Monday, June 22, 2009


This was a real test of a race. I have done a 12 hour races solo and a 100 mile race solo, but I think this was harder. In a 100 mile race you don't go at race pace, it is more of a long bike ride than a race. At the end you are either ahead or behind. In a 50 mile race you go race pace at the beginning and then try to repeat it the second half. I decided not to use mud tyres (a mistake), I decided against my contacts (my glasses fog up when it is wet), but that worked ok though.
In Bend we have miles of single track that is fun and challenging to ride (that is because of COTA). In Corvallis they do not have that so the promoter of TOE (Mike Ripley of Mudslinger Events) builds a few more miles of trail every year. There are some sweet sections of single track that we rode yesterday but there were also some impossible (for me anyway) parts. When I find myself hoping for the gravel road sections I think this is not the kind of single track I like. This is not a complaint, more of a statement. I am 58 years old and am trying to make decisions in my life that make every moment worthwhile. It is not enough to go out an win a race (I did that yesterday), it also has to be lots of awesome single track. If not I would go out and road race. I don't do this for the pain as much for the smile the comes on my face after experiencing a fun course.
Enough wining. Mike does as good a job possible and everything else about yesterdays TOE was perfect.
We had mud, but not too much. The climb up to the first aid station was a steep climb in this very slippery mud. I made it both times (the second time I had to give it everything I had). I walked on the all the most difficult descents, as I still have a zero crash tolerance in my life.
COKE. Was is the thing about Coca Cola? I don't drink soft drinks often. If you watch the Tour you will see on a long stage the riders being given cans of Coke towards the end of a stage, no matter who their drink sponsor is. I have known of the Coke affect since I did the STP (200 mile ride) 20 years ago. Drink a Coke with one hour to go and you feel fresh again. I had one yesterday with half a lap to go. I felt like a new man. There has to be more in there than caffeine and fructose.
It was a good day in general, I may have broken 6 hours, I could have gone faster but I was trying to keep it so I did not go under. Now I have to decide if I am going to race the High Cascades 100. I know it will have the kind of single track I like.

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