12 HRS of ABQ MTB Race

2 10 2015

The day was finally at hand, it was chilly, early, and I wanted more coffee. My pit area was set up and looked rather meager compared to the pit area of the “other” guys, the only thing in common was a cooler and bike work stand. The Pit Area, I have the hammock

As the pre-race meeting segwayed into hanging out a the start line, I thought to myself, one lap at a time.

3-2-1 Go! The race started just as an daily wod in CrossFit does and everyone took off.Zia Rides-12 Hours of ABQ-72 (1) We raced around the picnic area and weaved through the parking lot, I remember passing the coffee vendor smelling the freshly brewed coffee. As this odor registered I was already past the coffee stand and headed for the single track.

Once on the main trail the atmosphere was rather jovial, nervous chatting, and the light clicking noises of people shifting gears to make the first hill, filled the air. Chain slap was the next sound that echoed as I careened down the Deadman section, a nice flowing 1 mile downhill. Finding my mantra, “Go Slow and Don’t Blow”, I fell into my race pace I worked so hard to establish during my training over the last month.

The first lap soon blended into the second, into the fourth. It didn’t take long and I reached my first goal of 48 miles traveled.62141594-Zia+Rides-12+Hours+of+ABQ-545 I continued to ride, lap times remained fairly consistent as grabbed a new water bottle in my pit before heading out for another. 72 miles clicked by, and to my surprise I had a lot of juice left in my legs, so I continued my journey, shooting for the elusive 100 miles.

It was sometime in my 6th lap I began to feel the bus sneaking up behind me, this buss is not only yellow, but it’s filled with good intentions and always seems to go up hill no matter what the terrain looks like. The “Struggle Buss” was near, breathing down my neck, becoming a small voice in my head edging for space, trying to take over, and steer me to the pits, beckoning me with the siren song of my hammock. I found my salvation at the Bikeworks Aid Station. I refreshed my water bottle, and gladly accepted a half cup of beer. It was like drinking gummy berry juice. I was off soon after refreshed and looking forward to the encroaching darkness. Mashing my lap times, trying to determine if I could make it one more lap or two.

Pulling into the pit, I grabbed a new water bottle, Gu Shot, and strapped on my bike light and took off for lap 7. If it worked out I should be able to finish this lap before 730 pm and have enough time to make an 8th. Cranking the Deadman down hill for all I was worth trying to make time as the darkness began to creep in, it was not until I hit the Ponderosa Loop that I had to click my headlight on. My speed began to slow and the time began to click by faster and faster. By the time I hit the finish line It was almost 8 pm, not nearly enough time to get another lap.

I was happy to be at the finish line, and proceeded to my pit filled with excitement for what I had just ridden. I checked my bike computer and observed my daily mileage read 89.59 miles.

As I write this new post six days after the race I am still proud of that ride. 89 miles ridden in my first 12 hour bike race was not too bad. I have a long way to go for the next race (yet to be determined), but 100 miles in 12 hours is the new goal.

This would have been a much more difficult race if not for a couple of great training partners.

Thank You, Karen, Josh, and Paul.

Results for Zia Rides: http://chasing3.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Final-Div-w-Laps.htm

62141593-Zia+Rides-12+Hours+of+ABQ-831  62141595-Zia+Rides-12+Hours+of+ABQ-255

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Grumpy Pants Goes to Costa Rica-Part 1

13 02 2014

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Gumpy Pants Goes to Costa Rica Part One.

 

It was cold the day we left Cleveland for a place filled with sunshine and adventure. I had no regrets about leaving the weather and grumpy people of Northeast Ohio behind. After parking the Squaw at the airport and hopping on board the shuttle bus we quickly made headway through the lines at CLE airport and before long we were chillin in sunny San Jose, Costa Rica. What I saw was blowing my mind…

 

Adaptation is the key to survival in any species, fail to adapt and you will quickly be left behind, eaten, or displaced. Being a gringo in Costa Rica, I had a steep learning curve when it came to motor vehicle operation. The big take away is drive fast, be prepared to stop, and use your horn (it just makes the language barrier that much more fun). After driving through San Jose in our rental like a 18 year old who just got his license, we began  our journey towards Quepos. On the way we would pass over some small mountains and several rivers, one having more crocodiles sunning themselves than I thought possible being this far from the Nile River.

 

After finding our way to the Parador Hotel after dark we were greated by a refreshing glass of fruit juice, and some really friendly folks who eagerly showed us to our accommodations. One thing that I have always loved about traveling to cool places is when you arrive after sunset. Its that first morning cup of coffee and taking it all in that I really like, the wow moment. As our first real day started I found myself staring at the bird, and listening to strange sounds, which were later identified as Howler monkeys. Breakfast was shared with a friendly lizard on the porch and followed up by a walkabout on the monkey trail at the hotel. Afterwards we opted for a walk to the beach. Along the way we spied several Compuncha Monkeys and a 3 toed sloth. Not too bad.

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If you know me then you know I get stressed out about stupid stuff so I was able to convince Karen that we need to hang out at the hotel for the first day. Being the good soldier that she is we later chilled at the pool relaxing. It was a good time.  

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Day two was a hoot. We made reservations to mountain bike to a waterfall and swim in the plunge pool. meeting our guide at the hotel we were taken to an awesome nature preserve that we later found out was private for our ride and swim. Riding 29ers we slayed the trail on the way in past papaya and banana trees. Danny our guide then turned to us and said we could take the easy way or the “hard way”. We opted for the harder choice and before long we were carrying our bikes through the river to a gravel road. The grade went from steep to “Le Tour de France” steep in a blink of an eye. But none the less we chugged up the hill on bikes. After some time we made it to the swimmin hole. Danny showed us the way to the waterfall and led the charge in jumping in the plunge pool from the rim of the falls.

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