Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hanson Hills: Racin and Learnin

*All references to yesterday mean Sunday. Blogger was down Monday and I had no access to the internet until this morning.

A steady downpour and temperatures hovering around 50 degrees made for a pretty rough day in the saddle yesterday. I got chilled after my warmup in the cold and rain (despite putting new dry clothes on my top half), and I never really got warm again. My feet were soaking wet and cold. Traction was either really good were there was sand, or it was super, super slick where there was dirt. In the end I was about ten minutes slower than last year, but preliminary examination of the results shows that this was pretty much the same for everybody. I ended up 7th out of 8. It was not my best effort as the cold and my inability to get my heartrate up left me feeling a little blah. Not DFL, but PFC. On the brighter side of things, I was within just a couple of minutes of the few guys right in front of me. So what did we learn?

1) If you’re driving a covered pick up truck to a race, and you own an easy-up 12 ft. square tent, bring it. Bring your trainer as well. If it’s raining when it’s time to warm up, simply do your warm up on the trainer all dry and warm.

2) If you are going to do your warm up on the road and it looks like it may rain (or it’s just starting to rain lightly like yesterday), put the shoe covers you’ve brought along on anyway. You’re never going to be more than 10 minutes away from the car if you really want to take them off at some point, and if it does start raining heavily (like it did yesterday) you’ll be happy you had them on.

3) If you think conditions may be a bit slippery, or really slippery for that matter lower your tire pressure by about 3-5 p.s.i. This is especially true on a course that is almost 100% singletrack (just like Hanson Hills). When there are no road sections to make up time and the course is super slick, traction becomes a really big deal.

I did none of the above yesterday, but you can bet your a** I will next time. If you have a less than stellar race, it’s important to at least learn something from it. I learned a lot yesterday, and hopefully it’ll make me a little faster somewhere down the road. I guess Benson has decided the WNR for this week: Boyne Mountain. Sarah is leading a faction of mostly female riders at Avalanche Mountain. We will regroup for dinner at the new Cafe Sante in Boyne City. Over and out.


Sarge said...

It took me a while to locate your results. I didn't realize that you were racing single speed. Sweet!

WPG said...

Yeah, I've been doing that particular one on the singlespeed for a couple of years now. I've been meaning to return your call, but it's been tough with the time change and all. Maybe this weekend I'll give you a shout.