Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chris Allaire Memorial - Solitude 2011

The 2011 course was a good one, Thursdays pre ride had me smiling. I have always loved this venue, mostly cause Solitude rocks.

Lyna's race started at 8:30, so we got up there early. Hung out with Ryan at the tent. ot to see Scottie and Subie.

Lyna took the win in Sport women by 9.5 minutes, crushed it. So happy for her! Her first Sport Class win ever.

I got in a 30 minute warm up, for what i guessed was going to be a sub 1:45 effort. Not many people a this race, must be the holiday weekend, their loss. I took off kind of hard, wanting to get the hole shot, surprised by the gap i built, ramped it down a bit once I knew i would hit the one track first. Jason came by me on the Honeycomb road. I stuck with him and passed him back on the short paved service road. I held the lead through the lap zone and back up to honeycomb, where John came by me, I stuck with him for a lot of lap 2, but he could go faster on the medum grade climbs and we were pretty equal everywhere else. I lost site of him about 1/2 way through lap 3 and then saw Mikey coming up on me, so I punched it on the remaining climbs to gap him. I then rode the DH to the finish a bit off my limit, for safety's sake really. And finished like 10 seconds up on him, but he took a spill a few feet from the finish, so it woulda been more like 2 seconds.

Super happy with my result, considering the previous weeks pain and the race promoter training plan, which has precluded doing many hard XC efforts this year. 2nd is my Solitude theme as well. John had a reat day for his first expert win.

Sunday, Ty-Bo bailed on me, so instead of the planned Mill creek to Canyons and back ride, i drove up to PC and did Sweeneys-Johns-Johns99-Kings Rd-Keystone-Apex-Puke Hill-Crest- COnnector- Mid Mountain-CMG. Ran into Lyna, Sally and Theresa above puke hill and lunched with them post ride as well.

Great Weekend on the bike. Raced teh Flash 29er at the 'Tude and rode the AnthemX 29'er up in PC. No knee pain either, hmmmm.

Monday, July 18, 2011


In 2003, i hired a cycling coach, I blame Ty and his ex. Said coach helped me reach my potential, (as much potential as a mid 30's hack who worked 40+ hours a week could reach). In 2003, I weighed 135. With clothes on. By 2005 my ideal 'race weight' was 147. That extra weight came in the form of muscle, mostly in my legs. Mostly from doing 12 week strength building sessions of Leg Presses (along with weekly maintenance in season) .

In 2009, I decided, as a 40+ racer, a coach wasn't needed, so I moved on, and, quit going to the gym.

The 2009 Laramie Enduro was my first endurance race in several years. And at the end of it, I found myself walking any climb with knee pain.

2010, I did a few more endurance races, Laramie, 12 Hours in Ky and The P2P, all sans knee pain, but i did do a whole lot of really really big rides to prepare.

2011, i had a pretty aggressive schedule. 12 hours of Mesa Verde, Bailey 100, Breckenridge 100, Pierres Hole 100.

Mesa Verde went great, until a lack of push ups ended my day, but no knee pain. Bailey was grand, tinges of knee pain on the last climb near the finish, but nothing horrible.

The Breck 100 is altogether another story. The start climb up the service road to Wheeler Pass is like starting a 100 miler withe the Widowmaker at snowbird. @ 3k feet in 6 miles, except that you are over 12k feet at the top and due to a lingering snow field, we had to scramble up a very steep rough/ loose dirt slope, tri-podding with one hand holding on to your bike, A fall would have been catastrophic. (see below)

I got pretty freaked out here, but made it up, only to be greeted by the infamous wheeler descent. This DH drops close to 3000 feet in a bit over 1 mile, it is super tight, rocky, muddy, wet with high exposure consequences to the left. Already being rattled from the scramble, I flailed this descent. I made down to the Bike path Connecting Copper Mountain Ski Resort to Frisco in one piece and for once was grateful for pavement.

I then hit the Peaks trail that went along the 10 mile range back to Breckenridge. I had a blast in this section, a nice rolling, sometimes technical trail. I passed Garth Prosser post crash here, who was not having a stellar day. I came in to the hub of all 3 loops at 3 hours and 2 0 minutes, feeling good.

Loop 2 was reported to be the most fun and the most challenging. Boffeli talked on and on before the race about the evil Little French Flume climb, I was actually able to ride almost all of it. I then descended a bit of fun one track and a long dirt road to the first aid station on Loop 2. I swapped bottles and took off up some fun singletrack climbs, except..... My knees were screaming at me. Any time the trail pitched up, they felt like a knife was being driven into the knee caps. I kept riding, slowly, up any climb, but at about mile 16 of loop 2 i had to start walking the climbs. (I am guessing at the mileage, cause at the start of the race, when I turned on my GPS, its battery was dead) So, about 18-20 miles to go in loop 2, only about 46 miles into the race and it hurts too much to climb. Anytime the course flattened out or went Down I was able to go mach 3, having fun and passing many of those who passed me while I was walking, only to have to walk again when it went up.

I made myself finish lap 2, and called it a day. After lap 1 I was in somewhere around 45th over all, by the end of lap 2, I was close to 175th over all. I went, showered and came back and did some 'reporting' for MTBRacenews.

So, I can't blame 'race promotion' for this, I believe a combination of no gym and fewer big rides are the likely culprits.

Let's see what Pierre's Hole has in store......