The trip to Riverside State Park in Spokane, WA last weekend was a wet one. The “Round the Clock” 24 hour event was a team relay mountain bike race, beginning at noon on Saturday and ending at noon on Sunday. 700 competitors this year! We competed for medals, prizes and bragging rights. The great part was that during the race the wetness held off. We had fabulous conditions for our race. But it has been raining ever since.
I plan a series of blogs to report the happening of the race and how the podium ended an all Montana one. This one is about the start, it is a story in itself.
A little background leading up to the gin Saturday at noon. Upon arriving Friday I went for a pre-ride and ended up walking back to the car. I had sliced my front tire on a sharp rock or something sharp. Upon reaching the venue I spotted Bill Schultz and asked him if he had any extra tread. He did and saved my race.
Thanks Bill. I feel very fortunate to have been able to race in Spokane and Bill was a small part. Lets not forget the Chad at Red Barn got me into some new gear just so I could ride my bike. Bob at Triple Ring Productionstook care of getting me there and my entry fee. That’s huge!! Then there is Carbo Rocket for the fuel to have a great time. There were moments of intense joy while I was riding out in the middle of the night and early AM. Has to be the Rocket. If it were not for Julie Zickovich stepping up to volunteer for Sten and I we would of been DQ(ed), she is awesome. Looks like she had a good time too.
I spent the rest of the night trying to get my new Small Block Eight to seal with Stans. Sten, Marta, Rich, Julie, Erik, and myself all settled in for a good nights rest.
Ok! Back to the start of the race. I had great position on the line front row. Just before the gun went off I realized I didn’t have our team’s timing chip. I scrambled back to the pit area and ripped apart the camp. I found it in Sten’s (Team Captain) tent. I went back to the start area and took my place mid-pack … argh. I wanted to win the lap. I needed to crawl over about 20 riders to get in front again. The gun went off.
I took a shot in the jaw from someone elbow as I tried a move to the right. I passed a couple on the left side running up the outside and up against the course markings. A couple more moves and another hit to the jaw I started up the climb and I started to slow. I have been practicing my run this spring but found myself struggling up the climb.
After the climb was a downhill single track back to the venue. I couldn’t run side hill and had to follow a slower dude down the track. People were passing and I realized I would not get to the front. Back on the front straightaway I stretched out my pace but I was toast. I didn’t think I could make it back to my bike. I was not the fastest sprinter that day for sure. got on my bike around 20th place.
I still figured I could make it to the front. I still wanted to win the lap. I passed when I could but in the rock gardens and twisty single track I always found myself behind someone slowing way down. I thought, shouldn’t have run so fast man.
We arrived at the biggest climb of the lap and was named 8 Minute Hill. This was a good place to make contact with the leaders but for some reason I decided to ascend the hill at a moderate pace. Looking back should of went anaerobic and smashed it. In any case I was just out of ear shot of the leaders.
About half way around the loop I saw that the leaders had really put on the gas and I would never catch them. On top of that I reached a section called Little Vietnam and rode it tentatively and lost more ground. From there on out the course was kind of new for me because I had ripped my sidewall on the pre ride the day before. I rode as strong as I could to finish my lap.
I handed off to Sten and we were somewhere around the top 5 overall at that point. Oh well I thought, we had a lot of racing to do. Back at the pit area I proceeded to have a massive cramp attack. Some more lessons:
1) don’t mistake Recoverite for Perpetium during a pre race meal.
2) Not good to go all out and then put your feet in the air for 20 minutes.
3) don’t eat just before the start.
4) Sprinting is not good if your not a runner … OUCH.
To be continued…