Friday, June 08, 2007

Course recon complete

We got out (JJ, A1, MM and new to the blog- Bug Picker or BP for short- I'll explain that later) to do some early season re-con on the 24 hour course up at great glen. I've never ridden the course this early but with the idea of solo SS becoming a reality I wanted to see how it would feel.

We got up to GGTOC and met up with Eli, Ryan, Howie- and all the players that make GGTOC go round and round. They had their spring trail running series taking place so we cheered for a few runners before we had the all clear to head out on the trail. JJ brought the Garmin so that we could get some new numbers (I'm sure he'll be posting those soon) and so we could give Howie an elevation chart for the course. We rode down to the start finish area and began our journey.

I've put in a lot of laps on this course, but this would be the firt trip on the SS. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous as this would be the reality check as we head towards August. The first obsticle that had been giving me fits at night was the switchback climb that come in the first mile of the course- it wasn't all that bad- but it made me realize that at the start we either have to hammer to try and be near the front or lay up and let a gap open at the bottom of the climb- cuz if you ride it your moving right along. I'll let you guess what my tactic will be- yup no Tin Cup move coming from this guy.

Then the next piece I didn't even try- the new climb that shoots you up this little bridge and up towards honeymoon. I never rode it last year successfully so I didn't even try- only to watch JJ and A1 shoot up and stomp the climb- damn. I knew I'd have to go back at the end and give it another go. So that was my first push. Then I made it up to the pond but the roots took me out on the last steep pitch heading up Aquaduct. the rest of that loop- which I call Honeymoon loop (not sure it that's what anyone else calls it) was good. Only MM blew a chain so he had a bit of hike-a-bike and coasting to deal with. We rebuilt his chain and connected with BP (again more on that later). Once MM's links were all linked up we continued on our mary way. The SS's were working well and hte carriage road- which in the past have been big ring hammer sections, became relaxing and good recovery. The singletrack flowed nicely and in some places the SS seems down right silly fast.

We finally got to Whiplash the major technical challege of the course- I rode most of it well- but once I got bucked off it took me a while to get my groove back. I think a couple laps in there and I can have that section fairly dialed. The next pig effort came on Dugway. It sucked. Litterally- sucking our wheels down into the mud. I did a fair amount of pushing. If dry it shouldn't be to bad. At the top Patrick- I mean BP took the lead and quickly earned his nickname. A1, JJ and I let the fully suspended duo go first as we didn't want to slow them down. This section is very wide but there are waterbars and rocks so I knew I wasn't going to go super fast. We come around a corner and there is a large hemlock tree that has fallen partly into the trail, the broken end of the tree is a good four feet up in the air- kinda a bad thing to run into- but of course there was a good 10 feet of open trail to the right of the tree. Anyway Patrick had a bug in his nose, chose to let go of the handle bars with one hand, look down, adn then dig the bug out of his nose. In so doing he somewhat lost control and slammed into the down tree with his arm (hence the nickname- Bug Picker). I'm quite sure it hurt as it looked nasty and thinking of how fast he was likely going and how big the tree is- it just couldn't have been good.

Back to the trail, we continued on our way. It wasn't to long before I blasted into a section of SS and manage to toss my chain. Then about 1/4 mile later I managed to go over my bars going uphill. But other then that it was a good ride. I think everyone enjoyed the course and I know I have a much better feel for how many laps I can do. That number 20 that I threw out a couple weeks ago now brings laughter to the air. Here are my new numbers- goal- 15, safe 10, likely 12-13. I'd like to cover at least a 100 miles (12 laps). The scary number was the elevation- over 1000 ft per lap so we'll be looking at Jay type of climbing if we do 12-15 laps- but hey we have an extra 12 hours to do it!

That's it at the moment.




bluecolnago said...

sounds like a challenging course. oh yeah! :)

have fun!

bluecolnago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.