I made the drive (really the ride, since I wasn’t driving, thanks Jake) down to Comfort, TX this past weekend for for my first taste of Texas XC racing. Comfort has a gas station and a flashing caution light…and some really great mountain biking. When we arrived and pulled down the bikes, I was greeted by an unusual red insect stuck to my chain.

Jake and I went out for a quick preview of the trails, specifically a really fun drop off that would not have been so fun as a surprise. As the sun set we finished setting up camp and I repaired my flat (too low of pressure on pre-ride / yes I still use tubes) before settling in for the night.

The trails were rocky, but still had some flow. Climbs didn’t leave you dead, but demanded plenty of effort, singlespeed or not. The ranch is rugged, but  very beautiful.

550 racers showed up for this second race of the TMBRA series.

The pace was fast from the start, which was about a 1/2 mile of uphill gravel. I started well, and settled into a good pace with a few other singlespeeders. By mile 14 my legs were screaming, and I just couldn’t hold the pace with that group any longer. I fell back another spot and finished 7th. I was surprised by how little I thought about wanting a suspension fork regardless of all the rocks. At one point, a short climb dumped you out on top of a ridge. The trail at this point was almost unrecognizable; all I could see were rocks.

The El Mariachi was great. No mechanicals is always a plus. So is a cold Shiner!

No racing this weekend, but hopefully a great long ride awaits for Saturday. I will be back in Comfort in late May for the Guts-N-Glory 12 Hour race. I have a feeling it will be a little warmer.