Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Devils Backbone Mountain Cross

Saturday morning I saddled up early in Richmond and drove 90 minutes out to Nelson County, VA. The Devils Backbone event that I attended came in two flavors. 27 miles of brutal climbing or 65 miles of brutal climbing. For my first cyclo-cross event and first trip to the mountains I decided to go with half brutality. You know, ease into it a bit.

The course was a mix of pavement (17 miles), gravel (10 miles) and not a whole lot of actual cross. It was one big loop, there was no reason to dismount (I lost a bottle on a really bumpy downhill) and it wasn't an actual race as far as I could tell. What it ended up being was a lot of fun though. I road my normal setup, which usually feels out of place, but was perfect for this course. The hills mountains were ultra tough. Two 17%-20% grade climbs and a category 1 climb that was just shy of 6 miles of up. I ended up having to walk twice and wished for lower gear options both times, but the 28s (tires) were great for everything.

Afterward we (there were 8 of us) had a late lunch and beers at Devils Backbone. A well deserved meal and plenty of laughter and chatter. The tired drive home was not as pleasant, but a nap when I got there set the world right. If you asked me 4 miles in to the cat 1 climb if I would do it again next year I would have grunted and spit at you, but two days removed and I would sign up in a heart beat!

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