Notice I said “like”. Lots of changes to the course, none of them good. The first thing I noticed was that this course had not cut out some of the loops on Snakes and Ladders that had a fair amount of uphill climbing. Suxor. That will such the life out of me if I am not careful.
Next the gulley section had been cut in favor of Shars Choice. Again, suxor. Shar’s choice is fun, but way slower, and more dangerous due to the tight trees one must negotiate at speed. A couple inches off course and blam. I’ve been known to hit trees so I will have to go slower than I would like here.
Also, much to my dismay they blocked off the Gay Terrace Drop. That is such a fun drop and allows racers to carry lots of speed into the fireroad. Instead there is a chunky, chundry section that is really slow, and has a tight left turn onto the fireroad that sheds almost all of your gained speed. Suxor.
Once on the fireroad there is a long section with enough downhill to make it fun, but enough uphill to make you feel pain.
The other big change was the lack of Skull trail. Instead we pass Skull on the fireroad, head down towards Pooh corner, then turn in to Shortcut. Tight corner, on a downhill, off camber. Again, you must lose all your speed to make the corner. Shortcut crosses the fireroad with a fun jump, then it is into Shock Treatment, along the fenceline, then down into the TTA via a tight twisty trali that I have ridden countless times. I’ll miss Skull since I love that trail and I think it was a great addition to the course.
Todays practice consisted mainly of running sections a few times to make sure that I knew the line I wanted to take. Some sections I repeated many times, others just one pass. The turn in off the fireroad to Shortcut I hit a lot.Get off course there and I will lose lots of time. I also practiced the chundry section from Shar’s Choice to the fireroad a lot.
I feel confident that I know the course, but I just hve no idea how my cardio will come into play. I am going to conserve my energy on Snakes and Ladders, push hard on the uphill fireroad sections, recover on the downhill fireroad, then push as hard as I can through Shortcut and Shock Treatment. That’s the plan anyway. 🙂
More tomorrow on how I fare.