Ringwood Rumble – the MTBNJ Blurbs

The 2nd race of the H2H series came & went this past weekend up north with the Ringwood Rumble. At almost the other end of the state from the inaugural series event, this race was wet, muddy, and by all accounts a blast. In all we sent 10 racers down there this weekend and this is how everything shook out for them

Karin

It was a tough short fun race. I felt like there was no recovery from one climb to the next, because there was so much tire sucking mud in between. I went all out at the start, got the chills half way through the race because I over exerted myself, and had to take a moment to reset. I finally settled in and got enough mojo back to focus on the downhill part, which was a blast. Great race, where fellow racers were nice enough to let me pass them, or give a heads up to pass me, and I gave everything I could. Can’t ask for more! It was awesome to see that the park folks hooked up a hose for us so we can clean ourselves and our bikes. I made sure to thank them when I ran into one of them. Can’t wait for my upcoming Mooch redemption.


Joy


Steve

Signing up for the season pass made the decision mildly easier when laying in bed hearing the torrential downpour outside. Got out there 45 minute before the race, no real prep needed. I definitely realized how much nicer it was with a downpour vs the previous year’s freezing cold. 

I’m still doing SS and glad to be doing my best to keep the class semi-alive. Only 3 of us lined up, it is what it is. 

I really struggled on the hills with the peanut butter on the SS. I feel the SS is almost an advantage at a lot of places with the efficiency and pace you need to carry up the hills. Not so much yesterday as I struggled to keep up the cadence while mashing through that mud. 

First 1/3 of the race I struggled but didn’t feel horrible. Second 1/3 of the race I felt great and found a groove through the flatter sections, felt great coming down white and was luckily not held up. Passed one racer near the bottom who fumbled on a turn and got out of my way. 

Last 1/3 was painful. I get really beaten up on that bike, my arms/back were not as strong and I could tell I was not as precise with the technical riding. Started getting more mud in my eyes. Slipped out after the log over and went mildly OTB and hit both knees pretty hard, didn’t lose much time however. The more technical sections where I’d probably enjoy them on a casual ride in the dry became pretty painful.

Came onto the finishing straight which was probably more dangerous than 90% of the course and finished up where a ton of the team members were lining up for Cat 1. Was an awesome race and glad I’ve committed myself to the series.


Dan

After missing the first H2H race down in Florida, this was my first XC race of the year. Team Town Cycle had the course up on GPS a couple of weeks prior, and I managed to pre-ride the larger loop two weeks ago with a bunch of teammates. The Cat 2 loop is mostly similar, but shorter by about two miles. Lots of climbing and lots of rocks. A mix of fire roads and some sweet single track…

Read the full recap here.


Glenn

Course was super moist and slick.

I Loved every mile of it. The climbs hurt the down hills we’re slick and dangerous. Got out in front on the fire road start, lost 2 spots on the first climb. Followed second place until the first DH. I passed him and never looked back. The white trail at Ringwood is as good as it gets. Made a lot of time up on that section. Saw the first place guy about 30 seconds ahead but could never close the gap. Ended up 1:30 back at the line.

Started getting sloppy in the final 3 miles of technical climbing rock gardens. Just settled in and kept pushing hard but not to hard.


Jeremy

Coming into this race i was not sure where I stood with regards to form, but I knew the forecast called for rain the night before, so slick sketchy rocks were expected, and that’s something i pride myself on riding well. 

I swapped a meatier enduro-ish front tire on just to give me a little extra advantage and grip, and i threw on a few mud guards to keep some of the running water out of my face. Those were the only things different I did in preparation for a wet one…

Read the full recap here.


Brian

On a wet race, question is to wear glasses or not wear glasses? If you wear them, your eyes are protected from flying mud and debris, but then you eventually can’t see due to build up on your glasses. If you don’t wear them, your eyes catch flying debris and mud, and you can’t see.

Hmmm, I wore glasses for this race, the seeing part got tough midway into this race!

Pouring rain the night prior made for a pretty muddy and slick course. Some days I ride awesome in these conditions, some days I don’t. Ringwood was a blend. I really enjoyed the big loop, it’s like when you do a big epic ride with friends. Challenging part is you only have one opportunity to hit the right lines on rocks. Rode great first half, made a bunch of small mistakes last half.

Started the race leisurely, I didn’t see the need to hammer the start due to the first 30 minutes of the meeting race being fire roads and double track. Figured the climbs would gas out a lot of people 15 minutes in and create lots of opportunities to pass. Sure enough about 10 minutes in, I found myself in 4th place behind Jeremy before the big monster climb. I jumped and front and was pulling J along trying to reel in 2nd. I was feeling good and having a hoot on white trail. 

About 45 minutes in I was feeling a little fatigued and the mental focus dropped a bit. I bobbled on a rocky stream crossing and Jeremy passed. After that the rocks on the tech bits began to eat me up and add additional time to my gap behind him. I slowed down a bit to regroup the focus and not make a big mistake and lose even more time. Thankfully no crashes! But of bunch of bad line choices. I have some thoughts thing to work on after this race.

Held onto 4th and finished the race. A little disappointed in myself for not doing better, I had intentions to grab a podium. But didn’t have the strength and focus on Saturday to pull it off. Good day overall, main focus over the winter was to build strength to work on my climbing, and felt solid on the climbs overall. Happy to ride well in some tough conditions too and hang with @jShort most of the race. Looking forward to mooch next weekend!


Chris “Iggy”

My name’s Iggy and I’m addicted to racing.

As I lay stirring in bed Saturday morning at 6am I could hear the intermittent rain coming down on the house.  I was hoping that the weatherman where wrong and we would not be racing a wet course but this was not the case.  

Given the conditions,  most people would roll back over and continue sleeping, while racing is always stressful, the intensity is something I crave. I drove over to my teammates house 10 minutes away and we loaded our bikes in his truck and headed to Ringwood. I like going with someone, it helps calm me down and allows me to focus on the social aspect of racing. 

With pleasant conversation we got to the race quickly, unloaded bikes, strolled over to registration saying hello to friends and teammates along the way. Talking with others is a good way to keep from stressing, a bunch of us rolled out to warm up, ride some rocks and stay loose. 

We began lining up at 10:40 to start. The rain had stopped, the sky’s where gray with a light mist in the air and the temps where mild. When the 2 minute warning is given by the starter it always feels like an eternity, there is dead silence in these final moments. As we straddle our bikes standing shoulder to shoulder there is nervous energy all around me, which I take comfort in knowing that their scarred too.  

The starter yells go and we take off, the first couple of minutes always feel slow to me, I’m so amped up that I’m ready to explode. After a hundred races I know not to explode but rather mark up the fastest guy and stay on his wheel as long as i can. What was nervous energy moments before is now raw energy, racing down the road in a struggle to dominate. This is what I love about racing, that apeshit intensity, it’s such a contrast to daily life. 

The first 10 minutes is a series of fire roads that go up, down and turn before going into single track. This is the hardest part of the race, everyone has a full tank of gas and wants to be in the lead. While we all started together, by the time we get into single track we are spread out, the leader is several minutes up on me and 3rd is minutes behind me. In racing you only work as hard as you have to, for the remainder of the time it comes down to attrition, holding the pace, staying steady, don’t make a mistake or have a mechanical and make it to the finish line. You are truly in the moment.

As far as races go it wasn’t my best nor my worst showing but rather where I’d expect to finish after just a few weeks of training. As I waited at the finish line for a teammate I had passed earlier,  the racers crossing the line looked muddy, worn out but relieved, like a giant weight had been taken from them, pretty much the opposite of what they looked like at the start. Typically no matter where you finish, racers feel a sense of satisfaction after competing. The icing on the cake is landing a spot on the podium, winning doesn’t suck. The moment in the spot light is brief however and no matter how well you did there is always a race next weekend to prove yourself all over again. 

Iggy’s sloppy gray hair podium.


Utah

Hey I did a race this weekend. Ringwood Rumble. Marks my first time racing at ringwood since 2009….( I had to look it up, I missed ringwood in 2010 dude to my honeymoon). Man, cant believe its been 10 years…I was supposed to do it the last 2 years but one year my wife got really sick, the other she got called into work at 7am….Sadly this year, the only excuse I had was a biblical rain storm…

Read the full recap here.


Kristine

I used my Tall Boy with enduro wheel setup. Got dropped on the endless foreroad climb. Utah said he thought I was 5 minutes back. Then we got white and I felt like a million bucks. All flow. Caught the girl (she beat me at Mayhem). She would catch me on the climbs but once we got into the rocks I was able to put some distance between us and it’s all rocks the last couple miles. So that worked out well for me. It was really fun to go back and forth and I was in the zone on the rocks and those gnarly descents- just ripping those to shreds. So much fun!


The team had an excellent showing this past weekend, representing the orange & blue. Full results can be found here.