The first mountain bike race of the year has come and gone. The Lost Valley Luau this year was awesome as hell. Between the new trail that was built by GORC, and competing in the Marathon class, this race was going to be sweet for sure. My only goal going into this race was to get a good workout and get 5 laps.
I have only done long rides this year with medium intensity at best. I'm taking this year much slower than last and hoping to make the switch to the expert category in mid May.
When the race stared down the Hamburg trail I was totally blown away at how fast the pace was. I think we were pushing 25 at one point. My legs felt swollen with all kinds of shit before we ever dropped in the gravel down hill. By the time we reached the top of the other side the leaders were long gone, already. I found myself in a group of about 4 or 5 guys that were setting a good pace that wasn't over baring on me. When we finally reached the single track I felt like I was in my comfort zone finally. Single track is where I usually thrive and relax, but this single track was new and very bumpy which made that impossible. The first time onto the gravel double track on the back side of the course it was Zach Brace and myself with the others in our group left behind. We had just dropped the other guys in the woods... who were all on 29ers. Two of the guys we had dropped did manage to get back on with us by the end of the double track before entering the woods again.
Coming through the start finish for lap 1 at 39 minutes was a good feeling. I know that wasn't a record lap, but it seemed like a respectable lap. I didn't need anything food or drink wise so I kept my momentum around the corner and heading up the hill for my second. When I got to the top and glanced down to check my HR and it was pegged at 193. The first lap effort I put in was by far the hardest 40 minutes on my legs this year and I could tell they didn't like it.
On the second lap, by the time we got to the single track again, Zach and another guy where starting to slip away. I was near the blow up point and had no choice but to back it down and recover a little. I rode most of the second lap alone with those two in, and out of sight for the rest of the lap.
On the third lap I felt really tired. I was getting plenty of calories but I think ultimately, my first lap effort killed my race for me. The third time through the new single track I hit a sharp rock and flatted the rear tire. As I sat there and messed with that for a few minutes I watched other racers go by. After that was fixed and I was moving, I looked and the clock and wondered If I would get five laps. I was tired, no longer motivated and in a little pain. At this point, it was nothing more than a training ride.
I kept the pedal turning and just focused on 5 laps. I kept the fluids and food going in and made sure I maintained a steady pace. By this time the expert field was starting to pass by which was cool to see. They were flying by and that was motivating for me, even while feeling so shitty. I knew it was going to be close on the clock for me to get a fifth lap but I wasn't going to give up.
My fourth time through the creek was at 2 hours and 50 minutes. At this point I pretty much had it unless something happened to my bike, which it didn't. I started my fifth lap at 2 hours and 56 minutes in. It wasn't fast, but I met my goal even with a flat tire on lap three. My last lap was a slow one. No real effort was put in. Just getting the miles and reflecting on the race. What could I have done different? That's what I thought most of this lap. Either way, I did what I came to do. I made it a little over 43 miles in about 3 hours and 50 minutes. I finished 20th out of about 30. Thats ok, it was a great day.
Thank you Steph and Craig for the water bottle, food, and tube hand ups.
Also, It was nice to see a lot of the faces I haven't seen since cross season ended in December.
Rim Wrecker is next weekend. Now that I have a race under me I am going to try and fine tune a little this week to get ready for it.
With the weather kicking ass the past few days I've been able to get out and do some non road riding. I went down to CB last Saturday morning for a couple laps and to camp. This was my first real ride on my new geared bike and it rode awesome around the lake. The Sid fork is WAY better the my old C-dale head "choke".
After camping out Saturday night I got up to go meet some of the GORC crew for a little North Trace maintenance on about a 1000 feet of trail. That went well, and with time remaining in the day, we heading out for some more riding . We rode from 32/DD down to CB for another lap around the lake and back. It was a great way to wrap up the weekend.
Tuesday I got out to SIUE on the SS for a 2 hour hammer session. The trails were primo and the weather was even better. As the sun set I headed back to the parking lot to load up and head home, but not before partaking in some St. Patricks day beverages.
70 miles of single track in 4 days sure put a whooping on my hands, but a smile on my face. Looking forward to more of this...
The day started off right crammed in the bike shop with 30 grown men all wearing spandex waiting for the thunderstorm to blow over. As soon as it did the ride began and only 30 minutes late. We all cut through town pretty quick and made our way into the country. At the time we had a slight tail wind that was pushing us along nicely. After about 15 miles of steady cruising we turned into the wind and the wind turned it up to 11.... or 35. The bunch quickly got spread out with the gail force winds seperating everyone. I found myself riding with almost the entire dogfish team early on and it stayed this way for a couple hours. The head winds were so bad that our pace line was holding steady around 15 mph and it was difficult. I was in my drops the entire time and rotating between my 3 easiest gears. There were reports of 60 mph gusts.
There were 2 different routes on the map, an 85 and a 55 mile ride. When I got to the cut off point Rister in our group had a flat so everyone stopped. While sitting there cusing the wind, the group mad the decision to go the shorting route, they had had enough of the wind. It was annoying, loud, and no fun at all. I decided at this point to start riding backwards on the course to find some on my fellow wild trak riders to see what they were going to do. Patrick from the shop was the first soul I would see. We then rode forward back to the cut off to wait it out for other wild trak riders to see what they wanted to do. It wasnt long before Dan from the team showed up. We waited for only a few minutes but ultimatly decided that if we were to do 85, we had to go now. The wind, nor day light was giving us much time. We rode for about 40 minutes and only covered about 8 miles. We came to a intersection. I looked at Dan and he looked into space. He didnt have any food or water, so we sent him back with the tail wind to do the shorter route. We didnt have enough food for the three of us. Sorry Dan.
It was now just Patrick and I to mash throught the wind. By the time we got to Fieldon it had been about 4 hours in the seat and we had only gone about 50 miles. Luckily, we got to turn left and out of the wind... sorta. We now just had a bad cross wind but we were going about 3 mph faster. Plus, we were now in the hills which helped block the wind. It wasnt long before we started noticing large tree branches down, then large trees. We came up on a couple of good ole boys who where cutting one off the road. They told us that a couple of "twisters" had touched down and that the roads were closed ahead where it was really bad. "How far down" we asked. "Other side of 100" they replied. Lucky us we werent going that far. We marched on making it through Fieldon and into the hills that destroy people. We just got out of the wind, and into the hills.... not fair. But, thats how it goes. It wasnt about an hour later that we pretty much had a tail wind and where heading for home. The wind had not let up any so on the flats 30mph was no problem.
Patrick started to bonk a little so I started giving some of the food that I had left. Super duper lucky for us his parents just moved into a house that was one the route which was good for a refuel. We were about 70 miles in at this point and probably a little over 5 hours of ride time. We only had about 15 miles to go and it was mostly down hill and completely with the wind. I think we made record time getting back to the shop from there. We hovered between 30 and 35 mph the entire way back thanks to the wind.
When we got to the shop it was about 6PM. I had about 89 miles so far and decided that I should just get back on my bike and get a century in. My legs where tired and Alton is full of hills. I started riding toward my house wondering if I was really going to get it in. I was low on water and out of food at this point. Doing laps around the hood got old so I headed out towards Godfrey in the hopes of getting the miles in. Some how, it worked. When I finally arrived to my front door I had 100.25 miles with 6 hour and 25 minutes ride time. Not really sure why I did it. It felt good but it hurt at the same time.
The wind sucked ass but we made the best of it. Patrick and I were the only ones to complete the 85 mile route. Im pretty sure the early morning weather chased some folks away but hopfully they will come back next time.
Sorry my report is lame, but the only thing on my mind is ringing ears and windburns.
Froze Toes - 30th, 3/4 Tues Crit - 3-11-08, 1st - B race Tues Crit - 3-25-08, 3rd - B race Hillsboro Roubaix - 6th - 4/5 Tilles Park Crit - 1st, 4/5 Tues Crit - 4-15-08, 2nd - B race TOHermann TT - 16th Cat4 (SUCK) RR - 2nd Cat4 TOHermann Overall - 2nd Tues Crit - 4-22-08, pack - B race ToSt.Louis Forrest Park - 9th, Cat 4 Tues Crit - 4-29-08, pack - B race Tues Crit - 5-6-08, 1st - B race Tues Crit - 5-13-08, 1st - B race MO State RR - 5-18-08 - 4th - 4/5 Tues Crit - 5-20-08, 4th - B race Tour of Winghaven - 6-8-08, 95th - 3/4 Tues Crit - 6-10-08, 1st - B race Webster Groves, DNF - P\1\2\3 Tues Crit -7-8-08, pack - A race Tues Crit - 7-15-08, pack - A race Tues Crit - 7-15-08, pack - B Race Tues Crit - 7-22-08, 10th-ish - A race Tues Crit - 8-12-08, pack - A race Tues Crit - 8-26-08, pack - A race Tues Crit - 8-26-08, pack - B race GATEWAY CUP 8-29 - 9-1 Friday - Cat 3 - 40th out of 147 Saturday - Cat 3 - Dropped, DNF Sunday - Cat 3 - Dropped, DNF Monday - Cat 3 - Dropped, DNF
2008 Race Results - MTB
Lost Valley, 5th - Sport Rim Wrecker, 1st - Sport CastleWood, 4th - Sport Matson Hill, 4th - Sport - June 1st C-Wood, 15th - A Training Race, 7-10-08 Cyclewerx Cape Race, 6th - Sport on a SS Greensfelder, 3rd - SS, 9-7-08 The Burnin 6 hour. 8th, 10-11-08 Spanish lake, 3rd - SS, 10-18-08 Berryman Epic, 17th overall - 3rd SS.
2008 Race Results - Cyclocross
Hermann Night Cross - Sep 20th - 37th Ronde Von Evergreen - Sep 28th - 14th BUBBA #1 - Oct 19th - 20th - A Race BUBBA #3 - Nov 2nd - 30th - A Race BUBBA #5 - Nov 16th - DNF BUBBA #6 - Nov 22nd - 32nd - A Race BUBBA #7 - Nov 23rd - bonk, finished - A Race BUBBA #8 - Nov 30th - 20th -A Race Mo State Cross - Dec 7th - 19th - Cat 3