Friday, September 4, 2009

Temecula June 2008

Alright, so i know that it's a little late, but this race report is making an appearance a lot sooner than the last one did, so i'm getting better. For those of you who don't know where Temecula is, it's not close. In fact, it's somewhat far, about 45mins north of San Diego on the Hwy 15, inland from the ocean far enough that it has none of the mild climates of coastal San Diego; no, Temecula is just a little desert town that heats up(appearantly) quite nicely in the middle of June...12hrs of Temecula is part of the endurance series this year that team bigfoot puts on, usually the events are more norcal-ish and primarily up in the Arcata/Humboldt area, but seeing as how i'm doing pretty well this season on the endurance stuff and i've had some luck in some of the other events in the series, i wasn't going to let a little seven hour drive stop me from giving this event my best shot. My lovely girlfriend and her family, who had been so great up in Weaverville, were also thinking of going to Temecula and so i figured that the weekend was going to be quite enjoyable, whether or not the race itself went well.I used the race as an excuse to go visit my buddies in San Diego. I couldn't see driving that far south and not continuing on to SD to say hello to Joe and the guys at the shop. I originally planned on leaving the wednesday evening before the race, after prairie city and just driving all night. After some thought, i realized that this was a retarded idea, i would arrive in Temecula thursday morning totally beat, try to go to sleep, wind up not sleeping, be in no mood to test ride the course, then drive to san diego and be all pissed off because i missed my thursday ride, i'm tired, and i still didn't pre ride the course... and for what? so that i could hang out in a bike shop for an extra day? i hang out in a bike shop quite a bit as it is, so i re thought my plans and decided that i would spend the night in sac on wednesday, get up and ride my normal 4hrs or so on thursday, and leave at some point on thursday afternoon. this plan was especially well thought out because it afforded me the opportunity to hang out with my Jamie Girl for a couple of extra hours before my solo 8 hr drive to SD.I had every intention of racing my Scalpel in Temecula, I even rode it on thursday to make sure everything was in order, i brought my singlespeed just in case.... The drive down went super smooth, made it from Folsom to Denny's on Alvarado in SD in 7:15. The van rocks! I grabbed some dinner, checked the email and had an ice cream sundae(race fuel) at Denny's, then drove over to a neighborhood that i used to sleep in while staying in SD and parked the van for the night. Woke up in an oven the next morning at about 7am, not that stoked. I hadn't slept much wednesday night, too amped up from prairie city i guess and i had hoped to sleep in on friday morning as i knew i wouldn't be doing so on saturday. oh well.Jamie and company were driving down on friday to Temecula and i wanted to meet them there, so i was off to Joe's shop to say hello and get my bikes all ready for the race. I left Joes around 12:30 and realized temecula was closer than i thought, oh well, i'd just have to wait a little while for everyone else to get there, no big deal.... oh, except for the massive detour at the grapevine followed by a second detour that sent them all the way to Barstow en route to Temecula. Suddenly the seven hour drive from sac to temecula was getting very long for Jamie, her family, and there passengers and fellow racers, Robert and Jenna. I hadn't originally planned on pre riding the course as it was now the day before the event and i pretty much never ride the day before an event if i can help it, but i figured i may as well since it was going to be a while before everyone got to the venue. I felt so terrible for them, i can barely stand being in the car if everything is going smooth, put me into a little traffic, or give me a detour and i pretty well flip out. i couldn't imagine what the mood must have been like in the motorhome...I pre rode the course in the middle of the afternoon on friday, which gave me an idea of what temps would be like on saturday, yikes. this might get a little tricky. I pre rode on my Scalpel, i was going to race that bike god dangit! but, after my pre ride, i hopped on my singlespeed and angels sang.... i goofed around with some stuff on the scalpel, but just couldn't get it to feel quite right, it feels okay, but not as good as my hardtail, and the course was pretty much made for a single speed, only a couple of spots where gears would have an advantage. Screw it, i'm racing one gear again. I was a little worried about the idea if Tinker showed up though... Although, he would kick my ass if i was riding a geared bike too, so it really didn't matter, may as well race what i'm most comfortable on.Everyone else finally arrived after a 12 hour drive through hell's half acre and they all sort of fell out of the motor home in a daze, i couldn't blame them... The initial plans to test ride the course went out the window as the drive got longer and longer, so i tried my best to tell Robert, Chris, and Jenna about the important details of the course. The first fire road climb went on for what seemed like forever, then there was a tricky rutted descent, a techie little rock garden obsticle at the top of a climb, then some sorta gnarly little switch backs, and from there, it was pretty smooth sailing, with one hike a bike climb and lots of fun single track. Spaghetti for dinner and lights out around eleven on a cozy little bed in the family motor home.... How did i get so lucky?! certainly beats the pb&j sandwhich with some cold precooked pasta followed by restless sleep on a thin foam pad in the back of my van that is usually the pre race routine when i go to events solo... again, how did i get so lucky?! and with my Jamie Girl sleeping just a few feet away, i couldn't have been happier, made getting a restful night's sleep a piece of cake.I was the last one up on race morning, everyone was sitting in the motorhome chatting it up when i woke up, that's the secret, sleep in! Breakfast was dry cereal, as always, and then it was time to cruise down to the pits to get set up and hear the race meeting and all of that good stuff.... No Tinker. But that only meant that i was racing for the win, and not for second place, it didn't make the day any easier, by any means.it was already warm by the 9am start and the first lap flew by pretty quick as i was trying to get a handle on who was in my class, who was solo and who was riding on a team, i think i came through in 5th-ish and set out on my second lap to catch the field and see who i was up against. I caught the other solos on the climb, a couple of them stayed with me through some of the rolling stuff and then i lost them on the gradual up hill later in the course. i decided to try to open up a little gap by simply trying to keep my pace the same as it had been for the first two laps. I didn't wan to speed up, i'd pay for it later in the race, i just didn't want to slow down, because i knew that's exactly what everyone else would do as the hours passed. I never saw any of the solos again(unless i was lapping them) and after five laps, my lead on second was 11minutes, and 25minutes on third. My laps were ticking off like clockwork, all within minutes of one another, and i decided at this point that 12 laps would be an attainable goal, though it could be close, as i expected my lap times to slip a little towards the end of the race. Many racers had their ear buds in from the start of the race, i told myself i wouldn't put the ipod on until i was over the half way mark, and after my seventh lap, feeling like i had a pretty good handle on the race, i threw the tunes on. the air temps must've been well into the 90s and the surface temps out on the course(not a single tree) must have been much higher, i could feel the strength threatening to leave my legs, so we upped the elecrolyte mix and started doing two bottles of mix per lap instead of one water and one mix. i also started taking two salt tabs per lap instead of one every other lap. The extrem heat made eating solid foods very difficult and i survived on GUs for the last four laps of the race. I'd done so well with nutrition in the early hours that i had no issues what so ever with GUs to finish things off. I never felt as though a bonk was looming.To my pleasant suprise, my lap times stayed nearly identical throughout the entire race, only increasing subtlely in the afternoon heat and getting quicker once again when the heat subsided. I rember looking at my watch at 3:30pm as i went out for a lap and thinking that it might be tricky to put in another 5 laps before 9pm, what with pits and all, and surely i'd slow down.... but i finished five laps later, almost exactly five hours later, just before 8:30pm, so consistent it was almost amazing.As the afternoon went on, the temps eventually crept back down to the point where you didn't feel as though you were going to die as you climbed, and riders once again began to populate the course. Things had gotten a bit lonely on the course during the heat of the day as i think a lot of riders took some extra time in the pits to cool off. That was probably a really smart idea, i'm not that smart though, and i tried to keep things going as quickly as possible regardless of the searing tempurature. About the end of lap 10, i felt like i could start to relax about being caught by second place, i wasn't sure of where he was at, i only knew from what Jamie was telling me that he was way behind, that i'd lapped him once or twice, i wasn't even sure who second place was or what he looked like! Only one more and then it's time for the light, i told myself as i started out on lap 11, seemed a little goofy to put a light on for about 30 minutes of use, but i wasn't about to stop at 7:30pm just because i didn't feel like strapping on my light. Race isn't over until 9pm, afterall. I made an effort to save a little something for the last lap, a had no intention of making it minutes faster or anything like that, afterall, my laps were not that slow to begin with. no, i just wanted to have enough get up and go left to make my last lap every bit as consistent as every other lap had been. there was one section of the climb which i had been walking for the last 3 laps and i decided on lap 12 that i was going to muscle my way up it, it sucked, but i did it. It wasy a bad move in terms of energy conservation and racing wisely, but that's what's sort of fun about the last lap, you don't have to worry about these things! My last lap was beautifully consistent once again and i came through the pit feeling extremely satisfied with the day's race and my performance. I was really excited that it was over though! I felt like i'd been baking in the oven all day and i just wanted to sit down in the cool darkness and let it all soak in. Jamie had packed up all the supplies and had fresh clothes waiting for me when i rolled in. Where has this girl been all of my life?!Jamie and her mother were kind enough to take care of me during the race and by the end of the event, we were working like a well oiled machine. I was extremely pleased with the efficiency of our pit stops. Thanks Jamie Girl! you're the greatest girlfriend ever! And thank you too Wanda, you guys were behind two solo victories(Chris won his class too), i'm pretty sure no other pit crew can say that! The raffle seemed to go on forever and awards seemed to end almost as soon as they began, hmmm. Ended up with 12 laps, winning solo pro. second did 9 laps....he, he, he. The nevada city classic was happening the next day and i wanted to be up there to watch the race, and possibly work the event too as my shop promotes and organizes it. Jamie and I left the race at 4am after crashing at about 12:30 or so. I couldn't sleep and got up to eat more food and take a littel walk, i was burning up after being in the sun all day, but after walking around in the cool blackness of the desert night for a while and making a little bathroom stop to adandon 12hrs of clif bars and gu, i was ready for a little shut eye. it was now 1:30am, alarm went off at 3:45am. I was so excited to be driving back with Jamie that i didnt even feel tired, not until that after noon when we arrived at the nevada city classic and began to mull about did the severe exhaustion set in. We must've both looked a little like zombies, very tan zombies, but zombies none the less and we couldn't stay for the pro race, which didn't start until 5pm. no, there came a point when sitting inside an air conditioned house became far more important than watching some roadies ride around in circles.I'm a little worried at this point about my right leg, it hurts, it's not just sore, it hurts. eight + hours on the gas pedal immediately following a 12 hr race in obscene temperatures has certainly taken it's toll on my leg. i have no hope in tonights prairie city race, just going out to have some fun.I'm sorry for the extreme length of this report and for the inclusion of so many non race related details, but for me racing istn't as much about lap times and course descriptions as it is about the experiences surrounding the race itself. The events before and after a race are a lot more interesting in most cases than the race itself and it just wouldn't be a race report without the inclusion of all the other details, ya know?

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