Monday, June 19, 2006

Bike Race / 自転車のレース

I am coming out of retirement this weekend.

No, I am not going back to work for some company. Instead, after 6 years of not racing, I am entering into a mountain bike race. And not a normal race, but instead an endurance race. I am entering the 8 Hours of Lake Somona bike race.

I will be racing my bike for 8 hours straight. I have entered a few endurance events in the past, so have done this type of thing before. And I am in Ok shape right now. But it has been 6 years since I last did anything like this, and there is a lot of knowledge needed to keep going for 8 hours, so I don't know how well I will do. But I will do my best.



At 8:37 PM, Blogger PeterD said...

Ok, the weather report for Sunday is saying hot. Over 100 degrees! I am having second thoughts about doing the race.

At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:21 AM, Blogger PeterD said...

Even with my second thoughts, I did race. It was hot - one person said that they saw a reading of 110F at one point. The laps were relatively short - about 4.5 miles with quite a bit of climbing. There was some oak trees to provide shade, but a lot of the course was exposed to the sun. There were 12 soloists, and I was the only one on a singlespeed.

I stayed slow and steady the entire time. Guess keeping my stomach together was the key.

Started at the back, as I was using my first lap as my get used to the course lap (I didn't preride). Then just slowly kept going. Very tortoise like.

First lap I rode most of the climbs, second a bit less of the climbs. By about 3 pm, it felt like if it wasn't downhill, I was walking.

I didn't pay attention to what position I was in until after the half way point. I checked in after about 6 laps and found I was in fourth, and 22 minutes behind number 3. Figured I wasn't going to improve.

Did 2 more laps and came in at just before the 7 hour mark. I was wondering if I could get away with just doing 1 more lap, or if I would have to do 2 to hold whatever place I had. Did a quick check to see where we were and found I had moved up to 3rd place. Also found the the 2nd place guy, who also had finished 8 laps, and 4th place guys had stopped. The second place guy was waiting to see if I was going to go out again (forcing him to go out and beat me to the finish to keep his 2nd place). But once I confirmed that the 4th place guy had stomach problems, so stopped, I figured I had locked in 3rd and called it a day. Plus figured that the 2nd place guy was well rested, so there was no way I could beat him in a drag race (with all my walking - it would see more like a snail race). So 8 laps in just under 7 hours.

Truthfully, I think the course is not a good solo course. It would be a good course to just ride for fun, with lots of little technical challenges. But after a few hours of riding, you start getting stupid due to exhaustion and heat, so make lots of little mistake. So I was walking a lot of areas that I would normally ride, just because I didn't want to risk a crash.

Turns out I may have had a chance to get 2nd, but didn't have the knowledge. In my race-induced stupidity, I never questioned why the 2nd place guy would risk his place by stopping so long (at least a half hour) on the hope I would quit early. Seems 2nd place guy stopped because of stomach problems. He seemed to have recovered by the time I got there, but you never know...


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