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Thread: CCP Stories

  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm CCP Stories

    If you want, post your stories here under one thread.
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  2. #2
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    ... and if we just ... Here's mine

    The plan, at least the one Dave and I agreed upon last weekend was, we were doing the CCP100 but no-one would know until the morning of. I had to come to some type of decision or I was going to drive myself nut's thinking about should I or shouldn't I. In a way it kind of sucks to have that option, most people aren't cursed with such an option. They either get into the event or they don't, if they get in they better do the training as to finish. For me it was a matter of "do I really want to do this".

    After the RAO attempt I really had to sit back and look at why I road my bike. The RAO didn't go quiet as planned, it wasn't physical, I never bonked, and I never really felt fatigued during the time I actually spent on the bike. In fact I was on the bike for 16 ½ hours and never once felt an since of fatigue. It was all mental, but not the mental I thought it would be. I expected to get to the point of wanting to quit, dreading the climbs, not performing as well as I thought. In stead I was in the lead and felt great, then I got bored. 200 miles into the event I just backed off, I had no interested in riding my bike, it wasn't fun anymore. That was that, 75 miles later I pulled out.

    I took a week off the bike, the most time I had spent off the bike in over a year, close to 2 years. The following weekend was the CCP100 pre-ride and Lauri wanted to go for a ride so we decided to do 1 lap of the Alpine while the others did 2. Dave joined us as we took it fairly easy and road to the top of Sourgrass. Once there we opened a couple beers and enjoyed the view. We started our way down trail and eventually got back to the cars. About ½ hour later Boyd pulled in after doing 2 laps. We had taken almost as long to do our 1 lap as he did his 2. It felt really good to rest.

    That week I decided to do a local Tuesday Crit and then Lauri and I went out for a night ride on Hardesty Trail. I felt good, felt relaxed and was having fun. I took Thursday and Friday off the bike and then we headed for Moon Point and another fun group ride. I road Moon point Saturday and Sunday with two different groups of people and had a blast.

    I had given myself until Sunday night to decide if I was going to do the CCP100, I had begun thinking maybe I should earlier in the week. But the event is like a disease and it just kind of gnaws at you in that sort of way. The year before I stopped on the first lap because I had no interest in pushing that hard as I had spent allot of time earlier in the season doing bunch of racing and I was tired. This year I didn't do as much racing but I had done some huge rides, 3 rides around 300 miles each plus multiple weeks of high volume training for the RAO. Dave was suppose to ride on Sunday and I was hoping to talk to him about it but he needed some solo ride time and wanted to check out the Noonday area.

    Both Saturday and Sunday were a blast on Moon Point and I was starting to remember what it was like to have fun on the bike. Also why I ride a bike, I love riding, and most of all I love singletrack. It helps that I consider Moon Point as one of the best trails I have ever been on.

    So Monday comes along and I touch base with Dave. We chat for few about the weekend and then I ask him. "Are you riding the Cream Puff Sunday?", he tells me he talked to Don and asked if he could get in if he wanted and all was clear. Then said "I will if you will." That was all I needed I guess as my response was instant "I am in". I think kind of took him off guard a little bit, almost like he was half hoping I would say no, maybe - maybe not.

    Dave and I had allot of fun training for the Cream Puff a few years ago and still have a that connection of enduring many hours of pain together on the bike. I figured if he was willing to give it ago I was in for the fun as well.

    The plan, don't tell anyone, it helped me not stress about anything. My plan was to take as it came, I wanted to ride the week as normal, have fun and not stress about anything to do with the race. I had no intention of racing, my entire goal for the day was enjoy the event with the fitness I had. It would be a first for me. My first year I suffered and didn't finish the race. The 2nd year I finished but suffered pretty bad. Then the 3rd year I suffered but did well, 1st SS and 5th overall - but 1 hour down from the winner. Then the 4th year I was focused, watched everything, my life revolved around training for the race. I was told, "you can't win" but that was my goal. I ended up over training about 1 month before the race but recovered. I ended up 3rd overall and 1st SS again, 14 minutes behind Eric Tonkin, I hadn't had the day I had hoped for but was extremely satisfied with my result and my attempt. 5th year I went into event not wanting to ride, did the first climb and got off my bike and volunteered all day. I felt like I had to much pressure to do well again from the outside but I personally didn't want it.

    So this year was a relief, I didn't have the pressure of returning SS winner, people weren't even expecting me to be there for the most part. I wanted to enjoy the event, stop at the aid stations, kind of watch the event from within, be part of it, not suffer and finish it how ever I wanted to finish.

    This come across a little bravado I guess but I didn't want to win and I wasn't going to race. If someone passed me on a SS it was totally okay. I really wanted someone else to win the SS and as long as they road stronger than I was planning to ride than they would.

    I know most people are not in this type of position and would probably wonder why the hell would you do that, if you could win why not win. Well most people, I would say 90% of the people in this race just hope they can finish, the other 10% is further broken down to 5% actually thinking they might race try to race and the other 5% knowing they aren't going to finish. In the end it is typically a 35% drop out rate and out of 125 people 3-5 guys are actually racing. So to be able to go into this event with the knowledge I have about racing it, finishing it and not finishing it, I wanted to know what it would feel like to really enjoy the race. To go into the event knowing I can finish, to have fun and just ride my bike with no pressure. So that was the plan.

    The weekend started out on Friday for me, typically does, and I got up to Oakridge about 5:30 and headed up onto the Westfir Tie Trail to cut out a tree that had come down the past week. Then I headed over to the Westfir Outpost to check in with Don, pick up my registration and say hello to the few folks that were there. Then it was over to the Trailhead Coffee House for dinner and music by Fred. Fred and I hung out for a while, with a few other SS'ers Roger and Nat. Bert, Kate and Brita showed up around 7:00 and the party was just getting started. Soon the Trailhead was hopping with people, Derrick was there, Steve Garro and gang from Arizona were there, among a few other folks I can't remember. Fred got going around 8:30 if I remember right, and one speed bicycle was an instant hit amongst the crowd. Slowly but surely people kept coming in to hear Fred play, he has a gift with the guitar and some very cool songs.

    Trailhead closed up about 10:00 and we thought the evening was through. Not for Derrick and Steve, who somehow drug Bert, Kate, Brita and I to the Breaktime Bar in downtown Oakridge. After a few hours hanging out there, drinking cheap beer and making complete fools of ourselves we called it an evening around 1:30am. The best quote of the night, Steve Garro "you guys f****in suck" after butchered karaoke attempt at Pat Benatar's Love is a Battlefield. I have to agree it was pretty sad.

    It was a little after 2am when I fell asleep and I was thinking, what the hell did I do that for, I was planning to ride Sunday and this was no way to go into the weekend. On the other hand it did go with my plan to just have fun and not stress about trying to race or anything.

    6:00am and I was wide awake, 4 hours of sleep. I stayed in bed and read about Le Tour for a little bit before several other people started stirring around. I was staying at Bert and Kate's, sleeping on a futon mattress in the middle of the living room floor. After a quick trip down to Ray's on the cruiser bikes for some breakfast supplies we were enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning. We had planned a ride for 10am, something really easy and fun, and it was only 8am. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, muffins, fruit, OJ and good coffee, it was like a giant buffet and there was only 4 of us. We made short work of the all the food and continued our relaxing morning doing some work on the bikes and getting stuff ready for the day. Bert and I walked down to David and Becky's house and when we got back Roy was there. He had got up there about 8:30 for breakfast at the Trailhead but no one else had made it. We got a call from Damien and they were on there way, Matt B had just showed up, then Tom Letsinger, we were starting to get our group together for a ride.

    Once everyone got there we headed out for an easy spin on Flat Creek/Salmon Creek. We split up a little bit after the first climb and sent ½ the group on while the rest of us took it pretty easy. The ride was allot of fun, I was really enjoying myself hanging out, not worrying about what I had to do, or about Sunday. We got back to the house about 12:30 and had a sandwich before heading up for a swim on the North Fork of the Willamette. It was great day, warm but not hot, not cloudy and a light breeze, perfect for riding but not for swimming. The swim felt great but no-one wanted to hang out in the water to much and we still had to finish marking the course.

    The X-men met at 3:00pm to head out onto the course and finish it off. I walked up to aid #1 with Bert and we marked the road and start of trail as well as cut out some more brush and little trees. Soon we were back at the Outpost for the dinner, riders meeting and raffle. We got out of there a little later than expected but I was cool with it as I was having fun. At this point a few people knew I was riding on Sunday and that was just perfect.

    Back at the house people were tired, getting ready for Sunday and hanging out. Kate, Brita and Jessica had decided not to camp and that was about the only thing the stressed me out a little. I soon got over that but wanted to make clear that we had to get up early and everyone needed to head to bed by 10pm. Brita offered up the extra room which was soooooo nice of her, it helped me get to bed and not worry to much about them keeping me up.

    I was in a chair reading a book, massaging the legs and relaxing with a glass of wine by 9:40 which was perfect. Tomorrow would be a good day.

    I slept pretty good, I think it was from the late night Friday and the warm day on Saturday. The alarm went off and I jumped out of bed, of course you would to if you heard this alarm. I came out of the room to find everyone up and moving around. I was a little tired, a touch hungry and needed a cup of coffee. Kate made an awesome cup of coffee and I had some yogurt and Grape Nuts before getting ready to head to the event. Bert and I were riding from the house over the hill and into Westfir. Getting on the bike and starting the climb the legs were a little slow moving. A couple of times I watched Bert just kind of dance away and we where just warming up on the way to the start. I thought no worries, this is for fun, se la vi.

    We got to the start and as usual the energy is phenomenal, people are stirring around getting last minute things done, chatting, zoning, freaking out, relaxing. A few people noticed I was on a bike and had a number, 1 SS'er came up and noticed who I was and expressed his concern about racing against me today. I assured him I was there for the fun and the ride and that was it, I had no intention in racing.

    The start went off and we did the neutral roll out along the river. I chatted with a few folks as we went along. Eric Tonkin and Dale Knapp where riding to my right, and Aaron was to my left as well as a few other people willing to sit up front. We noticed a coffee cup on Don's roof and I sped up along side to grab it and hand it back to him. It had too much cream.

    We made it to the road and I just started out an easy pace, at this point you get 4 things usually. A group that thinks this is a 2 ½ hour Norba race and take off the front, a group that wants it to be a Norba race and tries chasing, this usually equates to about the top 25% of the field. Then you get the back 75%, of which you have 50% just settle in for a group ride and the other 25% stop and take a nature break, take off clothes or something else to keep them from pushing to hard.

    I planned to just settle in to a pace and go for it, the only problem was no-one came by me. I looked back and it looked like a large peloton of mountain bikers. I upped my pace just a touch to see what would happen. A group of about 12 of us separated from the field by about 100 meters. Then a guy on a cross bike took off. He stayed out there for about ¼ mile and then we hit the steep part just before mile 1 of a 14 mile climb. Yes all this before mile 1 of the climb.

    We continued up the climb and about 2 miles up another guy went away, this time Aaron went with him. We were about 6 strong at that point and when I looked back I couldn't see anyone. So there is your first selection, 8 guys, all wanting to race and ½ of them actually being able to race. Aaron stayed off the front until we picked up the front and picked him up at mile 6, the other guy had put in an attack or something and had disappeared out of sight. Mile 6-8 has quiet a bit of fast climbing in it with even some descending, bad news on a SS and good news for gears. I was really surprised I was able to stay tucked in behind Eric who set the pace, the drafting actually helped. We came through aid #2 about 30 seconds behind the leader, just kind of cruising along. The next 2 miles concerned me a bit because of a flatter climb with about ½ mile of fast gravel descending. Again I was sitting pretty behind Dale and Eric using the draft to stay with them.

    I began to think, this is easy, had all that riding earlier in the year really made me this strong. The fast gravel downhill section was about to come and I knew if I wanted to stay on this time I needed to go over the top a little up front. So I slowly increased my speed up the climb, Eric came up and said something like, is it time to get this guy? I could see the glimmer in his eye, the race was about to start. I said sure, why not and we upped the pace. I looked back and watched a few guys drop off the pace and the rest stay on. We went over the top and started the fast descent. This time I gapped a little bit and then some idiot came around me and was going to fast for himself into a corner and locked up the brakes. It killed my momentum and I watched him crank away in the big chainring. Then Aaron came by me holding his speed, I was able to get back up to speed and flew by him when the descent got steeper. The benefit of being 175lbs to his 140ish.

    We got to the 3rd aid station and started the outside loop. I hadn't done it yet this year and was all over the place. Bouncing off rocks, roots, just feeling off. I hit the gravel road and stopped, got off my bike, took a nature break and relaxed. This isn't what I wanted, I was starting to get caught up and becoming frustrated. I got back on the bike and headed on, came through aid 3 again, got my aid supplies and started the climb up to the meadow. I got to the meadow and saw Aaron and someone else on the far end starting the descent. I was somewhat happy to see Aaron doing well, he always seemed like a super nice guy and super strong. I didn't count on seeing them again, and then on the first 1 mile descent I came railing up behind them, shot past them and into the Jedi section.

    As I started the flat tire climb up into the Jedi section I caught a stick and it flipped me sideways. Aaron was about 15 seconds behind me and went shooting by. I hopped back on bike to find my saddle pointing straight down. I got off, gave it a few whacks as the other rider went by me. Caught back up to him and Aaron before the descent into the meadow and Jedi zones and went straight past them. I got up to Alpine Meadows went past Tire Mtn trail and needed to adjust my saddle, I could hear Aaron coming up behind me and figured it would be my best chance to fix my bike and let him go by as he appeared to be going good. I adjusted my saddle tightened it back up and was off. I felt good, really feeling on going down the trail. It didn't take long before I caught and passed Aaron and few other guys on the descent. He came in just a couple minutes behind me and left the aid station before me. I had to re-adjust my seat as I when I hit a bump on the Tie trail it moved again and was know sticking straight up. I was hoping this wasn't going to be an ongoing problem all day.

    I cruised through the North Fork and started 2nd climb feeling pretty good. I had to stop and take off my knee warmers, do anther call to nature then started up the climb again. It didn't take long and I was feeling a little sluggish, kind of the "it's been a long year, you didn't plan on this" type of feeling in the legs. I climbed most of the climb up to aid #2 staying seated and turning about 60rpm's, I was running a 34x20. I came into aid #2 feeling better and grabbed what was suppose to be water. It turned out to be Gu H2o which was fine but I really wanted that water to help cool off with a quick soak of the head. Instead I stopped at the creek about ½ way to aid #3 and soaked the head. On the longer climb up to aid #3 my knee started hurting, the same hurt that took me off the bike the 2 weeks prior. I started to get concerned as I had to get off the bike for about 5 minutes and massage it. When I continued forward it still hurt and I had to slow down and stand for the next couple miles. I felt like I was going slow and if at anytime during the ride this was the most painful and the closest I was going to come to quitting. I have this unique gift to push through that kind of pain which isn't always the best thing to do as you can end up with serious injuries. The thing that went through my mind was I didn't want to ruin the rest of my summer. When I finally got to aid #3 I asked Justin to grab some Advil for my return trip. The second time out on the Chrome Toilet Loop went better, I had a better feel for the trail and cruised it pretty quick. Justin had the Advil ready, I took it, grabbed my aid station supplies and started the climb up to the meadow. I walked most of the steeper pitches, probably close to 30% of the 2 mile climb trying to let the knee recover. My hope was by the time I hit the bottom of the trail at Aid #1 I would be able to keep going.

    Coming through the Jedi section I caught Aaron to my surprise. He had 2 flat tires since the last time I saw him, bummer deal when you are in the lead and riding strong to have something like that slow you down. I passed him on the descent through the clear-cut and started the Jedi descent. Knee wasn't feeling that great and I was concentrating on it. Then, twist, wham, there goes the front wheel and I superman over the bars. Quickly get up, check it out, get back on the bike and off again. Hey there is Lou, down to aid #2 and through towards the last section back to the bottom. On the climb up I noticed my knee, it didn't hurt anymore. I pushed it a little bit and nothing, no pain. I must have loosened something up in the crash.

    Aaron caught up on the climb and we went back and forth on the way down. I would pass on the descent he would pass on the short climbs. We came into Aid #1 I was about 2 minutes in front of him. I needed a short break and new Boyd wasn't far behind me. I hung out for about 5 minutes, as Aaron came through I made the comment he better haul ass and not let me catch him on the descent again if he wanted to win. He just looked at me, said thanks and took off like a man possessed. Boyd came in just a few minutes later and we took off together. We had a guy with us that had caught him on the last climb but Boyd had re-caught and passed on the descent. We passed him on North Fork about ½ way up and put about 45 seconds on him before the climb. Another quick stop for the call of nature, man I was hydrated this race, and the guy caught back up. I wasn't sure if Boyd or the other guy knew but they were sitting with me in 4th, 5th & 6th place currently.

    As we started the climb I started to pull away and I could see Boyd just hanging on about 100 feet back. The other guy kept going from being on Boyd's wheel to slowing down to speeding up to slowing down. I dropped my speed down at mile 1 to let Boyd come up. For me it is easier to go a touch faster if I can ride next to someone else going a little quicker. I was hoping that the two of us could create a mind game for the guy just holding on and see if he would crack. It seemed to work at about mile 2, and said to Boyd, the guy has cracked. I noticed an increase in speed from Boyd just about the time we hit 2 ¼ miles and the worse part for me on the climb. I absolute dread mile 2-3, it is the longest, sustained pitch of the entire climb and steep enough you need to stand almost the entire way.

    After the guy behind was out of sight I settled into my own pace and let Boyd go. He looked good and he was going to finish strong. I came into mile 4 feeling pretty good and then my foot started to hurt. Apparently the bolts in my cleats are to long and I could feel them pushing on the bottom most of the day. All of a sudden it presented a problem, I couldn't press down on the right peddle with out pain radiating up my leg. Earlier it was my left knee, now my right foot. I convinced myself to get to mile 7 where there was a creek, I would stop and soak the feet and hopefully that would help. Mile 7 came fairly quick and I got into the creek, just stood there for close to 7 minutes before thinking, I should rinse off. So I took off the jersey, washed down the legs, head, arms, and rinsed the jersey. Just as I was getting ready to head out the guy we had dropped earlier came by, asked if I was okay and kept going. I caught back up to him and we rolled into the aid #2 together. I figured I had some time and stopped for the first time in 3 years at aid #2. I ate about 2lbs of watermelon before figuring I needed to head out, just then Pat Doyle pulled up. We climbed up the first mile or so together and then he decided to pick up the pace. I wished him luck and settled into a comfortable cruising speed.

    The next section went pretty quick and I was at aid #3 in no time. I stopped and chatted with Justin for a few minutes before heading out on my last time down Alpine. This time I was able to climb the singletrack without any issues and came into Sourgrass as the guy from earlier had just got done fixing his second flat of the day. I was thanking god every time for my tubeless tires, as I had been in their spot before with 3 flats one year that cost me 3rd place. He wasn't able to hold my pace downhill and I wasn't too worried about it anywase. I came through cheers at Aid #2, saw Tom Letsinger had made it up on his last lap, and left for my last time for the day. I went faster on my last lap down from aid #2 than any other lap. Partially because I knew I had just had a blast of a day and it would be a shame not to end up with another awesome clock for placing on the SS podium.

    I came in at 9:50, almost an hour behind Erik Tonkin, ½ hour behind Aaron and 8th overall. I had fun for at least 90% of my time on the bike. If I had to guess I would say I spent at least 35 minutes off the bike compared to when I got 3rd two years ago and I had spent 4 minutes off the bike. It felt good to be done but it also felt good to have done it again. That makes for 6 starts and 4 finishes, 3 of those on a SS, 2 of those winning the SS class while placing 5th and 3rd overall. Next year, who knows, maybe that McHammer bonus needs to taken.

    I hung out for while and watched all my friends come in before going down for quick swim. It appeared everyone was going to finish the only two that hadn't crossed the line yet were Dave and Nick. But from reports on the course they were well on their way. I missed Dave crossing the line which was a little disappointing, next time he will just have to be more considerate and either go faster or slower but not finish while I am swimming

    Everyone did an awesome job and showed just how strong the class of rider has become in the Eugene area. Awesome job! The one piece of advice I have left to give you, move away, run, this thing is like a disease and once you have done it you can never not think about doing it again.

    A big "THANK YOU" to Don, and the entire crew of volunteers, the X-men, Westfir Outpost and the sponsors for keeping this awesome event alive. Without you I wouldn't have had as much fun as I did.

    The biggest disappointment for the weekend would have to have been Riley who had his bike break on lap 1. I hope he will be back next year and ready to conquer this beast.

    I would have to say the most enjoyment of the weekend came when Nick crossed the line to finish. Way to go, you are an awesome individual.

    Until next time, keep it pointed forward.

    Time to Ride,


    PS> It's tour time
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  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Quote Originally Posted by General Coonskins
    If you want, post your stories here under one thread.
    My day:
    • 3:30 am - Got up
    • 3:40 - Made coffee
    • 3:55 - got in car and honked horn for wake up call
    • 4:10 - Arrived at start, stocked rest rooms with TP
    • 4:20 - Start checking in riders
    • 5:10 - line up riders
    • 5:15 - Jump start car because lights were on for an hour
    • 5:24 - start race with neutral rollout to the base of the gravel climb
    • 6:15 - set up Aid Station 1 at the finish/lap start
    • 8:20 - leaders start lap 2
    • 8:20 am to 8:42 pm - record lap and finish times for 120+ starters and 106 finishers, make 2 trips for more water and supervise 8-12 volunteers on helping the riders (everyone did great! Thank you Brandon for being there most of the day).
    • 8:30 to 8:50 - pack up Aid Station
    • 9:10 - return to Outpost and award prizes

    Now add two more Aid Stations, 6-7 key volunteers and dozens of other volunteers, and the work done in the days (weeks and months) before and after.
    Thanks to The General and the XMen for prepping the trails and marking the course, Miles and Jonnie at the Westfir Outpost, Mac at Willamette Mountain Mercantile, Justin and crew at Ray Station 3, my wife, Carla, for all of the food, all of the volunteers (most of whom I never meet), and especially the riders. It was fun.
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  4. #4
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
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    Dec 1999

    It was simple

    Ya know what the people who finished the Cascade Cream Puff 100 mile race get for all their hard earned effort? A baseball cap that says "FINISHER 2004" on it.

    I wanted a hat. Not just any hat... a very special hat. I rode three laps and claimed the hat I came to get.

    It was a great day. Thanks, Don/shiggy. Thanks, volunteers. Thanks, fellow CCP100 participants. Thanks, weather gods. Thanks, Oregon scenery. This event rocks. Now if only I could get the darned thing out of my blood.

    Anyway, it was great to see old friends as well as make new ones. And to do the 'Puff one last time...


    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    And here's mine

    This is my third year doing this race, the first year my rear wheel blew up on the second lap, leaving me smoldering for 12 months with a DNF. Last year, I fared much better, but I fought a huge bonk on the third lap, which destroyed me mentally and physically, yet I still managed to finish, probably because I was still smoldering from the previous year.

    This year, I told myself it would be different, but it was going to have to be because I raced smarter, not faster (Cuz as a new dad, I am slower!). I had salt pills, I had sea kelp pills, I had vitamin c, I had pepsi, and mtn dew at aids at the top of the mtn and the bottom of the mtn…I HAD A PLAN!

    Saturday, I met Dave and a couple other racing buddies for a preride. We did the top Alpine loop and as Dave said at the end of the preride, may have burned too many matches that day, as the pace was a bit to fast at times. But the reaction from Dave and the other two guys was that they were in love with the riding terrain and couldn’t wait to race, oh and that damn that’s a lot of climbing.

    Lap 1:

    Sunday at 5:15 we rolled out. Last year I sat in the back, this year I went up front on the neutral roll out. We hit the climb and I was still sitting up front with a pack of ten, we kind of separated from the group, and the big dogs(not me), were kind of surveying each other to see who was gonna go harder first. The pace picked up and and I watched my heartrate crest 180, I held with them for a bit, but sticking to my PLAN, I rolled off the back and slowed down, last year I said keep it under 150 for the first 45 minutes to an hour this year, I wasn’t going to give up that much time taking it easy, but I drifted back until I got my heartrate in a steady pace under 170. My legs weren’t feeling that great and for a moment the thought of doing this for long krept in head, but was shoved right back out. Besides the first group, a second group of 20 or so rolled by me, and few here and there after. By the time I was 8 miles in to the climb passing through AID 2, my legs were starting to feel much better and the effort I was putting out seemed relatively easy for the pace I was holding. For some reason though, I felt I was going slower than the previous year. After AID 2, I started catching some of the riders who had earlier passed me. I kept a solid pace to AID 3, downed a banana from my drop bag, gulped down a salt tablet, and started up the single track. The trail conditions were amazing, buff, tacky track, that just let your wheels dig in on the climbs and hook up on the descents. I made my way through AID 2, stopped and filled my camelback and ate half a PB&J sandwich. I caught a few more riders on the ST, and passed a riding buddy Dave Yakitas (WTB/Jericho) who had flatted. I came through the start/finish of lap one with a 3:18 lap time.

    Lap 2

    I stopped at AID 1, downed half a Pepsi, another half of PB&J, a vitamin C, and a salt tablet. As you might assume, part of my PLAN was to stay full for later in the race by eating and drinking a lot early. While I was filling up two Norcal SS guys I race with Sean Wood and Troy Taylor came in behind me and just blew through the aid station, as they went by me, they said damn, you can descend fast Roger. I guess they had been chasing me on the climb since Aid 3 and I just disappeared from them on the descents. Little did they know it was their voices the whole damn lap that kept me off the brakes. Rather than drop everything and chase them, I began finishing my sandwich and walking up the steep grade leading into lap two. I took it easy on the River trail ST, to let my stomach settle. By the time I hit the long climb my stomach was settled and I caught last years SS winner, earlier we had spoke, and he said he was taking it easy the first lap and was going to pick it up the second lap, as I came by him, we chatted and I thought he grabbed my wheel as I started a nice tempo up the climb. Guess he wasn’t feeling well because he didn't come with me and instead went off the back (later DNFd). Bummer to not feel well on race day. I caught several more riders, but was hoping to see Sean and Troy around each corner. At Aid 2, I finally caught them. I downed another banana, a couple Gu’s, and another salt tablet. They saw me and started up the climb. I caught them and we talked for a bit, and than I turned my focus on the climb, I tried to distance myself from them, so that when I stopped at AID 3 and if they blew through it, I wouldn’t lose much time to them. We flip flopped through AID 3, since you pass thru it twice for this lil two mile circuit. I stopped the first time through, they the second, as I went back by them. Caught a couple more riders through the single track climbing and descending leading to AID 2. At Aid 2, I stopped and filled up the camelback again and pulled out another half of a PB&J sandwich. As I hurried to close the lid on the camelback I think I tore the reservoir. I put it on my back and my initial feeling was that the wetness was from spilling it while it was being filled, but the fluid kept coming. Unfortunately, that left me without water for about 40 minutes or so, although I was very cool with Gu2o running all over me. I came through the start finish for a second lap, of 3:40 (longest lap of the day), and a total time of approximately 7 hrs. Right on target, and actually well ahead of target. Don had me listed at 7th in the SS class, and 20th overall. Much better than I had thought.

    Lap 3,

    I grabbed a mtn dew, a banana, and another half of PB&J, and begin walking up the climb. Than all of a sudden there was Sean and Troy right behind me. I let them know where Don said we were and they were surprised. I finished eating and drinking and jumped on my bike a bit before them. Hit the River trail and kept a moderate pace until my stomach could settle. The River trail meanders enough that it hypnotizes you, throw in the fact you’ve been working hard for seven hours, and your mind can wander. My mind wandered to last year, this was it, up ahead on the climb was the point where I fell apart. The ghosts of last year were in my head. I kept telling myself, ride for now, just keep it together, not to hard, not too easy. I told myself I was smarter this year, I knew what to expect on this climb, I knew where it would be hot, I knew where the grade was its steepest, and for how long. I told myself just get to AID 2 in one piece and I’ll be fine.

    But I was having a lil problem, a gremlin, so to speak. On the second lap my stomach settled by the time I hit the climb, but on this lap, it hadn’t yet. I ignored it, I put my head down, checked my heart rate at 165 and started what felt like a fast but steady cadence. The first twenty minutes were good, I’d glance back and there was no one, but than I started getting that awful backed up plumbing taste in the back of my throat. I was ¾ way thru the steepest part of the climb to AID 2, I kept pedaling, but my power was drifting away, I was struggling with my breathing, I was struggling to get my heartrate up. I kept glancing back hoping Sean and Troy wouldn’t be there. I glanced one too many times, because first came Sean standing and hammering. We gave each other passing pep talk and he was off, a couple minutes later came Troy. I was lil upset, but looking at my watch, I was still having a great race, I just needed to maintain control. I decided to get off my bike and to walk for a couple minutes to see if that would settle my stomach. It helped a bit, but at that time my SS racing buddy Dave Yakitas caught and passed me, he was flat out hauling butt, and in fact turned a 3:17 final lap! He was only behind me because of the flat, I told myself. I let out an expletive and mounted my bike to eliminate any more loss of time. I swallowed a couple times, and made my way to AID 2, stomach was still twisted and I couldn’t eat anything, and could barely sip any water. Screw it I said, and kept going. Half way to AID 3, you have a gradual descent where you can coast about 17 to 20 mph, I hit that and what I thought was a lil burp turned out to be much more. Vomit came spewing out of my mouth on to me on to my bike all over. I locked it up and slid off the side of the road and spent the next few minutes heaving heavily until I was dry. Stella Carey caught me at that point, and asked if I was okay. I pulled my head up with guey string hanging from mouth and nostrils and shouted, I think so. Odd thing, as I stood straight up, I felt so much better, I mean 80 to 90% better anyway. I wiped away the remnants and started riding toward AID 3. My power was up, my heartrate was up, this was great. My stomach wasn’t twisted anymore, this was great, I should have thrown up an hour ago! What a fricking waste of time (next time I heave early not late)! I was afraid to eat anything at AID 3, and instead grabbed the last ice cold pepsi I had stashed up there. Oh it was so good, and the caffeine and sugar gave me that bit more energy I needed to get up the steep climbs of the Alpine trail. I headed up Alpine and walked only one part, but that happened to be the part where a local guy Damian caught and passed me, dang it. But that’s the last person that would pass me for the day. I actually caught a couple riders in the ST, and sooner than I thought, I came through AID 2 for the last time, blew through the AID 2 and headed for the final 8 or so miles of ST to the finish. Right into the ST, I caught Stella and got away from her on a technical climb over a stump, where that huge 34x18 gear she was riding was a wee big to punch it over. She’s is such a bull in these races, she just always plods forward. She won the women’s overall by the way on an SS. Anyway, back to me! The final descents were sketchy as I wanted to meet my goal time of 10:45 but at the same time survive. At moments, I wondered if I was gripping the handle bar, or if I was even squeezing the brakes to slow. Picture, going 20+ mph hour down exposed ST, and being so mentally tired you’re playing games with your eyes to keep them focused, probably not bright, probably not smart, but I wanted to get to the finish.

    Came around the final lil up and too a cheer of great supporters at the finish. Don handed me my finisher’s hat and a time of 10:46.

    I’ll call it meeting my goal of 10:45! ;0)

    Things learned, if you feel like puking, just puke, you'll be the better for it. Also, I have a very early limit on the sugary stuff, I need to find something else to fuel me.

    Next goal, nock another 45 minutes off and crack that 10 hr barrier, well maybe.

    Thanks for reading!


  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: General Coonskins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Two Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger___
    Things learned, if you feel like puking, just puke, you'll be the better for it. Also, I have a very early limit on the sugary stuff, I need to find something else to fuel me.

    Next goal, nock another 45 minutes off and crack that 10 hr barrier, well maybe.

    Thanks for reading!


    Hammer Nutrition,

    It works wonders, Perpetum, Sustained Energy, Endurlytes and Hammer Gel. That's all I had during the entire race and never once felt bonked, dehydrated, or sick. I also never had anything solid.

    You can e-me for more info,
    Just the Pictures

    The Shop

    The Blog

    Time To Ride,
    General Coonskins

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    I think Nat was using that too

    he said the same didn't eat anything solid, and didn't have any issues. I think I'm going to do the Humboldt 12hr race in August I think I'll pick some of that up this month and give it a try. I will email you for more info, thanks!

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