Trails were super enjoyable. First time I'd ridden any of them and they reminded me a lot of Pisgah, NC (only without 1 hour fireroad climbs, 10 minute descents, or rhododendrons). Loved the rockovers and creek crossings and switchback climbs. Aid station was well stocked and super friendly and helpful for hydration, nutrition, and lube. Course signage was great (and the handwritten Fun Signs were awesome)...any time I started wondering if I'd gone the wrong way it was never long til I saw another red arrow to ease my worry.
Does anyone ride that last rocky climb??? Ouch. Rolling up the park road to the finish was the most painful time for me. Not having a granny helped me pass and put some distance on a few other 33ers that had bailout gearing. No more than 1/2 mile from the finish a hand on my rear gave me a push and a voice said, "Hey, Bill." It was Pat Blair lapping me on his SS. He then continues to talk to another rider (the 1st place rider that he just passed) in normal converstional tone while muscling his SS up the grueling road. He's a beast!
Showboated thru the finish line by jumping off the back and ghost riding the bike into the meadow. My 8 year old, Abby, saw it and said, "That was cool, Dad." I'm glad somebody saw it because it cost me a broken trigger shifter and bonked my Garmin hard enough to trick it into thinking that I did one 33.78 mile lap in 1 second at an average speed of 133,000 mile per hour. That's only a few thousand off of the speed of light!
I think I finished in about 5:35. Can't wait to see the results.