Before I get into the story of race day I need to back track just a little. Wilkesboro, NC (where the Warrior Creek trails are) is someplace we (and Jeff) have been MANY times. Many times. Funny how a little thing like a race can mess all of that up!
Wilkesboro is a little over three hours away. And its a simple drive--you get on I85/I40 and then continue on I40West at Winston-Salem and then hop on 421 north to Wilkesboro. The race was on a Saturday so the three of us decided to hit the road very early that day to get set up and give ourselves well over an hour to get checked-in and to hopefully get a good pit stop. Warrior Creek was the first race of the season and its one that Kelly did last year. This year, I was competing in the women's single speed class and Kelly and Jeff were both in the men's single speed category.
So, back to the whole "we've been there many times" thing. I decided to lay down and rest while the guys stayed awake and talked about race strategy stuff. Kelly had a plan to go hard all day and hopefully end towards the top of the field. He knew that guys like Dicky and Eric Haggerty would be competing and he wanted to see how he stacked up against the competition. Jeff was hoping to complete at least five laps and I was shooting for three.
Well, for those of you that have made the drive before, if you are not paying attention, the highway veers to the left and all of a sudden you are on I85 heading towards Charlotte....not on I40west heading towards Winston-Salem. I also forgot to mention that this little fact has been missed before when I, the navigator, have been sleeping in the past.
I woke up to see unfamiliar scenery and to hear Jeff say "I don't think this is the right way. Nothing looks familiar." Uh oh. That was an understatement. I forget how many miles we'd been cruising down I85 but we were losing precious time. And lots of miles. It turned out that we were almost 30 miles past the cut-off which meant that the wrong turn ended up costing us over an hour. An hour that we had not planned for.
Needless to say, Jeff flew down the highway and eventually we got back on the right path. But once we got to the race, everything was in full swing and there was NOWHERE to park. Let alone set up for a pit. Kelly changed in the car before we arrived and once we got there it was a mad dash to dump out all of our stuff and bikes to hurry up and get ready. The race meeting had started (meaning the race was starting in less than 30 minuets!) and we hadn't even checked it. Or used the porta-potty which is a must before any race!
Kelly was able to get his act together and be ready to go but Jeff and I lagged behind. Poor Jeff had to park so far away it was ridiculous. And I didn't get to do the porta-potty thing before the race started. Let's just say that my first lap was a little uncomfortable!
In the end, all three of us had a good race and we had something to laugh about the whole way home. Kelly didn't place in the SS category, but he did very well. I met my goal and completed 3 laps and took 4th out of 4. Shanna at Endless Bikes did not accept her award (her company gave away the biggest part of the swag bag for ladies SS) and I received it in her place. That was so nice of her. Go figure I was the one that got swag and not the guys!
The trails at Warrior Creek are great and perfect for a race. The guys at Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club do an excellent job and the race was a big success. We will be back next year.