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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Punishment..... yes indeed! And sorry, atypically, no pix (by me) for this one.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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This weekend kept my racing foray relatively local here in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place>Northern NM</st1:place>, in <st1:place>Los Alamos</st1:place> to be exact, home of the infamous Manhattan Project and other fun research projects (which we cannot talk about) and the missing hard drives. The drive to the town is only about 40-45 minutes from where I'm at in <st1:City><st1:place>Santa Fe</st1:place></st1:City>, so getting to the venue was a non-issue. I felt I had a little bit of a leg up on the out-of-town competition due to the fact I had ridden the whole course (27 +/- miles, 4750 +/- ft. of climbing) a couple of times and had helped with some of the trails work & marking in the preceding weeks. Sweet, home turf! <o:p></o:p>

The course: We cued up in town at the head of the Los Alamos Parade at 9:30 am and were escorted in a neutral start to the formal beginning, where we turned right off the main drag, then descended into a small canyon leading us to "Bridges Trail", a fun, fast somewhat techy in spots single track for 3 or so miles, then a quick road crossing, under a tunnel, and onto more trails. The course meandered around for about 9 miles total as it approached the main challenge of the day; <st1:Street><st1:address>Pipeline Road</st1:address></st1:Street>. This is a gnarly, loose, steep at times, fire road that leads up, and up, and up...... heading out of town and towards Pajarito Mtn. / Pajarito Ski Area, which at times you could see off in the distance to the left, and across a significant amount of distance over a valley! The total climbing on the road is around 6 miles before a reprieve allows for a bit of recovery. Then the course zooms across some beautiful XC ski trails, heading towards the base of the ski area where hard climb #2 begins! At the base of the ski area there was a well-supported feed, which was welcome after 17 miles or so of hard racing, with about 3 or so more miles to go, up some steep singletrack. All the trails were in great shape due to the moisture we've been getting, the diligent work by the TuffRiders bike club in town, and the folks at the ski area. Once the top was crested, the course traversed the mountain and gave everyone a chance to breath, as we were close to 10,000 ft. in elevation. The course then descended about 7 miles, primarily on fun rough trails, a bit of paved road, and some nasty jeep road. The last bit of the course came through <st1:place><st1:placeName>Pajarito</st1:placeName><st1:placeType>Canyon</st1:placeType></st1:place> down to the finish area. This is one of my favorite singletrack in LA, beautiful, lush, with a creek flowing (crossed it 3 times) and generally heading DOWN the whole way, to the finish.....

On Pipeline: (courtesy TR site)
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For the race this day, I had vowed to warm up properly, following the guidance of a good friend / coach and hoping to have some "oompf" at the beginning of the race, instead of just blowing up. I will admit full race dork-ness in that I brought my road bike and rollers to warm up on in a controlled way. 20 minutes easy, 5 minutes 'tempo', 3-5 minutes easy, THEN a set of 1 minute LT or above "kicks" with 3-5 minutes recovery between those..... another easy spin set, then a few 8-10 second sprints and then the final easy spin/recovery. People were looking at me a little weird, wondering why the hell I was working so hard BEFORE the race, but I was determined to get it right. Head over to the start, feel pumped and after a few minutes we're off! Blaze through the fast part of the race, near the front, then IN FRONT, push hard up the fun & technical switchbacks that bring us up to the <st1:Street><st1:address>Pipeline Rd.</st1:address></st1:Street> section and ease back a bit. It felt too weird to be out in front so early on, and I needed to get my HR down to eat & drink a little... as we were about 45 minutes in at this point at the start of the killer climb. Oops, chain drops! No big deal, get it back on and all, just hate the loss of rhythm! Continue up climb, a few faster folks work there way by me, but not too many, and I keep 'em within reach the whole way up to the top. <o:p></o:p>

Sweet:

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Cresting the top, we were directed down a fast gnarly loose rocky road that has claimed many victims in the past.... but thankfully none this year! Err, except my front wheel! Doh! Ack! Now the back one too???? I has slammed a rock, pinch flatted the front, and before I could stop the rear banged a rock hard enough too..... geez, and I had like 45psi in 'em to! Lately I've gone backwards and have been running regular old tubes, as I've been screwing around with tire selection the last few weeks. This because of a slight bit of paranoia regarding front wheel traction, which at a race in <st1:City><st1:place>Aspen</st1:place></st1:City> led to me being carted off in an ambulance. Sooooo, my normally trusty home made tubeless set-up shelved for the time being was of no help. Stupid tubes. <o:p></o:p>

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Anyhow, no problem, as I put 2 tubes and 2 CO2 cartridges in my jersey, and a patch kit, just in case. Get back wheel off bike, new tube in & aired up like a Tour de France master mechanic. Go for tube #2 and repeat. Get wheel back in fork, head down hill. Not 30 seconds later, Pfffftttt......whoooshwhiiiissshhhwoooosh. Flat #3!!!! Argh! Flip over bike, pull wheel out, grab mini-tool pouch which has patch kit within, open it and.... um, where's the freakin' patch kit?! Not there... I pull all the crap out of my jersey, and it's gone. Must have taken it out a few days ago... Oh yeah! I did! Never replaced it..... At this point, almost all the fellas in my group have passed by, and I start running the ½ mile or so down the hill to a course marshall/EMT station and ask if any of 'em had a tube. A very nice fella says "YES!" (PSYCHED!) and digs it out of his pack. Awesome! Er, oops. His tube is a Schrader Valve! Oh well... he then says he's got a patch kit, so I jump, take my front wheel off, take the tube out, find tell-tale snakebite #2, rough up the area and squeeze the glue tube. And squeeze, and SQUEEEEEEZEEEE! Fark! His glue is dried up! Oh well.... so much for the race. He says the next person/marshall is about 2 miles further on, so I reassemble flat front tire/wheel and ride slowly on. Sport class folks are now passing me, as I've lost maybe 20 minutes at this point. 5 minutes later I see a local I recognize and holler "Dick! Got a tube???" Bless him, he does! I'm in no rush now, so the repair goes smoothly, I air up using the last of my CO2 (thank god for those little miracles!) and roll on. As I approach the ski are feed zone, I start chucking all my useless tubes, empty bottles & CO2 cartridges, and wrappers at the trash can. Strange, everything goes in. Cool.... Head up the climb, re-take most of the sport folks, have a nice ride to the finish JUST as it starts raining. Time was almost <st1:time Minute="40" Hour="15">3:40</st1:time>, 30 minutes or so lost from assorted mechanicals (oh yeah, broke a chain too!) and 43 minutes after the 1st place expert cruised through. The fast pro times were around <st1:time Minute="30" Hour="14">2:30</st1:time> or so (sick!) and the fast experts at <st1:time Minute="55" Hour="14">2:55-3:10</st1:time>, the latter about where I would have been. Such is life! Live and learn and all.<o:p></o:p>

Lousy, huh?

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Reflections: <o:p></o:p>

I must have broken a NORBA law or something, as I think you're supposed to be fully "self supported" and all, but I was far out of contention and figured it was OK....<o:p></o:p>

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Warming up; that warm up ROCKED! The only thing I'd do is eat breakfast ½ hr. to an hr. later than I used to, as the warm up burned a good 600 or so calories. But man, it worked! I felt great the whole first part of the race, and led out the group for a while, in an attempt to crack a few folks and get our fast guys (teamates) a good chance on the big climb. <o:p></o:p>

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Hydration/Nutrition; Gatorade is a wee bit too tough, at least at full strength, for high-output events like this one. My stomach felt pitted near the top, and a little queezy. The GU2O I usually use works great, and i need to get another tub of the powder asap! I'd been out for a week or so, and running gatorade instead (have a big tub of THAT), but lesson learned.<o:p></o:p>

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Kit; for brutal point-to-point races such as this, expect to carry EVERYTHING, within reason, you may need. I'd ridden that freakin' road a bunch of times, never flatted, and at higher speeds. Just bad line, bad luck, and unfortunate celestial alignment I suppose. The patch kit would have saved me a lot of time, just those glueless patches. Quick and easy! <o:p></o:p>

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General; still had a great time! The lesson about warm-up is valuable indeed, and I'll try it out again THIS coming weekend down in <st1:place><st1:City>Silver City</st1:City>, <st1:State>NM</st1:State></st1:place> for the Signal Peak Challenge, the 2nd to last of the NMORS (<st1:State><st1:place>new mexico</st1:place></st1:State> off-road series) and another long hard race with good amounts of technical riding in it!<o:p></o:p>

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Anyhow, been a long & fun season so far, with a few more races on the calendar. Next "A" race is the Keystone Climax, the finale in the Mountain States Cup series. Then onto the NORBA National Championship race (woohoo!) in <st1:place><st1:placeName>Mammoth</st1:placeName><st1:placeType>Lakes</st1:placeType></st1:place>, CA. Then the infamous Road Apple Rally. Then? Next February kick off the season in <st1:City><st1:place>Tucson</st1:place></st1:City> at 24HTOP and start all over! <o:p></o:p>
 

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good report, glenn. i was wondering how the race went. where did the course go after you got to the golf course? and did you go up the new extended singletrack up to the top of the ski hill? did you come down the descent from the upper loop or lower loop? questions questions.

I miss the NM riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Beth!

little b said:
good report, glenn. i was wondering how the race went. where did the course go after you got to the golf course? and did you go up the new extended singletrack up to the top of the ski hill? did you come down the descent from the upper loop or lower loop? questions questions.

I miss the NM riding.
NM misses your riding!

Golf course.... hmm. we wound our way around it towards the cemetary, where we went through a small canyon and picked up Perimeter at the end..... a couple of road crossings connected all the pieces.

And Yes! We did the whole extend-o singletrack to the top at the ski area. Then across "Lumberyard" to what seemed like 'both' loops, but I'm always mixed up on that side..... from the high point, we traversed, crossing the DH course, until we hit the first of 2 good stretches of singletrack. The "upper" part dives in steep off the road, but is not the old Dogpatch, then dumped us out onto more mountain traversing/jeep road descent (the top of which you cross that big log pile out onto a ski trail traverse), until we picked up the top of the lower loop, taking us down towards/across "Boomer" trail down the new stuff from last year, across the base of the ski area past the Townsight lift, and out the same dirt / rock road as last year.
 

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Nice report

Great attitude! Thats always one of my big fears: Being in first place and having a mechancial kill my race! Good luck next weekend
 

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Nice Report!

Looks like it was had one of those weekends. At least you finished! Even better, it sounds like you had a great time. Funny how I can have a huge crash at Angel Fire, taco a wheel, and still finish the last 2 miles, but freeze up a drive train on a flat course, and I'm toast!

Looks like an interesting warm up format. If ya could, send me a pm with more of the specifics, as I may want to try and incorporate it. I do something similar, but not near as regimented.

You'll be stoked to know that you can pick up a can of GU20 at Nationals for $15. Heck of a deal. I talked to the rep at Snowmass and he said he would definately be there.

As for the NORBA rules about being self-equipped, yeah it's in the book, but does it really matter? I heard it was a huge issue in a pro race a few years ago, but good Karma begets good Karma. It's just a"little" secret

I wish I could say that Keystone is my last "A" race. Nationals 2 weeks ago was the "A" and Eldo was more like a "C." If I can make the arrangements for the flight, Keystone will be something like a "B." Especially if we make it to Mammouth, in which case, that is a definate "A" All be it, if Keystone doesn't happen, that would give me 6 weeks to get into a mezzo cycle by 3 weeks and almost peaking by mid-September. Have to see if we can make it work, and I'm a little "tired" of the race training. Not tired of riding, just physically tired in general. Catch ya soon. Good luck this weekend.
 

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Great report Glen. Sorry to hear about all the mechanicals. I can't believe those guys did that course in 2:30, and the fastest single speed at 3:19, incredible!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ew505 said:
Great report Glen. Sorry to hear about all the mechanicals. I can't believe those guys did that course in 2:30, and the fastest single speed at 3:19, incredible!
Thanks! Yep, there are some strong folks out there! And say, who are you? An LA local? Have we met? Just curious..... I think I remember you posting a while back about LA trails in the spring..... not sure though!
 

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Oh man Glen! Sure sounds like you and *rt* are sharing some sh!tty luck with your recent races. Although, it has been cool reading how positive you're attitude still is after such unfortunate events. Minus your mechanicals, it sounded like you were having a great race. Best of luck with the rest of your season.

NOTE: I gotta agree with the warm-up issue. I don't race at all, but when I head out for group rides and such, I do manage to hit my trainer for about 15-20 mins for light warmup beforehand and it does help me feel & ride better during the ride itself.
 

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sorry to hear about the flats, glen. i know the feeling!! :rolleyes: sounds like you were on for a great race. you'll get 'em in the next one.

those warm-ups are key. really helps you get going at the start of the race. :)

rt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
®andyA said:
Oh man Glen! Sure sounds like you and *rt* are sharing some sh!tty luck with your recent races. Although, it has been cool reading how positive you're attitude still is after such unfortunate events. Minus your mechanicals, it sounded like you were having a great race. Best of luck with the rest of your season.

NOTE: I gotta agree with the warm-up issue. I don't race at all, but when I head out for group rides and such, I do manage to hit my trainer for about 15-20 mins for light warmup beforehand and it does help me feel & ride better during the ride itself.
Hey thanks! Indeed there have been some bad episodes at races lately, but hopefully I've excorcised all the demons having had mechanicals and face plants all taken care of! Unless I crack my frame or something.... ugh.

Pretty smart to warm-up before a ride too, I'd say! Get everything working and so on before putting in harder efforts like on steep clibs and all...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
*rt* said:
sorry to hear about the flats, glen. i know the feeling!! :rolleyes: sounds like you were on for a great race. you'll get 'em in the next one.
rt
LOL, I know you know the feeling! :) It was feeling like a good race indeed.

*rt* said:
those warm-ups are key. really helps you get going at the start of the race. :)

rt
I keep thinking back to the amazing improvement in how I felt at the start / first hour of racing compared to times where I hadn't warmed up in an organized way. Guess after almost a season as expert, I was bound to learn it at some point! Something about priming the Lactic Acid flushing "mechanisms" and getting the circulation going in your muscles before racing all of the sudden makes complete sense! I could feel the difference almost 3 hours later near the end of the 20 miles or so of climbing, legs still had a good amount of "oompf" despite the somewhat disspiriting mechanicals.

Anyhow, thanks for the empathy ;) ! Seems as though we've indeed had some racing parallels, both up and down...
 

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Yeah, LA local. We met at Ryan and Bec's house in Santa Fe. I thought I might run into you at the Punishment, but there were a lot of faces there. I raced the beginner course- fun stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ew505 said:
Yeah, LA local. We met at Ryan and Bec's house in Santa Fe. I thought I might run into you at the Punishment, but there were a lot of faces there. I raced the beginner course- fun stuff.
Aha! Gotcha then ;) ! Of course that was right after I slammed my face, so my memory is still a bit foggy at times! Cool then.... see you out there some time!
 
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