The bike racing season is nearing completion. Only a few more races to do, one or maybe two normal length WVMBA races plus a couple bonus Ultras. This past weekend was the 22nd Black Bear 40ish k. It was Mandi and my 11th Black Bear in a row and I must say the races just keeps getting harder. Every year more climbing and more gnarly descents. This year was the best BB course yet. The descents were all super washed out. The ruts were a little deeper, the drops little bigger. I definitely had a little more fear in me this year than I have in last 11 years. My arms are still weak and those downhills are long. Mandi and I arrived about 45 minutes before the start zipped through the super fast registration and suited up to race. I started in the back, started very slow and worked my way forward. Raced on the SS in the SS class. Picked off a few SS on the first climb after flipping over the bars whilst going up hill. Found my self in 3rd place(ss) after the first descent. Passed Robby L. on the next climb rode pretty hard and made him pop. Up, Down another Up, start seeing Mr. Benji. Hit middleridge trail hammer down the next descent hit hoffman and start looking for Mr. Bianchi. Up, Up, round some corners there he is. Benji is walking. I ride of to the edge of the gravel and place a tree between me and Benji's line of sight. Sneak attack, surprise, he didn't even see me coming. Cruise past Mr. Unbeatable drop the hammer and set my sight on Jeremy R. Catch him at the base of the hike, chat for a bit and pass him on one of the rollers before the brake burning wildcat descent. So by the end 1st ss(five minutes clear of Benji) 5th overall. Finally feel as if my racing legs may be making a come back. Mandi to had a great race scoring a big W. She said she felt great floating over the rocks and dancing up the climbs.