Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sagebrush Safari 50 - Part II

I set out on the first loop of lap two certainly feeling the effects of the first lap and the heat and it felt like it was only getting hotter. I was riding alone with no pressure from behind and not knowing how far in from the next SSer was riding I had fun cruising through the moto berms and pump track.

I started to notice some blisters forming on my hands and my concentration was waning as I was getting through the hike-a-bike. A the top I got bake on my bike and was entering the hurt locker; the heat, distance and lack of fitness was taking a real tole. I was progressing as best I could, but at one crucial point I lost focus and went down hard. I'm not exactly sure what happened, only that is was unpleasant and had me second guessing completing the race.

I made my way back in to the feed zone and was contemplating calling it quits. There was an XC racer there with his wife giving him support and she said to him: "Honey, it is too hot, I think you should stop." He looked at me and did a little shoulder shrug and announced to the race staff, "I'm a DNF." That was all the motivation I needed, in my mind I was suing "Dude, you are going to let your wife tell you it's too hot and to pull the plug? MAN UP!"

I jumped back on my bike and took off with a renewed spirt to finish this sucker and not give up. That lasted for about 5 minutes and then the Los Pinos climb began and I once again entered the hurt locker.

I caught the 2nd place SSers near the top and attempted to surge to get a gap as he was clearly cramping. I started the downhill and was bouncing along when I hit a rock at a funny angle with my rear tire and heard what sounded like a puncture.

Bringing the bike under control with the rear end all over the place I hopped off to find no visible puncture so I pumped up the tire to find it healed the air, I assume hitting the rock popped the bead on the tubeless tire letting the air out.

I had lost my gap to the other SSer and felt like I might be able to make up ground and regain the position with the climb back up to the feed zone before the descent to the finish.

I used all of my remaining energy on the last climb, blowing through the feed zone with no sight of the 2nd place position. Hitting the final downhill section to the finish I was spent and probably could have enjoyed the awesome track more had I had any gas and confidence left. Conceding the second spot on the podium I talked myself home to the third step.

A great race, awesome course and superb support make this a must do race.

Now I hope to build up some fitness, carry the love for racing into the summer and get consistent with training and racing. Here goes...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bouker, awesome recap! I’m that second place guy. I totally cracked on that climb up Los Pinos. You actually stopped to make sure I was ok and offered me stuff. I very much appreciate that. I still have no idea where I passed you with that flat tire, must have been pretty delirious. That was a brutal race.