Got up to the venue plenty early for my race - we were there by 10:00 with my race at noon, and Mike's at 2:00. When I registered, I even requested my number - 977. I've won two previous Root 66 races with that number, and I figured it would bring me some luck.
After socializing with teammates, Teri and I headed out to warm up and pre-ride some of the course before our race started. The trails were stellar - loamy singletrack in the woods with just enough technical aspects to make them fun (at least what I saw of the course). I came out of the first piece of singletrack, over a bridge to cross the ski slope and followed the line of the rider in front of me to the left of the mud puddle. MISTAKE! Should have ridden through the puddle.
Somehow, something must have caught my derailleur, and I snapped the hanger completely off the bike. Teri rode up, and I told her my race was done. Helmet off, I walked the bike back down the slope to the cars, but we didn't have a spare hanger, and no one around had one either. Sweetly, Teri offered me her bike to race (note that Teri is about 6 inches shorter than I am - that wouldn't have worked well, but it was great of her to offer!), and Wayne also offered me his (glad I didn't take him up on it - he went on to finish 2nd in his race!). I dejectedly took off my riding gear, and went to the sidelines to cheer on all my teammates as they started their races.
I was bummed. What I saw of the course looked like fun (although I didn't get to see the worst of the climbing, or the washboard descent), and I thought I may have had the opportunity to do well there. Not to be.
I thought it really funny though when Colin and Linnea came up and tried to convince me to race expert, and I could do it on CTodd's bike! Not that bummed, I guess, since I declined the offer ;-).
So, I spectated, cheered, took photos, offered [unsolicited ;-)]advice, and provided course intel to my teammates, friends and Mike. Teri ended up 3rd in the Sport Women race I would have been in, and I was psyched to see her do so well. Wayne finished 2nd in his race, and Scott B ended up 5th in his race - great results for the team!
Finally, after 4 hours of waiting, it was Mike's turn in the Expert race. Cris R also raced in her first Expert race, and I was their support crew (and cheering section). Mike had a terrific race - the first lap he came by, he had at least 2 minutes on his 2nd and 3rd place racers. He extended that lead to about 8.5 minutes by the end of the race - a terrific win for him! Cris, after warning all the rest of us about the hazard, went down crossing the first pipe on her first lap! She chased for much of the remainder of the race, and ended up 2nd in her category.
So, not a great day for me, but the team was successful overall! Also had an interesting observation from Colin (who races for IBC) - he commented on the number of NEBCer's showing up at the MTB races this year. Apparently, we're making quite an impression!