Just 99 miles to go

Monday, July 23, 2007

SM100 Pre-ride.

Saturday I went down and actually pre-rode some of the course for the sm100.
The company that puts the race on started a trainging program back in April for people that wanted to train to get ready for the race. It was a package deal for that included guided tours of sections of course, a training schedule, and other stuff, but I'm not sure of the details. It cost around $300.
You could sign up for the course or do like I did.
Show up for one of the rides and pay a fee for just that ride.

First I gotta drive 3 hours down.
Damn. After that , who feels like riding?
I manage to make it there on time, although I had my doubts.
There were only 3 other riders to take advantage of the days beautiful weather.
It was really un-seasonably cool. Highs forcasted for 82 degrees.
In July? I'll take it.

All the other riders are also going to do the 100 for the first time.
Doug, Tim (the fast one) and Janet.
Tim came from a running background and Janet had done an Ironman.
I just can't stand these cross competitors.
They jump on a bike for 3 month and try to make me look bad.
No, they were really cool.

Chris shows up a little after 10 with Ryan. Ryan will be taking us out to CP 2 location where Chris will drive the support vehicle with snacks and water .
Chris comes over to my truck and starts looking at my bike. He says he's gotta make sure bikes that go out are trail ready.
Is he kidding?
I know my chains dirty on the outside, almost rusty. And I don't clean her a whole lot but I spent an hour tuning her up and changing out old brake pads. He evan checks the spoke tension on the back wheels.
"Ok, thats enough. Go away". I tell him.
I'm pretty sure it was good natured ribbing.

We head out for the climb up Hankey Mt.
We start with some light climbing on the asphalt.
Ryans telling us what to expect during the first part.
2 miles up to a false summitt, than 2 more miles of fireroad till the single track.
I quickly change down to the small ring.
Rosaryville has not prepared me for a 4 mile climb and I know it.
I purposefully go easier than I need to saving my energy.
By the first summitt I'm glad I held back. I can see the name of this game is slow and easy.
I got into the rythym of riding with a little bit of power and then taking rolling breaks in granny gear.
During some of the steeper pitches I powered through in my granny and reminded myself that during the real race, I'd be running an easier rear large cog. Right now I'm running a 32 tooth cog.
I've got a new cassette at home with a 34tooth all set to go.
We get to the single track and things get harder.
Steeper and real trail, not fire road.
I don't do bad until it turns steeper at one point.
I swallow my pride and walk.
I'm the only 1 who gets off the bike but the guys in front of me aren't getting farther ahead and Janet isn't getting any ground on me.
I guess the saying about walking as fast as granny gear is right.

The descent down Dowells Draft was nice.
I was expecting nasty Elizabeth Furnace type stuff but everything was rideable.
This was a load off my mind.
I thought maybe the descents would be too technical to ride but that wasn't the case at all.
I did have problems with the trail being off camber.
I almost slid off the trail twice. I always have problems doing that .
The eyes just cant but looking down the edge.
Chris gave us a good tip for that, keep you foot thats to the inside of the trail down.
Kinda goes against reason. It seems you gotta worry about digging into the side of the hill but it works.

A quick stop at CP3, where Chris has left his truck and its off to Braleys Pond.
Its 5 miles of road, ascending I'd like to add , to the single track.
Chris was hanging in the back with me giving advice. I think my comrades were pushing the pace. Chris said I should use the road to take a breather. I'd need it for the next real climb.

Braley was sort of a bitch.
We crossed a dry riverbed, it was dry today. I'd seen pictures of it before and usually its got about 2 feet of water running through it.
I rode about the first third of the climb. When I got far enough ahead of Janet and Chris where they couldn't see me, I started walking. Trying to remount and ride the sections that looked rideable was a pain but I kept trying. Finally 2/3 of the way up trail obstructions lessened and I finished riding up.
It was on this ascent I decided I'd better include some jogging or other exercises for the legs.
Pushing the bike was wearing me down.

The descent from Braleys was nicer than dowells draft. Less technical and my newly learned technique for riding off camber made it more enjoyable.

We rode past where CP4 was going to be and made it back to CP3. It was just 3/4 of mile away.
Ate a few snacks and refilled on water.

From here, during the race, they told me it was a 20 climb to CP5.
Today though we were doing 5 miles of it and than turning off towards our vehicles.
I was nicely surprised after about 2 miles we actually hit a decent and some flat riding.
I guess its not ALL uphill.
It doesn't sound like much but I'll take any break I can get.

After a "coasting contest" we arrived back at our cars, CP2.
BTW, a found something I'm good at. Coasting.

I'm feeling alot better about the race now. Not so nervous.
I'm going to get some long rides in on the road, those marathons at Rosaryville aren't going to help alot. I got to work more on leg strength and endurance which road riding will be better.

Jesus ,
that was just a pre ride report.
Its going to take me a month to write up the real race report.


steve said...

That's awesome, Tommy. Sounds like you are well on your way. I'll get the guts up next year to ride it. See at R-ville!

Tom said...

One thing to keep in mind is that after CP5 it is not all downhill. It rolls up and down on the ridge for quite a while. Eventually that 20 mile climb takes a right turn and then the fun begins !

Tom said...

Thanks Steve.
Tom, I was looking at the elev profile of the course earlier and noticed that.
Oh well.
Whats another 500'?

Anonymous said...

I found the climbing after CP5 harder than the climb up to it. It's a matter of perception; I was expecting the real climbing to be over. It's actually pretty tough, but as long as you know it's coming it's manageable.

DaveG (from the MORE boards)