Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010 Ore to Shore

We had one hell of a team turnout for the race this year: For the 48 mile (in order of finishing I think), we had Doug, Secret Steve, Racin' Rob, Charlie/Chuck, Myself, Kevin, Bobbi, Hugh and Denise (aboard the tandem), and Matt. And on the 28 side of things (I'm far less sure of the finishing order so feel free to connect), we had Benson, Damon, Cheryl, and Amber. Honorary team members for the day were Damien (a former local Marquette native that works at the store and will be starting college in the fall) and Ulle (a Petoskey guy who's been around the races this year and attended the after party at the campground with Secret Steve). So, without further ado I give you my story of the race this year.

I had the goal of finishing the race in under three hours, and I've spent a good deal of time training specifically towards that goal. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. I lined up a lot closer to the front end of the field than in previous years; that did make a difference in the beginning. Most notably, the climb up the luge run went much more smoothly than normal. Even just a little further back there are often people getting off their bikes to walk, and just basically getting in the way. Just before we got out of the woods in downtown Negaune, Secret Steve and Racin' Rob caught up to me. We worked together for the next few miles, but by the time we got to the first section of the power line climbs they had dropped me. This is also right around where Doug caught up and passed me. I haven't been able to pinpoint the cause, but the heat yesterday was having a dire effect on my race. Right after that section of climbs (which is merely a warmup for the bigger climbs to come), my legs started cramping. Every time I tried to put in a little extra effort over the top of a short steep hill or tried to bridge a gap my quads would seize up. I immediately let up on the gas and assessed the situation. It was just over an hour into the race, and I knew that if the cramping continued it would be a long day indeed. I finished off my first bottle, had a gu, and chugged some more water out my pack. I started to come around a little, but it still felt like I was burning up. At the bottom of Misery Hill (the longest steepest hike-a-bike on the course) I took a second to remove my little cycling cap and shoved it into my pocket. The effect was not immediate, but by the top of the climb I was starting to feel a little better. Oh yeah, Charlie and Kevin had passed me by this point as well. So I was feeling better, and I got into a good group of four or five other riders. We stayed together trading pulls through almost all the road section. Near the top of the last paved climb, our group went by Kevin. I said "Hey" and continued motoring up the hill. I was hoping to pick off a couple more riders from our group, but it didn't happen. For most of the last 15 miles or so I rode alone. I picked off a few riders here and there, but right at the bottom of the last wood chip hill I put the hammer down and started passing people left and right. My legs were totally cramping up, but I was close enough to the finish that I just rode right through them. So in the end it was 3 hours and 17 minutes for Pedro. Not at all the result I was looking for, but that's mountain bike racing. Things do not always go as planned, and a big part of bike racing (and xc ski racing as well) is learning how to adapt on the fly. I've done enough racing and suffering now, that I knew as soon as I started cramping it would have been really easy just to shut down with negative thoughts and the like. Instead, I did what I could to salvage my race and put up a respectable time. To all my team members, great job. It's so nice to ride together every week, but all of us taking the time and effort to come out and race the Ore to Shore is fu**ing awesome. Props to Sarah and Jess for hosting the awesome BBQ at the campground afterwards. We should do all of this again next year, and the years after that as well. Thanks for reading.

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