Fort Custer Stampede 2013

Perfect weather. That about sums it up. My brother-in-law Evan met me at my house just before 7a.m. on Sunday morning so we could make the trek down to Augusta, MI for the 2013 Fort Custer Stampede mountain bike race. The Elite/Expert waves started at 10 so I wanted to be there by about 8:50-9:00am to grab my race packet and warm up without being hurried. It ended up only taking us an hour and a half, including a pit stop just before town.

Augusta Michigan is an 885 person village about halfway between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek (though a smidge north of both)  that is home to the Fort Custer Military Base, and the Fort Custer Recreational Area.  The original village of Augusta established in 1832 sat where the military base now resides, but was razed for the base and relocated to its current location. One of the notable establishments Even & I observed was a bike shop 200 yards away from the entrance to the recreational area. Well played.

I packed clothing for a cool morning, but ended up not needing anything but my shorts and short-sleeve jersey for my warm-up. I could tell already that race weather was going to be ideal. The sun was not hindered by even a single cloud. The day’s temps would top out in the mid 70’s making the later races a bit warm for mid spring and I could tell several of the riders were not hydrating well enough to compensate. It was a fine temperature to grill some burgers and watch the rest of the race, though.

Instead of talking you through every turn of my race, I’ll show you:

The Cross Country Cycle team again performed very well with podium and 4th/5th place finishes (5th and above are recognized and given pint glasses) throughout the race categories. I ended up in 8th which I wasn’t disappointed in until I started watching the video again and realized that there are some areas where I can improve my race strategies and tactics. I’m still learning, I’m o.k. J

My next race is down in Warsaw, IN at the Fat & Skinny Tire Fest which should be a ton of fun. Until then, more training and riding. Outdoor riding, that is. Man alive; am I happy for Spring!

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