We got to Gunnison midday Thursday, got everything all set up at the KOA, and headed out to Hartman Rocks. We wanted to re-ride a few chunks of the trail to doublecheck lines and freshen our legs up from the long drive. We parked just at the top of Candlehill and decide to ride part of the 24 hours in the Sage course to get to Top of the World and Ridge trails. Those are the ones we wanted to really look at - lots of technical stuff that would be coming late in the race. All I can say is I was lucky it wasn't race day! I was so off my game it was crazy. Little rocks I had no issues with on the first pre-ride were freaking me out. And the big ones, well huh. Had no clue what was going on, but I was not riding smart. I was a mess on everything and felt like a slug. Slow and stiff and just blech. Good thing it was Thursday and we had plenty of time before the race. I needed to pull myself together.
Back up into the rocks on Friday for two more trail sections. This time Josie's, Gateway and Fenceline. I was hoping for better legs and smoother lines. But again, I was all over the bike. Thinking about everything but riding my bike, and trying to chase after Nick at the same time. Not a good combination. I was still sloppy and skittish - approaching rocks and freaking out. Wrong gear, wrong lines and everything. It finally came to a head near the end of Josie's - I started a rock descent and flipped out. One of the rocks at the base of the drop got in my way and took a chunk of skin off my arm and leg. All I could see as we were riding was the blood on my leg, but I could feel my arm stinging in the wind. Not good. And it wasn't - a nice ugly hamburger like abrasion covering about half my forearm. Nick didn't even see that when we got to the van - he was focused on my leg. Washing everything out was probably the most painful part of the weekend!
All I could think was "hopefully I got the stupid sillies out of my system." A crash like that - or worse - could end my race, and my season in a hurry. Time to settle down and focus. Focus on my lines, my efforts and just ride my bike. It would be a longer day on Sunday if I rode like I did on my last two pre-rides!