The Tranquility Tire Tantrum XC race was only the second XC race I made it to last year due to scheduling and weather and was the first race post-Laramie. Tranquility Park is located in northwest Omaha and is a relatively new trail system. I had never ridden there before so Ryan and I headed up on Thursday to check it out. This proved to be very valuable as there were a couple really tight corners that I would have blown had I not pre-ridden the course.
Beginner Open class awaiting the startThere was three hour enduro at the same time as the XC race so they started first and then it was our turn. At the gun, Dan took off in a typical fashion and I was able to stay with him through the first section. I looked back and was surprised not to see Ryan right on my tail, although it wasn't too long until he was. In what would become a pattern all year, Dan started to pull away and I wasn't able to go with him. I held second for the first half of lap one before Jason and then Ryan passed by.
To my mind, Tranquility's main feature is the somewhat out-of-place in Nebraska descent to the finish; fast, dusty, switchbacks almost all the way to the line. I knew from my preride that this was a section where most people would take time from me and this was no exception. I watched as Ryan and Jason pulled even further away. First lap went into the books with me in fourth about a minute off the lead pace (Dan) and 15 seconds off third (Jason).
I rode most of the second lap all by myself, except for the occasional three hour racer either passing or being passed. During the last part of the lap, before the long descent, there is a long series of switchbacks up to the top of the hill. This section is very wide open, and as I started the climb, I noticed that there was a string of riders coming up behind me. Since I had no way of knowing who was racing in my class and who wasn't, I knew I needed to make sure none of that group passed me. Considering my problems with descending fast, I really had to work hard on the climb. Mission accomplished as I was able to hold off the fifth place rider by 10 seconds. The order in front of me held, with Dan getting the win followed by Ryan and then Jason.
I love this picture. Taken by Ryan's wife Jackie, right after I about fell over.
All in all, I was pleased with how I raced, and as an added bonus, my good buddy David came out to watch the race and hang out a bit afterward.
Now about the Laramie Enduro...