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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This past Saturday, July 24th, brought me and my fellow rocky mountain region racers to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:placeName>Telluride</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType>Mountain</st1:placeType> <st1:placeType>Village</st1:placeType></st1:place>, right up the hill and a gondola ride away from the "real" Telluride below. The drive from <st1:place><st1:City>Santa Fe</st1:City>, <st1:State>NM</st1:State></st1:place> was about 5 ½ hours each way, and through some pretty striking 4-corners area scenery. The race was the 7th of 9 for the season, 1 less than the promoters stated at the beginning of the season, as they dropped a race at Monarch Ski area for reasons unknown. This combined with the fact I had a knocked-unconscious-wake-up-in-an-ambulance race (DNF'ed) at Snowmass just two weeks before put me probably in the least likely condition to be racing, but I felt OK and had to race to get a minimum of 6 races in the series to remotely be competitive in the overall categorization. Having made an early season class-jump up to expert from sport, I was already down 1 race. (I raced in Sport class in the first race [and won, amazingly!] so that one was not counted in the expert points) Since my DNF crash, that made 2 down. Since I can't make it to #8 in a few weeks, Eldora Escape, in <st1:place><st1:City>Nederland</st1:City>, <st1:State>CO</st1:State></st1:place>, Telluride became a priority to get finish #5. The last race, in Keystone, CO is on Labor Day weekend and I am targeting THAT as an "A" race! I will do respectably in at least ONE expert race this season, dammit!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
Anyhow, on to Telluride.....<o:p></o:p>

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from the trip to/from <st1:State><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:State>:



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The drive up to Telluride Friday morning was uneventful, and I was racing somewhat to get there, get a camping spot (in a developed area WITH hot showers!), get registered and pre-ride the dreaded course. My friends who've raced it in the 2002 world cup said it was awful. Steep hole-shot start to a single track bottleneck. Turned out the steep start spread folks out pretty well and was long enough, but a rough start none the less. But before I got to see it myself, the sky opened up and it POURED for about 2-3 hours. I went back to set up camp in the downpour and made out alright, stringing a big, albeit leaky, tarp across the tent site that bridged the space between the tent and the raised lift gate of my Cherokee. <o:p></o:p>

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Ominous skies:<o:p></o:p>
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Once that was all done, the rain started to taper off with about 3 hours of daylight left (5:30ish) so I headed back to the venue. The start/finish area was right at the cutesy ski area village center, and there were a few other folks that had arrived late as I had, looking to explore the course. <o:p></o:p>

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Start area:<o:p></o:p>
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I headed up the first service road bit to the first singletrack section and knew right away it was going to be tough! The trail had turned to a complete mud-bog and was steep, both up and down. After the first section of rooty, wet, gloppy singletrack, the course re-emerged onto a bit of gravel road (for once, thankfully!!!) and kept heading up, and up, and steeper yet while heading up.... then the course headed across a ski trail and back into the woods. Once in, there was a sketchy big rocky drop to a muddy corner that kept dropping..... I walked it this time (rode it fine in the race) as it was evil looking what with all that fresh glop to slip on/in and those boulders to bash your self on. <o:p></o:p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
(Telluride cont.)

Some classic <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:State> riding:
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Once down this neat little section, the trail slugged out on a moderate climb back out to the service road, where we then got a slight reprieve with a quick road descent. But what goes down.... must go up. And up we went, up a steep rough gooey service road. Then re-entered the woods again on more horribly slimy singletrack, that I am sure would be superb had it not been super-saturated! The course undulated like this a few more times, before getting near the top of the bulk of the climbing. There were two more techy-muddy sections that led out to a relatively dry/gravelly trail before heading up the last hard climb, and one more hellish slog.<o:p></o:p>

nice view near the top:
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Once the cross-mountain traverse (good recovery area) was reached, you new the downhill was near! Given the awful ride up, I was a little nervous about descending all this goopy stuff, but was pleasantly surprised by the decent series of switchbacks and sections of singletrack. <o:p></o:p>

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on the way down (forgot fellas name):
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The descent went by too fast, only being about 1.5 miles or so, but took you across a neat-o bridge that went over the beginning of the course, then down to a grassy area and around to the start/finish area.<o:p></o:p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Telluride continued again....

Weeeeeee!
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What was crazy is that the whole loop was only about 5.1 miles and had about 1000 feet of climbing (felt like WAY more) but took me 1.5 hours to pre-ride it! Yikes. I was going slow, and stopping to take pix and all, but still, this promised to be a real slugfest. Sport were in for 2 laps, Pro/Expert for 3. I found the hose station and rinsed my poor bike off and headed back to camp. <o:p></o:p>

Race morning had me up at about <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:time Hour="5" Minute="30">5:30 a.m.</st1:time> to eat a good breakfast and get a little more rest before warming up & starting. Packed up camp and headed to the venue. Thankfully got there early enough to be able to park right near the main area. Start times were posted, and we were to go off at <st1:time Hour="10" Minute="10">10:10</st1:time> or so, after the beginner & sport folks were done (theoretically). That made for some EARLY starts for those guys! I think the sport guys went off around <st1:time Hour="8" Minute="0">8:00 a.m.</st1:time> Ouch. It was chilly and very damp, but the skies were clear and the sun promised to help dry things out a little bit. <o:p></o:p>

Bock throwing down for lap 2 in 30-35 Sport:
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The first Sport guys came through after about 42-44 minutes, which seemed pretty fast to me! Once they came through for lap 1, I figured it was time to suit up and get warmed up. Back to the car I rode, pulled out my key to unlock the Jeep, and OOOPS! I had my house key..... since most rides head out my back door, I always grab my house key, not the car key. Old habits die hard! WTF now? I head over to one of the shops and happen to intercept a young girl driving a golf cart and looking official. She points me to a lady not 10 feet away who can help out, supposedly. I describe the situation, noting I've got about 50 minutes 'till start and she starts calling people. Locksmith closed on Saturday (ahhhh, little mountain towns), Village police radios on different frequency so she calls the dispatcher who radios to the local village patrol. Time creeps by but the minute hands on my watch seem to be spinning WAY to fast! She calls to check with dispatch as to whereabouts of patrol..... is reassured that they are coming. They pull in, we head over to my Cherokee where the first fella to start tinkering looks like he may not ever have seen a slim jim before.... TICK TOCK (35 minutes to go, warm up? who needs to warm up?) A second fella shows up and seems way more experienced, he pulls out a bent up set of rods and an inflatable wedge thing. Inserts wedge thing between door and door pillar, inflates enough to get bent rod hook thing into car, hooks handle and PRESTO! He got it open in about a minute. I thank them profusely and start changing and setting up buddies borrowed trainer to spin for the next 15-20 minutes, before heading to the start.<o:p></o:p>

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The race start times are pushed back 10-15 minutes (yay again!) as the sport guys bringing up the rear are still coming in due to slow course conditions.... I queue up in staging with only 12 or 14 guys, a third of what we usually have, and pray that I finish and get my highest expert finishing place in the series! We go off behind the younger experts and the pros, and I start off very casually at the rear. It is a "recovery race" after all, and I refuse to let the adrenaline surge influence my riding. About half way up the first lap I pass the only guy I pass in the whole race. I get passed lot's by the 35-39 experts, then the 40+ experts, some women pro's and I believe the winning 50+ expert before the 3 laps are done! I just keep grinding away at the climbs and survive the fun descents, splashing through an unavoidable and huge mud puddle at the top of every lap. Either that or get off the bike (ha!). The course had dried out some, but to the point where the mud started getting sticky. Thankfully I had put a Continental Twister SuperSonic on the rear and it did way better than the Kenda Karma from the night before at repelling mud and grabbing pretty well. I also had installed a micro-fender at the Blur lower pivot area to keep it from clogging up like it did at Crested Butte a few weeks ago. <o:p></o:p>

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Crusty bike after race:
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Anyhow, by the end of the last lap I was suitably tired, but not dead. It felt good to have gotten back in saddle so to speak, and I finished at an astounding 9th place! 2 or 3 DNF's propelled me to a top 10 finish, 45 minutes behind the winner ;-) Now I can truly only get better! Mid season low is disposed of, crash wounds are almost healed (ed: $3800 hospital bill, thank god for insurance) and recovery race in major series is complete.<o:p></o:p>

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Driving home:
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As I posted a few days ago here in Passion, the long drives are wearing me down more than the almost 5K riding miles this season have! But the western US is incredibly beautiful and striking, especially this time of year when huge afternoon monsoonal rain clouds build, recent rains have kicked the green saturation levels up a notch or two, and you can see for 100 miles. A few more races out of town to go, and a few local ones to look forward to (including this weekends "prison loop" road race") then call it a season. Already thinking about 24HRS. in <st1:City><st1:place>Tucson</st1:place></st1:City> next February though.....<o:p></o:p>

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Nice view (for you Brianc):
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! Indeed Tim, TOP TEN! Yeah Baby..... one last big scab on left knee and the deep cut under nose is all that are partially left to heal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ozone!

Great to finally meet you out there. Hope the race went OK for you......
 

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Great!

Another geat post Glen, thanks! I can always relate to what your going through. This time it was the long drive to the races, they take more out of you then the racing! I have not raced since April but am planning on doing 2 next month, 1 will be my first road race :cool:
Keep up the good work
 

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thanks Glen I needed that.

my bike is off in FedEx land on it's way to CO.

BTW, I'll have to repay you with my own race report soon. Looks like my company is going to feild a 24H race team and I'm the only one who's ever done one before. We'll be "racing" someplace in PA this september.
 

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Thanks for the report, Glenn. Good job. I haven't raced the msc in a few years - I don't need to now, I hit them vicariously through you! Last time I hit that Telluride course, it was bone dry with about 2" of dust everywhere. I bet conditions were great after a bit of sun and a few riders on it. Way to hang in there.

I agree that the long season makes driving a drag. That is the number 1 thing I don't miss. The competition and the courses, though...

Keep it up. Good luck in Keystone. You've got a few weeks to prepare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the dark side!

brianc said:
my bike is off in FedEx land on it's way to CO.

BTW, I'll have to repay you with my own race report soon. Looks like my company is going to feild a 24H race team and I'm the only one who's ever done one before. We'll be "racing" someplace in PA this september.
Hey Brian! 24H race with you leading should go just fine, given your background, except that you'll be in the saddle and all, and probably end up doing a bit of troop rallying to boot. definately keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ignazjr said:
Thanks for the report, Glenn. Good job. I haven't raced the msc in a few years - I don't need to now, I hit them vicariously through you! Last time I hit that Telluride course, it was bone dry with about 2" of dust everywhere. I bet conditions were great after a bit of sun and a few riders on it. Way to hang in there.

I agree that the long season makes driving a drag. That is the number 1 thing I don't miss. The competition and the courses, though...

Keep it up. Good luck in Keystone. You've got a few weeks to prepare.
LOL at the vicarious racing! :D The course have been good to incredible, I'd have to say that my favorite has been Snowmass, except for the crash this past time and all..... last year I didn't wreck, and the course was drier, but I was sure hoping to get the 2 laps we were supposed to do actually in. Next time! Crested Butte was great, just rough at 3 laps making it close to a HARD 30 miles and a boatload of climbing....

I'd have cherished the dust as opposed to the muck this weekend at T-Ride, as I'm way more adept at riding dust than wet, sloppy trails. Funnt, it started raining just as I was finishing, so I suspect the trails will saty a bit saturated for at least a couple of days, so deep was the soaking from recent torrential rains....

As for the endless driving, it's cool when I get someone else to go along, or hook up with someone locally.... but the long hauls solo just make me want to pack up and get home asap after the races.... when I should stick around for another day or two and ride some of the awesome terrain in and around all the venues. C'est la vie I suppose, and good expierience!
 

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To Hell You Ride

glenzx said:
Great to finally meet you out there. Hope the race went OK for you......
Nice to meet you as well. The race did not go any better for me then it went for you. Not sure what to blame it on so it was probably a lack of motivation that slowed me down the most.
 

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Nice job, Glenzx! Sounds like things finally came together, and you can look forward to an even better race at Keystone. FWIW, I envy you the solo drives. As I don't get to do take off as much as I did before Haylee came along, I cherish the beauty and solitude when I'm on the road. But I guess it'd be different if I were hitting the road as often as you have been this summer. Thanks for the report; I'm pleased for you that it went well.
- Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ozone said:
Nice to meet you as well. The race did not go any better for me then it went for you. Not sure what to blame it on so it was probably a lack of motivation that slowed me down the most.
It's been a long tough series this season, and hard to keep motivation high race after race.... seems like racing every 2 weeks is tougher than I expected it to be, and suspect if they did one every 3 weeks through the season it'd make a huge difference! I suppose that'd mean a slightly earlier start/later finish to the season which would mean a few more lower-elevation races like Nathrop..... Maybe just LESS races like last year! LOL

FWIW, looks like your consistency is keeping you ranked pretty well overall ;-), so congrats on that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
NuMexJoe said:
Nice job, Glenzx! Sounds like things finally came together, and you can look forward to an even better race at Keystone. FWIW, I envy you the solo drives. As I don't get to do take off as much as I did before Haylee came along, I cherish the beauty and solitude when I'm on the road. But I guess it'd be different if I were hitting the road as often as you have been this summer. Thanks for the report; I'm pleased for you that it went well.
- Joe
Thanks Joe! Part of the time driving solo, the solitude offers a great time for reflection and thought, taking in the scenery, and pondering life.... other times (on the eastern and of 550 for example) it's a matter of getting to/from the race as fast as possible.

Glad to be posting the reports, as it's a great way for me to reflect on the event itself, and share it for the folks who care to hear about us racing nuts!
 
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