Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bushwhack Mountain Bike Challenge

photo by biketriad.com
This was the inaugural Bushwhack Mountain Bike Challenge and it was limited to 100 riders, and I was one of the lucky ones that got a spot.  It wasn't that hard to get one as long as you signed up early and didn't wait until the last minute and then hope someone would back out so you could have their spot. This crazy cold front that came through had the temperature at 28F and a wind chill of 20F at the start which is not normal for Raleigh, NC. This race was every man or woman for themselves, no categories, just straight up racing.  They had us start with 1 mile on the road before hitting the singletrack to get us spread out sort of. It was great accept for everyone with gears went flying down the road which made it harder on the single speed to get a good spot going into woods. I spent the next 7 miles slowly moving around people before we hit the fireroads for the next 19 miles. It was fairly flat for the next 2.5 or so miles which made it easy for some the geared guys to come back by until we hit the uphill sections and I would make up time on some. Spinning out going downhill didn’t help when I would be within quarter mile or so of some others and they would just pull away. I think I only ended up passing 3 or 4 on the fireroads. Finally I hit the singletrack again and that is where I made up some spots passing 7 guys. I ended up covering the 35 miles in 2:37:49 and finishing 33rd out of 90 riders. The race didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but better than not showing up and not finishing.

Photo by Reward
Yes, I ran the rooty climb.  People were stopped at the top.

Lesson learned - Even though it is cold as hell outside you don't have to put on every cycling related piece of gear you own.  Well, the one extra piece was not actual cycling gear, but none other than running tights.  Huge mistake, not because they were running tights, but because when you slide your leg warmers over top of the tights the leg warmers like to slowly work themselves down over the miles.  This didn't happen with both legs at the same time, they somehow took turns sliding down.  At least 3 times in Umstead I slowed down to a crawl to pull them back up.  Only happened once in Crabtree, but it was flopping around by knee, so I had to come to a complete stop for this, it sucked.  So, next time I will have to not be a big wuss and HTFU and go with just the leg warmers or just hope it is warmer.

This race will be on my list every year they run it.  It makes you hurt in a good way.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, that was my concern also, overheating. I ultimately ended up going with three wicking layers underneath my jersey. I probably could have gone with two as I was warm before hitting Umstead, but never felt like I overheated. Also, the wind/water resistant pants (from Performance), were right on target! See you at the next race.