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  1. #26
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    Yeah. That bike rocks the house structurally too. If I was tough enough it would be the perfect bike for that race.

    So glad I didn't flat.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  2. #27
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    Slightly off topic, but I watched someone bomb down the steep paved part just after the water zone at the top. As he approached the rather tight left hand turn he hit the brakes, skidding both front and rear wheels. I was impressed by how far he was able to go while staying up on two locked wheels.

    He became separated from the bike. I would not say that he went over the bars. Mostly the bike slid out from under him.

    He ended up on his back, head first, sliding across the pavement for almost 20 meters before stopping. If it were not for his helmet AND a camel back it would have been very bad.

    He got up and kept on going.

    The course marshal picked up his bike to get it out of the way of the remaining riders. He ran back and got it from the course marshal. As he rode off some other spectator commented that he should be DQed for obtaining assistance from the course marshal. There is no way he obtained an advantage.

    I hope he finished. He certainly has a story to tell. This was in the pro group as far as I know. It may have been the front of the class that started after pro.

    On Sunday I drove down that section. I was riding 1st gear in my truck doing 30 mph on compression, no brakes. I would guess some of you guys were hitting 50 down that section. That's pretty fast to be locking up the front and rear brakes.

  3. #28
    zon
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    Not sure what lessons learned. I trained harder this year, pre-rode the course a few times and managed to race it 10 minutes faster than last year for a 2:48 finish in Sport 45+. Everyone else seemed to be faster this year as I still finished at about the same position as last year. Dang, what does it take to get a break? All in all very fun race allthough I'm still not sure how so much pain can be so much fun. Next year.

  4. #29
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    Morgan,
    i found myself in the picture of guys in front of you at the start.... #300

    I only cramped bad twice...A lot better than last year. I think I ate about 25 salt pills though the day.

    When I hit the pavement my Garmin said 2:58.... I thought, "Maybe I can beat 3 hours"...

    I sprinted my brains out and finished at 2:59:56.... I was stoked at that, passed about 10-15 people on the pavement.... there were 2 guys that I passed about 100yards from the haybails, they never challenged me. When the results were tallied I got 11th in clydesdale by 4 seconds to 12th... the sprint paid off.

    Bummer of the day is that I was hoping for more like 2:45... I blew up on the climb.... My main competition(my buddy) passed me back and forth a couple times and he was only like 5 riders ahead of me getting near the first aid station, Then I just died and ended up loosing to my buddy by like 8 minutes....I beat him in the downhill on Sunday though, and there is always next year.....

    Lesson Learned:
    1. In training I knew that on a long climb like that I would be fastest spinning a high RPM and keeping the heart rate under 175.... I broke both rules... staying in the 180s most of the way up and grinding a tall gear... more pain does not mean faster... or "slower is faster" for me anyways..... I need to follow my own rules.

    I cannot be disappointed though... I took 44 minutes off of last years time...

    Downieville is the RADEST race ever...

    Training for Downieville 2008 starts on Thursday!.
    I am a yeti addict, 8 in all:
    Currently built:
    ASR-SL, 575, DH9, Road Project, FRO
    Currently in Pieces:
    ASX, Lawill-6,ARC

  5. #30
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    Downieville is a blast!

    I finished just in front of you with a 3:00 and made the 45+ podium next to my blue ribbon buddy Sasquatch who I think had a 2:55. Big time cramps for me for about 20 miles but somehow hung in there. My big lesson learned is to be prepared for cramps. Salt tabs?

  6. #31
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    I don't think it's salt. Probably too much salt. I'm going with str8 water next time. Some of those cramps are from too much lactic acid in the muscles and not enough water to flush it out.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  7. #32
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    I downed about 1.5 gallons of water the day before
    80 oz of CytoMax during the race
    + another 40oz of str8 water during the race

    might have had something to do with the cold that I had that week/day, but it sure was intense. There has to be a cause and cure for those darn things.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat.tires
    There has to be a cause and cure for those darn things.
    I've heard a couple packets of mustard can do the trick. Nobody is certain why it works but some riders swear by it. Google it.

  9. #34
    Lusus Naturae
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    I'm in the "cramp club" too. I had a 70oz Camelback filled with plain water, and then a regular bottle of Gatorade. I planned on snacking on trail mix but took along some GU and shot blocks as well, and glad I did.

    I tried to eat a cliff bar half way down Pauley Creek but after one bite I had enough. Most of my cramping was post-race. The only in-race cramping came from taking my foot off the pedal and trying to extend the leg or something. I could easily keep riding if it was just pedaling motion.

    Future races will hopefully involve proper fuel and liquid consumption.

  10. #35
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    What instead of chamois butter?

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  11. #36
    bicycle rider
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    I didn't have any cramps during the race. I wasn't blazing fast either. I hydrated before the race, had 4 Nuun tabs in my 100oz camelbak, ate a pack of Clif margarita Blocks with extra sodium at the top of the climb and dumped most of the water at both water stops on my head, drinking maybe 1/4 of it. I had a bottle of water in my cage too, and never touched it. I finished with water in my camelbak. Next year I'll carry less water.

    I think the best cure for cramps is not what you put in your body during a race, but how you prep for it. Train on long, hot, hard climbs and ride hard after the climb, and you'll figure out how to deal with cramps at Downieville.

    FWIW,

    Morgan

  12. #37
    zon
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    Quote Originally Posted by otbp_nocal
    I've heard a couple packets of mustard can do the trick. Nobody is certain why it works but some riders swear by it. Google it.

    Read all about it here:

    http://www.health911.com/remedies/rem_cramp.htm

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...04/ai_n9395639
    Last edited by zon; 07-17-2007 at 10:45 AM.

  13. #38
    Surly OG
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    Outhouse Ammonia Saturation = accelerated cramping

    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher

    I think the best cure for cramps is not what you put in your body during a race, but how you prep for it. Train on long, hot, hard climbs and ride hard after the climb, and you'll figure out how to deal with cramps at Downieville.

    FWIW,

    Morgan
    I spent substantial time in the sierra preceding D-ville to prepare for conditions. Riding in the hottest part of the day etc.....

    I started cramping 30minutes after the start. Which is not normal for me.

    During intense exercise ammonia is produced by your working muscles and is carried by your bloodstream to the Liver for disposal. Ammonia interferes with the Calcium/Magnesium functions that make muscles relax and contract and cause cramping.

    The campground where I camped (Wild Plum) reeked of ammonia - it was so bad my eyes teared up when trying to take my morning constitutional in the outhouse.

    I camped for 2 nites exposed to the ammonia fumes - I'm wondering if my blood ammonia levels were elevated to the point where my body and supplements could not buffer the excess ammonia, causing me to cramp so severely and so soon. More research is needed.

    I drank a gallon of water in the day preceeding, Heed, etc.... I'm an experienced multi day Adventure Racer - I got a handle on hydration/sports nutrition.

    I drank water, heed, and took 3 endurolytes with my breakfast of Steelcut oats, Cranberries, Honey and Soymilk. Hot Tea with Honey.

    2 dumps in the reeking outhouse eyes streaming tears from the fumes.

    Warmed up for 30minutes and made my way to the start - started cramping 30 minutes later.

    I started the race with 70 oz. water, bottle of Heed, (1 extra packet heed to refill at the top) and 24 endurolytes. Got to the top of the first climb with 20oz water, no heed and 12 endurolytes - balled up in cramps anytime I tried to pedal. I'm sure folks heard me cussing at myself as they went by.

    Anytime I tried to pedal I cramped.

    I finished in 3:31 - I pre rode the climb in 1:10 on July 3 - my race day time was 2:20. I made the cutoff by 15minutes!!!! I made time on the descent, but not enough and I couldnt pedal.

    I'm shooting for 2:35 next year!
    Earn your turns. )'(

  14. #39
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    There is a lot of info on muscle cramps and most of it starts off with something like this...
    Everyone's physiology is different, and thus the answer to preventing cramps almost certainly varies from person to person as well.

    Great...

    Decent site - http://www.cptips.com/muspain.htm
    the section on Muscle Cramps is well written and geared towards riders

    Geeze... I hope this is not primarily age induced. I trained pretty well for this event and think i did not over exert. Had lots left over at the end, but the inner thigh muscles cramped up badly. They are very sore today. Other muscles are not. Perhaps I should have trained with a Thigh Master, smeared mustard on my legs, and brought along a personal masseuse. Maybe next year...

  15. #40
    Lusus Naturae
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnBikerDan
    I finished in 3:31 - I pre rode the climb in 1:10 on July 3 - my race day time was 2:20. I made the cutoff by 15minutes!!!! I made time on the descent, but not enough and I couldnt pedal.

    I'm shooting for 2:35 next year!
    Just curious - wasnt the cutoff 11:30, which gives us beginners only 1:50 to reach Packer Saddle? I passed someone on the gravel/slightly downgrade section just before it starts to go up again before Packer Saddle, and said "5 minutes til the cut-off!", and he was like "What?!?" .. but I didn't have time to explain.

    Anyway, got up to the top 11:45 AM, which basically means it took 2:05 to get up. I was ready to be pulled over (pretty please, stop the pain!) but they let me go through and it then dawned on me I'd have to finish the entire race. Uhoh.

  16. #41
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    I had a good climb for me, @ 1:25 and felt good at the top of the climb.

    I was hydrating well the day before and the morning of the race

    I started taking Sport legs at 7:30am, 8am and on the start line and also about 1 hour up the climb.

    I had 1-24 oz water bottle with GU20 Sports drink for the climb and was planing on using the water stops to reload up on (no camel back) I did drink 2/3 of my bottle on the climb.

    I was also carrying a flask of Hammer Gel and used about 1/2 of it on the climb..

    I felt good up to Pauley Creek, about a 1/4 mile down the hill I started getting cramps bad !, I was riding a HT and had stopped pedaling for the decent, with my legs supporting all my weight is when the cramps set in.

    I ended up stopping 3 times before Downieville to let people by and stretch my legs. the stretch did not seem to work for me and it was best just to keep pedaling. I had no power for any quick acceleration without cramping

    I'm hoping long intense training ride will help me work this out.

  17. #42
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    this sure sounds familiar to my situation.

  18. #43
    Surly OG
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoBalance
    Just curious - wasnt the cutoff 11:30, which gives us beginners only 1:50 to reach Packer Saddle? I passed someone on the gravel/slightly downgrade section just before it starts to go up again before Packer Saddle, and said "5 minutes til the cut-off!", and he was like "What?!?" .. but I didn't have time to explain.

    Anyway, got up to the top 11:45 AM, which basically means it took 2:05 to get up. I was ready to be pulled over (pretty please, stop the pain!) but they let me go through and it then dawned on me I'd have to finish the entire race. Uhoh.
    I would hope they would graduate it for the different start times.... when I got to the top that's all that was on my mind.... "did I make the cutoff"?


    So of the folks here who cramped bad, how many were exposed to OUTHOUSE FUMES?
    Earn your turns. )'(

  19. #44
    Surly OG
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat.tires
    There is a lot of info on muscle cramps and most of it starts off with something like this...
    Everyone's physiology is different, and thus the answer to preventing cramps almost certainly varies from person to person as well.

    True, everyone is different, but if you normally don't cramp - and you take the steps to do the preventative measures you should minimize their occurence.

    I'm starting to see that folks were doing the preventative measures and they were still cramping abnormally.

    I don't normally cramp until after AT LEAST 3hrs of HARD WORK in the HEAT on the bike.

    I started cramping in 30 minutes at D-ville. The OUTHOUSE is the only outside influence that affected me physically. Tearing eyes, burning throat/nasal passages while trying to evacuate before my race. Lungfuls of Ammonia saturated air - Ammonia bonds with water, I can see it now.... all those molecules binding with the water vapor in my lungs, putting that solution into my bloodstream through respiration.
    Earn your turns. )'(

  20. #45
    bike dork extraordinaire
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    Hearing all the other stories of cramp induced agony makes me feel better! I cramped badly on the climb up to third divide. Had to walk up the first half, and then gingerly pedal the rest of the way up.

    Given the length of the climb, and the punishing downhill that soon follows, it's just very hard to keep the legs limber and peppy. I almost never cramp on a bike, especially to the point that I can't pedal, but this race had me begging for mercy!

  21. #46
    bicycle rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnBikerDan
    ammonia
    Ammonia
    ammonia
    ammonia
    ammonia
    ammonia
    My snopes detector is going off. I don't think breathing outhouse fumes will make you cramp. Any ammonia (or methane, or co2) has to get past your lungs, blood cells, and muscle delivery system before it can make you cramp. I don't think smelling stinky bathrooms has anything to do with cramping.

    And FWIW I spent time in the stinky outhouse at Indian Valley campground before the race and didn't cramp.

    I think cramps at Downieville come down to an equation of:

    1. fitness
    2. exertion
    3. time
    4. heat
    5. water
    6. sodium / potassium (i.e. diet)


    But what do I know?

    Morgan

  22. #47
    Surly OG
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    He was camped with us at wild plum with TWW - mutant strong.

    That 'lobster was a custom 29er - not a Cross bike. It was PURE SOUL.

    95% american components - Some SOMA cross brake levers for the bar tops and the tires and pedals were the only major non US components.

    he rode back to the start after the race too.
    Earn your turns. )'(

  23. #48
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by morganfletcher

    I think cramps at Downieville come down to an equation of:

    1. fitness
    2. exertion
    3. time
    4. heat
    5. water
    6. sodium / potassium (i.e. diet)


    But what do I know?

    Morgan

    I KNOW I'm FIT - I ride 3-6x a week for at least an hour. Usually more on club rides.

    I've raced 48HR ADVENTURE RACES in Downieville in the Summer heat and had minimal cramping.

    I started extra slow to save energy.

    I normally train in Coe in the summer for Heat Tolerance.

    I KNOW how to HYDRATE PROPERLY.

    I KNOW nutrition, I've lost 45lbs in 2yrs based soley on Diet and exercise - funny how a HEART ATTACK can change your perspective on life.

    Humor me and look up ammonia and cramping. It's the only variable that was outside my normal protocols.
    Earn your turns. )'(

  24. #49
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    Cramps

    I'm no expert but I sure do have a lot of experience with cramping. I;ve been racing for 5 years and I only cramp when I race , never on a training ride. Also, I have pnly cramped one time in a road race , almost all the cramping is in MTB races, downieville is the worst for me. 2006 was the only time in 5 races that I did not cramp, I used Sportlegs, the only thing that works for me. I did cramp this year, but not as bad usual, thanks to the Sportlegs. I think a lot of this genetic. I talked to Jason Moeshler who won the race, nad he cramped , but said to me you just have to ride through it If I could ride through it I would. I get really bad cramps in my inner thighs and they hurt for days after the race. Here is my full report

    Downieville Race Report
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  25. #50
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    interesting. I visited the Plum Creek out houses a few times that morning myself...

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