Just 99 miles to go

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another SM100 pre-ride.

As I write this I'm re-thinking my whole strategy and wondering if I'm going to be able to complete this race, non the less finish it in daylight.

This time it was from somewhere after checkpoint 4 to the end.
We had a pretty good group of 10 people vs. the 5 on the last pre ride.
Ryan, the same guy who led us last time is leading us again.
I know I'm in trouble when he tells us we need to go up the section we finished on last time. Its not evan part of course. I remember thinking as we were finishing on the last ride, "man this is a fun dh, I'm glad I don't have to go up it".
Well guess what. We had to go up it.

By the time we got to the actual course everyone was plenty warmed up and I had established my place as the official sweep.

We were on the section know as the "death march" to aid station 5.
It really wasn't too bad. Not too steep at all and there were a few sections that flattend out to give a slight break every once in a while.
We made a right turn onto more fire road and than it started to get nasty.
This road is the one that really headed to the top of the mountain.
I started really falling off the back of the group.
I fell into my groove of only looking 20 feet ahead.
Looking up only made me try to pedal faster or catch up to the group and that was only leading to bad things. I had to stay at my pace.
The road did turn down once before AS5 so I was able to catch the tail half of the group for a while anyways.
Thats the way it went all day thanks to a combo of my 200+lbs, gravity, and my big wheels.
Fall-back,fall-back, fall-back,catch-up.

We regrouped at the location for AS5.
I know the climbing wasn't over but I thought the hard stuff was.
For some reason this was where my day went went to shit.
Maybe cause the terrain was a little rougher. Not in anyway technical but you to to pick better lines on the road and we had to ride through some grassy sections. Grass can suck momentum from me quicker than anything.

Finally, after too many false summitts we get to the top and start the descent.
I had heard this was one of the more technical descents but I didn't find it too bad.
Now, with that in mind I can tell you how I broke my helmet.
Other than some mechanical problems, my chain kept jumping off and the front skewer coming loose I was having a hell of run down.
I keep pushing the limits of the bike and me and so I'm pretty impressed with the way both of us are handling the terrain.

I come to one section.
Theres a 18" drop off over a rock. To the left is the good line that everyone else took.
Hmmph, these big wheels can go right over, no problem I think.
I took the drop off fine but the small rock right after the drop stopped the big wheels cold.
I go over the bars, land off the trail and smack my head right onto a rock.
I hear the helmet break.
I'm sure that the helmet just saved me, if not from death, than from one nasty ass concussion.

I get up and check everything out. I'm fine, the bikes fine.
The helmet now has a huge crack up the side.
I was looking for an excuse to get a new one anyways.

During this section of trail I start to get cramps and looking back I can see why now.
I had lowered my saddle for the dh and although most of it was rip roaring , no pedaling, down hill there were a few spots you had to climb. A low saddle combined with legs that were already worn out made for cramps.

We make it down to Tilman rd and get to AS6.
Chris had dropped off some water and supplies.
I pop 5 sports leg supplements and 5 endurolytes.
They'll either kill me or make the cramps go away, either way I'll be happy.

The big climb we've got to do next doesn't have me worried that much.
We did it in the last pre-ride and it didn't seem that bad.
It did today.
All I could do was granny up it at a slow cadence.
Everytime I tried to up the RPM or up shift the legs would act like they wanted to cramp.
I did make it to the top, I don't evan think I walked any which has got to count for something.
During the DH back to the campground I was having another fun time and thats when the thought crossed my mind. If I do make it this far I'll be doing this thing dead tired and in the dark .
Don't know if I'll like that.

I'm hoping the heat is part of the reason I didn't feel so great today.
Really looking back, although the climbs killed me I had plenty of energy left for the descents.
I never felt out of control from fatigue my legs just didn't like spinning up those climbs.

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