The Short Hills Cycling club once again pulled off a great event at the Canal Days festival. The course going through the "Hood" was very similar to last years, but reverse direction. Rides just as well either way.
A dump of rain in the morning made some rocks and roots quite slick, but there was no mud to be found, and by mid race it was all dry.
Race starts, and I pin it to take the lead. On the fist trail I built a small gap, but just kept going steady as this race is fairly long, and takes a fair bit of energy to ride smooth. Looked back on the canal path, and saw some chasers maybe 30 seconds back. After that I started to work on building the gap, and got it to maybe a minute after the fist lap. Lap 2 was the same deal. Just kept it smooth and steady and really enjoyed the trails. Saw teammate Schmidt riding in second not too far back, and thought that was great, but unfortunately his front derailleur died on him and he fell to 3rd after a 3km run. Still a great result.
So it was Steve Deboer claiming second, and Justin came in 4th, very solid considering the working to riding time ratio being way off this summer. JC cut his tire open forcing a dnf, very unfortunate for the podium contender.
On the woman's side, Kaitlyn Dundas took the title, Nice job!
Post race I met some friends at the Smokin Budda for a quick bite and beer, then made it back to the after party with plenty of time to drink more beer before the podium.
Thanks SHCC for a great event. Looking forward to next year already!