Monday, June 22, 2009

Cowbell Challenge '09

Some pics of the pro race...

Marshall Hance on single speed:

Nathan Wyatt:

Will Black on SS:

Nathan Wyatt:

Harlan Price: bunny hopping a log on a steep downhill tech section.. amazing!!!

Sam Koerber: hucking boulders in the steep downhill techy section...also amazing!!!!

In the above picture, 99.9% of the racers took the middle line. Only a few dared the right and left lines, and it was amazing to watch the skill and confidence as they pushed the pace even through this section.

The Trip:

We left Asheville Friday afternoon and got to Davidson. Checked in and went for a pre-ride... Well, tried to pre-ride. At 3:30pm it was 90 degrees in the shade. I rode 40 minutes and called it quits. I loaded up and headed to the hotel where Jubal and Rhonda had wisely taken some pool time.

Off to my parent's for some delicious pasta dinner, thanks mommy!!

Back to the hotel, a dip in the pool and then bed.

The race didn't start until 10 am which was nice. I left the family sleeping, made some Kinetic Koffee in my aeropress, ate some, then headed out to the start/finish/pits. I got set up, hung out and chatted with friends for while, headed back to get my family, then to the start line in downtown Davidson.

10am- 92 degrees: The race kicked off with a 6 mile paved ride to the trails. Then up the steepest climb to the pits, then another 6 laps. I was doing fine through the pits, just taking it easy knowing that I am prone to overheating. My pace was a little higher than what I wanted, so I backed off a little bit more. It was hot. I kept drinking, I drank more than I thought I should...just in case. At the end of the first lap, I stopped and got cold bottles. I was feeling fine, but not sure if I should keep going.

The second lap I was on pace for 1 hr 15 minute laps. And it was HOT!! 92 in the woods, 96 at the top of the last climb, 102 under the tent at the pits!!!! I have the best family for hanging out there waiting for me and pitting for me.

I realised, after doing some calculating halfway through lap two, that this was not my time to shine. That I was able to calculate, told me that I was still thinking properly. I was still sweating, but I realised that I was not going to make the 5pm cut off. Knowing that it was only 1pm, and it was going to get hotter before it cooled down. I decided that today was not the day to push my limits..any more than I already had.

So, I pulled into the pits, and called it quits. I am pleased with what I did do, I feel like my nutrition was right on and could have kept going. But, I played it safe, and made my wife happy!!


The race started shortly after 9 am. Approx 14 miles of XC racing. I don't race XC so I knew I would get dropped. I pushed the pace until 20 minutes in my head started throbbing, it was only 92 degrees at the start. So, knowing that if I kept that pace nothing good would come if it, I backed off to my endurance pace and just had another training ride in the heat. Good stuff.

All in all it was a great weekend, hanging out with friends, and watching some really talented riders, from juniors up through masters and pros.

My new plan for summer time races is to pay the higher fee, and register late. That way if the temps are too high, I can bail. Any other weather I can handle, but 100 plus is HOT!!!!

Next up, Off-Road Assault on Mt Mitchell

Have a great day!!


LowCountry Joe said...

Nice meeting you out there Stephen,

I was wondering where you had gone on Friday upon really did cut it short...I should have done the same....too darn hot!

Joel, Marsha , Yvonne....


Thanks for the heads up! I can't believe Sam was taking that line.