Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225

    Downieville Race Report

    I actually slept most of the night before the race. Yesterday was my b-day, but I did not want any celebration till after the race, so I had my typical pre race meal, Chicken, veggies and brown rice pasta.
    Got up at 5:45am downed a Bagel with turkey , a cup of coffee, couple trips to the head and I was off to the race by 6:45am.
    Parked my car and came across a bunch of teammates, we registered and got ready to race. Pre race jitters were not bad today, not sure if itís because Iím older or just to tired to get nervous! Did a good warm up and headed to the start line to get a good spot. My first mistake of the day way getting a bad position in the back of the pack. It was almost a minute from the start of my group ( Expert /Proís) till I passed the start line. I passed a bunch of folks that started before me then settled in to my pace for the long climb to the top of the mountain. Iíve done this climb many times and knew exactly what to expectÖto climb for a long timeÖ.about 1 hour at race pace, mostly in the sun.





    As I mentioned in previous posts, cramping has always killed my races with the exception of last year when I used Sportlegs. This year I was not going to hold anything back on the climb with the hope that the Sporlegs would hold off the dreaded cramping again for me. I made it to the top of packer saddle about the same time as last year 1:05. After packer saddle your are not even close to being done with the climbing, there is a nice downhill, then a bunch of uphill that can kill your attitude if you do not know they are coming. I traded places with bunch of riders till we finally hit the first section of downhill, the Babyheads. Time to relax and float, look ahead, everything is rideable, just scary, I hate falling, especially on rocks! Some guy with a SRAM jersey goes by me like Iím standing still. I thought I was going pretty fast. No one else passes me and finally the moment of truth arrives, riding through Pauley creek . You ride your legs off on the climb for about an hour then pound them on a rocky downhill, then a nice cold stream crossing, the perfect recipe for cramping! After I get through the stream I feel a minor twinge in the left inner thigh. After spinning the pedals it turns in to a full cramp and it hurts! I try to keep spinning but, my legs will not cooperate. I get off the bike and run and try downing more sportlegs and some Tums. Get back on the bike and I can spin easy for a while then the right inner thigh cramps! FOCK!
    I trade of between slow spinning and running to keep going , 10-20 riders pass me. It really sucks to see someone you remember passing on the climb pass 15 minutes later when your hurting on the side of the trail. Finally the cramping stops and I proceed with caution to make sure they do not come back..



    By the time I reach the bridge that takes you to the climb to the start of 3rd divide I feel great! There is a long line of riders making the climb and I lock out the front fork , stand up and pass a bunch of them. 3rd divide has to be the fastest single track trail on the planet. You can easily hit 30-40 mph , and on race day you can see almost nothing thanks to all the dust from the riders ahead. I pass a few rides then hit the one brief section of fireroad then on to 1st divide. A couple SS riders slow me down here, finally I get by and go as hard as I can trying to make up for lost time, always telling myself that the rider in front is in my group. I hammer the rest of the trail then the pavement to the finish with a time of 2:25. My goal was 2:20 this year, and with out the dang cramping I think I could of got it, but thatís racing.
    I see my friend and teammate Chuck who informs he had the fastest time of any Expert, 2:03!!! Interesting, he was 8 minutes faster then me on the climb and 14 minutes on the downhill. This is the only race I know where you make up so much time by having excellent downhill skills.
    One of the great things about this race is what happens when your done. Swim in a nice cool river, east some pasta, and even a free beer and pint glass! Then itís off to watch the crazy folks to the river jumpÖ
    Around 5pm the results were finally up and my time was good enough to get my 3rd place in the Expert 45 + group. Itís always nice to get on the podium and even better to go home a bacon cheeseburger after a hard day racing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,376
    Nice! Congrats on the podium.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,860
    I thought Chuck would be racing semi pro by now . He has beat my former nemesis - who at 37 years old upgraded and his hangin' tough. Chuck ought to go for it given how outrageously talented and fast he is!

    Was that good bait...?

    Bummer on the cramps, again, Rick. Geez man! Self fulfilling prophesy or what? Seems like you're a candidate for taking 2-3 SportsLegs an hour before, then like 5 more on the line.

    Fun write up, and perhaps just as you're exiting the 40+ crowd, we'll line up together - me on the low end, you on the upper.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    I thought Chuck would be racing semi pro by now . He has beat my former nemesis - who at 37 years old upgraded and his hangin' tough. Chuck ought to go for it given how outrageously talented and fast he is!
    He is flying to Vermont to race nationals this week!
    Once your little guy gets a little older you should have a lot more time to ride, just don't have another one or your in trouble!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,860
    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    ...just don't have another one or your in trouble!
    Oh no - no way. One is PLENTY!

    Lordy - I am starting to get endurance/threshold paced gnarly ass climbs in with the little guy & trailer set-up. Super duper leg strength sort of stuff. Knee popping, ultra torquey. He, of course, likes the descent!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  6. #6
    croSSman
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    43

    Two is more than twice as tough...

    Yes, I'm still at expert...teaching (summer vaca now) being a dad to my 3 year old and 5 year old, getting a master's degree, DJing, starting a new business, and going through the old D-vorce. Is that enough on my plate? I will probably move up after the nationals, but the chances of me doing more than cross racing in the next few years is unlikely. Perhaps 2 or 3 mt bike races a year for a while will be more my speed...that is, if I want to be a good dad. Unfortunately for racing, there just happens to be one thing more important to me!

    BTW, my son just started riding without training wheels, and I was there to let go of the seat...he also saw me race the next week at Northstar...and his words, "Dad, you're the best." The stars and stripes would be great, but I already feel like a super-hero!

    Take care Glen, and good job Rick!
    rossta

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    37
    I think maybe...just maybe....I was one of those single speeders you passed coming down. After...count em...3 CRASHES! I'd lost my edge. By that time I had pretty much thrown in the towel on the whole thing and was lolligaggin my way down for a 2:37. Sorry if I held you up a bit. Nice job! 2:25 while stopping to "walk it off" is pretty damn respectable in anyone's book. Especially in the "fossil category" as you call it.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,831

    Congrats on the podium finish.

    Nice job merlin. I enjoyed the write up. Cramps suck. I haven't quite figured them out either. When I was in Park City, Downieville, and Tahoe last month stringing together long, hard, 40-60 mile days I never had a problem. But I started getting them 20 miles into a 26 mile loop at the Ely mtb enduro where you don't even have to push hard on the uphills because they're not timed. Maybe there's something mental about racing and cramps. Also, it almost seems like if I take too many enduralites I cramp easier. Can you get too many electrolytes?

    Anyway, that's still a really fast time. Way to tough out the cramps.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by crosschain
    Y "Dad, you're the best." The stars and stripes would be great, but I already feel like a super-hero!
    I like your attitude Chucky!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtnpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    657
    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Can you get too many electrolytes?
    My doctor (who is also a mtb racer) says you can, he says too many and you will start drawing water into your stomach and/or intestinal track and then you end up with the squirts.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Nice job merlin. I enjoyed the write up. Cramps suck. I haven't quite figured them out either. When I was in Park City, Downieville, and Tahoe last month stringing together long, hard, 40-60 mile days I never had a problem. But I started getting them 20 miles into a 26 mile loop at the Ely mtb enduro where you don't even have to push hard on the uphills because they're not timed. Maybe there's something mental about racing and cramps. Also, it almost seems like if I take too many enduralites I cramp easier. Can you get too many electrolytes?

    Anyway, that's still a really fast time. Way to tough out the cramps.
    thanks Rob.....I've been dealing with the cramping issue for years and worked with a few MD's and coaches to "solve " this problem. What I have learned is that no one really knows what causes cramping! My belief is that a lot if this is genentic, some people , like me , are just more likely to cramp and when it happens it's REALLY bad. It only happens when I race and the only thing that has helped me is Sportlegs. My .02 cents
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,376
    Any of you guys tried the Elete Water drops? Hubby cramps up on long rides and Sport Legs (even during the rides - 6-9 hours) didn't help. Having a Tums helps for a bit, but not in the long run.

    We've been using the Elete drops for a few months. I love it so far. I haven't gotten headaches in heat at all (I have the previous two summers really badly, even on shorter rides). We haven't done any really long rides, so hard to tell if the Elete will help his cramps at all, but I think it may. We put it in our Camelbak's (works fine for endurance races, for XC you can just add to your bottles) and just get a steady supply of electrolytes.

    elete

  13. #13
    I don't huck.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,543
    I cramped so bad at Downieville that I could not walk. The only way I could bend my leg was to get over the saddle and hook my toe on the pedal and pull down to bend my leg. I was having cramping issues before the top of the climb. Really weird. Usually that never happens (cramps) till 4 hours or so or hard riding.

    I feel your pain. I was lying on the trail trying to figure out how to get up as riders passed me. Riders I had already passed.

    Congrats on the good finish despite the problems.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    I cramped so bad at Downieville that I could not walk. The only way I could bend my leg was to get over the saddle and hook my toe on the pedal and pull down to bend my leg. I was having cramping issues before the top of the climb. Really weird. Usually that never happens (cramps) till 4 hours or so or hard riding.

    I feel your pain. I was lying on the trail trying to figure out how to get up as riders passed me. Riders I had already passed.

    Congrats on the good finish despite the problems.
    DANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    After reading about your cramping I feel lucky!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  15. #15
    NedwannaB
    Reputation: JMac47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    11,223

    Hey merlin

    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    DANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    After reading about your cramping I feel lucky!
    I've followed your take on using Sportlegs with your leg cramping, but I see some of these posts seem to cross over towards stomach problems, which is a different beast. Was this the same for you at one time? Has the SL helped on this? Seems like you're just trying to get the leg part figured out now.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47
    I've followed your take on using Sportlegs with your leg cramping, but I see some of these posts seem to cross over towards stomach problems, which is a different beast. Was this the same for you at one time? Has the SL helped on this? Seems like you're just trying to get the leg part figured out now.
    No stomach problems for me with sportlegs
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

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

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.