'08 Leesburg Bakers Dozen Race Report
Friday a.m. Wifey, B-Man and I loaded up the Soob to the brim with every piece of camp/bike equipment we have and headed to Leesburg for Plum Grove Cycles 2008 Bakers Dozen.
I was pretty excited for this race. It would be my first race of 2008 and I did the race last year and it rocked. Rob and the folks at Plum Grove put on a hell of an event and I was anxious to get back. This time Wifey and B-Man would be coming too. Wifey would be there to help me out in the pits a bit and B-Man was set to throw down in the Bakers Dozen Kid's Race.
When we got down to Leesburg it was a nice, hot 80ish degrees. It felt so damn good! B-Man and I took a little walk and ran into Plum Grove Pete. Pete directed us to a great spot in the Solo Pit area right along the course. Just down from the Start/Finish, and close to, but not in the "smell zone" of a the porta potty. Close to the crapper = good. Close crapper smell = bad.
Wifey and I then set up The Worst Pop Up Tent In The World® and our new 4 person tent. We soon agreed that the tent rocked, but The Worst Pop Up Tent In The World® would be going in the race venue's dumpster when we left! (It did!). After everything was set up, I got a quick pre-ride in, then we headed to our hotel for a night of pizza, grocery shopping and watching Ben Ten Alien Force with B-Man. I SORTA slept, and woke up early to get 2008 on it's way.
In the a.m. we got to our pit to see that Mr. Bob Anderson and his wife Blair were now camped beside us. I was happy to see Bob. Bob is one of the fastest, AND nicest guys you will ever meet at the races. I've had the pleasure of racing with Bob numerous times and Bob's "race attitude" and the way he and his wife run their pit is incredible. It's not too far off of what I try to do, Bob's just way more organized and successful! HA! Anyway, it was nice to be next to them again to feed off the vibe.
The weather was perfect and seemed to be a WEE bit cooler than Friday. It was still warm though, and hydration would be key. With this being early spring, even time in the woods could leave you a bit exposed to the heat of the sun due to the just budding trees. I would use my hydration pack filled with a variety of Nuun, Zym and Elixir, combined with some Carbo Pro and gels to keep calories coming in.
At 11 a.m. the starting line was PACKED with a bout 180+ racers ready to get going. Plum Grove Pete and I tried to get up to at least the middle of the field so as to stay clear of major bottle necks. As with any start the bottle necks still happened, but they could have been worse. Oddly as Pete and I made our way through the mass of racers we were smacked in the face with every Dead Head's favorite "stank mask"- Patchouli Oil! I mean REALLY! Who the f*ck is wearing that stuff during a race??
As we entered the single track Wifey and B-Man were up on top of a big ass rock. B-Man yells "Go Daddy!! Venga! Venga! Venga!" Everyone around me just started cracking up! I was so proud of my little Tour de France watching boy! I'll need to track him down a vintage ONCE mega phone! The site of the long line of racers snaking though the open field single track was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I'm sure there will be some cool pics of it.
The first lap eventually got spread out and by laps 2 or 3 I was shocked at how much time I spent riding alone. I was feeling good. I was taking in fluids, having a gel every lap, and my legs felt strong. I was confident in my nutritional plan, and just kept reminding myself to drink and eat.
I have to admit the want to go faster got the best of me. I found myself having to tell myself to lay off the gas. Through the entire race I never took the Dos Niner (which rocked!) out of my middle ring. I don't doubt that many of the stronger guys big ringed a lot of the course. I had to try to avoid burning out too quick!
Through much of the first 10 laps the only real issue I had was my lower back. Not sure if it was a position thing, or if I was pushing a little too hard of a gear at times. A few Tylenol cleared it up. At least for a while.
About mid way through, Wifey said that I was going back and forth with some guys for 4th through 6th place. Not bad at all I thought. I did begin to notice I was no longer going through bladders like I had been. I had been averaging one bladder every 2 laps. Now after 2 laps I had nearly 3/4 of a bladder left! NO flavor of ANYthing seemed to do the trick. Everything tasted like dog balls (not that I know what dog balls taste like, it's more of a general assumption of the supposed taste of a dog's balls).
After lap 12 I believe, I did a little (OK a LOT) of dry heaving in the pit. My apologies to nearby campers for the sound of my stomach trying to find SOMETHING to project out my mouth. All it found was a little bit of sports drink and some half digested gels. Wifey then helped me get my lights on. Something that is MUCH easier to get done when you haven't been riding for 90 miles. Then I headed out for lap 13. It was a lllllong lap.
The ONLY good part of lap 13 was the fact that I was sporting my PTSB3 for the first time. I was very happy with the way it performed in conjunction with the Apex on my bars. I needed to play around with the light's angles a couple times, but that's to be expected the first time in single track with a light system. I found the beams length was great and it was plenty bright. I was digging the fact that I didn't feel like I had a 2 pound weight on my helmet like my old HID light. I really didn't have to pay attention to anything but riding, which is great. It was also nice to be out and not even have to think about burn times.
I clawed my way back to the pits. My stomach a mess. Heaved up sports drink running down my legs, and eyes and veins bulged out of my head from the dry heaves. I had a seat and now decided that I would do one more lap. One more lap would put me over 100 miles for the day which was another goal. One more lap would do. For lap 14 I alternated between riding, standing along the trail letting riders pass, and craving a giant beer belch. I have to thank Plum Grove Pete and Buddy for stopping to make sure I was OK as they passed me during that lap. My man Fernando T. also made sure I was OK as he passed. Much appreciated.
That easy roll through the team pits up to the finish line was such a good feeling. I rolled across the line. Lap 14 done. And just exhausted and done. There would be no lap 15. Drat! But I did get over 100 miles of single track riding and ended up in 9th place out of 37 Solo Males. At 11:30 I was in 6th, but some other Solos were able to keep in going and knock me back a few places. Congrats to Bob for ripping it up and coming in first with I believe 21 laps. Also congrats to Pete for a great job on his 4th place finish.
I was stoked that my fitness seemed pretty on for this race, but jacked that the nutrition plan that I THOUGHT was on, was clearly OFF! There was no doubt I was badly dehydrated. I must have just been pumping out WAY more than I was taking in for sure. During the race I had one trail side "nature break". It was like pop corn butter, so I knew I was getting dehydrated. After the race, I drank over a 1/2 gallon of water and STILL did not even have the urge to "go" even a little until I woke up in the a.m.. And that was like tying to get water from a rock. Not to mention you could see every vein in my forehead, making me look a tad more like a freak.
The best part of the weekend was seeing how much fun B-Man had. He raced in the kids race and had great time. When I came into the pit after his race he could not stop talking about it. It was a blast to see him when I came in the pits. Every time I left the pits he would yell "go daddy! I love you!" If that couldn't keep me goin' nothing would!
On top of that, all of his climbing on the rocks has renewed his interest in going to the climbing wall at REI. It was awesome to see him enjoying being outside, climbing, riding and excited to be sleeping in a tent. Wifey was tops too. I never had to fill a bottle or bladder, and she was the perfect tough but loving Pit Boss. Thanks!
The REAL downer for the weekend was coming home to see an e mail from Rob (the race director) informing everyone that his personal Moots YBB that he had made available for demoing had been stolen by some d*ck head! This truly sucks BIG time. What the hell is wrong with people??? This selfish action has put the future of an outstanding event in MAJOR jeopardy. This dude put on a kick ass race, provided racers, their families, and friends with a great time and THIS is how he got paid back?? Karma has a way with catching up with people. I can only hope that Mr. Moots Stealer suffers. From what I hear there has been an outpouring of support and the 99.99999% of us that aren't Moots stealing d*ck heads can surely help Rob regain his faith in mountain bike racer kind!