Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rapture in Misery...part 2

Well...another 6 hour 2 man race has come and gone...and the dirt gods smiled on my team ever so brightly!!!

Let me say this first...A 6 hour race is a LONG FREAKIN DAY!!!! My day started at 6am, the morning ritual and load up the stuff and out the door by 8:15. Arrive at teammates house, unload and reload, hit the road to Crowder State Park...2 hours northeast.

We arrive at the venue and head straight to sign up, sign up done, back to the war wagon to set up our pit for the ensuing 6 hour melee, pit set up, time for the racers this point it's 11:30 and the race starts at noon. The racers meeting drags on and on and ON!!! Now I'm starting to freak out a little, because I am NOWHERE EVEN CLOSE TO BEING READY TO RACE, AND I'M GOING OUT ON THE FIRST LAP!!!!!!!

So I duck out of the meeting and haul ass back to the pit, change into riding clothes...good thing there wasn't anyone around cuz I didn't cover up at all!!! I was in a HUGE RUSH!!! Put the number on the Truth, and head to the staging area to park my woods rocket, and head to the start line for the Le Mans start...which was 5 minutes later.

My warm up consisted of me riding from our pit to the staging area a grand total of 1/4 mile...The shortest warm up for me for a MTB race EVER!!!!!

On to the race...The start is a Le Mans style...meaning a short run of about 100 yards or so. This one we had to run up a wide rocky trail out onto a flat grassy area to where the bikes were staged. Fortunately I found a tree to lean my bike against that was as close to the start line as you could get, this was a good thing!!!

The course was a 9.1 mile loop with one gnarly section of rocks, which I didn't think it was that bad but anyway, two big climbs that would pretty much suck ass later in the race...I was right on that!!! Lots of fast flowing single track, some screaming fast descents, and a long grinder of a climb!!! Overall it was a good track, it kinda catered to the roadies meaning there wasn't very much technical riding...and those of us that have MAD HANDLING SKEELZ could've benefited from more gnarly sections!!!

Go!!! A mass of loonies is off and running, I grab my bike and head off to the course...I don't know how far back I was from the first rider on the trail, but I'm pretty sure that I was in the top 20.

The first lap rolls by and I come into the transition area and hand off to my teammate and at this point we're in 2nd place 45 seconds back. So I roll to our pit and take a break, refuel, check the bike, get cleaned up, and rest for about 15 minutes after all of that, then it's time to head back to the transition area and wait...

About 5 minutes rolls by and here comes my hommie, I grab the baton and off I go into the woods again. At this point in the race you really can't tell who, by looking at people, your competition is. My second lap rolls by and I crank out a lap 30 seconds faster than the first!!! Into the transition for the hand off and away goes the teammate still in 2nd.

Back to the pit, do the pit ritual and head back to the transition...The hand off is made and away I go for my third lap, now in 4th, hommie got passed some where out on the course...At this point I know who our competition is. So I go hammering along and as I see a rider I make them my carrot. Eventually I see my competition about 3.5 miles into my lap and I put him in the crosshairs, run him down and put it on kill to finish my lap 2 minutes ahead of him and put us back into 3rd!!! At the transition I tell my teammate to not make me have to chase that guy again!!!

Off he goes for his third lap. I go do the pit ritual and head back and wait...he comes in and we are now in 2nd going into my last lap, I grab the baton and head out going as hard as I can possibly go to get as far away from the transition as possible thinking the whole time I gotta get out of sight!!! Out of sight, out of mind...right?!?! In doing this I came to the rock section and bombed it faster than I had all day, I didn't even touch the brakes!!! On I go like my life depended on it. At one point on the course you are out in the open riding across a pond dam, I get to this part and pin it to get across as fast as I can...again...out of sight out of mind!!!

I look back right before I head back into the woods and see no one...yea a small victory at this point. I start this climb and both legs start to cramp at the bottom and I'm like WTF!!! NOT NOW!!! So I keep going and rub them out while I climb...I get to the top and the cramps have gone away, So I punch it and hammer on. Eventually this part of the course winds around and spits you back out on the dam, I get there and beat myself BLIND to get across without being seen...success!!!

So I race on and try to go fast and stay consistent. At about 2.5 miles to go I'm suffering badly and I feel a HUGE BONK coming on quickly and the last long grinder of a climb is about 1/4 of a mile I freak out a little because I don't know how far behind third is and if I bonk it's OVER!!! So I grab my gel flask that has my tried and true strawberry-banana power gel in it and gulp down as much as I can, then wash it down with as much carbo drink as I can take!!!

I get to the climb and make it up the first steep section and spin up my speed and try to recover on this flat part that took about 2 minutes to traverse. By the time I hit the first switchback the bonk was gone and I kicked it in again!!!

I finish my last lap and hand off to my hommie and told him to bring it home!!! I wait for third to come in and it's 5 minutes later, so I gave my hommie a 5 minute lead going into his last lap...I think to myself hopefully it's enough!!!

Back to the pit to get cleaned up and get some real food and wait!!!

I'm sitting at the transition waiting and shoveling food in my face like I haven't eaten in days, and about 20 minutes teammate comes rolling in and we nail down 2nd place!!!

No bad considering we were in 4th at one point. Cranking out some good laps and a bit of misfortune by another team paid off!!!

Here are some numbers from the race...36.4 miles at an average of 11.3 mph. I had a max speed of 26.9 mph. I spent 30 minutes and change over 190 bpm, maxed at 198 bpm, averaged 181 bpm for the entire race, and burned 3398 calories for 3 hours and 48 minutes of ride time!!

As I write this, I am flat out SMOKED!!! Racing on the road is hard, but racing in the woods waaaaaaay more difficult!!!


  1. Congrats! I have never, and will likely never, do a MTB race. 6 hours seems like a lifetime - let alone 12 hours! Even on a team!!!

  2. I used to say the same thing about riding on the road...Give it will be covered with mud from riding in the woods one day!!! :)