Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tushar is the Crusher

Will try to be brief in saying how great I thought this race was. Burke is on to something really, really good here, and I hope he ride's the wave he created into adding another date or two next year and putting together some kind of series of these (Moab/La Sals is first to come to mind but that may be hometown bias, regardless, plenty of mountain ranges in Utah or even just across the state borders in a few directions). And if he does do more, I hope he can bring the same crew of volunteers to them, they were the stars of a knock it out of the park production that Burke put together. Type of people you wanted to stop and get to know. I'm taking tips to hand them next year - they were better and more attentive than any waitress I've ever had. The pre race buzz was exceptional with all the puzzle solving going into bike choices. I think people loved the chess match that took place before we even toed the line. I was a little late being able to commit to the race so missed out on a lot of that, and had a quick process of elimination that landed me on the Mtn bike at the line. The big post race question has been did we choose the right bikes? In hindsight, the Mtn bike was exactly the bike I needed to be on that day. Were I to line up with a little more preparation both with bike set up and conditioning, I think I'd make a few tweaks to the CX bike and give it a run, but it would have been wrong for me at this years race - I think.... see that.... you seeing the magic in this puzzle of a race course Burke's created? It's rad.

So the race started in Beaver, with Bruce setting the tone for one hell of a day with one hell of a countdown - never seen anything like it... not sure I will again without significant intoxication - it was great. I'll get brief with a few highlights from here. Felt great through the first 40 miles - the first climb went by quick, felt like I paced it right for what I had in me that day, and enjoying the heck out of racing on dirt roads up in the mountains. The day started to get long for me not far out of Circleville. Was by myself on that windy flat stretch of road, and that's where the fading started ever so slightly, then when we turned back on the dirt road, the fading began in earnest. Had felt good enough earlier in the day that I'd fueled maybe just a little light, but the time between stations had been quick enough that it was going just fine. That being said, I learned a serious lesson about bonking at last years Park City point to point, and have since been fairly attentive to catching it early if I get a little behind. By the time I got back to the intersection where we doubled back, I was needing to get some more fuel in me, not desperate, but in a less than ideal state, with nothing to correct it. I spent that stretch of pavement leading to that monster of a climb thinking about how best to approach it. By the time I hit the beginning of the dirt, I knew it needed to be a walk if it get's strenuous type of thing, I couldn't afford to rev it very high. So, about that strenuous thing.... between the pitch and the wind, I did a lot of walking, like damn near the entire thing. And it was slow walking.... I turned the music off for that section of the video to help give a good picture of what that was like... the signature climb of the race, and I was off the bike walking. Pathetic, but necessary to make sure my day extended beyond that climb. By the top I was getting a little more desperate - i'd done what was needed to keep the exertion in check, but the course had been exposed and hot for a while, and I had taken a long time to get up there. I felt some things similar to the park city lesson, and shut it down. Found the first shady spot I'd seen for a few hours, sat down, then lied down. Then I heard someone holler at me - Jon James rode by and shouted J-dub. I opened my eyes, sat up and said hi and told him he was looking strong, sat for another minute, then jumped on the bike and got moving again. Didn't think I'd been there for more than a few minutes, but John had probably saved me a lot of time by waking me from what was as best as I can tell from my race data, about a 15 minute nap. I was still in bad shape, and was fortunate that the roving support was bringing drinks back towards the KOM. Got a coke from them and proceeded to the last aid station before the home stretch.

I spent about ten minutes at the last aid, the first five piling in food, the second five catching up with Sam and Jamie, and then we were back off. Jamie made it 50 yards before he started puking. For me, the resting had worked, I'd gone from the brink of a point of no return bonk, to feeling as fresh as I had all day for that last 10 miles. Leg's were good, head was in a good place, rode with Sam whom I hadn't seen for a while so it was good to catch up with him... was just back into a real good place to enjoy the last stretch. Have never gone from so bad to so good in such a short period of time before - continuing to learn lesson's the hard way about staying ahead on the sustenance, but learning them none the less. Only hiccup of the day aside from the poor management was a random flat while rolling across those golf course like meadows - that's the origin of the tube ornament I'm wearing at for the finishing clips in the video. Shannon come by during the pit stop on her way to a 2nd place finish. A support truck also came by with Jamie sitting in front, I was heartbroken for him that he'd fought that far only to have to get in with just a few miles to go, then the truck pulled over to let him out for more hurling, and it was obvious he needed to not be trying to finish. Just as we were flipping the bike back over Joe came by. We jumped on with Joe and the three of us rode the rest of the way in. There's a little joking left in me at the end, but my favorite is Adam - you'll see him at the finish when I rolled through - I want you to pay attention to his expression when I say he's probably been there for two hours... turned out my two hour guess was within minutes of being correct, but he was too humble of a guy to affirm it. He rode a great race, along with numerous others. Also on the vid are the Zeph, Banks, and Gordon finishing up. Gordon rode the Crusher with a pretty serious shoulder separation, and get's my tough guy award for the day. Enjoy - and if you missed it, you need to make sure you don't miss the Crusher next year - it's absolutely a can't miss format and race.

1 comment:

eeeeeeevilbanks said...

Great video man............what a great day. Already looking forward to next year.