Just 99 miles to go

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Excellent training ride.

Not sure where I was at.
Somewhere in Va. near the West Va. border.

A buddy of mine Pat let me join him for one of his rides he's always told me about.
I'm not sure of the exact location but Laurel Run, Schloss Mt., Devil Holes mt, and Half Moon Mt. were all part of the ride. It was about an hour north of where the SM100 is going to be held.

I met Pat in Manassas and he drove us the other hour down to trail head.

What I knew of the ride was that it had kicked Pats butt last week, which had me worried cause I know Pat is a stronger ride than me, and a much technically better rider than me Sean, had came away from this same ride before with some pretty bad injuries.
I think I heard something about a tongue piercing by a stick?

First section of the ride is a 5 mile ascent, of course.
Mostly on road/crushed gravel so it wasn't too bad.

Pat had forgotten his water bottle and went back to get it after the first mile while I kept going. I only had to wait for him 10 minutes at the top.
I hadn't learned my lesson from 2 weeks ago. I'm still running the 32 tooth cassette.
I thought about changing to the 34tooth but than figured what the hell, I might as well wear it completly out , and it would be better training.
I'm an idiot.
100 times during that ride I wished I had another gear to go down to.

So after the 5 miles up there is one of the sweetest downhills I've ever done.
The only descent better than this was at Douthat , also in Va.
A little more technical than I thought it was going to be but I handled it really well and I think than better than Pat thought I would. I think he was a little worried about doing these rides on a hardtail.
Maybe on a 26er, but the 29er helps alot in getting over rocks.
I'm also getting better and learning.
Those big wheel get over more than you think they can.
Screw picking a line.
Crank down, get your ass off the saddle and hold on.

We make a pit stop at "Mike's General" store.
Its one of those you see in the middle of nowhere usually near campsites.
Run down, not a big selection of items but it has all the necessities you'd want.
What I wasn't expecting to see was a family of orientals running it.
How the hell does an oriental family end up in the middle of nowhere running a general store near a national forest?

Anyways, I get 2 gatorades, drink 1 and pour the other into my camelback. I'm about 3/4 full.
I find out later this ain't enough.

We do a little road to the next up hill which isn't too much to talk about.
The bitch comes at the ascent up Half moon Mt.
First, right before we start the climbing up the real single track I have my only crash of the day.
Crossing a small rock strewn stream crossing I stall out and fall over into the rocks.
I'm fine but the rear is rubbing pretty bad. We cant figure out what is going on. Evan with the caliper loosened up its still rubbing the rotor.
So to add just a little more resistance to the climbing I've got that going for me.

I'm not sure if the rubbing is really slowing the bike down that much or I'm tired but I ended walking alot of it.
And we hadn't gotten to the bad part yet.
The final ascent is, just a plain bastard.
There is no riding this.
Steep, big rocks and loose.
The only thing good I can say about this section is that this was a real hike a bike so I had Pats company now while walking.

We get to the top, finally.
The previous descents have been well worth the climbing so I'm thinking this descent is going to be great.
Pat says "Its all down now Tommy". He's been great all day hyping me up.
So we start down, 1/2 miles later it slopes up and back in granny I go.
Its not a roller either. Its a little climb. Get to the top. OK, lets start this party now.
Go down a little and same as before, it goes up again.
I think we went through 4 of those damn mini climbs before we got to the actual bombing dh.
It was kind of a let down.
Mostly doubletrack/fireroad with alot of big loose rocks.
Hey, atleast it was pointed down.

Rest of the trip is 11 miles of mostly gravel road back to the car.
It felt like it was mostly up hill, but I think it was 50/50.
It was here that I ran outta water. God bless Pat, he had some ice cold gatorades and waters in a cooler for us when we got back.

This was the best day of training I've had so far, for the SM100.
The hills were nastier than what I'm going to see at the 100 and it was hot.
Lots of practice too pushing the bike.

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