It was off to Hardwood Hills this morning to check out the course for the 8 hour. It's going to be a fun one. The course is roughly 10 km with a mix of double and single track. From what I saw most of the double track is climbing. No complaints here.
The plan was to meet up with Jeremy Cummins and ride a couple laps with with him. I was on a bit of a time limit today. Had to be in Barrie for noon to get the windows on the Audi tinted. Unfortunatly Jer was running behind and showed just as I was ready to roll. It's to bad, Jeremy is attempting his first 24 hour solo and it would have been good to talk during the ride. Of course I also wanted to see where his legs were at. Jeremy beat me last year at the fall 8 hour. Of course I kinda broke a couple ribs at that race. Regardless Jer is a fast rider and someone my support will be keeping tabs on.
We have had crazy heat and crazy thunderstorms the last few days. The course is definetly rideable if it rained. There is tons of traction which also means it's also slow. I ran into a few guys from the Barrie Cycling Club and that was the first thing I asked. It was one of those "is it slow or am I just weak" they answered the first one. I think it was both personally.
So what are some of the fun things on this course. Well every Hardwood riders favoirte is the start. Wood chips look great in the garden, theysuck the life out of your legs going up hill. There is about a km of climbing/doubletrack from the start to help break up the mass pack.
Nothing new but after 14-15 laps you really start to hate wood chips.
There are some interesting options on this course including a couple optional bridges. This is one that I think I'll pass on.
This is one of my favorite sections. It was in the course last year. It's all about staying off the brakes and letting momentum get you through. Things in motions tay in motion. It's also one of the areas that will jam up riders.
They have added a couple cool new sections to the course. I have a strange feeling that you are going to see alot of flat tires at this race. Tons of rocks to pinch tires and there are some fast drop off sections that have roots on the other side of them that will even blast some air out of tubeless tires. Oh did I mention that it's also fun!!!
Hmmm I thought about this every lap. Very Very Tempting.
Put 3 laps in before having to pack things in. My ride did continue after I dropped off the car. A couple more hours of base. The car looks sweet.
I think this is one of the best courses that Hardwood has come up with. Good flow, more technical thanthe past, more climbing. I will say that I like the long steady grinds that are in this course. For what i've put in this season it is does favour it. It's also going to be interesting to see who is racing. I know Andrew Parry will be there working. He raced last weekend and is back on track for HAN. Tristan is off at the 24 hour World's. Hope he rides like he did at Solstice. Good Luck Tristan.
There are a few changes this year also at the 8 hour. Peter from Misfit has put out the challenge and there is now a single speed catagory for solo's. This course will make them work. It's also split a few of the guys off from the under 40 division. Should be awesome to see the SS guys battle it out. I'm hoping that my legs are recovered enough.
That's it for now