Soggy Bottom write up...-
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  1. #1
    Bikes are good
    Reputation: Elfbkr50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Soggy Bottom write up...

    I have no web page, so sorry for dumping all this text onto the chat forum. I can't sleep tonight, so I figured writing about the ride on Saturday would help. This was my 3rd Soggy Bottom, and oddly enough, the toughest one. I have gone through a different phase each time. Survival, improvement, and then racing. I am not built for endurance racing, or any sort of aerobic sport for that matter. I am first and foremost a football jock, a defensive lineman at that, and I still make fun of myself for owning spandex. The first year I did this race it took 17 hours. Poor nutrition (no nutrition really, I didn't drink anything on the way to Cooper landing because I didn't want to have to pee.) Carlos had mini cokes that I chugged in Cooper, I rested for almost an hour (while not drinking anything) and continued my ride. During the climb back up to the pass (right after the winter trail cutoff) my hamstring cramped. While I jumped off my bike to stretch that, the other hamstring cramped. While stretching both of them, my entire quad cramped from knee to hip flexor and I was on the ground screaming. This lasted 10 minutes, I gingerly crawled back onto my bike and started pedaling again. 10 minutes later, it happened again and this is how I spent the rest of my first Soggy bottom. Even riding to Devil's, without pedaling I cramped. In my mind I quit before I got to the parking lot, but when I finally climbed that bastard hill to that parking lot, drank a gatorade, I couldn't quit. Before I knew it I was riding down that bastard hill and excited that I was still riding. When the cramps came back (as soon as I crossed that first bridge) I wasn't so excited. At 2 am I arrived in Hope with my friend Brian. Without him, I would have had no light for the last 15 miles. So, it could have been worse.

    The 2nd time, I just wanted to do the damn thing without cramping. I took it easy, drank accelerade every 15 minutes and a gel every 45 and I made it through without cramping and in 12 hrs 15 minutes (without the broken chain maybe 12 even) . I didn't even need a light. I skipped the race the following year, and I regretted it. Weird how that works. On the way back up Devil's on Saturday I was regretting doing it. Self pity I guess. Since the last time I did the race, I lost 35 lbs. My bike lost weight too (Thanks Rick). The goal this year was to beat my last time, and to push a bit harder than I had. The previous years it amazed me that so many people dropped the hammer out of Hope and disappeared. When I turned onto the dirt road, the dust had settled, and everyone was gone. This year, somehow, I was able to somewhat keep up with the racer studs on the way to Cooper Landing. A friend said "put on blindfolds, don't think about who is ahead of you, or who is behind you." But, I kept seeing those guys when the trail opened up and I was so stoked I didn't feel like I was going to die yet. A few small dilemmas slowed me down. I bit the mouthpiece off of my camelbak, it disappeared and my liquids were gushing out all over the place. At first I decided it would be impossible to find and I could manage, but realized without this damn piece I couldn't hold onto liquid. (this was at the water crossing on the Hope side of Resurrection. You can ride it, but it's a significant creek crossing.) I lost the piece before I crossed, dropped the bike, ran through the cold, f'ing water and after about 3 minutes found the piece. (I lost this piece for good around Caribou Creek on the way out. I let all the liquid poor onto my leg, and just said F it. This is the point in the race where I'm sure a lot of people just say F it. (Evan riding on his rim to the finish line is a perfect example of this.) I was happy to see those studs riding down from the top. The downhill on this side was the crappiest riding I've done all year. Maybe my entire riding life. The narrow trail (which is usually cool) full of mud and rocks shot your tire into the abyss of plants that you would disappear into if you fell. (a lot of this stuff was smashed down I noticed on the way back up, someone must have had a spill). On the way into Cooper I knew I wasn't too far behind those guys, but my legs were having a close to cramping feel. I took some super secret medicine from a witch Doc in the area that helped soothe that cramp feeling, and gulped more liquid than I really felt like gulping. Chomped on some brownie, drank some coke, and hustled out of there. (maybe my nutrition plan still stinks.) No more cramps the rest of the day. I wasn't trying to catch those guys at this point, simply, I didn't want to be caught. I ran into Chuck at the first bridge once you are done with the crap climbing to the pass and he asked for a 10mm. A tough one out there, but I've had that same damn thing happen to me. Crankset comes loose (To hell with Race Face by the way.) Mine was about to fall off by the time I reached Hope. He also had a broken seat post. A **** deal, so sorry Chuck. There is definitely a luck factor to this whole thing. I didn't have 1 mechanical my first year. Broken chain the next, flat tire this time. It is devastating to have to fix even the simplest things out there. My first thought however was, "maybe I can catch that other guy. I can ride Devil's fast." I hammered and felt pretty good riding the flats and lower angle hills on the way to the big down on Devil's. I was hoping to see that other guy (Evan) after I crossed the last bridge. He was well past that though when I saw him, and had a very comfy lead. A quick turnaround at the last checkpoint and I was off. At the bottom of the hill I noticed the squishy, feeling of a low to flat tire. I considered riding back to the checkpoint to have someone else fix it but by the time I finished that thought I had a bead off the tire and was pumping up my new tube. Just then I realized that great idea I had to buy a CO2 pump never materialized and I sat using a hand pump that set my shoulders and triceps on fire. I could only squeak in 30 lbs and I packed up for the trip out. Nobody came by me yet, but as soon as I got on my bike a guy did. It was frustrating to think that comfortable lead I had (but didn't know I had) was pissed away fixing a flat. I'd have to move now to stay in 2nd, a place I wouldn't have dreamed being in a million years on a race like this, let alone any race that required aerobic endurance. The climb up Devil's is hellish, but once at the top on this day it was beautiful. The lakes were sparkling, the sun was out, it was a Devil's pass I won't forget. It's also really damn cool to be done with the big climbs on this ride. I had a blast coming down the long downhill sections to Hope and felt alright enough to pedal in my middle chainring all the way out. I lost my mouthpiece to my camelbak, all the liquids I had poured onto my leg. While riding across the last bridge (7 miles from the trailhead) I noticed my crankset wobbling off of the bottom bracket. I thought "if I can get to the road, I can hold onto a car and they can pull me to hope. Nobody will know." I didn't see A car on the entire road, but the crankset stayed on and I was able to finish in 11hrs :20 minutes. Much nicer than coming in at 2 in the morning after riding in the dark for 4 hours. Thanks Carlos for putting this thing on. I dread it, but all winter it makes me smile thinking about how f'd up it is I can find (or anyone can find) joy in such misery. People ask what the hardest part was. I tell them the whole thing is the hardest part. My mind thinks about stopping at every checkpoint. I was hoping a bear would maul me. I was hoping my frame would crack and I would have to quit. However, knowing how it feels to finish, it would take a bear mauling or catastrophic mechanical to keep me from pushing on. I ran the Crow Pass race this summer, and the Soggy makes that feel like a day at the Spa. My legs are sore, cow parsnip got it's last licks in, my hip is black and blue from a rock that I fell on, and I'm up until midnight running through that day and I'm stoked for next year. Thanks for reading, keep riding, keep it real.A great quote on the poster this year. "You never know what is enough, until you know what is too much." William Blake

  2. #2
    rio is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Great write up / Posters

    Thanks for joining us this year, From my point of view its very satisfying to see riders grow into the Soggy.
    I had many requests for posters, I''ll drop off the remaining few at Speedway for those who would like one.

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