Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Firecracker Report, by Fergus

David, Greg, and I rode the mtb race today. The beginning was a long and steep uphill which ended with a long and steep downhill. And then we did that another two times. 15 miles maybe. We pushed our bikes up and then pointed them down narrow and twisty singletrack. We were on the, “easiest” downhill trail with a name like, “Banzai Express.” It was not easy. I have a blister from holding the brake lever. At points I was imagining the disc on my brakes heating up. I rode more and more of the course as I did the loops but at the end there were still two sections at least where I dismounted and walked my bike down. These sections has churned up loose dirt and many fist sized stones ready to jump under one’s front wheel. I had eaten well and I could feel it. I had made a meal of ground beef, onions, and green and red peppers with some cumin. I then added some brown rice and it powered me solidly for the race. (I ate it for breakfast with some eggs thrown in.) I only drank. (I had a Red Bull before the race.) I felt good. The last lap was fun especially fun where I passed some people who had passed me on the first loop.

Tony was launching as we were leaving. He was doing 4 laps to our three. I would have liked to see how he approached some of the obstacles. But we weren't going to hike up and watch the race. We were tired and getting cold. Greg and I stopped at an injured rider, who Greg had helped out of the woods. He had suffered a dislocated shoulder. I suggested that I would be open to pushing it back in but he calmly declined my offer.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this was a killer race. Half way up the initial climb I was thinking "Oh yeah, you're joking right? 3 of these freaking climbs? I'll do the downhill then quit" But the downhill singletrack was worth every single drop of sweat of the climb. Sweet groomed, bermed trail, loose sketchy way over the back tire sections, narrow single track at speed through the ferns, optional jumps, plank ladders...

At the bottom, I just had to keep going up to enjoy the DH thrill ride.

The third lap I rode in damage control mode. I was cramping up in my un-Mike Mann-like calves, and getting twinges in my hamstrings as well. I managed the uphill,watching Fergus ride away from me on his hardtail singlespeed.

I took it easy on the downhill, but opted into a couple of the stunts (this free-ride area must be seen to be believed, it's the type of stuff you see in the magazines, with huge gap jumps, drops, log rides, etc).

A guy right in front of me crashed hard (I actually heard it before I saw it) and messed up his shoulder. I walked his bike out with him for a little ways, then he cleared his head a bit and was able to continue out to the road on his own. I was relieved for the chance to recover a bit, then got back on the bike and rode up to the finish to find Fergus and Tony.

Beautiful venue, hard, hard race. It made me realize some big weaknesses in my climbing department. I didn't crash, yet managed to get poison oak all over both legs and my left arm. Hmmmm.

Dave had a good ride in the Beginners, and I hear will cat up to Sport.