Saturday, July 11, 2009

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

This last weekend was the Levis Trow WEMS race. It included the Wisconsin Single Speed State Championship race. Here are some random thoughts with respect to my experience there. No excuses, just observations.

It was only the third trail bound excursion I've had on my new 29er Singular Swift. Yep, love the bike.

Two grueling 12+ mile loops. It was a beautiful, if not increasingly warm day. I rode up with a good group and met a few other regulars responsible for me even attempting the race. I recall last year TmonT saying "you need to check this place out, but might want to get your chops up first". Yet this year there was no mention of chops. So, I went. (probably should have had more chops).

The lead out and the beginning single track was delightful. I was even equipped to handle this part with my beginner riding.

Ascending the bluffs was something else. I had a gear that could do it in some spots, and legs that couldn't in others.

Occasionally, my brain talked me out of a few semi difficult spots. I've assured myself that any one of these spots on it's own would be very doable, but stacked up into this 25 miles of "what did I get myself into?" went slightly beyond my reach.

I rode planks, bridges, rocks, roots, switchbacks, ascents, descents and any number of other fun little obstacles. I had some minor hiccups, to be expected. Thankfully, nothing left me laying there for the ticks to devour me.

Somewhere past 1.5 laps, I went full-on-toast mode. Upon reflection, I was perhaps dehydrated in addition to being cooked. I pushed in spots, cursing my inability to pedal no more. I stopped at the last aid station, grabbing a few orange slices for the coast into the finish.

Not far from the end, I heard "here comes the elusive one". Then an announcer that I know not where his all-day-enthusiasm comes from called me in as the last SS champs racer of the day. I'm sure they were all really happy they didn't have to come out and save me somewhere on the trail!

I'm looking forward to taking my new experience back to the Muir trails.

Last, and most important.. It's good to finish with a smile.

Big thanks to Velogrrl for the photo.

No comments: