Most of my friends know me as a “short track” racer. At 37, the shorter races have begun to take their toll on my heart. Having a high max HR (I’ve performed over 20 VO2 Max tests and about 7 other types of tests in the past 3 years), and having some “issues” on the race course, I think my short track career is over. They are fun….especially when I’m on the podium with guys almost half my age. I love the tactics, but a tactical advantage is only as good as your anaerobic threshold and power to weight ratio. At 200 lbs, my power to weight ratio really isn’t that great.
So now is the season for big rides. I’ve done a few races this year that went about 3 hours. Usually I suck at those. Hour 2 comes and I hope I don’t cramp, but this year I stayed hydrated and well fueled and was able to finish strong. Hopefully my “age” induced endurance will help me through the next few weeks.
I’m doing my second road century of my life. My first was when I was a teenager. I’ve ridden hundred milers since then, but only on my own or with Jenn…..and I can guarantee you that there have been less than 3 of those. My longest mountain bike ride was a 70 mile leg of the Crested Butte 100. I did that on my Moto-Lite. It actually felt great and I was able to hang with some of the old time fast guys from Colorado.
I’ll also be doing my least favorite mountain bike race – the Chupacabras. Why is it my least favorite? About 35 miles or so of flat Rio Grande levee. Ugghh. All the Mexican roadies pin that section with team tactics and leave everyone in their wake. No skill required. The skill sections are brief and require more hiking skills than riding skills. A free jersey to the top 600 makes it worth while. They also give away lots of other cool swag. It is quite an experience and it is worth doing if you ever get the itch for an interesting event in the border city of Juarez, Chih, Mexico.
The next weekend after that I’m doing my first 100 mile off road adventure, the Zuni 100. I think most people are calling them “hundies”. That makes me think of some weird sort of diaper or German brief, so I’ll just refer to them as a 100 miler. The one I’m doing is at moderate elevation and has only modest climbing. It’s almost all single track, some of which I’ve ridden. My skills should help me.
I’m glad I own a dualie 29er.