North Carolina’s Fontana Resort boasts one rough course and this was one tough race.
That the start…a paved road with a 15% grade over a third of a mile…was the easiest climb of the day gives you some idea of just how tough this course is. Video of the white wave start is below.
Further on there were steeper grades over shorter distances on slick clay, back-to-back-to-back, and there was another 15-percenter over loose gravel and scree for probably a quarter mile.
Then there were the downhills, two sections of roughly a mile each with even steeper pitches over loose rocks ending with tight switchbacks. A climbers course it was, a descenders course it was, and the middle sections were there to help you try and cobble some type of recovery together.
The inner tubes in each of my tires blew after the race while sitting on the stand, as if they would rather self-terminate than face that course again. The caps on top of my front fork…both sides…blew off somewhere during the race. It literally felt like I was holding on to a jackhammer during one of the descents with all the up and down motion.
It’s a fun course to ride, not a fun course to race, if that makes sense. But I finished and the bike made it home in one piece, and we got fifth place for the series, so not a bad day.
SERC 2011 is over, now it’s time to look at the Florida State Series coming up in just a few months.