Sunday, June 27, 2010

12hrs of Cranky Monkey

Yesterday was the 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey. I rode solo, which was a first for me. Goal was to ride 8 laps, with ~ 1:15 lap times (not counting breaks).

Start was a mass "Le Mans" start, with a .25 mile run. Lap 1 was pretty fast for me...about 1:04 ride time. Heart rate was high, as was the adrenaline and the pucker factor as the trail was pretty congested. Plan was to take a small pit stop after lap 2, so I pressed on and rode a 1:07 for lap 2. Quick stop for water bottle change and to grab some Gu and I headed out for a strong lap 3...then it happened. Flat #1. Quick check of the tire, and I couldn't find the culprit, so assumed a pinch flat. About 2 minutes later...Flat #2, and I'm out of tubes. Did a sloppy patch job, then did a more thorough check to find a tack. How could I have missed that? Start to air up with the hand pump (major pain in the ass), and realize the patch job sucks. Luckily a team rider, stopped to hand me a tube. I get enough air in the tire to finish the lap in about 2 hours. During that down time I roasted...the rest of the lap sucked as I drained the Camelback and my sports drink. Took a longer pit stop to get back out there, and could never recover the old rhythm. After lap 3, I did ride the rest of the race knocking out consistent 1:15 laps, but I took longer and longer pit stops. I never checked my standing until the finish. I completed 8 laps, 6th in Solo 35+, and was 16 minutes out of the money for 5th. 1st and 2nd place completed 9 laps. Some better luck and time management and I coulda done better...but who knows, I coulda suffered more debilitating cramps and bailed after lap 6 too. Since this was my first event of this type, I still don't know the right balance of ride/rest. Aside from that, I had a great time and learned a lot. I can't complain since I did achieve my goal and I'm still walking (slowly) this morning. The taint's hurting and I can't bend at the waist, but it could be worse.

Things I learned:

-mechanicals in the heat really throw off the rhythm
-changing flats in the heat is not really rest
-don't rush a flat change in a race, make sure you find the cause, else you'll be doing it again
-carry a CO2 cartridge
-it's time to go tubeless -you need good support in the pit...a table with everything laid out would've been smart. i wasn't that organized
-frozen sports drink is awesome...i started with a block of ice, but the drinks were cold for most of the the end, they were warm. freeze 1 bottle for each anticipated lap.
-don't sit in the pit too worst cramps came when I tried to change socks
-the taint has its limits...for me about 6 laps...or about 7 hours in the saddle
-i need to learn how to descend in order to ride more efficiently
-when you throw-up in your mouth while climbing, it's best to dismount and push
-walking the climbs isn't that detrimental to lap times. i stayed pretty consistent (aside from the first 2 laps) with my lap times. the last lap, where i walked several times wasn't that much slower than the 4th, and i avoided some cramps.
-i can still ride for 35+ miles after the onset of the first cramp.
-i took Endurolytes, Thermolytes...and any type of "lyte" that was handed to me. All were good for temporary relief of cramping, but none are magic. Gotta stay ahead of the curve with nutrition...which is almost impossible in that kind of heat.
-most mountain bikers are pretty cool...lots of encouragement passed from relay riders to me and my fellow soloist. some, though are still the dude who impatiently passed me on a piece of narrow singletrack going uphill on lap 7. i gave him a few choice words...probably because i was cranky at that time.
-Shiner Bock and Papa John's pizza tastes best after 12 hours of riding in 90+ deg temps
-Great food:
--Sonya's Chocolate Chip Cookies
--Trader Joe's Hawaiian Style Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips
--Watermelon...after lap 6 I was sick of water and sports drinks. This hit the spot.
--Peanut Butter and Jelly
-Food I couldn't stomach
--Cliff midday, the sight of them made me wretch
--Gu...seemed to be a necessary evil mid-lap, but was never a pleasant experience

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