14 May 2011

Stottlemeyer 60

Sleep 5-6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:30 AM – cereal, banana
7:30 large bottle w/3 scoops Perpetuem
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water, FRS drink, GU, Shot Bloks, Ritz crackers, bagels w/peanut butter and jam, banana, nuun
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 9:30 AM
Workout Type race
Weather upper 50s, mostly sunny, dry
Course Stottlemeyer 60
Distance 60 miles
Time 6:15:31
Power  
Results Singlespeed
4th
official results
Equipment Mountain Bike
34x20
Clothing bib shorts, Craft short sleeve undershirt, short sleeve jersey, cap, thin long finger gloves

I have been waiting for this event even since I put it on my calendar.

Back in the day I did much more mountain biking and these days I only seem to get out a handful of times each year. That changed some when Shelley and I got our Ellsworth Witness but I want more. It's so damn much fun! :) This day was perfect as there were no racing conflicts on the calendar and Tony B came along as well so I had company.

I guess there were 45 entrants total last year and this year it sold out meaning there were 200 riders! Nice. We pulled in relatively early and good thing too as the parking lot (read: grassy field) filled up pronto.

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I noticed that Tony had his outer chainring on incorrectly. It was rotated so the pin which prevents the chain from dropping between the ring and the crank was not facing the crank. We had plenty of time to fix that.

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There wasn't really much for me to do except pull my bike out of the van and admire it.

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I had no idea how many other single speed bikes there would be but it turns out the car parked right next to us was driven by a guy who was riding a Kona Big Unit. It sure looked nice. Then I saw another one roll by and then another. I guess I was going to have to race! :)

It appeared that all the other single speed bikes in this event had horizontal dropouts instead of vertical like my bike. I think I prefer a chain tensioner to horizontal drops as you get the security of vertical drops, the ease of brake adjustment and you never have to re-adjust your wheel position as the chain stretches. Plus I'm guessing it's easier to pop the rear wheel out if you get a flat. Sometimes the technology required for the 'sano' look is not so worth it. Oh yeah, my way is cheaper too.

We lined up for the pre-race meeting and it looked like team Noble was here in force including Logan W who was in the front row just next to me. Some guy said, "C'mon Logan do you really need more of a head start?" referring to the fact that he was already ahead of most everyone by being in the front row. Hahahaha... Whatever. I do recall turning to Tony who was next to me and saying, "There's the guy that is going to win." Turns out I was right.

I was also thinking I was going to get stampeded by the field since I was on a single speed and the start consisted of a short descent and then 1.8 miles of gravel road before we hit the trail... oh well. Off we went.

Whoosh! Rider after rider went roaring past me as I spun out faster than you can say, "inadequate gearing". There was one young kid on a single speed that also zoomed ahead of me and I tried like crazy to keep up but it was not going to happen. Not sure if he had a bigger gear or not, I think he was just pedaling faster and this pace was crazy quick so I backed off a tad since we were just, oh, 1.5 miles into a 60 mile race!

We hit the single track and it was traffic city. Everyone had to get off and walk a bit and I ended up behind this woman wearing full-on neoprene booties?! She was also a HUGE talker and would speak (read: SHOUT) to anyone/everyone within earshot. I was sick of her company within about one mile but there was no way to get around because of all the congestion.

The first lap was fast. Even with all the riders on the trail we were moving along at a really good clip. I was holding my own on the singletrack just fine but on each road section bunches of riders would blow by me. It was kind of amusing to imagine what I looked like twiddling away on a flat road as other people rode by in the big ring.

This was a great course! The beginning of the lap had some really technical trail, then came a road section and then in the middle was this amazing hardpack, smooth trail that slalomed through some tall grass and short trees while descending just slightly. It was just like being on a roller coaster and you could haul ass barely touching the brakes. Even though I was spun no one passed me here. :) Then came more technical single track with some longer climbs that I had to hike and the last mile or so was road again to the finish. There was an aid station at the half way point and one at the finish; both were VERY well stocked and had I know just how well I might have left my CamelBak in the van.

I had a couple of bobbles during lap one but nothing major. I did however start lap two thinking I had gone out much too hard. Nothing like being one quarter of the way done and feeling like you are all the way done physically. :( So I slowed down. I also made sure to stop at every aid station. I would pull over, get off and grab a drink or two and some snacks and then resume. I wasn't in that much of a rush and I needed the calories and liquids. I would supplement this with sips from my CamelBak (plain old water) on the road sections where I could take my hands off the bars.

In the first technical section of trail on lap two I bit it. Not a big deal but then I fell again a couple of miles later. That one hurt. Not serious but I was slow getting back up and two riders behind me were like, "Are you all right?" It also turned off my GPS for some reason which I did not notice until about five miles later. Then when I tried to turn it on it didn't respond but I must not have been pressing the button correctly because when I tried again on the next road section it worked. So I missed about nine miles of my ride (see below) but at least it was not broken.

By the end of lap two I was feeling much better. Yes! Traffic had stabilized as well and I figured that now, especially since most of the 30 mile racers had finished, my position in the field was not going to change. Turns out I was wrong.

This Audi rider caught me towards the end of lap two and was full of praise for me on account of I was on a single speed. He was doing the 30 mile race.

ASIDE – turns out that is what most of the traffic was that passed me on the first two laps... the 30 mile racers had started a few minutes after us.

Since I was feeling inspired I pushed that much harder to stay with him for the remainder of this lap. As we started an incline and he said something like, "There are two guys on my ass so if I see them I'm going to have to pass you." I said no problem and the proceeded to drop him on a gradual climb as I had to stand in order to maintain my momentum. :) Of course he promptly caught me again when the trail leveled off but it made me smile.

Lap three started and suddenly I was cleaning stuff I had walked the first two laps and I also climbed this longer incline that I had hiked earlier, I was feeling great. The only problem was so was that damn chatty woman! I think we leapfrogged each other about four or five times during this lap and I wanted nothing more than to just get away. I found myself going really hard in places and finally her voice started to fade into the distance. Whew.

Then I stuffed it, big time. I was flying into a left hand turn and didn't slow down enough and my front tire pushed out. It was one of those falls where you can feel the ground approaching in slow motion and I knew it was going to hurt. I hip checked the trail and just lay there. One of my feet was still clipped in and I was on no hurry to move any part of my body. When I did my whole left side ached and I was limping pretty bad. My clothes were not torn (in fact nothing showed any signs of wear in spite of all my get-offs!) and so I opted not to look down my shorts and check out the bruise and just climbed back on and rode away. S l o w l y...

Man, it took me a while to get going again. Nothing like riding scared on really technical trail – it sucks. I was grabbing trees so I wouldn't run into them, putting my foot down constantly and walking every little obstacle. Rats. Thank goodness for the road sections, they let me pull it together some and slowly I rode myself back into the race. Luckily it hurt less to ride than it did to walk around at the aid stations. Also luckily that woman never caught up to me. How much can one person talk? And why always at maximum volume? And about all these inane topics... I don't even remember what they were but it was all such unimportant, banal stuff and always so LOUD.

As I was coasting down the last gravel road descent just before the uphill kicker that finishes the lap when I was suddenly passed by Logan. This guy had just lapped me! That sort of puts things in perspective when another rider can make up 15 miles on you in 45 miles. Holy cow. He said something like, "Nice job!" as he coasted in and climbed off his bike. He was done and I still had 15 miles to go. His mostly white kit was also spotless and I had dirt and dust all over mine from hitting the deck three times. As I ate and drank I tried to brush some of the dirt off of me as I suddenly felt very self-conscious; and slow.

Then I started lap four. "Click...!" went the switch and just like that I was not feeling so great. My recovery from my crash on lap three was short lived it seems and after not riding for a couple of minutes I had no desire to go hard. The problem is when you are on a single speed you don't have many options when the trail tips up. You either go hard or you walk. So I walked a little more in this first technical section than I did on the previous lap. Fortunately I was not in pure survival mode but I was sure far from fresh.

Apparently I did okay because as I was riding I started to catch people. Like I said earlier I figured everyone else was long gone but now I was pulling back single riders and small groups every few miles as they went backwards. The first time it happened I was just surprised. After the second and third time it helped to motivate me a little and I pushed harder. Towards the end of lap three I had passed Mr. Big Unit and so I figured there was only one or two single speed bikes in front of me. Plus it was fun to chase down geared bikes.

Funny how your mind plays with you in situations like these. Several times I could have sworn I heard a bike behind me but then I would exit the woods onto a road and when I looked back there was no one in sight.

I pushed as much as I was able which was not so much honestly, I was pretty toasted. I kept having these conversations with myself which went sort of like this.

ACQB (the me that is armchair quarterbacking): "C'mon, speed up, you are riding like a 12 year old girl!"
ACPD (the me that is actually turning the pedals): "Last time I checked I have been riding for five hours. FIVE HOURS. That hasn't happened since last summer."

ACQB: "What are you putting your foot down for, it's just a log..."
ACPD: "Cut and welt on right shin, check. Scratches on right thigh, check. Probable massive hematoma on left hip, check. What feels like a blister on my left palm, check."

In spite of all this I still managed to have fun on the hardpack section in the middle of the lap, how could you not. And no one passed me and I kept catching other riders. Including some 30 miles racers! Ouch, this must have been a hard day for them.

My last time through the aid station in the middle of the course I saw a woman with a white t-shirt that had, "DFL or BUST" written on it in felt pen. Nice. She was wearing running shoes and using platform pedals. Pretty damn impressive.

Finally I got out of the saddle and climbed the last 100' to the finish. Yes! And not five minutes later that kid on the single speed that had dropped me in the very beginning pulled up. I guess I had passed him at some point although I don't recall seeing him anywhere.

OMG was I sore. My left hip and left leg were super stiff. My hands ached. There were some small rocks in my shoes that I just now realized I should have removed long ago. When I pulled off my gloves there was indeed a blister in the center of my left palm. Not sure if it was the gloves or if I was just gripping the bars too tight, at least it didn't hurt and had not popped.

I had passed Tony sometime during the second lap and so proceeded to eat, drink and wait. During this time that woman that likes to talk REALLY LOUD ALL THE TIME pulled up and was as chipper and talkative as she probably is every minute of every goddamn day. I promptly packed up and headed back to the car hoping Tony was already there.

He was. Turns out Tony's stomach was not doing so well. Yesterday he had thrown up and today after one lap none of the food agreed with him so he pulled the plug after three. Darn. To his credit he was in amazingly good spirits.

At the start we had been warned about horses since these trails are mixed use. I only saw horses once but I saw a ton of trail runners and it made me realize that this would be a fantastic place to go for a 10-15 mile run.

I slowly changed my clothes (HOLY CRAP I WAS SORE) and we walked over to the awards tent to see what food was left. They had Nutella. I ate some. Then we drove home. What a long day and what a great trail. I need to come back here.

Here is part 1:

And here is part 2:

11 comments:

Ryan D said...

Great report. Sorry you hurt yourself. Nutella? I was expecting roast pig and all the mead you could drink.

Martin Criminale said...

@Ryan - I had my share of wine to wash down the Ibuprofen when I got home. :)

And for an entirely different perspective, here is the winner's race report:

http://loganwetzel.blogspot.com/2011/05/stottlemeyer-60.html

Bosalyn Bombauer said...

Hope you are feeling better today. :/

Martin Criminale said...

@Bosalyn - still super sore! It's mostly from the falls... My hands felt pretty beat up that evening from not having any suspension but they are fine already, whew! I did some stretching today and that really helped. Should have done it Sunday. :(

But I'm doing it again! I had such a great time.

Logan Wetzel said...

Way to hang tough and get 'er done! Super fun trails and perfect weather. Thanks for the compliments.

Martin Criminale said...

@Logan - thanks! You obviously had a great day yourself. It was super fun, I will be back for another one of these without a doubt.

John said...

Dude, I finished 5th SS and I'm 40. I rode a 32/20 29er.

Martin Criminale said...

@John - nice! You were the guy on that Big Unit then, what a cool bike.

Revive Therapeutics said...

No. That's not my bike. I may be mistaken and you're actually talking about someone else, but I'm pretty sure I finished right after you. You described me in your blog as a "kid," and I thought it was funny because I'm oldish.

John said...

Oops. Ignore the Revive Therapeutics, the last comment was from John.

Martin Criminale said...

@John - I get you, and you are right. I thought you were much younger than you are. :)