Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another Six Hours

Last spring I had a crazy idea.  Host a ride that followed a solo endurance race format in a loose way by doing a set course over and over till we ran out of time.  I laid out a local loop that was pretty much ten miles even and took me an hour at a moderate but steady pace.  I made it fun...some singletrack sections...and not too hard with non-techy climbs and about 1000' of elevation change per lap.  We roll by our trucks every lap so re-fueling is easy.

I had a group start time and a closing time of six hours later and no one could roll out past that time. I ended up with a few nut cases that came along and a couple of us made it to 5 laps within the allotted time.  Six laps would mean a less than one hour per lap average and I knew I could not do that, but I figured if I came in with 30 minutes or more to go, I would look at a 6th lap, finishing over the 2:00 stop time.

Did not happen.  I pulled in at 5 minutes before the bell and called it good enough.  Maybe next time that 6th lap will happen, but it still made for 50 miles and according to one guys stats, 1200' per lap, so about 6k' of climbing.  That will have to do.  We had pretty good headwinds and that slowed the ascents a bit but made for blistering fast downhills, even on the singlespeeds.

We began with 8 of us.  One guy was shooting for 4 laps as that would have been more miles on a MTB than he had ever ridden.  He made 3 laps and still set a PBR, but just barely.  One very fit lady joined us and she was recovering from some wear and tear repair on the hamstrings, so her pace was moderate but she still got in 4 laps.  Two other guys did the 4 laps as well.

Ed the Tall and Navy Mike brought out the singlespeeds.  Really?  Man, I should have done that too, but there were two things holding me back...I needed to get some ride time on some carbon wheels I am testing and honestly I am not sure I could do 5 laps on a singlespeed.  Hard to say, but I was hurting at times and was in energy conservation mode a few times...hard to do that on a singlespeed.

I was trying a new endurance drink by Fluid and used that as my primary source of energy.  I ran with one bottle per lap mixed two scoops per bottle.  I had a 2/3 full 70oz hydration pack with Elete in it as well and a few of my oat bars stuffed in my pocket.  I want to find a liquid based product that keeps me fueled, even, and prevents cramping.  I was pretty happy with the way the Fluid Performance worked.  I felt very even and did not get any blood sugar issues, something I struggle with.  I ate 4 of the oat bars squares (not very big...two bites each) and that was it for the 6 hours of nearly constant riding at a fast pace.  I did get some hints of cramping at lap three, and I think I underestimated the amount of water to bring as the dry winds and warm-ish temps tended to dry out the bod pretty good.  At one point I took the squeeze bottle of Elete and put two shots of the additive straight under my tongue.  I swear that did a miracle and gave me no hint of cramps again for another two and a half hours of pedaling.

Ed the Tall ran out of water due to a spilled supply jug and pulled the lug at 4 laps, but he was holding a one hour time per lap.  Man, he is strong.  He does not say much or brag or talk smack...he just rises out of the saddle and lets the cranks turn while the bike moves forward out of sight.  Ed is my hero.  I have enclosed a picture of Ed below, or at least the way I see him, in the spirit of the old west.

Navy Mike is becoming a monster on that new SS of his, a monster I created by selling him the little steel beast.  When he began the ride he had legs like this guy below.

When he finished the five laps into the wind on that SS, his legs looked like this.

Yep.  All true, I swear.  The home grown 6 Hour is a fun thing to do and I bet most areas near you can support it.  Keep it fun but hard, let everyone shoot for their own goals, and then go grab Mexican food or a brew sample...or both.  Be careful about the singlespeeds and leg muscle thing though.  That is gonna' cost Navy Mike a bunch of money in blue jeans.

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