Summertime…it’s all about hanging out with friends, having a good time, and getting in as much riding as possible! I guess that’s my excuse for why it’s been 3 weeks since I last posted a blog, and I haven’t visited any of my friends’ blogs either.
Big Wheel Racing (BWR) had a huge showing at the 24 Hours in the Sage in Gunnison, CO.
Up above, left to right, Jeff, Lisa, Matt, Jeni, Lyn, Jen…and Josephine in the bottom left. I started up a women’s team to add to Matt’s heavy-hitting men’s team. What a blast, all the women on the team raced!! The results are linked to our names below, if you’re interested in the details. But for you attention deficit disorderly types, here’s the run down for the team:
- Matt (my main squeeze) got 1st place singlespeed and 3rd place overall in the solo category!! Talk about teamwork, that’s Jeff, below, leading Matt out on his last (or 2nd to last) lap. John is in the background cheering Matt on too.
- Jeff rode solo singlespeed and got 8th place
- Lisa rode women solo and got 6th place; the woman is amazing…consistent laps throughout, nicely done!
- Jen also rode women solo and got 9th place
We also had some other great friends and riders emerging from the BWR pit too:
- John Mazzola rode solo geared but had to bail due to back pain
One of the coolest parts about racing this event (my first ever 24 hour race!) with such a large group was the awesome support we got.
We had a huge row of EZ-Ups and an awesome crew ready to take care of us each time we came back into the pit to refill and refresh ourselves. Our camp was littered with bikes, as all of us brought 1 backup.
As for the ride report, Lyn and I had to battle against the men. The “duo” category included all male teams, co-ed and all female. We ended up getting 2nd out of the 3 all women duos. I’m pretty happy with that considering that the 1st place women’s duo had last year’s 2nd place solo woman winner in it–plus both women were local Gunnison riders, super strong. I rode with 1 of the women from this team, Miya, for 3 or 4 separate laps. Great rider and fun to talk to on the course.
One of my (many) lessons learned is that I should not start out so dang hard. I should know this, because I see people do it all the time. Looking at my lap times, my first 3 laps were very fast, actually, as hard as I could ride. That was great for the first half of the race, but then I started bonking the 2nd half. Lyn and I were very well-matched. We rode consistently, and bonked consistently. The only difference was that Lyn was able to recover on her last lap…not the case for me. Could have been because I couldn’t sleep during the night. Lyn was able to get in a couple of naps. I had a great time riding with Lyn! She’s easy-going, and loves to have fun riding. We are a great match and I can’t wait to get in some more riding with her!
My second lesson (well I already knew this one) is that I suck on the downhill. I’ve been riding road a lot this year, and I know my technical skills suck on MTB, but my descending is starting to suffer too. I was unbelievably timid on the descents, but I got better as the laps continued, and was able to rip the smooth descents very quickly. The technical stuff, I never nailed. I would ride past a ton of people on the climbs, and then they’d almost always catch me on the technical section. I guess I could have tried to ride the stuff, but it just scared the hell out of me. I didn’t want to do it. All I could think about were broken front teeth. I need to get that out of my mind, but I still can’t totally shake it.
- 93.44 miles
- 18,781 foot of elevation climbing
- Average HR 152, Max 180
- Average speed 8.5 mpg, max 29 mph
After the race Matt and I crashed at Long’s Holiday Motel. Slept, ate, then slept some more. Monday I had to leave from the Gunnison Airport to Fort Worth, TX for a week to do a CMMI appraisal. I’m on an 11-person appraisal team, and my “mini team” is very efficient, so work wasn’t too gruelling, but still, it’s a week in Fort Worth…blech!! I guess I can’t complain though. I was in Jackson, MS the week before this, and the weather was just bad. Got another week in TX coming up, then the week after that I’m in Birmingham, AL. Week after that, Livermore, CA. I hope CA will be nice at least…but I digress…
So…Sage may be the last big race for the year, the NMORS Cedro race is coming up. It’s a fun one, but I’m not sure if I’ll have it in me to ride it. With all the traveling I’ve been doing lately for work, all I want to do is relax on the weekends. A long solo ride in the woods is more appealing than a short race with a lot of people. I may change my mind by then. We’ll see.
Matt and I hit Flagstaff for the first time this year the week before the Sage race. It was nice to be back to old stomping grounds. Nice, quiet solo rides on trails I know well. That can be very relaxing. Saw our favorite Pay N’ Take bartender, Anthony while there. It’s always nice chatting with him. Apparently, for the 2006 Pines to the Mines bike race, Anthony was present on the trail in the devil suit, enticing all riders with free beer.
This weekend was all about Santa Fe. Matt and I went there on Friday and I rode Atalaya and part of South Dale Ball to get a fun little loop in. Then Saturday I went back to Santa Fe with Paige to ride my favorite “loop”, Chamisa-Borrego-Windsor-Tesuque up to Aspen Vista Rd, all the way to the top of Tesuque Peak, then back down. A great day of riding with 5085 ft of elevation climbing and 25.62 miles. Our max elevation was 12, 051 feet! I felt the thin air on this ride, much more than usual. The weather was the best I’ve seen all year when doing this ride. Blue skies, light breeze, wonderful. We finished with a tasty meal at Santa Fe Baking Company. Ahhhh…..
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