Tuesday, May 10

2016 PMBAR thoughts and other things that fell out of me

Reflections on the 2016 PMBAR...

I have a Cateye Strada cycling computer on my stem for two reasons at PMBAR.  One is to comply with the required gear rules.  Most years, I know we're going for all the checkpoints, and the only way we're going to be out after dark is if we screw something up (or have a huge mechanical).  Knowing what time of day it is... irrelevant.

The second reason is to be aware of how long we've been in the saddle, so as to make better bike race through timely nutrition and hydration management.  I'm still somehow terrible at it.  Two and a half hours in when we got to the first CP, I'd drank a half bottle and eaten a Little Debbie brownie.  The rest of the day would follow the same theme.  I'd tell Watts how long we'd been out, he'd tell me how little he'd eaten/drank, I would concur, we would continue being stupid.

And I wonder why I'm flailing on singletrack after seven hours?  There's just something about endurance races with established aid stations that force me into making better decisions as opposed to doing it all on my own.  Oh well.

The Togs.  I can't say they saved me, but maybe they did.  I was constantly grabbing them on climbs and even on the trail.  Only when I was descending the gnar would I wrap my non-injured thumb around the bar while still holding on the left side with my thumb around the Tog.

photo cred: Brado
Maybe a few times, my sad digit would find its way under the grip (like to droop), but it spent a huge part of the day Togging along.  Pretty sure they are staying on the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 on a permanent basis.  I like them that much.

photo cred: Icon Media Asheville
More Tog descending on Buckhorn Gap.

I could write a more lengthy review, but what else can I say?  I used them.  They were useful.  I will continue to use them.  Solid endorsement, right?  Oh yeah, get black (or crabon).  There.

I tried using the Mio Fuse that had been gifted to me last week (more on that later... I think) to kinda limit my early efforts from going red line.

I screwed it up.  I had it mounted slightly higher on my arm, it did its thing and found my pulse (through science or wizardry or something), but then it slid down because I didn't have it tight enough.  I'm not sure how, but in its new position, it was only showing about half of my BPMs.  I was  sorta pegged getting around people on lower Black Mountain, but my HR was only showing 70-90BPM.  I'm sure if anyone saw that as I came around, they must have thought I was super human or something.  Or dying.  I never wanted to take the time to reset it, so it ended up just coming off and being stowed away for the rest of the race.  Maybe next time.

My cookie breakfast?  Stellar.  Hangover or no hangover.  I like cookies and coffee.  This is going to stick, except at Trans-Sylvania Epic because everything (other than beer and coffee) gets old after five-seven days in a row.

And in all seriousness regarding route selection... My/our rank amongst our fellow racers will always be secondary to establishing a solid route.  I know that there will never be a perfect choice, but when it's apparent that a bad decision was made?  I dwell on that for some time.  Just once, I want to look back and tell myself that there was no other way I woulda wanted to go.  Podium, schmodium.  It's a nice consolation prize, but not as sweet as putting it all together in the best way possible.  At least if I felt 100% that I went the best way (for our team), our place would be what it was, and I would not have to think about what it could have been had I not been a bear of little brain.

One more strange thing to add which means nothing but perplexes me so.

The single speed category at PMBAR has only existed for three years now.   The first year, Zac and I won it with a 5th place overall finish.  Last year, a 21st place overall only had us drop one spot down on the SS podium to second.  Now, 7th overall with Watts and another drop on the SS podium to third.

If ever there were a set of data points that can't be placed on a graph and made science of... except that single speeders aren't good with data, so maybe it could be.

One thing is painfully obvious tho.  When out-of-towners or Pisgah noobs ask me for a route to do that would be fun, and I give it to them... I mean it when I say that I have no idea how many miles it is OR how long it will take you.  Srsly.  None of that computes at all.  It's just a ride that I think would be fun, and if I were on it, I could do it or at least amend the route as we went along to adjust to the amount of daylight left.  You?  Good luck.  Buy a map.  Check STRAVA.  Do something smarter than asking me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never trained with a heart rate monitor nor power monitor... I don't feel like being like a hamster. I like to ride. Sometimes I like to ride hard...
now a days, I just like to ride...
but, when I was racing, I just rode for the love of riding.
Then it turned into hamster time, doing the same shit over and over again. Got bored of the whole thing. Was turning out like a bad crack head biking 25000km a year and spending 20k a year for races, travel, new bikes... I was like a bad crack head.
thus, now ... I just enjoy biking.
I'm finally at a point where guilt doesn't set in if I don't ride and just take it easy... I just enjoy biking now.
More peaceful, less stress, for the joy of biking...