Today, I raced in the Tour of St. Louis's Delmarvelous Crit. The crit was near downtown St. Louis on Delmar and Martin Luther King Blvd. We woke up earlier and got there around 6:50, but the organizers, Big Shark weren't ready for registration for a while. I got my derailleur blocked out and rode a couple of laps. The course was a 0.8 mile rectangle. Since it was raining, there were puddles all over and the corners were pretty wet. The side of the course with the Start/ Finish was a smooth downhill, the other side was a rougher, wetter climb into the wind. Besides being wet and cold it was also really windy. Winds were in the low 20's gusting up to 32 mph. They were a little late starting the race. I was in second after the first two corners and then two more juniors pulled away. In a lap or two, I was with two Columbia Bike Club people. I stayed with them for the whole race. I pulled away from them on the last two corners, but got passed by one of them right before the finish line. Still, it was a fun race. Pretty soon, mountain bike racing around St. Louis will start to pick up. Greensfelder and Rhetts Run in May, and four races in June: two at Castlewood, one at Bromelsiek, and the rescheduled Lost Valley Luau.
Last weekend, my mom and I took a hike around the loop trail at Valley View Glades Natural Area. This was our first time visiting the area, and it was beautiful. We had hoped to see lots of wildflowers; we weren't disappointed. There were tons of wilflowers in the glades and some in the forest. The sections of trail that were in the glades were great. Much of the trail traveled through the forest, but the many different creeks and streams had some really neat little waterfalls on them. We spent so much time admiring the wildflowers that it took us two hours to hike the two mile loop. We'll be coming back down Highway 21 soon to hike around Victoria Glades Conservation Area.
Yesterday, I did my first road road at the Tilles Park Crit. Crit, which is short for Criterem, is a kind of road race with many laps around a short course. I got to Tilles around 11:30. I registered in the Juniors 10-18 category and warmed up to get ready for the 12:15 start. Adrienne from Mesa told me crits start fast and then slow down some, and that I need to draft off other riders to save energy. After the race started, I was surprised that I could actually stay with the main pack of eight riders. We stayed together as a pack for the first 18 minutes. Then, four riders broke away. The four of us left stayed together for most of the rest of the race. After 20 minutes was up, we had four laps to go. One rider kind of broke away, but we caught him with two laps to go. Just as I was starting the final lap, I passed on the first downhill and tried to get away from the other three riders. About halfway through the lap, they fell back and I finished in fifth. I raced about 10.4 miles and averaged 21 mph. I think I did pretty good for my first road race considering I won a mountain bike race the day before, had a cyclocross bike, and was competing with older racers on way lighter carbon fiber bikes. Road racing was fun, and I liked it, but I still like mountain bike racing better. Throughout the year, I'll still do some road races.
On Saturday, I started my mountain bike racing season at the River Trails MTB Race in Lawrence, Kansas. The race was held at Riverfront Park on the banks of the Kansas River. The race course was a tight, twisty 4.7 mile loop. It was mostly flat with lots of short, steep climbs and descents. It was so smooth that one racer rode his cyclocross bike. My race started at 10 with one other racer in the Junior men category; we were started with the two Junior women racers. After a short, grassy field, I entered the singletrack fourth. Within a mile, I had passed the two junior women and started to chase down the other rider in my class. Around two miles in, I caught him. In a field, I passed him and a racer in one of the beginner classes. We rode together for the rest of the first lap behind another racer. At the end of the first lap, I passed two racers ahead of me in the field at the finishing area. About a mile into the second lap, I couldn't see the other racer in my class anymore. For the rest of the race, I just kept riding at a pretty fast pace. I was passing quite a few other beginner racers. One exciting moment came when I rode around a corner pretty fast and found a three foot long black snake slithering across the trail. I came up on it so suddently that I just ran it over. I finished the race in about 44 minutes and got first in my category. I beat the other rider in my class by 1 minute and 45 seconds. For the race, I biked 9.4 miles and averaged about 13 mph. After I picked up my medal, we headed to downtown Lawrence, KS to eat lunch at Wheatfields Bakery.
Today, I picked up my new road bike from Mesa Cycles. I ended up getting a Specialized Tricross Sport. I really like because I can ride it a road bike during the spring and summer. Then when fall comes around, I can race cyclocross on it. Right after I picked it up, I took it for its first real ride. I rode from Mesa up Clayton Road to Forest Park. I rode around the outside loop of the park twice. Wow, the road bike is so much faster and easier to pedal than my mountain bike. I rode a total of 15.66 miles. I don't have a cycling computer on it yet, but I'll be getting on soon. Now, I can do a lot more riding on the road. That'll get me in a lot better shape for mountain bike racing. Since the Lost Valley Luau was postponed, it looks like the River Trails Mountain Bike Race in Lawrence, KS on April 10th.
My name is Ben. I love to read, hike, backpack, mountain bike, rock climb, and mountain bike race. Since there are so many great hikes in Missouri, I decided to make a website to describe them.
The Mountain Bike
I ride a 2010 Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29er. I've upgraded all the original parts, went 1x9 and dropped 5lbs from the stock bike.
My Road Bike
I have Willier Izoard for road riding and racing.
My CX Bike
I ride a 2010 Specialized Tricross
2010 Race Results
River Trails Mountain Bike Challenge (Kansas)
1st Junior 15-18
Tilles Park Crit
5th Juniors 10-18
5th Juniors 15-18
1st Juniors 15-18
2nd Juniors 15-18
2009 Mtb. Race Results
ICCC Castlewood Race
5th Beginner 19 and under
5th Beginner 19 and under
Burning at the Bluff
3rd in Burnin Virgins Category