Saturday, May 19, 2012

Post-race musings and such

Wow. A week ago today I was taking turns circulating the 16 mile lap of the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race course with my team-mate Kelly. It all started at 7 a.m. with a Lemans style start and something like 500 cyclists running to their bikes in a mad dash. Then it was just non-stop racing for 12 hours. An average lap for us was around an hour and a half. So that meant when you finished your lap, you would immediately have to hydrate, eat, work on your bike and try to rest. Time has never flown by so fast. We did 4 laps each for a total of 128 miles at race pace. Time has never crawled by so slow as when we were out on course. Here is a shot of the area where we pitted. Pretty fancy for a bunch of Geezers:

Here is a great article and video on Mountain Flyer's website:

I mentioned that I had some help with preparation this year from my good friend Alison (she knows a bit about training and racing-hee hee). Well, it worked out smashingly. My big goal was to finish out the final laps without cramping up and aside from a minor calf cramp, it was a huge success. I didn't get my other goal of a 1:18 lap but was pretty close with a 1:21.

Oh, and we did take the victory which was a goal for the team. Like Russ says: "If you are gonna race, you might as well win....". Wish it were that easy.

Here is a shot of Kelly and I right after I finished my final lap:

Here we are after the awards presentation with the 2nd and 3rd place teams. Our good buddies Todd Baker (3rd from left) and Dick Dodge(4th from left) gave us a good run and we had to dig deep to get ahead of them!

I also mentioned in the last blog that I had just built up a new bike that was not exactly a cross-country race bike. Here is a picture of the new Giant Reign, a 6" travel, 30 lb. bruiser of a bike that is not meant to race cross-country unless it's pointing down (never said I was smart...) next to my old frame and fork:

The day after the race, we had a delicious breakfast at Mr. Happy's Bakery and Cafe and then headed to nearby Dolores for an easy ride on some fun new trails:

We randomly chose to ride the Bean Canyon loop which was a good choice! Here are some pics from that ride:

After that we caravanned towards Gunnison with Kelly leading in his giant RV and me following:

I didn't tell Kelly but I had arranged a surprise for him in Gunnison. We were planning to ride at Hartman's Rocks on Monday so I contacted a famous local rider that I know from the old days, Dave Wiens,  to see if he could join us for a ride. Turned out he could but only for a short time because he had to close the gates in the Hartman's riding area in order to keep the cows in and the ranchers happy. Here is some advice: do NOT try to keep up with Dave when he is in a hurry. I tried and paid for it later. Ha! Here is a shot of Dave and I at the top of "Kill Hill" (really):

It turns out that I am not TOTALLY retired from racing as long as the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde is going on. Preparing for bike racing is an amazing thing to put yourself through. You develop a tunnel-vision, focusing only on the next workout, staying hydrated, constantly eating and trying to rest. It was a lot easier 20+ years ago when I had youth on my side. Now I am older and wiser but with more responsibilities and an incredible, loving wife to spend time with so I am happy to just go back to riding just for fun and admiring all of the racers out there for doing what they do. Until next year.... I might need to add another one of these to the mantle:

2010 Pirate theme (left), 2012 Disco theme (right)!

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