Noah Meyerhans

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Beezley Burn Race Report

Rode hard out of the starting gate and put a lot of hurt into my competitors (not to mention my own legs!). The first 2 km were on a wide open straight fire road with a headwind. Didn’t really want to be leading the charge into the wind, but I didn’t want to be following anybody else’s pace either. Shortly before we entered the singletrack, I let Peter Super and Steven Moe pass, and the three of us remained together for most of the first lap. Steven ran out of gas late in the lap, leaving me and Peter together, with Peter leading. Staying on his wheel was tough, but manageable. After some time, we were caught by Matthew Faunt in the 19-34 category. He didn’t stick around long, and to my eye looked easily ready to upgrade to Cat 1. He passed us an intersection at the top of a short climb where the trail marker had fallen over and it wasn’t clear which way to go. Peter and I both paused, but Matthew appeared to have pre-ridden the course and took of in the right direction without hesitation. I never really saw him again. Peter gained several seconds on me at this point, accelerating faster than me following of our moment of indecision. I chased hard to catch Peter again, and wasn’t sure I’d manage to do so. After maybe 4 km of chasing, I caught him again just past the feed zone entering the second lap. I lead into the singletrack off the long fireroad straightaway, with Peter right on my wheel, then exchanged positions on the next stretch of road. We road together for the first half of this lap. When the trail opened up into some wider doubletrack around the midpoint of the lap, I decided to test Peter’s legs with an attack. He didn’t appear to respond, which was a good sign, but there was still a fair bit of racing to go and he didn’t necessarily need to respond immediately. If he had the energy, he could take his time and reel me in slowly. However, when I looked back after a leg burning climb and saw him struggling to get up some of the punchy steep sections, I knew I had a good chance to hold him off over the last few kilometers. In the end, I managed to do exactly this. The only disappointment was when I was caught within a kilometer of the finish by the second and third place riders from the 19-34 age group and didn’t really have the gas to stay with them as they finished with a strong head-to-head sprint.

Some technical details, mostly for my own reference:

Shock setup:

Air pressure Rebound damping Notes
110 psi 2 clicks Ran wide-open (descend mode).
Generally felt good; didn’t lose efficiency.
Need more rebound damping (already increased 2 clicks, post-race)

Fork setup:

Air pressure Rebound damping Notes
75 psi ? Felt soft, so I ran in Trail Mode, which helped. Traction was good. Want Descend Mode to feel a little closer to this setup.

Tire pressure was 30 psi, which is higher than I often run. Worked out well though.

Other notes:

  • Rear derailleur worked well; shifting felt good throughout.
  • Front derailleur = sadness. Chain kept falling off the big ring onto the small ring. Chain stretch or limit adjustment issues.
  • Brake pads were brand new and hadn’t been fully bedded in. Felt really grabby early on but fine later on.
  • Short enough race that there was no need/time to eat.
  • Not a lot of time to drink. I brought 2 bottles, each 2/3 full. Drank most of the first bottle during and just before the first lap; very little of the second bottle during the second lap.

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