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Showing posts from September, 2010

Day 5 - I think i saw a big white squirrel

Day 5
It’s the day after day 5, so I’ve been sleeping, eating, celebrating, socializing and basically enjoying the company of other similarly weird masocylcists (a new word combining masochism and cycling used to describe a cycling endurance competitor). The last day. There’s a podium spot on the line for me (since the race directors podium has two more spots than most) so I have to give it my all. Day three was my rest and relaxation day. I’m not sure why it ended up like that but sometimes things don’t always work out like we planned, like a career path or a marriage. So now I have no excuses for slow pedaling with a self-defeating attitude. We had a 6 mile paved road start then some technical climbing, followed by gravel climbing, more technical climbing, a super technical downhill, gravel, more technical up and down then gravel up and one last hurrah of a technical down. Overall, today’s course was on par with the four prior days but slightly leaning towards the technical side of t…

Day 4

Ok. So I finally rode like I know I can. It took three days in a five day stage race to get some legs under me. Today’s route started from the Black Mountain Trailhead, otherwise known as “smokers cove”. The route included some of the second most technical trails in the forest I call home. We climbed up over Black Mountain via Thrift Cove then crossed Turkey Pen to Squirrel Gap. Lots of single track! Since I had my little vacation ride yesterday it was time to move. I started near the front of the pack and settled in around 15th or so. We had a rough climb up to Turkey Pen but I’ve completed that climb at race pace over eight times for other events, so I was ready for the ensuing pain for the next two hours. To my advantage, many of the other fellows in my class did not know what was before them and how to gage their effort. I finished the climb, crossed the 7 mile ridge and continued. Another twenty minutes of gear grinding went by and in the middle of the forest, I heard cowbells a…

Day 3

Day 3
All I can compare this feeling to is 2-a-day summer football practices. Although I definitely do not hate cycling. Today was billed as 9,000 feet elevation gain and 40 miles. My legs feel otherwise.
Since the first two days of this adventure were rough, I decided to chill today. Chill I did. We had a running start to the bikes then a quick downhill to the main trail. Often a race promoter will make the racers run to their bikes from a distance of up to ¼ mile +/- but in todays start we had to do a summersault of some sort in the middle of the run. With me, summersaults died out with the last days of park rides that go round and round. Needless to say, my start was slow. I predetermined starting at the back of the pack and keeping myself from the front line hoopla. Trying to maintain a pace I’m not used to kicked my butt the last two days. My theory is that if you start in the back the only way you can go is up. My plan worked and I took my sweet time. I lost two spots in the over…

PMBSR - Day 2

Day 2
Felt better this morning and actually got a good warm up under my belt. Thought it was going to be a better day then yesterday then cramps set in on the first third of squirrel gap. I passed a few fellows in my class and thought it was all coming together then crash - not into a tree, not like Dave Mathews but like I was going to barf or who knows what. I kept going, despite how horrible I felt. I guess I was dehydrated. Hammer Gel products in liquid form other than gels evidently disagree with my stomach. I can’t seem to absorb heed or any of that stuff. We’ll see if that was a contributing factor to my slow, slow, slow time today. I’m still in 4th due to some unfortunate mechanical problem to the fellow who was in first. I’ll try to bust a move tomorrow. Maybe the legs will cooperate. Off to bed.
4th in class. 40.31 miles. Max speed of 29.5. race time of 5 hours 12 minutes. 8.4 avg speed.

Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race Day 1

PMBST –Day 1
“Look mummy , there’s an aero plane up in the sky” – this lyric from oh so long ago sums up my somber mood for the beginning of the first day of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race. Most was perfect: the sky, the temperature, trail conditions, bike…everything except for my somber, melancholy attitude. I felt peaceful, speculative, wondering, almost out of sorts with the world and just there. I should be happy. I mean another week off work, 5 days on the bike, the best trails I know, the trails I love most…my trails. Maybe I need a lift. Spirits low, non-existent, where are you spirits? This is my first stage race. How should I feel? What does the rule book say? Is there an emotional rule book? There’s a book on etiquette but that won’t suit the situation. No. I have my own rules. And my rules are fine. There’s no right or wrong, just be and enjoy. A somber start on day one is no big deal. There’s still day 2, 3, 4 and 5, God willing. Hopefully the caldera known as Yello…