Saturday, August 20, 2005


Race Time

Let me preface this report with a few facts :

When it comes to mountain biking I'm a slug with little or no "skeeels". I see the fast folks floating over the obstacles and clearing tough technical sections with ease, and wonder how they got that good. It seems like EVERYONE is faster than me. I guess that's why I enjoy it so much, 'cause its a challenge and kicks my butt. It's also why I enter the solo division. That way at least I have a chance at outlasting people.

The run to the bikes on the LeMans start is short. I like that since my ankles cant handle much running in bike shoes.

Lap 1 - I get settled in behind a small group and try to establish my HR and pace. The single track in the first part of the course is wet from the humidity and some of the root covered uphills are tough and technical. The slimy uphills are a real challenge on my Kenda Kharismas. More knobs would've been nice, but I would've given up rolling resitance on the hardpack later in the course. I eat it on a slimy uphill log pile. I miss a turn by not paying attention. During the first lap I realize that in my haste I forgot to apply the most essential preparation in an endurance race.---------------------------->

Lap 2 - Trying to establish a rhythm. I go down on the same slimy log pile. On a climb at about mile 2.5 my OTHER pedal self-destructs leaving me the option of going back to the pits (maybe a mile back) or ride out the next 6 miles on the spindle :

That's pretty much a no-brainer - RideON! The flats weren't bad, uphills a bit tougher, but downhills and log hops a test of my nerve and balance.

In to the pits for a pedal change. Its nice having the right tools. Refill camelback and plan on doing the next 3 laps with no stop. Put the lights on so I don't have to stop again. Also take the time to lube up my "undercarriage"

Lap 3-5 - Still not finding a rhythm, and my speed, concentration and energy level steadily decline. I dismount for that F'n logpile everytime but still fall at least once every lap, with a few high speed root induced wipe outs. The root covered slimy sections are really tough. Note to self : Don't try to brake when going fast over wet slimy, muddy roots. Lap 5 is terrible, I feel like sin dipped in misery, my gatorade is luke warm, I have no focus, its dark, I'm hallucinating, and have to walk many a climb. I even stop to sit on a picnic table bench at the top of a climb for a while. Another (team) rider stops and is about to join me, when I tell him I'm solo he says "I better keep going".

I pit after lap 5 and see an empty bag of ice next to the cooler! Phil has helped me out tremendously by icing down my fluids, AND he put an oscillating fan in the cabin.

"Midnight at the oasis".

Note professional race number mounting like I said - no skeeels.

More to come........................

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