Sunday, August 22, 2010

Breck Epic '10 - Stage 1

I'll get around to describing my days in Crested Butte and Breckenridge prior to the race most likely once the race is over (or 30days later, right Dicky?). The good news about those days are the few good rides I got in to acclimate to the altitude and the awesome trails and company of those rides.

So, the 2010 Breck Epic... A six day stage race in the Breckenridge. All above 9,000ft from sea level. I wanted to do this event after reading about those that participated last year (Tomi, Dicky, Peter, Travis, etc...). I knew it was going to be difficult due to the altitude. Its also an excuse to spend time in Colorado.

Yesterday I picked Dicky up from the Denver airport and we raced Peter to Breckenridge. Even though Peter left an hour after us he almost beat us since National Rental Car gave him a police cruiser look-a-like. He also stopped at Wal-Mart for last minute items he forgot like a camera.

Dicky forgot how to open his travel case so assembly of his bike took a while.

Once Dicky's Niner was built he then went on to ensure Peter was not a threat by 'fixing' Peter's bike.

Photo: Peter@MisfitPsycles

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out in town [causing trouble] and getting a sunburn.

Later on in the afternoon I was introduced to the race promoter, Mike Mac. We also had dinner.

Don't ask...

Mike had a few words to say. Something about the stages starting at 8:10am. After Translyvania we started getting used to a 10am start time. Guess not this week..

He had some important stuff to discuss

After dinner we had a beer.

Stage One was the Pennsylvania Creek stage. 42miles long with 6,100ft of climbing.

Peter suggested we stay in a hotel given the sporadic weather and the forecast for this week. Dicky, Thom and myself joined in and opted out of camping all week. Alarm clock went off at 6am (or 8am if you are still on EST like some of us...). Get the gear together and make our way over for breakfast. It was quite cold but by the time breakfast was over the sun was finally peaking over the mountains.

Dicky was off to a slow start...

There was supposed to be a controlled, neutral, start uphill but we all know how those go [fast]. As we watched everyone pull away from us we (Thom, Dicky, Peter and I) settled into our own pace. My goal was to try and not let my heart rate skyrocket. I've noticed that I have trouble breathing at this altitude when my heart rate goes through the roof (which happens easily). My pace was slightly faster than my roommates and once we got into the singletrack I found myself playing leap frog with Jeff and Sonya from Ergon/Topeak.

The 32/21 was quite good to pedal but as any singlespeeder encounters, it was tough at times when you're stuck behind some geared riders climbing singletrack at a rate that allowed you to pedal slower than you can handle. I voiced my opinion and a few people got a tad upset that I was complaining. 50ft down the trail I was able to pass them and set my own pace at a decent cadence.

The first hour had me worrying that I was riding too hard for both the stage and this week. I did start walking some steep sections but did my best to walk as little as possible. Ultimately I wound up walking when everyone else was walking and felt pretty good when I had to stand up and grind out the cadence to get up some steep stuff.

I stopped a few times to get some photographs. My goal was to just finish the stage. It was a good idea to stop for photos. Helped me recover from a few short hard efforts on some of the climbs.

I tried using this device but it turns out I didn't set it to record so it just gave me real-time information. I guess I need to figure out how to use this thing again. I haven't used it in a few years.

This old mill was shot when I snapped the Garmin photo.

The gentleman in the red and black had a nice pace on the climbs and he helped me maintain a consistent pace on the climbs no matter how slow my cadence got. (thanks!) We went back and forth through the whole stage.

The first aid station was at mile 15. It took me nearly two hours to get there. I began to get worried that I was on track for a 5-6hour day. The only thing I could do was to continue riding. Keep drinking my watebottles and try to eat. As in Translyvania, my stomach was in a knot today and I had trouble eating so I didn't eat much. I knew deep down inside that this would kill me so I forced a few gels and shot bloks down my throat whenever I remembered. I did have a full waterbottle in my pocket mixed with three scoups of Perpetuem which I drank throughout the whole day.

My legs and arms felt good throughout the day but I was not sure how long that would last. As a result I tried to maintain a consistent pace that would not blow me up knowing I have five more days of this.

Meanwhile, Peter was documenting Dicky's 'joy ride' through Breckenridge somewhere on the trail behind me.

Photo: Peter@MisfitPsycles

I didn't know Thad was racing with us? This was an awesome singletrack climb up to over 11kft. Great views and a smooth, narrow, trail on the mountainside.

Next thing I knew we came upon aid station two. Aid station two arrived quicker than I thought. Turns out the second half of the day's stage went by much quicker than the first half.

The last five miles or so were an awesome singletrack descent through the woods and emptied out in town. It was so much fun to ride and happened to be the trail that last year's stage one prologue went up. Definitely easier riding down.

I crossed the finish line in four hours and fourteen minutes and felt pretty good. No muscle cramping, which is a good thing. I also didn't feel shattered but definitely felt tired and sore.

Mid-pack finish with Buffalo Bill taking the win. Not bad considering I really don't care about the standings. I care about the ride, views, challenge and good times with my room mates this week.

After the race and after a banana and a Coke we went for a swim at the Riverwalk to cool off.

Thom decided to dive in

while Dicky was apprehensive.

The cold water felt great on my legs.

Mike Mac brought his Malamute to dinner. I've never seen a Malamute this large. Beautiful dog.

Not sure what Peter was trying to accomplish here.

I think he plans on adding some lotion to the Misfit Psycles line-up and was wondering if Buffalo Bill wanted some.

Oh, and I beat Dicky today. Peter did too. Guess he's not a threat?

Tomorrow we're riding parts of the Colorado Trail. 41miles and 7,300ft of climbing. It will hurt for I rode the climb we do on the Colorado Trail earlier in the week.


Blogger CB2 said...

Great write up.
That dinner plate is insane!

8/23/2010 4:53 AM  
Anonymous NeighbaWeba said...

Go git it, big boy! Sounds like a great ride and you are going after it with sanity rather than your sometime insanity. Montana Miller may be the best cycling name ever.

8/23/2010 8:25 PM  
Blogger cornfed said...

The depression of watching via photos the fun I'm missing out on is deepened by evidence of a Moots blue helmet also missing from my life...

Have fun beating Dick!

8/23/2010 8:43 PM  
Anonymous breckenridge said...

great post :)
Thanks for sharing..

12/09/2011 8:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home