CCC-Sprandi Polkowice Racing Kit in “Hunter Don’t Shoot Me Orange”
May 28 was the Single Track Classic, and I was somewhat ready. Still fighting a creaking bottom bracket, needing to sort out a slow leak in my rear tire and poor prep the week prior all conspiring to take a dent out of my prep. But I was healthy and the bike was working fine enough and so I signed up to race.
Goal for the event was to come in around 3:45 in the top 70% of competitors. I did not come close.
First issue: during my warm-up I broke my seat post – a combination of over torqued and a very rigid bike with a 82 kg rider – I was dumb to think that it would be okay for the season (it lasted 2 months). Fortunately I was able to purchase a replacement from The Bike Zone (though a little on the small side) and John from Shimano gave me a hand with the install.
This race was at Hardwood Hills and consisted of a brand new course, with many trails reversed and some brand new ones freshly tilled through the forest. The lap was a little short at about 21 km (rather than 25) and 80% of it single track. This was the most continuous single track I had ever ridden and the fresh parts were slow and bumpy. For the first 10km I stuck on the wheel of a rider that usually just beats me, and then took the lead for the second half. No crashes and relatively smooth, I came through the first lap at 1:32:44 and headed back out.
This was the first race that I had ever done with a camel back and I was glad to have it. The heat was high for me and I was suffering a bit by the beginning of the second lap. My spare bottle was waiting at the first aid station and had been sitting in the sun since the beginning of the race. Oh well. It was my “Go Juice” and so I needed to drink as much of it as possible.
As I fought through the loamy first section it was clear that this one was going to hurt. Not many were passing me but I also was not over taking anyone anymore. Thoughts of riding off a cliff or walking the rest of the race entered my head. More sugar and more fluids would make me feel better for about 5 minutes and then I would dip again. With 5 km to go I gave it what I had and avoided hitting any trees, gunning it at the end to come in at 1:46:40 for lap 2 and 3:19:16 for the full race. 5th from the bottom.
My stats tell me that I paced correctly (HR was 5 bpm under threshold on average) and that the heat and the amount of new single track had beat me.
Training: I need to ride my mountain bike more (endurance is fine) and now (as of June 6) I have the BB and seat post fixed I should be able to do that.
My strava log: https://www.strava.com/activities/590993085
Next up: Substance 70km marathon http://substanceprojects.com/portfolio-item/xcmarathon-3-the-humbler
Based on last year’s results and where I usually place (all things considered), I should come in somewhere between 3:40 and 4:00.