That's right folks I was taking on the Empire starting at the top. We all know what happened back at Summer Solstice. Well that is Peter's sandbox and Mountainview is mine. Don't pee in my sandbox.
Now one thing that caught me off guard. Peter was seeded number 1. Yes a Misfit ( Mr. Summers) beat me last year and apparently that is how it was transferred. I was noticing more that Thomas (club president/organizer) has been ridding a Misfit all year. Who bribed who???
There was surprisingly little smack talk before the race and moments before the start. I think it was an attempt to save as much energy as possible. It was going to be a long day with a lot of climbing. Oh and it was going to be hot, more on that shortly. Screw shortly. At 9:30 it was close to 27 degrees. Were off. I pretty much started out like I normally do, fast and hard. Wanted to be closer to the front like usual. By the mid way point of the lap I was already noticing how hot it was.
The first lap I kept the pace high (but not as high as I normally would) and put a gap into everyone in the solo division. Starting into the second lap I knew the heat was going to be an issue so I back things down a little. Nothing much happened on the next few laps except for the temperature going up. Legs were feeling good.
Around the 4-5th lap in any race I usually start to play with different lines. This is sometimes a good thing but more often a bad thing. I usually end up being bounced around, rub trees, hit rocks etc. A habit I need to break and all it is to attempt to save a few seconds a lap. Well yesterday was a reminder on why I shouldn't screw with my original line.
Coming down the creek bed decent I got bounced off the course a little and t up a rock. SSSSSS, WTF. Front tire started to loose air with the sound of a whistle. Pulled the CO2 sealant and gave it a blast. Ok it stopped but I didn't get much air in it . Start running. One note, I've been running tubeless wheels for a long time this is still a rare thing. I think the Stan's may have dried out. It was safer to run the downhill than risk breaking the bead of the tire. I was able to ride the flats. Thanks to Rob for dropping his pump.
Came into transition a few minutes slower and worked like a nascar pit. Tire was being stubborn so pulled it the wheel off my other Anthem and I was off. This was probably a good thing to have happens as I stayed smooth for the next 3-4 hours. This was also about the time I started to ride with a bottle of water in my jersey pocket. Not for my stomach but for my head. It was hot, really hot but at least there was a wind up in the fields. At this point I didn't have any splits on the other riders but had already lapped a couple. Didn't want to know anything yet.
Coming under the 4 hour mark I saw him off in the distance. PETER!!!! Mom had given me the split that he was in third and second place was just ahead of him. I resisted the urge to hammer and just maintained my pace. Surprisingly enough I caught him about the mid way point of the lap. The heat had gotten to him and he was going to pull the plug. Shitty. I'd had in the game plan from the start to lap the field and then ride the rest of the race with Peter. We finished out the lap together and I was off. When I went through the pits 2nd was there refueling. Gotta go. Brought the pace up a little for the next 2 laps and put half a lap another half lap into 2nd. The heat was taking it's toll on everyone. I still felt good.
I did manage to hit all the fun events for the bonus times. The bike limbo, well lets just say that the bar was lower than my handlebars when I rolled over quickly to try. I started at it in a track stand and thought to myself "if I even attempt to bend my body over enough to do this I will cramp so badly that I'll never get up" Back to racing. The 2 other events were no problem. The pie eating contest. Let's see 6 plus hours in, plus 30 degree temperature, a lot of climbing, can you say vomit. Didn't even consider stopping in for this one.
Every once in a while I would look at my HR monitor, a mix of seeing my pace and seeing how long into the race we were. At the 7 hour mark I was 2 laps up on everyone. I had fun and rode some sections with team riders chatting. The first thing I will say is that I never ever got bored on this course. There was so much single track and technical that you just couldn't. I pretty much smiled the whole race. I did start walking one short section of the main climb. Trying to keep my wheels going straight up a narrow snowmobile track was harder and slower than walking it. Besides that section I kept riding everything. I know the ski lift switch back climb inside and out now.
On my second last lap I did have my scare. Coming down a tough decent my hands fatigued and I lost control of the bike. Feet got unclipped, hands were barely on the bars and I'm looking at the bone breaking rocks, trees and drop off. I managed to get back under control, came to a dead stop and stared blankly for about 20 seconds thinking holly shit that was close. That was one thing about the race my hands were exhausted. Because of everything I love about it, technical single track, it was really hard on the hands. I finished up the lap not 100 percent positive on my lead and asked if it was possible for anyone to catch me if I did one more and called it. Everyone paused, ok I'm off.
Stayed conservative on the last lap, rode clean. On the last lap Lee came screaming by me but had his suspenders down, why?? no idea but it was very tempting to grab them and get a pull up the first climb. Kept the legs spinning and rolled into the finish line, I saw 2nd place buy already off his bike. I'm done, I was 3 laps up on him. Everyone lied to me. I had legs for one more lap if needed. Last lap was still under 30 minutes.
Fuel for the day was my INFINT 24 hour mix. It worked awesome. The one mistake I did make was asking for the mix to be detuned a little so I could bring in more fluids. That was fine in the peak of the day but we didn't bring the mix back up when I went back to normal intake. My last lap I started to play on the edge of energy. A good experiment for me to do with Michigan coming up in about a month.
My bike was awesome, I ran the suspension a little softer than normal and I'm happy I did, my back felt pretty good afterwards. My hands are sore this morning and so are my arms. A couple new war wounds in the shoulders from rubbing trees.
Like usual I have to say thank you so much to my Mom and Aunt for doing support/feed for me today. Things rolled smoothly like usual. Thanks to Lee for screwing around with my wheel. It was another great event. I managed to get all my heat training in in one day.
My attempts to take on the Empire were shut down by Mother Nature. I did get a couple new toys from him for my single speed. I'll need it for sure this Monday night. I think the kool-aid is spiked.
Low key day, meeting up for the all you can eat breakfast buffet with the crew shortly. I may drop my canoe in the water for the first time this year. Oh and there is beer to be drank and more food to eat.
Can't tell but I'm wearing a Misfit t-shirt. Revenge from Solstice? Not really.
The tag winners. Rode with Jeff Moote a few times. Congrats to him and Ryan for 2nd place. Those Lap dogs taking 1st and 3rd. Great job
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Mountainview 9 Hour Festival
It's funny but I was actually nervous before the race yesterday. Why?? A few reasons, first was this is the club venue. Not a big deal but racing at home is always interesting. The second thing was my concern of my legs. All week they have been feeling like shit. No power going up hill and just heavy doing day to day crap. Mountainivew is a place that the climbing hurts. I also was wanting to get my title back. Lost it last year to my then unsolved stomach problems. That is not an issue this year. Awww Last but not least I was nervous about battling this guy.