After 24 hours of constant rain I knew the track conditions would be tough. Boy did I grossly underestimate that! The course is slippery, full of rocks shaped like tomahawks, pointed stumps in the middle of the trails and mud. Lots of mud. Tires caked with mud combined with high speeds up and down wet rocks is a frightful combination. If there isn't a serious injury tomorrow I will be shocked.
The course starts out with a super slippery and winding false flat. I suspect it'll be high comedy when 100+ riders are trying to make their way thru it. Great photo op for crash cravers.
The next 4 miles winds you through some slippery single track and rock climbs with muddy tires. I quickly lost track of how many times I fell. I spoke with a few Cat 2 riders and they said they were going to use the 'get off your bike and run it up the hill method'. The conditions are that difficult.
During the 2nd half the course rises out of the single track forest festival and opens up a bit. This is where an opportunity to make up some time arrives. However, it was quickly followed by what was probably the most impassable section of trail I've ever ridden. My guess is that it's passable only with the precision and speed I'm uncapable of at this point. My skills, on the other hand, were rewarded with a pinched tire. Without a spare...yes, I know that was dumb. But I'd argue that forgetting my water was an even bigger guffaw. Thankfully a fellow battle weary rider came to my rescue.
The only silver lining to this day was that I was not the only rider struggling. I saw riders from every class take falls, slip on rocks and grow frustrated with their inability to navigate the course.
The Mellow Classic is no joke. But, my dreams of winning it are.