Saturday, April 12, 2008

ICUP #2: Cholla Challenge



I need to get some sleep so I'll keep it brief. Let's just say that after my pre-ride yesterday evening I returned to the hotel with every intention of spending the day hiking in Zion National Park with the family. It was not a good experience and accomplished pretty much the opposite of what you hope to gain from a pre-ride. Lucky for me, Bob, Kris and Jesse stepped in to talk me down from the proverbial cliff. Thanks guys. Maybe tomorrow I'll post the text messages Bob and I exchanged last night as they're pretty entertaining taken in the context of today.

Speaking of today, I managed to finish (and avoid a DFL placing) my first race in the Sport category after doing 3 Beginner races last year (5-Mile, Soldier Hollow and Draper). The thought of heading out for a 2nd lap has been gnawing at me for a long time so to finally do it feels great.

Memories from the race: Kris giving me a push as he caught me on the gravel road on lap #1, taking a bottle (filled with CarboRocket of course) from Cami as I started lap #2 (this was her first feed and she did a great job!), riding the sand and rock singletrack climb at the end of lap #2 clean (3rd time's a charm I guess), getting passed by Chris Holley at the end of lap #2 as he soloed in for the Pro win, all of the encouragement and congratulations I received from friends and fellow riders after the race, cold chocolate milk at the Revolution tent, meeting Brad Keyes on the start line, seeing the Dork Bike in all its rigid, singlespeed glory, and entering the slickrock section of lap #1 in last position.

UPDATE: I found this photo of the Sport 35-39 start on Chad's blog. Looking at the picture I can see why I ended up at the back so quickly - next time I need to line up at the front!

8 comments:

Mother Theresa said...

Damn, all that pain and suffering was great wasn't it. Great job finishing! It was a hard course for one lap, I didn't have the courage to sign up for two for my first ride of the season.

Brad Mullen said...

Congrats on movin' up. You'll be glad you did - you'll just get better and better. What'd you finally do about hydration? It must have worked since you finished. Continued success in '08.

UtRider said...

Brad - Thanks for the kind words. Hydration was a CamelBak with 70 oz bladder filled with water and 2 bottles of CarboRocket. I only used about half of my water but emptied both bottles. I also had a gel flask that I had dilluted. The taste of the gel was pretty gross and didn't sit well (that's what I get for trying something new on race day).

Piotrek said...

Even from the distance you look (in)tense.

KanyonKris said...

I don't think lining up at the front makes much difference unless you can stay out front. I've been up front before and didn't like having to let so many racers pass. I'd rather start at the back and have lots of carrots ahead for me to reel in - I think I actually go faster from the back for MTB races.

UtRider said...

Well, my hope is to be able to stay at the front. Otherwise, what's the point of racing if not to improve? Right now I'm not strong enough to give guys a 30 second advantage in the first quarter mile and expect to catch up. So, anything I can do to minimize the damage seems like a good thing in my opinion.

KanyonKris said...

Good point. I guess I'm just too casual about MTB racing and don't feel like dealing with the fast pace of the start and the jockeying for position. That said, races that don't have much passing it's more crucial to start out front because you can get stuck behind slower racers.

Eat Sleep MTB said...

I agree with Mark. Starting back gives your lungs a pile of dust, and while you are waiting for the guy in front of you to clip in, the leaders are making time in fresh air. Then when you finally get collected, you have to use too much energy to pass. Start at (or as close as you can) the front, and let the shake out put you where you belong.

Glad you made it out (unlike me).