• 08-12-2006
    Hardwood Hills O-Cup (Aug 27)
    So who is entering this race? :)

    I am recovering from a knee injury that kept me off the mountain bike for 5 weeks. I did some road riding however to try to stay in shape, but avoided pushing it too hard. Today I went to Hardwood Hills and went throught the O-Cup course, but I used my geared bike so that I don't have some surprises with my knee. The course is quite challenging for the first 3-4 km. Lots of steep climbs that got my breathing through the roof. After that it is all downhill, relatively speaking. Yes indeed the rest of the loop is fast and in many place you can go for the big ring. The final part is much like the Canada Cup and ends with a trip through the lovely Boneshaker.

    I did 2 loops (about 25 km). I went through Boneshaker twice, but I don't think you are supposed to do that. I think in the second loop you pass through the finish line and you are done. It took me almost 1:53 to finish the course. Not very impressive. :mad:

    Anyway, I don't know if I will be ready to enter the race. I found the climbs very hard and I could barely control my breathing. Also I will be out of town for next week and may not get to do any riding until next Sunday.

    But it was sooo nice to be back on the mountain bike. :thumbsup:
  • 08-28-2006
    How strange is to answer your own post? :) Oh well, I need to get this off my chest.

    I finally decided to enter the race (Sport Class 40-44). I regretted it 10-15 minutes after the start when my heart rate and breathing went through the roof while negotiating the hard climbs in the first 4km of the loop. I guess I started too fast for my ability and for a while I felt like I was bonkig. Obviously we don't bonk that quickly, but it took me almost 45 minutes into the race to "recover".

    Anyway, the second loop was much better. Not easier, just better in terms of being able to control my breathing and heart rate. I finished 28 out of 37. I found this race much harder on me than the Canada Cup race. Maybe I started too fast, maybe I am not quite back in top form, maybe I just suck (which is the most probably answer, I am afraid :D).

    The one thing that bothers me a little is my complete inability to handle a fast start. I warmed up for 40 miuntes, 20 minutes running and 20 minutes spinning. We did wait for a while in the start area to get going, but I did not think I cooled off that much. I also took gels before and during the race, so no excuses there either.

    In the future I may have to start slower, let people go in front and then try to chase them down. This won't radically change my performance, of course, but it should make racing a little more pleasant. The way my breathing and heart rate almost paralized me during the initial climbs made it very hard to enjoy an otherwise great race and excellent course.

    As it turns out we did go through boneshaker and the bmx course twice (not what I expected). The funny thing is that the trip through the boneshaker was at the beginning of each loop. Not exactly ideal to have everyone bunch up at boneshaker 2-3 minutes into the race. I cleaned it both times, the first time with riders walking all around me. A small victory from a course that basically kicked my a$$ all over the place.
  • 08-28-2006
    Good job, I saw you out there is you are riding a white single speed ? Boneshaker is a nice touch I like it and it took me a while to get the line of choce nailed but everytime i go back to HH it gets easier.

    For me fast starts are something that took a while and the only way I achieved this is by riding with fast guys. No amount of warm up's or pre rides substitutes getting dropped all the time and always pushing. ( at least for me ) I came 13 in my cat 30-39.

    What surprises me is that with all the smack talk on this forum from a select group about who's faster and the inability of citizen racers to yield etc etc. you do not see a whole bunch of that type of bravado slagging after a O-up.

    Kelso will be epic I think it is 3 times up the escarpment each lap ( at least this is what the trial guy at Kelso said ) can't wait for this as it is my favorite course ( I am a sucker for the old school ski hill satrts )

    Good job on your race especially after your health issues.
  • 08-28-2006
    It seems a little backwards that the canada cup was easier. i guess that is very subjective. i really love hardwood, and they can always put together a great course.

    I also agree that is is better to have the boneshaker later in the course, but not a huge deal either way.

    Good job to both of you.

    Finally, no, it is not that odd to reply to your own posts. i do it all the time. :)
  • 08-28-2006

    I have raced a white single speed at the Mansfield O-Cup and the Hardwood Hills Canada Cup. At the HH O-Cup this weekend I used my geared FS bike (Trek Fuel 98) because I did not want to go crazy on my knee. As it turns out my knee was fine, but an SS bike would have probably been quite difficult. Congratulations on your finish. The 30-39 class is super competitive.


    The Canada Cup was "easier" for me. But that's probably because I was in better shape. Realistically speaking, Canada Cup had more climbs, longer distance and 3 trips through boneshaker. I would say that was a harder course, all else being equal.
  • 08-28-2006
    Correction: I just noticed on Chico web site that I came in 29th place not 28. I originally mentioned 28th place because that is what the computer read-out indicated yesterday. Sorry about that.