Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851

    Coyote Classic race report

    Well, the 2004 New Mexico Off-Road series (nmors) finally kicked off this past weekend in El Paso with the "Coyote Classic" race; typically warm/hot, dry, and dusty. As I watched the weather reports for race day (Sunday the 4th) towards the end of last week, it seemed that each day closer to the race incresed the likelihood of rain by 10%. From a forecasted 20% chance on wednesday to 30% chance on thursday to 40% chance on friday.... then on the weather channel on saturday it said that Thunderstorms were likely for Sunday! Hmpf. Some southwest weather!



    Heading out of Santa Fe on Saturday morning, a cold spell that started moving in had settled in nicely putting the temps. around 35 degrees! Man, it had been in the 70's the week before.... but clouds were moving in and we got some good rain storms on friday. On the way south (el paso is about 325 miles due south of Santa Fe), just out of Albuquerque, it began POURING, dumping, raining cats and dogs on and off most of the way south on I-25. Then some hail, then some comotion on the highway as fire crews foamed a charred 18 wheeler down..... not the smoothest start going here.



    As we got closer to el paso the rain tapered off and the temp.'s were nicer.... but the clouds were all around and threatening.



    Sunday, race day, morning looked even more menacing from the hotel balcony as I ate breakfast:







    And at the venue, out at Franklin Mountain State Park, the clouds were on top of us, litterally:







    But at start time, the rain held off and we just had to contend with a stiff breeze. It seemed like it was getting colder though, maybe in the high 40's or so, and the clouds were descending on the course....



    The race: Pro, semi pro, and expert took off then us sport class fellas lined up, first the 20-29, then the 30-39 (my group), 1 minute after the young 'ins. We had around 30 people cued up. The start went down the park entrance road for about 1.25 miles then right back up it in an attempt to "spread the pack" out. I blasted off and shot out to the front, as fast as I could. It felt like everyone was right on my wheel and had me in their sights. When we turned around at the bottom and headed back up hill, there were 5-6 guys pretty close so I pedaled as hard as I could without blowing up. Once up the road the race took off for 16 miles of fast, rocky singletrack. On the way up the road I was passing the last half of the 20-29 sport guys and had pretty good position heading into the singletrack. At this point we were going more down than up on rolling twisty rocky singletrack that had good places for passing. Since I was feeling OK I concentrated on the guy ahead.... and the next, and the next, and so on. Generally the first half of the course dropped elevation, so it made it FAST. There were plenty of technical climbs out of rocky drainages to keep you paying attention, some with serious consequences if off the trail! As the course wound down to a flatter area, we were sent through these gravel/rock washes that were surprisingly rideable.... just pedal smooth and stay in control and you'd exit them almost as fast as you'd entered them. at about 12.5 miles the course slowly arced around to head back up 5.5 miles of climbing.



    Now this is what was new to me, climbing at the end of the race, with a 1/2 mile brutal/steep climb right to the the satrt/finish at the trailhead to the parking lot.



    Here's a shot of the finishing climb:







    and the finish:







    Anyhow, right as I was beginning this last part, it started drizzling.... then more of a steady rain started. Thankfully I was at a point where climbing was keeping me warm, so I kept on motoring, figuring someone's just about to catch and pass me. Funny thing though was I had passed most all of the younger sport guys, the women experts, and the women pro's! Yow. In the last mile I caught a couple of the expert men! I figured they were saving energy as they'd have another 1/2 lap to do after the big climb ahead. So I motored up the last steep climb, they took my number and I went back to the car to warm up and get some dry clothes. Seems like I had first, but I wasn't really thinking about it. I was just stoked to have ridden strong the whole race at 90-100% output and probably had a little left to boot.



    It was raining pretty steadily at this point, and cold!







    Oh yeah, as the course got wetter, it got slippery as heck, and I took a spill on a sweeper right hand turn, my right hand punching through some NASTY cactus, and my leg sort of whacking it on the way down. It hurts to have 1/4" of needle stuck straight in, and hard to pick out as well!



    Here's my leg, the red things are cactus needles stivking out; fun!







    I munched some cookies, checked my HR monitor: went 18 miles in 1:28 burning just over 2000 calories (if you can believe the monitor reading) then headed back to the satrt/finish area to wait for rs3o and another racer we had on our trip. We regrouped and sped off to the hotel for a shower then back to get the results..... which took forever to post, but the sun re-appeared warming everything up nicely. So I had won, it turns out, and I hadn't really expected it, and it hadn't sunk in. Got a cool black long sleeve Surly jersey and a $75 gift certificate for some Magura brakes, which was cool.



    Goofy "podium" shot (we're pretty low tech in NM/TX), I'm in the Velo del Norte orange/silver jersey with a goofy grin on my face:







    Off my buddies and I then went to hit Taco Cabana or some such place as we were all starving at the point, and had a 5 hour drive ahead back home...



    In the nmors/ACA series I'll race expert now, and see how I do at the end of the month in the Moab Moutain States Cup race..... where I expect to still get spanked in sport, but as the two series are held by different sanctioning bodies I can do that..... although if I were to place in the top 5 in Moab, I'll likely just race expert to start the season off points-wise in expert for the remaining 9 races after Moab.... but that's pretty unlikely as some of the "sport" guys are really at expert/pro level anyhow. Should be an educational season, and the 2200+ miles of road/rollers/mtbike have paid off so far! Now to start the hill climbing road workouts, as the ski area has closed and the road safe to ride up and down. 15 miles up, almost 3000' elevation gain, should be good!
    Last edited by glenzx; 04-05-2004 at 09:36 AM.
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  2. #2
    lurker spaz
    Reputation: Dr.Faustus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    336

    Congrats!

    Nice way to start off the season Glen. Good luck with the rest of your races. Let me know when you do a mellow, recovery ride where I might be able to keep up.

    Dr.(skiied this weekend)Faustus

  3. #3
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Faustus
    Nice way to start off the season Glen. Good luck with the rest of your races. Let me know when you do a mellow, recovery ride where I might be able to keep up.

    Dr.(skiied this weekend)Faustus
    LOL at the "keep up"! I'm sure you can keep up quite well, Dr. "FastAss" as littleb said once.

    Great weekend for skiing, eh? sounds like the mountaing got hit hard here!
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  4. #4
    i worship Mr T
    Reputation: *rt*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,543

    congrats glen!!

    nice race rept & pics.

    that climb to the finish looks brutal......granted, anything that goes even remotely up hill after my race this weekend looks brutal!

    rt <---planning to have my race rept up by wed or so.
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="2"]*rt*'s fabulous blog[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="2"]mm blogging[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  5. #5
    rohloff rich
    Reputation: rs3o's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    397
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Faustus
    Let me know when you do a mellow, recovery ride where I might be able to keep up.
    Good luck keeping up. I saw Glen open up a gap on 5-6 strong riders (who I had trouble keeping up with) almost immediately, and he increased the gap all through the road section until the course turned onto the single track. At that point, it was probably all over since, barring a major mechanical, not too many sport-level riders can keep up with Glen on technical single track. He looked like a sand bagger, but the fact is, he trained hard all winter and emerged much stronger than I've ever know him to be. It was a very impressive display of athleticism. I have a lot of catching up to do.

    Here's a note to any new racers or older ones who've just forgotten: in the event that you are off your bike for any reason, i.e. walking up a hill or fixing a mechanical, it is customary to clear the trail quickly for those people who are riding. I came upon countless people who petered out on steep sections, resorting to walking their bike up the middle of the trail, forcing people behind them to dismount and do the same. It's not cool, but I guess that's what you get in sport class.

  6. #6
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851

    thanks *rt*!

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    nice race rept & pics.

    that climb to the finish looks brutal......granted, anything that goes even remotely up hill after my race this weekend looks brutal!

    rt <---planning to have my race rept up by wed or so.
    Indeed, that climb was pretty tough, as it seemed to get steeper as you got closer to the finish.... doing it a second time after 9 more miles would be a thorough thrashing, as the experts and pros were supposed to do, but didn't due to rain stoppage! Seems that the promoters were worried about hypothermia on the descent on the beginning of the second lap, and flash flooding. Gotta love "flash flood" areas. Along the park road where you cross one of the washes, they had a "flood gauge" that went up to 6 or 8 feet deep!

    Anyhow, sounds like YOU got some climbing in this past weekend..... can't wait to hear about it!
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  7. #7
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Quote Originally Posted by rs3o
    Good luck keeping up. I saw Glen open up a gap on 5-6 strong riders (who I had trouble keeping up with) almost immediately, and he increased the gap all through the road section until the course turned onto the single track. At that point, it was probably all over since, barring a major mechanical, not too many sport-level riders can keep up with Glen on technical single track. He looked like a sand bagger, but the fact is, he trained hard all winter and emerged much stronger than I've ever know him to be. It was a very impressive display of athleticism. I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Well gosh golly.... thanks rich! I honestly did feel like defeat was immenent the whole time.... and rode like I was being chased down. I'll be very nervous when your done skiing and climbing and the 1/2 dozen other activities that have "distracted" you from the 'joy' of focusing on riding in winter...... seems like you get very strong very quickly when the trails and roads dry out!

    Quote Originally Posted by rs3o
    Here's a note to any new racers or older ones who've just forgotten: in the event that you are off your bike for any reason, i.e. walking up a hill or fixing a mechanical, it is customary to clear the trail quickly for those people who are riding. I came upon countless people who petered out on steep sections, resorting to walking their bike up the middle of the trail, forcing people behind them to dismount and do the same. It's not cool, but I guess that's what you get in sport class.
    OK, that was one of the things I didn't mention that was acute at this event. Not only were folks less than cool in instances like rich mentioned, but just out on the trail, trying to pass, seemed more difficult than the few times I've raced in Northern NM and Colorado. There was a younger sport guy I was reeling in in the first few miles who insisted on cutting corners all over the place! I was on his wheel waiting for a good time to get by, had announced the intention, friendly but firmly and then watched him try to pass a woman on the inside of a steep, technical, rocky switchback where he just about knocked her off. He braked just in time to let her ride through safely. This is good as the woman happens to be a good friend and a a strong pro marathon and XC rider, whom if injured by this idiot would have seen a 180+/- lb. guy on a blur in his face, tossing him off the trail with his bike. I rode by and scowled at the jerk, letting it go at that....

    Otherwise, it seemed like a lot of the folks out there didn't understand race/trail ettiquette and were unwilling at perfectly open spots to move/budge half the time. I came up on a pair of team mates who literally were running interference, forcing me to practically have a discussion about getting around them! Sheesh.... very weird. Even beginners ought to understand this, sport riders definately should too!
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  8. #8
    i worship Mr T
    Reputation: *rt*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,543

    wish they'd called my race b/c of flash floods!!

    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    Indeed, that climb was pretty tough, as it seemed to get steeper as you got closer to the finish.... doing it a second time after 9 more miles would be a thorough thrashing, as the experts and pros were supposed to do, but didn't due to rain stoppage! Seems that the promoters were worried about hypothermia on the descent on the beginning of the second lap, and flash flooding. Gotta love "flash flood" areas. Along the park road where you cross one of the washes, they had a "flood gauge" that went up to 6 or 8 feet deep!

    Anyhow, sounds like YOU got some climbing in this past weekend..... can't wait to hear about it!
    i'm not sure how many vertical feet of climbing we did per lap this weekend, it has to have been a couple thousand, but the end result was 35 miles in western NC. ow ow ow ow!! i'm pretty sure my legs will never recover.

    congrats again on having all that winter training pay off!

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="2"]*rt*'s fabulous blog[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="2"]mm blogging[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  9. #9
    Basura Blanca
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,745
    So it's official. Guess I need to get out more, but since when did El Paso become part of NM? Did we give up Clovis, Hobbs and Portales in return? Seems strange that a NMORS race would be held in a state other than NM, but I suppose it's the charitable thing to do, since El Paso is generally ignored by the rest of TX.

    Congrats Glen - very impressive! But I re-read your report, and you didn't use the word "fun" even once. Glad you made it home safe. Sounds like you've got a full race season planned. I'll be in CB to cheer you on - I'll be the guy in a lawn chair with the accompanying cooler of barley snapple.
    - Joe (who still doesn't understand this whole racin' thang, but enjoys the show)

  10. #10
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Har Har.... eastern NM is sort of Texas-ish anyhow, and west texas is rather eastern NM-ish.... I think you can even travel between west texas and eastern NM without need of a passport!

    I guess the el paso venue is so close to Las Cruces, it's all lumped into the NMORS series, as el paso doesn't get much of temba (?) or race action in general. What was interesting to note is that there was a strong Mexican Contingent, as they're just across the rio grande. Some fast wiry strong guys from what I could tell, and very adept at scarfing up swag tossed into the air! Our group wondered if maybe this was near the end of their season.

    I guess I should have mentioned that it was in fact fun..... the rain made it a little less so, but even that wasn't too bad. Racing is a strange thing I suppose. The preperation, race, and post-race worn feeling are all components in the "fun". Fun as a challenge against yourself, and others while your at it to keep you on your toes. The way you look ahead and anticipate terrain and climbing and descending are all different than when just riding. I can't quite quantify it or even qualify it, but it's a little like what it must be like to be a jet fighter pilot, where 99% of time is training, 1% in "action", where that 1% is an acutley different expierience. Granted I'm not going to take any lives and security doesn't depend on cycling, but the applied skills under pressure/decision making is very different. Funny, winning was rather anti-climatic, and I'm still not sure about how I feel about it. A litttle guilty for one thing, and 'redeemed' as another, as now all the riding I do has another 'quantifiable' quotient besides enjoyment, recreation and fitness when it comes time to justify bike parts expense with the boss, you know. In fact, it was my wife last year who encouraged me to give it a shot, her logic being "you already ride so much.... may as well give it a shot!" So I did.

    You'd have loved the riding Joe, rocky and technical and at times scary fast!

    mmmmm, barley snapple! Ken Kisiel had a tasty quart bottle of home-brew barley snapple post-race that was damned good! We'll have to get together CB plans as the date approaches....



    Quote Originally Posted by NuMexJoe
    So it's official. Guess I need to get out more, but since when did El Paso become part of NM? Did we give up Clovis, Hobbs and Portales in return? Seems strange that a NMORS race would be held in a state other than NM, but I suppose it's the charitable thing to do, since El Paso is generally ignored by the rest of TX.

    Congrats Glen - very impressive! But I re-read your report, and you didn't use the word "fun" even once. Glad you made it home safe. Sounds like you've got a full race season planned. I'll be in CB to cheer you on - I'll be the guy in a lawn chair with the accompanying cooler of barley snapple.
    - Joe (who still doesn't understand this whole racin' thang, but enjoys the show)
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  11. #11
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    i'm not sure how many vertical feet of climbing we did per lap this weekend, it has to have been a couple thousand, but the end result was 35 miles in western NC. ow ow ow ow!! i'm pretty sure my legs will never recover.

    congrats again on having all that winter training pay off!

    rt
    good god! you could come out west and kick butt then! after a race like that, do you hop on the rollers/trainer the next day, or go for a LIGHT spin? It works great for my thrashed legs speeding their recovery. At least better than staying totally off the bike.... which makes the return to pedaling more painful typically.
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  12. #12
    i worship Mr T
    Reputation: *rt*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,543

    usually...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    good god! you could come out west and kick butt then! after a race like that, do you hop on the rollers/trainer the next day, or go for a LIGHT spin? It works great for my thrashed legs speeding their recovery. At least better than staying totally off the bike.... which makes the return to pedaling more painful typically.
    i do get on the trainer for a light spin. unfortunately tonight it's going to be hard for me to do that since i've got a dinner thing to go to and it is likely to be past 9 pm when i get home. on the other hand, i'm going to stay up to watch the men's NCAA basketball finals so maybe i'll set up the trainer and spin for the 2nd half of the game. hmmmm.

    lol! i doubt i'd kick butt out west. all that thin air.

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="2"]*rt*'s fabulous blog[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="2"]mm blogging[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  13. #13
    hooked on quack
    Reputation: Duckman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,226
    Great job, and congrats! Thats badass for sure. And thanks for the great race post. Love to read this stuff.

    That last climb looked like a mofo for sure. Yes indeedy.

    Again...good job.

    Duck

  14. #14
    Skinny legged XC geek
    Reputation: pedalAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    247

    You stomped 'em! Way to go.

    Those road trips for extra riding paid off. Sounds like you rode really strong, especially with that uphill finish. Congrats, and thanks for the great post.

  15. #15
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Quote Originally Posted by pedalAZ
    Those road trips for extra riding paid off. Sounds like you rode really strong, especially with that uphill finish. Congrats, and thanks for the great post.
    Thanks Scott; And yes, Especially the road trips where I got led on epic rides by some of Phoenixes (?) best! When you need a cool alpine summer break, just holler and I'd be happy to lead out any number of rides for/with you!

    And FWIW, I'm almost (healthily) 20 pounds lighter than I was when we rode and THAT helps enormously! A few more pounds to drop and I should be at a healthy/strong weight.
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  16. #16
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman
    Great job, and congrats! Thats badass for sure. And thanks for the great race post. Love to read this stuff.

    That last climb looked like a mofo for sure. Yes indeedy.

    Again...good job.

    Duck
    Thanks! I've been getting antsy with all the great race write-ups out of the SE, especially yours and *rt*'s. That's always an inspiration to post as much pertinent info. and pix as possible when folks like you do the same.
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: xl_cheese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    504
    Nice write up! I did my first sport race there in 98. Finished something like 20th outta 40 19-29ers. I've done it a couple times since.

    I always remember the course doing 2 9 mile loops hitting that last climb twice. Experts had to hit it 3 times. The last time I raced it in 2001 they had a 12 mile lap going. It was the longest non-endurance race I'd ever seen. I got 2nd in sport with a time of ~2:45. A bunch of experts were doing like 4+ hours.

    Good luck in the rest of the series. I'm now an austinite racing the tmbra.org series.

    BTW the cloudcroft race has a similar climb. Perhaps a bit longer and at 9000ft.

  18. #18
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    Quote Originally Posted by xl_cheese
    Nice write up! I did my first sport race there in 98. Finished something like 20th outta 40 19-29ers. I've done it a couple times since.

    I always remember the course doing 2 9 mile loops hitting that last climb twice. Experts had to hit it 3 times. The last time I raced it in 2001 they had a 12 mile lap going. It was the longest non-endurance race I'd ever seen. I got 2nd in sport with a time of ~2:45. A bunch of experts were doing like 4+ hours.

    Good luck in the rest of the series. I'm now an austinite racing the tmbra.org series.

    BTW the cloudcroft race has a similar climb. Perhaps a bit longer and at 9000ft.
    Thanks! It seems they've extended the course WAY out towards the west, so 1 lap now is 18 miles..... the elite guys do it then the 9 mile lap after. sport do just the 18, beginners the 9 mile loop only.

    I heard all kinds of great stories about the brutality of the race from past riders..... my favorite being an expert who was bonking so hard that he was scrounging up used & discarded GU packets and suckin' the remnants out! Others include severe cramping and water bottle losses early in the race due to the rocky/rough trails (definately not one of these rumored "wussy courses").

    TMBRA sounds like a decent org., 'cept for that NORBA marathon event trail marking shenanigan....
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

Similar Threads

  1. El Paso, TX "Coyote Classic" race report
    By glenzx in forum Passion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-05-2004, 09:40 AM
  2. Nova Desert Classic - Race Report
    By dgangi in forum Arizona
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-22-2004, 09:07 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-21-2004, 04:43 PM
  4. Lessons & small victories Gainesville, FL race report
    By *rt* in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-17-2004, 09:06 AM
  5. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 03-16-2004, 11:11 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •