Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Race #40: Une Trés Vite Lanterne Rouge

I decided to step it up this year and try and race with the big boys. I've been doing all these endurance MTB events and it seemed silly just to ride a couple laps. I wanted to race Expert and focus mainly on the Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance race series.

I looked at last year's results, figured out their average speed and crossed my fingers. My last ride at East Fork was about 27 miles and took me roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes. I just didn't want to be embarrassingly slow. So I set my bike computer to show AVG MHP and hoped that I could maintain 11.5 mph (the speed of last year's lanterne rouge).

Well, I brought my best but it wasn't good enough! Man, the start was fast (I rode 4 hours the day before, and didn't get to warm up enough) and I had nothing going onto the trail. The top 5 of the Expert Vet race plus Betsy Shogrun caught me in Phase 1 of the trail! But suddenly I picked up my tempo and kept that last guy from Vet in sight.

I looked down half way through the first lap and my average speed was mid-13s! For the rest of the race I bled some speed, and the last lap the heat got to me and I started to cramp a little. But depending upon the actual distance I ended up average 12.7-13mph! Whoa. I ended up finishing 2:07:53, nearly 40 minutes faster than my last training ride of a similar distance at East Fork!

This is was my little engine is used to doing:
Approximate Average Speeds in Previous MTB Rides
11.4mph (04.25.2010 Big Frog 65 with tons of fire roads)
10.9mph (04.07.2010 Riding Austin's Walnut Creek trails on CX bike)
10.6mph (09.13.2009 England-Idlewild Race)
9.98mph (07.04.2010 East Fork Ride with Bjet)
8.97mph (06.05.2010 Mohican 65)
8.75mph (01.30.2010 Chilly Sat Mornin Beatdown at East Fork)
8.17mph (08.23.2009 Caesar Creek Race)

Even though I came in last place I am still really proud of my performance and surprised myself at what I could pull off!

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