Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bootleg Race Report

This is how things started off...
Went to preride the course, and not 30ft down the trail my derailleur fell apart. Never did find all the parts, so Jen and I made it to a local bike shop just before they closed, where I had to buy a new derailleur.

Half an hour later, we were back on the trail and it was getting dark, so we only rode the first 2 or 3 miles of the course.

Saturday morning, the start went pretty smooth, and since we were both racing in the solo category, we were excited to be on course at the same time, hoping we would see each other at times. Halfway up the first climb, I was feeling pressure from riders behind me to pass some girls that were in front of me. I made a pretty questionable pass on one girl, and since most of the course was on ledges about a foot wide traversing steep ravines, I was uncomfortable with passing. As luck would have it, I blew a turn right after passing this chic, and proceeded to crash! The entire peleton passed before I was able to get under way, and it was time to play catch up.

The rest of the first lap I decided to play it safe since I hadn't seen the course, and follow the chic that I had passed earlier since she was setting a fast pace and was the person that had designed the course.

This course was extremely technical, and the most dangerous I have ridden so far, with little margin for error. There were steep drops on the sides of the trail, tons of sections where falling was NOT an option, lots of lava rock that was more like coral, and plenty of "rollers" on the trail to make sure you were paying attention. The need to stay focused mentally was probably the most tiring.

I quickly realized this course suited my strengths, and as long as I could hold up physically, I was expecting to do well. In fact, the results showed that I was holding in 2nd place and staying nearly dead even with the pro rider who had the lead.

Except for my tires getting shredded on the lava, things went well until about lap 3, when my quads and hamstrings started to cramp. I did my best to spin at a high cadence to keep the cramps at bay, but by lap 5, my legs were seizing and stopping to stretch only made it worse.

I was done... in hindsight, after some downtime, I could have done 1 more lap. Maybe even 2. I expected the other solo racers to do many more laps, and had I known that the winner was only going to get 7 laps, I might have been able to win. As it ended up, I placed 4th. Bittersweet, but still disappointing.

Jennifer had some highs and lows of her own. She was able to ride sections of the course that even some of the guys couldn't, but ended up breaking her bike seat in a crash and couldn't continue. She was able to get in 3 laps, but without a seat, her day was over. Still, I am proud of her for hanging in there and for how far her skills have come. She is a trooper, and has endurance like the energizer bunny.

Here she is showing off some of her souvenirs...

Here we are in our snazzy Victory Velo kits...

It seems to have become a ritual of ours to photo some of the local vegetation on these adventures...

These guys thought they were entertaining us, but they sounded like a herd of elephants trampling a car...

Our next event isn't a race per se, but the Wildflower Century in Chico, CA. The ride is great, the food is even better, and it is close to home. It will be good preperation for our next race - the Coolest 24, May 3-4.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about the Nevada ride. You write well and give a real feeling for what racing is all about. The pictures were a great addition.