Well, after seeing teapotter's post on the Tour de Granite and one of my old riding buddies prodding I headed up to do this race this last saturday.
Got up around 6am and started the drive to Shaver Lake, uneventful but ended up getting there at 9:30 when registration was supposed to end at 9:45. So I busted my butt to get down and signed in for the 2 lap sport class. Unfortunately, this led to an almost non-existent warm up for me [Note #1: warmup is good].
I got to the start line for the supposed 10:05 start time. Well, approximately 20 minutes as the race director was instructing the beginners behind us I was wishing that I had gotten a warm-up. Of course I rationalized that as we sat there for 20 minutes everybody was cooling down.
So at 10:25 the pros/experts (all 7 of them) were off. 30 seconds later the sport group started off. Probably 25-30 people in this the largest group. Started with a quick fire road climb for about 2-3 minutes before being dumped down a trail that was apparently cut about 2 weeks ago. Steep, huge water bars, and about 3 inches of powder dust. This went on for about a quarter mile before another fire road, which was a ripping descent. So after about 3 miles you head into a small hike a bike (at least everyone I saw was hiking it). After cresting, you got some cool granite descent. At this point, you get the first view of this:
That picture shows people actually riding up the granite, well they must not have been racing because everybody I saw was hiking straight up that sucker. [Note #2: Sidiís and granite are not a great combination]. The amazing thing is in that picture you only see about the first 2/3ís of the hike-a-bike. After about 10 minutes of trying not to slide back down the granite I made it to the top [Note #3: Only way to train for a hike-a-bike is to hike-a-bike, as my lower back was crying foul at this point]. Well, the singletrack down the backside was absolutely a blast and made the push worthwhile.
A few rollers and a final climb back the start finish I was ready for another lap. Took this lap at a much more even pace although the legs were definitely shredded for the second hike-a-bike (see Note #1). The singletrack down was just as fun the second time and rolled in to the finish around 2:19, not sure of the results yet. I really felt that my back held me back somewhat, and Iíve decided that I need to do some more core strengthening exercises.
Grabbed some water at the finished line, didnít hang around too long as my wife was ready to go. So we headed up to Dinkey Creek where I got one of these:
Then we drove on to the sequoias in McKinley Grove. Although those trees are very impressive, the grove was less than impressive because I only counted 6 of them.
All in all, fun race although as teapotter mentioned there was a very small turnout and I believe only one woman (a Velo Bella).
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Thread: Tour de Granite [RR]