Assault on Mt. Currahee Race Report 2015

Ouch.

Race went well even though I had a bad case of the “who gives a shits” and didn’t really find my motivation until I was halfway to the race. I’ve had a odd two weeks, last week I only rode on the weekend and this week I only rode 3 days for less than an hour a day. Starting a new position combined with the shit weather we’ve been having reduced my availability and inclination to ride.

I think I unintentionally did a pretty solid taper. My rides this week were short with 1-3 really intense climbs. I’ve also been messing around on Stillwater hill trying to get used to riding seated at really steep grades.

I didn’t ride on Friday which is really unusual for me, but I don’t think it really had any affect. I probably should have gone for a walk or stretch or something but I think I raced fine.

The actual race was awesome. Currahee mountain was insane, the climbs and descents were mind blowing and the weather was actually pretty nice. I rode my DX350 with 46/36 up front and a 11-34 in the rear. This gear combination is awesome, I respond really well to the range available in the 46 ring with such a large cog in the back. I probably did 65% of the race in the big ring because of that 34t. I so think my tires were undersized. I ride 35c small block 8s and really had some issues with the soft roads at various places on the course as well as the mud on the actual Currahee climb.

The race started out pretty sedate and never really blew up, the lead group just kind of rode away. I made it to Currahee in 19th place overall but lost 2-3 spots on the climb and probably another 1-2 on the descent. I ended up having to walk the last steep pitch due to mud and fatigue. I did gain back 1-2 of these losses on the course after the descent. I came in 13th overall male, which really surprised me!

I ate 3 gels, 1 with 100mg caffeine, 1 with 40mg and one with none. Also had four peanut butter crackers and a self-mixed powerade. I only had a banana and a gel for breakfast and I pretty much bonked in the last 2 miles but it was ok. I had another gel but didn’t feel like any more caffeine.

I’m gonna make a few notes to remind me: suprise singletrack, creek crossing, hand/foot warmers, aluminum foil, calf cramps, running out of water, salty face, spaghetti, the last climb, Cornelia.

Overall I had a great experience.

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Riding leading up to the race.Mt Currahee 2015

 

Found a $40 wrench!

I’ve been finding a lot less tools on the road than I used too (there’s a joke in there somewhere). But every now and again I find something good, like this Cromwell twister crescent wrench. I’m pretty happy with my find it’s a really nice wrench.

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Messing with setback again.

So I’ve been looking at old pictures of my fixed gear bikes and noticed just how much less setback I used to run. With this in mind I slammed my saddle forward and raised it about 3-4mm. It feels pretty good but now I’ve got a slight twinge in my left knee and my average speed was super low today. I’m thinking I might split the difference in setback, I moved the saddle forward about 25mm and added a 15-20mm longer stem. My plan is to keep the stem the same and maybe move the saddle back around 12-13mm and see how it feels. I’m not sure if the potential benefit will materialize before Southern Cross.

I started messing with my position since I’m having such a hard time climbing seated. I’ve been debating what the cause is but there are a couple things that are no doubt contributing. The number one issue is probably the fact that 70% of my bike time the past three months has been on a single speed. Next on the list is I’m currently riding fairly heavy, it’s winter and I’m just not in great shape. My plan for today is to drop my saddle a few mm test out a little more setback and try to work on seated climbing.

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