Saturday, April 7, 2007

Squeal like a pig.

Holy shit, I'm glad that's over. It's not that the ride itself is bad, it's more about the rider. I've been feeling pretty shitty all week and my normal pre-ride ritual of tossing and turning all night didn't help either. After maybe three hours of sleep I woke up two hours before my alarm and killed time until I needed to leave. I arrived at the start about ten minutes after the first rider The race is a time trial starting in one minute intervals, the first rider rolled out at 6 a.m. My number being 20 I rolled at 6:20.

National trail. Wow, I finally rode the whole thing, not very well though. My legs were hurting bad right out of the gate and I really wanted to throw up. The trail doesn't start out to technical but I tip toed and walked everything that even closely resembled a challenge. While most of the spots I walked were well within my limits I was really not confident in my skills today and was not at all willing to risk my neck for a better finishing time. I hit Buena Vista in one hour flat, 1300 feet in ~4 miles, not very fast I know, but that's the first cut off time for Flight of the Pigs so I felt pretty good. I rode strong over to Telegraph, getting a little more comfortable with myself and the trail. Once past Telegraph the trail was all new to me, starting out with a rather long hike-a-bike that gained over 400 ft in 3/4 of a mile. From there it wasn't too bad until I hit the egg hunt. Not really a hunt so much as a distribution center. Anyway, at that point riders dismount their bikes and hike up some steep switchbacks gaining nearly 100ft, get the egg with their race number and back down to the bikes. The rules state a missing egg is a 10 minute time penalty and a broken egg is 5 minutes. According to my GPS I spent 8 minutes off my bike, hardly worth it, more on that later. The trail was pretty straight forward from there on out with the exception of one really loose baby head downhill. I had my only real "oh shit" moment of the day there. I got really loose about halfway down the section where I had both tires sliding sideways and the bike was leaned over pretty far, somehow I got it back under control, dismounted, and walked the rest. The last three miles to the finish were fairly easy with nothing to tough. I finished in ~3:34, DFL in class and somewhere around 4th or 5th from last overall. As lousy as I felt I was just happy to be done.

Once everyone crossed the line we all rolled out headed to Spokes for food and beer. The San Juan road had to be the hardest part of the day for me. Rolling again after sitting for 15 minutes combined with trying to keep my cadence high enough to keep up with the group made for a bit of pain when we turned uphill. Luck for me Todd was there to give me a push a couple of times helping to keep my speed over 10 mph. Over course, once the road started downhill my gravity assist came into play and I pulled away from the group in no time coasting my way to well over 25 mph. Once at Spokes I hydrated and fueled, getting myself back to normal, or at least what's passed for normal lately.

Here's the map.

I sweat a little on my plate, maybe I shouldn't have used watercolors.

My egg, broken after the finish, no penalty.

Oh yeah, 21.5 miles, 3500 ft of vertical, and 4.5 hours from unloading the bike to arrival at Spokes.

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