Jim Miller Race Report- by Darrell Lee
Race Report by Darrell Lee- I had been looking forward to the race at Jim Miller park all season. It's close to home, fast and fun, and usually has a great turnout. My last race at Baldwin was a lesson in preparation as I did not take the time to put a chain tensioner on my singlespeed and one lap in, while running a respectable 6th place, my chain flew off. Didn't have my Jethro Tule either. Couldn't readjust the wheel. DNF. Frustrating. Jim Miller would be different.
I double checked everything well before the race. Rolling onto the start line, it was a cool 40 degrees and very windy. My goal was to crack the top 10 and have fun. Singlespeed is a great class. Last race of the day, 45 minutes long, with a blend of the serious racer boys and middle-aged weekend warriors like myself. For some guys, it's their second or third race of the day. As an added plus, my wife, who rarely ever attends races, was there with the cowbell and her special brand of heckling.
At the start, I got out comfortably fast. Over the barriers, I took a quick count. 12th place. By the time I hit the singletrack section in the back, I had settled into a hard, steady pace. The brutal run-up had me sucking wind, but I had moved into 8th by the end of the second lap. There were four riders on my wheel and I could not ease off the gas. After some jockeying back and forth, I had shaken all but one of this group by the end of lap 3. The next two laps were among the hardest of my racing career. I could see a shadow stalking me on every straight away and a front wheel trying to tuck under me in every turn. We began to close up on the 6th and 7th place riders. Last lap. I reckoned that, if I could stay in front of my pursuer on the run-up, I could hold on to 8th. I hit the run up as hard as I could and hammered the downhill singletrack in near oxygen debt, rolling across the line in 8th and happy to be done.
-Race Report by Darrell Lee