Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Homage To Ice Race Report...and Recovery??

The Homage to Ice is one of DanOfSubstance's races (Substance Projects...Dan's race promotion company); it is the first of a Marathon XC race series.  So I had this race scheduled for some time...Fig didn't; but I talked him into entering at the last minute.  Fig preferred to go the day before (go Friday for the Saturday race, there were cabins available at the race site), so that's what we did.  The cabin was great...although bunk beds can have their this...

It was all good though.  Now, Fig is a bit of a sleeper-inner (actually he suffers from congenital sleep apnea...seriously)...(P.S.- congenital is not the same as genital...look it up).  Anyways...the race start was 8:30am; I was geared up and ready to warm up at 7am...this was Fig.

Sorry for the graphic pic, but be glad it wasn't more like this...

Anyways, Fig did get up...ate a pound of lasagna for pre-race breakfast, and drank two cups of beet juice.  Who can do that??  If I did that, I would have to find an outhouse on the course, plus pee 5 times!!  Oh works for him...and proves the difference in individual biologies I guess.

OK...sorry for getting off track...back to the race.  After fumbling with my iphone/bike computer (this is a story for another posting...some day.)...I got started towards the back of the paddock.  Luckily Dan had the race start on a couple of kms of gravel road which gave me an opportunity to move up the pack some...then a small drop off a brick step, a small log drop into a grassy switch back (very creative Dan!), into a bit of muddy/snowy double track that led into '45'...a steep, loose, lung-busting trough of a hill..but the pack had not thinned out enough yet and the hill caused a bit of a bottleneck.

Then '45' finally opened into a short bit of clean fun single track (perhaps as much as a km) with a couple of small logovers.  The singletrack then came out into double-track/forest road...thick in snow just starting to soften up as the day warmed up.  And here is where I struggled...and got passed and passed and passed.  Just enough too heavy, I continually sunk through the surface of the snow...while many others, light racing waifs, floated over...

This went on for several kms (maybe 8-10?)...then thankfully we came out onto road (because of all the snow Dan decided to throw in some gravel road into the course...about 10km or so...very grateful Dan!!) where I managed to gain some ground and make a few passes.  The road had a turnaround point (indicated by Wilson the volleyball in the middle of the road), which directed you back up the road against the flow...which was awesome!  It gave you the chance to see who was in front and behind you!  As it turns out JeffS was well in front of me (the 'S' in JeffS stands for Superfast!!!...cuz he is...), Unglued was a couple of hundred meters behind me, Fig was close to 1km back.  (Fig kindly gave me the finger as we passed; which meant he was inspired to catch me!)

While the road was a godsend of a break from the snow, there were several long steep rollers ... enough to keep it challenging...but then of course it had to turn back into the snow trails.  Different snowy trails...but same story of struggle and woe.  Then the snowy double track/fireroad dipped into a couple of hundred metres of singletrack that Dan had cut into 2-3 foot deep, soft, heavy snow...then the cleared bit ended in a two foot wall (guess digging that gnarly snow was a bit of a back breaker, Dan?).  For the next 2 kms or so it was hike-a-bike (it is now determined that running with a bike through deep snow is not my forte...but at least it was mostly downhill)  then the singletrack openned up  back onto snowy doubletrack/fireroad trails where a combo of hike-a-bike and struggle riding continued.

Then the trail turned left and downhill for the lengthy descent into the start/finish to end lap one of two.  I got going a good 30 to 40 kph down the snowy hill...when my bike sank a foot into the snow...and I did my best rendition of metis superman...without superman's graceful landing.

Actually, I think this guy would make a better superhero than me.

Anyways, the crash actually hurt a bit...but at least the photographer missed it.  Get up, quick inspect of bike and man...and continue on to begin lap 2.

Lap two...started with more of same as lap one plus a front wheel washout wipeout.  Then JeffS went past me like I was standing still (apparently he took a wrong turn on lap one and ended up behind me). Then we hit the road Wilson the volleyball turnaround...and there was Fig behind me...close...less than 200 meters.  I pounded the road in an attempt to put some space between us before the snowy trails.  When I turned into the trails I looked back...Fig was nowhere to be seen...but I knew there was a good chance he would catch me in the snow.  And he did...the snow had gotten worse as the day warmed up.  Fig caught me as we turned into the singletrack hike-a-bike section.  He can run faster with his bike than I can...but he was still in sight as we dropped into the final descent to the finish.  I flew down in an attempt to catch him...just to do another spectacular superman...this time the photographer almost caught it...he was just a millisecond too can see the pic here if you so wish.  I don't feel too bad; JeffS did the same thing and the photog caught a great pic of it here (don't tell Jeff I showed you!!).  Anyways, Fig ended up beating me by about a minute...kudos to Fig...deep, deep shame to me.  Riot 1- Fig 1 so far this season...

Have to give Kudos to DanOfSubstance...he is a race course guru...given the circumstances.  The course was challenging, somewhat of a gong show at points; we all went in knowing what to expect and, most importantly, it was fun!  Again...seriously...

So how does one recover from a race day?  Well, how about a 100 km hill training ride with a local race team?  Actually Fig rides for Rock & Road Cycle Race team (as does CptSydor, Blaine, and Adrian), they had planned a 100 km hill climbing training ride for the Sunday, and I was graciously invited to join them.  So Sunday morning I rode out to Figs house and from there we rode to Rock & Road to join the ride.  And hey, JeffS was also there.  How tough was it?  Well less than 10km in...riders were dropping like flies...literally, but that is a story for another day.  Then hills...hills...hills...1152 metres of climbing in all.

A couple of pics...courtesy of JeffS.
Blaine leading the group.

Adrian in the lead early on.

What the heck is that??  Well the pics were getting too serious.  And there was only one cat pic so far...I know how much you all (both) love them.

OK...back to the ride.  So, in some of the early hills Fig and I, attempting to conserve our energy to ensure we had enough to get to the finish, were spit out the back of the group...Blaine hung back with us to make sure we didn't pass out in a ditch.  Did JeffS conserve??  Heck no..he was up front the entire time with CptSydor, John...and the rest of the group...all blazing fast guys.  Did I mention, JeffS is an animal?!  We stopped about 60 kms in, at a country gas station to refill water, and grab a bite.  It gave me a chance to catch my second wind.  Enough to give me the opportunity to do my part and take a couple of pulls of the group on some of the flat sections.  Then, eventually...home...trashed....done.  A couple of recovery days then back at it.  Till next time...and what may that be?

Stay posted.

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