My class started really fast – about the same pace as if it was a 2 hour xc race. I was surprised, but let them go and tried to pace myself. I was feeling pretty good the whole first lap. With about 2 miles to go in the first lap, I flatted on a sharp, rocky descent. I pulled off, switched out my tube, and went to inflate it with my big-air canister. As I screwed the air canister on the valve, all the air shot out the side of the valve and none of it went into the tube! I didn’t have a pump with me either. So I put my wheel back on and rode / jogged the last 2 miles of the lap. Along the way, I found a guy with a pump, but when I went to pump it up, I found that the valve in my tube had broken off from riding it flat.
I made it back to the start/finish area and asked around for a tube and pump, but nobody had one. We had parked a few miles away so it was too far to get back to the van. At this point, I was starting to think that I was done, and ready to give in to my first DNF. I waited about 20 minutes, then saw the Fox trailer in the pit section. I know those guys, so I went and asked them and they hooked me up. With my flat I did the first lap in about 2:15 – I think it would have been around 2:05 without after looking at my gps. With my tire fixed, I went out for my second lap. I knew I was going to have a bad result, but figured I paid for the full 50, so I was going to do it. My second lap took 2:24 (even though it felt like I was going a lot harder than the first lap) Tough race, but fun trails and good singletrack. And the parade start was really cool.
– Jon Watt