Monday, March 10, 2008

Camp Hilbert...

Bike: new BB, trued wheel, lubed, cleaned, fresh stans; Check
Clothes: helmet, jersey/shorts, vest, arm/leg warmers, gloves; Check
Nutrition: cytomax, bananas, chips, sandwiches, water; Check
Ride: meet at 6:30, roll at 6:45; Check
Alarm: set at 5:45; Check
Daylight Savings Time, d'oh

So the alarm went off at 5:45 but the time on the cable box showed 6:45am. Damn. A quick call to James and he was on his way to pick me up. Damn, Damn. Luckily, I had set everything out the night before ,so we weren't too late getting on the road. Then a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts and we were on our way. I wasn't the only person that was an hour behind. Jon was behind us but quickly made up time on I64 in his A4.

Rolling into Camp Hilbert we were confronted with a full parking lot so we dumped all the gear while Joe and James parked. A quick trip to the blue room and I was ready to set up our pit. James brought his tent and I brought the tailgating table. We had a sweet spot and a solid setup, maybe not as nice as the Bike Factory team trailer, but we try. We really do try. The line for registration was huge, but we made it through in time. Jon manned up and signed up for the Enduro with James and I. Joe was the sane one in our group and raced in the singlespeed class.

Did I mention it was cold? We rolled to the start and got word that the race would start about 15 minutes late to accommodate the long registration line. This gave me a chance to catch up with my friends and shiver. I've said it before, Virginia has a great cycling scene.

I lined up to the rear of the big Enduro group and took off in an easy gear once the horn blew. It's a long race and I was using it to get ready for the Flanders trip, no need to rub elbows in the first quarter mile. Here's what I remember of the race:

1st Lap: Mid pack start, felt like the rear wheel was soft, bottomed out on some roots, I pumped the mud tire up to the normal pressure before the race, oh yeah it's a skinny low volume tire, need more air, trees down I guess they did get wind, rode in a group for a while till they started stacking it up on the whoops, time to move up, started passing, saw Joe along the trail, yelled I needed a pump, rolled through the crater section and pulled into our pit pumped the tire and was back in it.

2nd Lap: Turned it up a bit and started passing more people, felt good, no bobbles, my focus stayed on the ribbon of dirt weaving in and around the trees, this trail is fun

3rd Lap: Started getting warm, still felt good and smooth on the trail, worked on my stop in my head playing out exactly what I needed, rolled in, dropped my vest and bottle, picked another up and was back on the bike

4th Lap: still felt good, was still focused on the dirt, the trail really firmed up nice, turns developed nice berms, no more downed trees, two mud spots, but the mud tire on the rear hooked up now that there was some air in it

5th Lap: felt good, but hungry, the drivetrain sounded dry, drained the bottle, worked on my third stop in my head and pulled in to see Mr Horvath at the tent, leapt his bike, grabbed some chain lube, changed gloves, ate a gel, chugged some Coke, grabbed a peanut butter 'n jelly sandwich and a bottle, then back on the bike

6th Lap: wow, I still had legs moving under me, yep I was surprised, still moving forward on the trail, fun fun trail

7th Lap: James came up and we rolled this lap together, chit chatting, he was railing the twisties and bombing the downhills, i heard a 'damn' or something, soft pedaled, James was back on my wheel, damn rear wheel seeking sticks but he fixed it, he is a mechanic, rolled up on Joe, said Hi, didn't hear James behind me

8th Lap: yeah this hurt, last lap, nothing but a parade lap, rolled in at 5 and a half hours, slow lap

post race: Talked to Jeff and Tom, then back to the pit for a banana. But there were none left, damn vultures ate all the bananas, at least they left a Coke for me, but some funny guy shook it up for me. Yep, I've got some good friends. Luckily, they didn't find the stash of pringles and a really Good Friend gave me a banana, Thanks Joe. Refueled, packed up and it was back on the road.

It was a great ride with some great friends. It was good to hear people cheering me on when I rolled through the finish area. Thanks. First time I've done an endurance mountain bike race. Might have to do another. I even entertained the thought while on the trail of tackling the SM100 this year. Especially when Mr Horvath said this Enduro race was harder then the 100. At least I think it was him, I was kinda busy shoveling food into my pie hole at the time. It's a month or so after the last XTERRA race. Maybe.

(Thanks honey for the kitchen pass for the race)


Blogger Liz Schleeper said...

You looked very fit out there.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great seeing you out there. You rode more consistently and therefore wisely than I did.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

you're ready for the big one!

7:37 PM  

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