PMBAR is upon us, like a plague... a nice, warmly welcomed plague, but a plague nonetheless.
Saturday will be my tenth PMBAR. I have finished them all of them, not officially, but still...
This is Zac and I's third year as partners. I promised him the PMBAR glory I shared with Thad ('09) and Elk ('08) in the past, but have failed to deliver. This year I promise nothing. Last year we only got three checkpoints before Zac broke his axle. I went on and got the last two solo for an official DNF, but solely in order to prove whether or not we could have pulled off a pack-less PMBAR. We could have. We will this year.
Here's what we have to carry:
they have no nutritional value. I'll be running lean. I can afford to as I intend to pack my glycogen/burrito stores to the gills tomorrow.
Gu Brew electrolyte tablets to make the iodine treated creek water taste less like crap
Tülbag with my usual tools (and a spare set of used *Shimano pads)
Old prototype Fönbag with lighter, guaze, medical tape, emergency blanket, compass, and iodine carried in a beaker shot glass from the '01 24 Hours of Snowshoe
To meet the other needs...
Cyclocomputer that only tells time (no sensor on the wheel)
Shitty disposable rain poncho I've been (not) using for years and secondary tube (rubber banded behind my number plate holder)
Of course I'll have this:
Race Strapped under my saddle.
Not shown is an additional 25 gram CO2 next to my bottle cage, two bottles of Skratch Labs (that will be replaced with creek water after a few hours), and a blinky on my helmet.
Boom. Pack-less PMBAR.
Zac was over at the hacienda the other night to shorten the rear brake line on his PMBAR machine. He is going with a 1X10 on his Santa Cruz Chameleon. The good news is that the drive train, wheels, and brakes are in great shape. The bad news is that the bike (hopefully) got one shake down ride last night. With only one decent standard bottle cage mount, Zac is once again using all sorts of trickery and Awesome Straps to portage his required gear.
We have a new attitude this year. All the checkpoints, all the fun, no expectations. I have not ridden with a geared partner since the 2005 Trans Rockies, so we already have our built-in challenges. There will certainly be some yo-yo'ing going when we hit the gravel.
This does not look particularly good...
depending on how you look at it. I've mentioned before, I do well in shit conditions. I love to think about how miserable it makes everybody else. That said, two weekends in a row of racing in the rain means two bikes that need attention. Meh.
Break out the sleeveless jerseys.
No blog tomorrow. Packing the car for an after-work exodus to the highlands. Sleep arrangements are still quite fluid, but suffice it to say, if you are driving past the back porch of The Pisgah Tavern on Fri/Sat night, no jack braking.
*If you're coming to PMBAR AND plan on making it through the day, bring spare pads (at least a set) and the know-how to change them IN THE FIELD. A long, wet day in Pisgah will eat your pads, this I know.