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The Next Big Thing?

November 9, 2010

Almost exactly 2 weeks after finishing the 24 hour race at Rocky Hill, the Pro/Cat 1 men started the final race of the 2010 TMBRA fall cup at Cameron Park in Waco. I had no intent to do this race this year, but it just happened to coincide with a real estate deal I wanted to take a look at, plus I hadn’t done any substantial riding for 2 weeks, plus I hadn’t ridden Cameron Park in about 4 years, plus it offered a chance for Colleen to attend the free women’s riding clinic on Saturday and see friend/Xterra world champion Shonny Vanlandingham, so we drove up Saturday morning for the clinic and festivities and I did the race on Sunday.

It was a tough dang race. Maybe I was fully recovered from Rocky Hill, or maybe I wasn’t. What I do know is that I hadn’t ridden since that race nor had I taken good care of myself. Not anticipating any hard racing after the 24, I ate lots of junk and as much calorie dense food as I could get my hands on to satisfy my uncontrollable hunger. I neglected stretching and good practice recovery protocols, except for a little extra sleep. I wasn’t getting drunk on homemade Mead or Shiner, but I wasn’t turning down such tasty beverages. No riding, no P90X, no caveman workouts, I pretty much hadn’t been doing anything conducive to producing good race results.   Oh well, I’m always up for an impromptu challenge.

Photo Courtesy of Bobcat13 Photography

The Pro/Cat 1 roster this day would not be doing me any favors. Most of you reading this blog will have no idea who I’m talking about if I threw out all the names, but all you need to know is that the best of the best showed up this very Sunday. It was a confluence of speed, skill, and gut determination I haven’t seen since the glory days of TMBRA. My chances for pay would be little; a podium even less likely. Such is the nature of the beast when you get to this level. You are too fast to sandbag the age group, but still, the difference between 3rd place and 12th might only be 1-2 minutes. For a race about 2 hours long, that isn’t much. This is no room to let off the gas, even less room for error. Every racer is strong; every racer is good. As long you did your best, there is no shame in finishing mid pack or even near the end.

In hindsight, I probably could’ve left about 5% more effort out on the course that day, but switching from about a 75% effort to 105% with two weeks in between of keeping that couch warm, it was mentally tough. Cameron park is not a particularly technical course, but taken at warp speed it can become one. There are ample turns, rocks, roots, ledges, tree branches, climbs, descents, and other fun things that make the race equally demanding on  brainpower and coordination skills as it does leg and lung capacity. I ended up 13th of 19, out of the money (top 50%), but I knew I had raced about as hard as could be expected, plus it was a beautiful day out and post race beer was tasty so all was good.

Photo Courtesy of Bobcat13 Photography

While registering for the race, I happened to see this flyer sitting on the table. A 6/12/24/48/72 Hour mountain bike race in Coldspring, TX on November 20-21? A 1 ounce American Eagle gold coin awarded to the solo winner of the 24,48, 72 hour races? I wasn’t particularly glutton for more 24 hour punishment this year, let alone a month after Rocky Hill, but last I checked, I don’t have any other plans that weekend and the going rate for 1 ounce of gold is about $1400. That would really go a long way in my new business and help cover bills while Colleen is searching for a new job. An 8 mile lap at Coldspring is sure to get boring as hell, and I hate the prospect of having to race for money, but I’ve got a skill that the market is willing to pay for and $1400 for a days work ain’t so bad. So barring catastrophy between now and then (knock on wood), I think I’m going to give it a go.

Stay tuned for more details leading up to this next [possible] adventure. Thanks for reading!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 8:32 pm

    C’mon, I raced that 48hr solo, you have to at least do a 72hr.

    • aardvark102431 permalink
      November 12, 2010 1:22 pm

      I am either A) not as tough as you B) not as crazy as you.
      or maybe both.

  2. November 12, 2010 2:01 pm

    You left out C) you are tougher but probably more sensible.

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