Carrabassett Backcountry Challenge results

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Carrabassett Backcountry Challenge results

Postby Fenlason » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:03 pm

While overall I enjoyed this race. It did not start off so well. My goal was to use this race as training prep for my up coming 24 hour race. It was also my first endurance race. Because of that I was going to start slow.. warm up during the race.. and hopefully survive it. Well, I had entered the Expert class.. and that is not how they race. I had a friend racing in that class, many thought I could beat him [including him] so I kind of got wrapped up in that, and the start.. I figured if I was to beat him, I should at least keep him in sight. Well they started the expert and elite racers all at once.. and at least most of them were warmed up, and they started VERY fast. I went with them and was very quickly out my a$$. At 55 years of age.. fast starts with no warm up.. don't go so well. :(

Next there was a bottle neck as we hit a tight technical section of trail.. in order to prevent plowing into them all, I had to hit the brakes hard over some major roots... which caused me to go over the bars. Perhaps because of the fall, the drink tube to my Camelback ended up un-hooked.. so no water. I should have stopped then and there to fix it.. but wrapped up in the race I did not.. I keep re-trying to drink from it and only sucked air. :roll:

I then ended up missing a turn somehow.. I ended not far from the car before I realized my error.. and it was so hard to not quit and just going to the car. I was thinking maybe I did not "need" all this racing "stuff" and going back to slower group rides would be ok. [yeah right] :roll:

Although I had already registered and paid for the 24 hour race.... and do kind of want to do it. I was supposed to be using this CBC race just as a training event for the 24 hour race, and while my RACE was sort of over for the day..I could still use this as training and prep, for the Great Glen. So mentally I was able to get myself back into the game.

At least for myself one never really recovers [physically] from starting too fast. I slowed down and tried to regroup. About that time we hit the big hills. Technically easy.. but long and steep. with an occational sidehill trail before heading back up again. The hill was worse than I expected, yet even in my state I felt better on it, than I feared. Near the top we had a left cross trail..it was still uphill but only gradual. I picked up some good speed on that... before we were to take a right hand turn heading up again. I was coming into the turn pretty hard, and my instinct was to brake a little, but then I thought man it is a pretty big hill and why waste any speed.. man up and take the turn, without braking. Well it was loose.. and I did not make the turn... :o :x Nothing serious.. I just slid off into the grass, and had to put a foot down.. but I had to restart from a dead stop... now.

This course overall was much tougher than any I have ridden. Although thankfully there were some easier sections so you could semi rest. Last year this area was hit with some flash floods.. trashing roads and of course trails.. many things were fixed.. but we had places that were not. I was coming down this hill fairly fast.. and I came to this section of trail board walks.[ log sections perpendicular to the trail, with split logs on top.. on which you ride on . ] well there were big gaps between one log section to the next..and one of them was even cross wise to the trail... :? :? how the heck are we supposed to ride this... :thinking: I then realized, that this area had flooded, and these board walk sections had floated around.. and they just didn't get the chance to fix them yet. :lol: There was another area where a stream had changed course and just flowed through the woods. They had removed any of the tree debris... but otherwise it was like a very rocky stream bed.
Our first real "pit stop" [food and drink] was at the 30 mile mark. While I was in pretty good spirits at this point I was physically hurting, and was not sure how the rest of the race would go. I was there a couple of minutes.. and got fueled up. I also had friends manning this stop that helped a bit.

We then headed out what to felt like the wild..a rather remote area. It is a fairly new wilderness ski trail.. some nice hut to hut trails. They were wider like a dual track trail.. but were quite rough, rocky wise. This area had some of the steepest hills on it. I did end up walking some of the worst ones.
They had told us there would be some mandatory dismount areas. Some of these were the later pit stops. [which were closer together] They wanted to make sure we were ok.. that we could stand.. and talk.. coherently :lol: Others were going to be at unsafe areas.. like if a bridge had been washed out, and not fixed yet. They told us there would be someone there to point them out. Well that did not seem to be the case. There were some places they had little caution signs.. but sometimes they just meant to slow down.. sometimes they meant get off your bike or you will die... :o This left me fairly cautious on sections were I could not see what was coming. The path around the first missing bridge was quite rocky.. 2'to 3' diameter stuff.. nothing that mortal people could ride. Some riders had just caught me and I said I guess this is one of our mandatory dismount areas.

At some places they did have people taking numbers. .so they could somewhat keep track of where people were.. to make it easier to find someone if they came up missing. At one point I thought I was seeing a mirage. We were out in very remote area.. and I see some nice looking young lady in a bikini top an shorts sitting beside one of the bridges reading.. she was not directing us.. or taking numbers.. she only looked up from her book when I said hello.. she said hello back.. and off I went. In my altered state.. it was a rather surreal experience.

We ended up on some old logging roads.. or old rough dirt roads of some kind.. some of them I had been on a couple of decades ago on a club ride we had done up this way. It was a mostly uphill section.. although not steep.. and I starting feeling pretty good and could use some of my fitness. I had to hold back a little because things were threatening to cramp. I did, in this area finally start to catch some people, that had earlier pass me. We had some pretty nice single track.. and not too rough or hilly.. something that I am usre many needed at that time.

The finish hit pretty quick. Along the way some of the volunteers were not giving accurate info. I think it was around mile 38.. I had someone tell me I was doing great, and was almost done. :thinking: :roll:

I kept saving some because people had talked of this really nasty hill coming up. I do recall doing it now.. but it was not as bad as I had expected..so I kept waiting.. then the next thing I know is it is only 3 miles to go... Some of the ending sections were too technical to really hammer on.. so I ended up with more left in the tank than ideal. I crossed the line strongly doing a little wheelie as I came in. :D

My overall finish result was nothing to write home about... but considering everything it was mentally good to finish as strongly as I did... and I have some things to work on.

My lower back was my worst problem. Not that I can change a lot on that for the 24 hour race.. but for the future.. I need to do even more core work. [maybe a full suspension bike] :thinking: 8) :twisted: my butt was not bad. [although on tonight's group ride.. it was a little tender] my arms and hands were better than I thought they would be. I also did not seem to have much problem with my feet or neck.
I do need to work on the drinking issue. Even with the camelback working.. I seemed to have a hard time drinking from it. maybe it was because I gotten nauseous early on, it did not taste that good. I did more drinking of gatorade from my bottle. I did feel like I drank from the pack often, but it was not easy to tell for sure how much one is drinking. Another problem was this pack covered my pockets so I could not easily get to my food, and did not have an outer pocket on it, to put it in. I am not sure what my solution will be for that. For Great Glen I might go back to the bottle. We can refill every lap [just over 8 mles] and there are enough "easy places' where one can drink.

For the future I need more mountain biking.. and more fast mountain biking. I also need to travel for some of this training. Right in my local, I have nothing this hilly.. or not much this technical.
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
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Fenlason
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Re: Carrabassett Backcountry Challenge results

Postby Fenlason » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:26 pm

I had a group ride Wednesday night.. that proved to be more eye opening for me. John.. the team mate that kicked my butt at the race.. as well as two other's were there.. in addition to the regular crew. While I did have a horrible race last Sunday, I learned that I would not have stood a chance against John if I had, had a good start. So far I have been riding with people that are too slow. I am not pushed, fitness wise or handling wise.

Wednesday was not a good night for either John or I to crank.. We were still a little tired from the race..but seeing how fast he was going in semi rough stuff.. let me see how much I have been out of it. I was working my a$$ off to stay with him.. [fitness and handling].

The other two.. a young woman that was a national caliber cyclecross racer. [she was also quite proficient on a mountain bike] She has moved back home and I guess is retiring from the "circuit". Her Brother was in the last winter Olympics as a cross country skier for New Zealand. [They have dual citizenship and live both places]

They were quite fit and fast.. between the 3 of them... :sweaty: Which is just what I need. Hopefully I will get to ride with them more. :D
glenn

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Fenlason
Tour de Post Yellow Jersey
 
Posts: 75708
Images: 221
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:33 pm
Location: Winslow Me.


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