Root 66 Stonewall Farms
By Justin Lindine on July 18, 2012
It's beginning to feel a little like The Truman Show here on the East coast, as every day seems to be clear, sunny and hotter than the last. After a Saturday that saw me out enjoying the dirt roads and good riding company of Western MA at the Jeremy Powers Grand Fundo/ Hundo ride- an 85 mile jaunt on some incredible back roads with about 7000' of elevation gain- I thought the reasonable thing to do with my Sunday would be to go rip the new course at Stonewall Farms in Keene New Hampshire for the latest round of the Root 66 Series!
Having never ridden the course before, I arrived early enough to spin a lap and check things out. I was glad I did too as the course was full of awesome singletrack but definitely had it's fair share of tricky spots and loose dusty conditions that could come up fast on you if you weren't expecting it. I was unsure how the legs would feel after having to go pedal stroke-for pedal stroke with some of New England's best road riders the day before, and when local legend Matt O'Keefe came around me before the first woods section and then set an infernally fast pace for the next 3/4th's of a lap, I was getting a little bit nervous about how I was going to keep it all together if this is how it was going to be all day. Luckily for me though O'Keefe had to reign in the throttle pretty soon and I knew that was the time to push just a little harder to get away. Sure enough I was able to dig deep for the next lap or so and open up a mangle gap that I could build on over the course of the race. I even had enough time to take some low-tech self feeds from the pallet where I had left my bottles just after the start line- which was a good thing, because the amount of sweat I was generating in the humid conditions was pretty astounding.
After the race, which I managed to hold onto the win in, I had a great time enjoying a cool down spin along the pretty back roads of rural NH and chatting with everyone around the venue. I even got some farm-made ice cream while I waited for the awards ceremony. It's been really great this year being able to make my way to a handful of these great regional races. The venues are always unique, from this "learning-center" farm to the private estate and caves of the Williams Lake race, and the vibe is laid-back and very familial. It's great to catch up with people who've been around the scene since I started racing and before, and I hope that they feel some pride in any of the successes that I've had over the years, because I truly feel honored to be a part of such an awesome cycling community and surely wouldn't be where I am now in racing if it wasn't for all the awesome local races and racers who come out each weekend in the summer to put in some 'hot-laps" and some friendly stiff competition....Thanks to all of you for keeping mountain biking fun, and keeping my love of racing fresh! See you all at the next race.