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Scott in Tucson
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Yesterday the temperature was roughly eight dimes. With the afternoon sun in my face, I was pedaling my 34 pound behemoth up rock and through bramble. Sweat running off my brow, stinging my eyes... I felt great, felt alive.

After four hours the sun headache set in and my stomach turned.

An unmistakable, scary, flashback..... North Beaver Mesa...

...The Grand Loop.

Lot's of hot air about another race that starts with a "G." Is anyone thinking about the GLR?

[cue crickets]

I am. Kinda. Heaven knows why.

All I can think about is how unbearably hot it was, and how it really wasn't all that fun to ride much of the course. Jefe asked in his comments last year "WHY?" Why do we put ourselves in that position? Why seek out adventure?

I don't know for sure. I wondered the same thing while out there. But the proof is in the puddin', and here I am thinking about racing it again. There's just something to it, something that captivates, and I can't explain it. My writeup from last year fails completely.

Talk is talk, riding is action.

Anyone else?

June 1 - https://greatdividerace.com/_wsn/page4.html


<img src=https://www.topofusion.com/images/glr/DSC07660.jpg>
 

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no answers here

Krein

I have about zero insight on the WHY stuff but I do enjoy reading posts like this one from more accomplished endurance racers such as yourself and others. I guess its sort of encouraging in a funny sort of way.

Your Talk is talk, riding is action comment strikes home

6am solo KT ride (my 1st all night ride)
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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Why? Because modern life does not satisfy our prehistoric need to chase & be chased. A thing called adrenaline has been removed from the surprises we face. Our existence has been tamed, and by doing these sorts of events I think we are seeking to regain a bit of our primal selves. GLR, KTR, GDR...they present an optimal intersection of physical, mental, emotional demands that when faced and overcome really let you know you're alive.

Or maybe we just like to ride a lot?

Earlier this winter, before & after surgery, I had a lot of time to think on the GLR. I'm still thinking. I've been attracted to this event for some time. This year I'm not certain the body above the waist is ready...but as good as doing GLR vicariously through the great reports is, I'd rather be there with y'all. We'll see.
 

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Grand F'ing Loop?

Yeah it haunts me, I can flash back with ease. Suddenly i feel that deperate panic pounding with adrenaline, that cooked beyond recogintion totally used up feeling. Oh my, i was about 24 hours in when Scott and I hit Fischer creek in the La Sals, and i swear at the time i was never going to do this again, never, my mind and body was in revolt, " you foolish dupe!" And to be honest the first 24 were the easiest part. Not to discourage anyone from an attempt, but imagine this, a 24 hour race, a 100 mile race and then another 24 hour race, back to back, little sleep, horrible trail conditions, and carrying everything on your back and bike. No one to clap and encourage you on, keep you company, make you food, fill your camelback. It was one of those experiences that i will never be able to forget, trully life changing, yet it still hurts a bit deep down. All last summer i was cooked, tired after a few hours on the bike, got cooked easily. Yet i will admit that a month or so afterward i was going over my lists of s&*t and sorting out how to be lighter, faster, smarter. So yeah i will do it again someday but not this year, I got the AZ 300 and the CTR on my mind, suffering is good for you! If scott does it beware he could blow that record out of the desert dust. Peace Jefe
 

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Just go ride!
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Do it again, Scott!

After all, I'm gonna need some tracks to follow again this year! :)

Seriously though, I am definitely doing the CTR. Unfortunately, that only leaves room on my new-job+wife-time-off plate for either the GLR or the AZT. I am completely torn! Both of these races are so incredibly compelling, but only 1 is gonna happen for me this year.

For me, the AZT would be 300 miles of unseen terrain with lots of planning and map work - both very inviting! However, it is also a much longer drive, and a very distinct non-loop, thus making return logistics a bit harder. Plus, at the rate I'm going, I'll have ridden all of 200 miles this year by the time the race date arrives.

The GLR will be familiar. I know what I would be getting into, and I could push myself much, much harder than last year - both very inviting! I'll also be in a lot better shape by then, the drive is short, and it's a loop. On the other hand, I did at least finish it last year, and the draw of doing something new is powerful. I have also thought about "fast-touring" the Grand Loop, independent of the race, and riding (or hike-a-biking?) the re-routed Paradox trail which avoids Bedrock.

So many choices, and all of them good! Right now though, I am leaning heavily towards the GLR. These trails aren't going anywhere, and I have a steadfast mindset to push myself at MTB racing this year. I absolutely love that loads of free, self-supported races have been popping up all over the place this year! Motivating and inspiring, these are the races that really draw me in.

As for anyone who is on the fence about the GLR - just go do it! Finish or not, it will be a rewarding and learning experience, that words can't properly describe.
 
G

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I think this year might be the one I give this a shot. I've had thoughts of this race for a while too. I've had thoughts of touring it for years before I was aware that others were time-trialing it. I guess the extra draw of competition is the little extra push for me to actually make plans. Maybe by posting this, I'll have good incentive to stay on track.

Hopefully I'll still feel this way in June. I hope to see a bunch of the usual suspects at the start.

FW
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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More thinkin'

So as I write this the temp is hovering around 0F so it's easy to think the heat of early June is inviting. I keep thinking about this event...back and forth...but I think it's gonna get the nod. The pull is strong.

Question for the alumni: how was your recovery after this event? Jefe's sounds rough...Stefen, Krein? I can't really afford to jeapordize the rest of the season. The rest of June is flexible, but July-Oct not so much. I'd be riding to finish, test some equipment (lights, of course :) ), get the feel for this sort of event - but not really racing.

Into the unknown, spurred on by Iditabike tales of adventure.
 

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Scott in Tucson
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hairball_dh said:
The pull is strong.

Question for the alumni: how was your recovery after this event? Jefe's sounds rough...Stefen, Krein?
Mine was rough as well. You don't want to hear the answer I have.

This is a major consideration for me this year in picking events. I'm tired of missing out on other fun (primarily normal riding, but other races too).

Yet, the pull is strong.

...but not really racing.
I've heard (and said) that before. I'll believe it when I see it.

I don't think there's any way to do something like the GLR in a sustainable way. For me, at least. Other people may be better at tempering their pace and forcing rest/sleep. I don't know.

Some good thoughts (above), everyone. Good to see I'm not the only one torn about participating in this thing. I had myself talked into it a few times while following the race to McGrath. Then reality kicked in with the phrase "never again." I'll never forget the places and circumstances that led to the utterance of that phrase.
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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Krein said:
Mine was rough as well. You don't want to hear the answer I have.
I do. Really.

I just re-read your report this morning. It's a beauty...twisted but beautiful. It sounded to me as though you were already in a hole at the start of the event (from a fitness perspective) as witnessed by the amount of time it took you to get going. 25 hours!!! I don't mean unfit - I mean your state of recovery at the start sounded waay low. Topping that training load with the GLR had to hurt.

So how bad did it hurt?

I'd really like to hear from Stefan cause he rode it like I'd plan on riding it this year.
 

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Scott in Tucson
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hairball_dh said:
I just re-read your report this morning. It's a beauty...twisted but beautiful. It sounded to me as though you were already in a hole at the start of the event (from a fitness perspective) as witnessed by the amount of time it took you to get going. 25 hours!!! I don't mean unfit - I mean your state of recovery at the start sounded waay low.
Yeah, the first 24 hours were hard. I felt pretty terrible starting at about hour three.

There are so many factors that it's hard to know what the cause was. One thing is certain -- the focus for last year was the 300, and I trained hard during the winter to peak for it. The rest was kinda downhill...

But it's easy to use that as an out. Jefe was right there with me, riding the same pace and falling apart just the same as I was. The effect of the heat (leading up to and in the beginning) can't be under-valued. Combine that with stomach problems and all the other little things that come when you ride all night and you've got a recipe for a rough 24 hours. One of the great things about these events is that you can recover from some pretty low spots and still come out well. There's enough time.

Topping that training load with the GLR had to hurt.

So how bad did it hurt?
Yep. I didn't feel "strong" again until ~October. But I did ride most of the CT with Mike in August, and that put me even deeper in the hole. Finally had the discipline to take significant time off in the fall.

I'd really like to hear from Stefan cause he rode it like I'd plan on riding it this year.
Based on his smoking traverse of the CT, I'm guessing the GLR didn't phase him too much. If you can force yourself to take it "easy" I'll wager you'll be fine, especially given how finely tuned you've got your training system.
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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Thanks Scott, that helps a lot.

It's always tough to know how much you can get away with. Every year I push to that point of needing an extended break. Last year I had two forced breaks.

Sleep deprivation is a killer for me. You seem to be relatively unfazed by it. That's quite gift in wolf's clothing.

It's gotta be hard to peak for a June event living in Tucson anyway, eh? In any case, I'm with Stephan - I hope you do GLR again this year so someone with a GPS can blaze the way :)
 

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Really I am that slow
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This is so temping

However with maybe Rimride,TI3, KTR I think i'll be going kinda mellow beginning of June leading up to GDR..... Maybe 08 well be grand loop, az stuff, and Co trail?

This route looks so cool to me....!
 

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I'm how far behind?
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Not this year

I'll be on a work trip. I think I'm ok with it...

It is still on my list, just not this year. Besides, I would hate to be still recovering from this race when I start the Colorado Trail Race. I keep thinking back to some of Scott's posts about his and Mike's adventure on the CT, I think rest is a good thing. Summer is so damn short that I'm tempted to cram way too much into it.

Jim
 

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Just go ride!
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Just do it!

Hey Dave-

As I'm sure you have experienced first hand, and as Scott has already alluded to, there are really 2 types of equally important recovery for a race/ride like the GLR: Mental and Physical. I'll try to address both to the best of my experience.
hairball_dh said:
I'd be riding to finish, test some equipment (lights, of course :) ), get the feel for this sort of event - but not really racing.
The GLR was my first self-supported multi-day ride, and this is basically the same approach I took last year. Aside from riding all night the first night, I slept ~6 hours per night, ate loads of food, and kept myself hydrated. Sure, I basically rode from dawn to dusk for 4 days straight, and it was smoking hot and miserable at times, but I was very careful to stay in tune with my body and not to let anyone else's pace dictate my own. It sounds crazy, but in short, this led to a physical recovery time of almost zero! I don't know very much about training science, but I think this was due to my diet and keeping my heart rate in the aerobic or lower zone 95% of the time. (I could greatly benefit from some of your knowledge there...) Anyway, even just a week or two after the GLR, I felt in top physical shape, especially for short, sprint rides. In fact, I even entered one of those races you have to pay for (the Winter Park Hill climb that Chris mentioned), and was utterly surprised to actually win the 30-34 Men's Expert! Albeit, that may have been more a case of the big guns being absent in my division...

On the other hand, the mental recovery was quite a bit longer. I could push myself hard for an hour or two, but I really had no desire for longer rides that required much preparation or planning. I didn't ride more than ~30 miles in one go until seeing you at the CB-100. However, part of this may also have been because I was somewhat overwhelmed preparing for the Colorado Trail traverse at the end of July. That thing was a completely different story - I pushed myself so hard (mentally and physically) for those 7+ days that it was easily a month for full recovery.

So, assuming you can actually reign in your eager legs :), I don't see why you couldn't incorporate the GLR into part of your larger training plan for some insane July-Oct efforts. In fact, I would love to push myself to the limit and try to keep up with your "not really racing" pace. :D
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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I'm in!

Stefan_G said:
So, assuming you can actually reign in your eager legs :), I don't see why you couldn't incorporate the GLR into part of your larger training plan for some insane July-Oct efforts. In fact, I would love to push myself to the limit and try to keep up with your "not really racing" pace. :D
Here we go...I'm already waking up at 3am thinking about gear, waking up under stars to ride some more...misc racks have been ordered and overnighters are in the very near future.

Is there a better sport than cycling? It challenges in so many incarnations.
 

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Just go ride!
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hairball_dh said:
Here we go...I'm already waking up at 3am thinking about gear, waking up under stars to ride some more...misc racks have been ordered and overnighters are in the very near future.

Is there a better sport than cycling? It challenges in so many incarnations.
Ahhhhh yes, the all-consuming nature of the GLR! :ihih:

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."
-- Jean-Luc Picard for the Borg

"Welcome to the real world"
-- Morpheus, The Matrix
 

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Oh yes the GLR haunts on and on. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the AZ 300 isn't gonna happen this year, a bunch of s*&t is going on that is getting in the way. I can't stop thinking about the CTR, i love the colorado trail so much that i would quit my job to pull it off. In the wake of no AZ 300 i am thinking about all sorts of things. Koko and yes i admit i got the GLR maps out the other night and studied that bastard, looking at where i went wrong,etc etc. I don't think i could do the GLR and recover for the CTR. Honestly while out on the GLR i couldn't imagine being out there longer, as Stephen did, yet he seemed to recover quicker than Scott and I. Yet i admit the temptation is there, the Pull is strong! So DH it is not an easy thing to forget and it will haunt your whole season if you push it while out there, yet you will love the suffering! At the same time looking at your results, DH dave, it maybe a very different situation to recover for you as you are at a whole nother level than I. Hope to see some of ya out there this season, take care Jefe
 

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What kind of GPS units are you guys using for these rides? I have the Garmin ForeRunner 101 wristwatch style that uses 2AAA batteries but it has no computer interface. The rest of the wrist watch styles with computer interface have Lithium Ion batteries that only last about 14-15 hours. Can anyone set me in the right direction on what GPS will work the best for this type of riding.
Josh
 
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