my fingers crossed that the rain wouldn’t find its way to the track.
After about an hour long frisbee session in the hotel parking lot, it was time for supercross and sleep. The night didn’t treat me too well, I tossed and turned and it seemed like only a few hours of the night were spent sleeping.
Morning came fast and since Ben’s race was starting at eight, we were up at six and on the move. The rain came and went as we drove to the track but it was obvious once we arrived that more moisture had visited the track in the early hours of the morning.
Ben’s race was pretty muddy and you could tell when he got off the bike that it was challenging to stay upright. Hannah’s race was next and she too got filthy. Everyone was talking about how the track had lines everywhere and that it was really important to avoid the holes that would swallow your bike.
I began to gear up, and the sun was really starting to dry things out. I had the eighth gate pick in XC2 and lined up towards the middle of the start area. I rounded the first turn mid pack but made a few moves and found myself inside the top five just as we made our way through the first woods section. I immediately pumped up and every mistake meant a lost position. I went backwards for the first half lap and tried to recompose myself.
I lost touch with the front group of XC2 riders and spent what felt like the entire day riding alone. All that I wanted was to rest, I had zero energy or attack in me. The race in Florida obviously had taken much more out of me than expected. I finished the race, 8th in XC2 and 26th overall. My goal was to stay in the top twenty at both races but I knew an hour into the race that I wasn’t riding as strong as I needed to be.
The first two GNCC’s were really enjoyable. Enjoyable in a painful kind of way! I do plan on racing several more this year and you can bet that my fitness will be much better for the future ones!