My first WORS race of the season is tomorrow morning - and it's also my first race as a newly-upgraded Sport rider. They all look faster and have nicer bikes and ride better and there are more of them, but I've been told that there's so much sandbagging in Citizen class that the speed difference isn't massive. Still, it's very nervous up in here.
I didn't coordinate very well with Burrito Eater, so I got to Alpine Valley's ski/golf resort too late to ride practice laps with him. I saw him in the parking lot as he was packing up, though, and I wouldn't have been riding very long with him anyway. His supercomputer said his first lap was 25:00 and his second was 26:30. I had just finished my first in 29:00 and only managed to get my second and third to 28:30 and 28:00.
The course is gonna be tough - lots of singletrack climbing up the trees between the ski slopes and, somehow defying physics, only one long descent. There are also four creek crossings, which worried me, but turned out to be pieces of cake. Oh god cake sounds so good right now. When will M.Bro be done with work so we can eat? What? Oh, right - blogging. So - I'm riding my new 2x8-speed drivetrain, which only has middle and big chainrings. There are two courses that I was worried about dropping the granny ring for, and this was #1. I was really grinding hard up two of the climbs and I could feel the strain in my lower back by the time I got done with my third lap.
Most of my drive home consisted of vising and revising plans to deal with (or, as it turns out [spoiler!], not deal with it).
Plan 1: Slap a granny ring back on, put a few links back in my chain, re-adjust the front derailleur, and have a bailout option. I quickly realized that the problem with this plan is that I have a short-cage rear derailleur that won't wrap that much chain. So on to
Plan 2: Slap a granny ring back on, take the big ring off, and run a 22-32 double instead of a 32-44 double. Again, a problem - my chainring bolts are too long to hold just a middle ring on without sandwiching a big ring too. Which leads to
Plan 3: Run a triple, but limit the derailleur to only the granny and middle ring. But, ack, if I set it up wrong and managed to accidentally throw the chain up to my big ring, my derailleur would explode and my race would be over. Which only leaves
Plan 4: Back to plan 2, plus hoping that I have some washers that will let me space the chainring bolts. If I can't find any washers that are the right size, Plan 4 calls for me to stop being such a nancy and just tough it out. Nancy.
Update: Well, the #2-ranked NORBA racer (in the world?) says I should just tough it out, and since I don't have any washers that will fit, that's what I'm-a gonna do-a.