Many months ago a wise friend named Finkel told me about a race that I just had to check out...6 Hours of Warrior Creek in North Carolina. With approximately 2,958 burms and a little over 2,000 feet of climbing, this seemed like a great choice for my first official "out of state" race.
The rule of thumb with biking is that there is no faking saddle time. Leading up to the race I spent a lot of time worrying about how my body would take to riding for six hours. I have rolled plenty of long rides over the last year, but this winter my focus was on improving other general areas of my fitness and I honestly haven't been putting in the kind of saddle time I would like for an endurance event.
With "Big Mama Miss Berlin" looking pretty badass, I was able to squash most of those fears and formulate a game plan that would be a "one lap at a time" methodology. This race would be for collecting mileage for future events and brushing up on some of my trail skills for the races that would follow.
The first lap was nerve wracking, there was some rain the evening before that left the trail a sticky slippery peanut butter clay bath. I was beginning to worry that I was going to loose the ability to shift my bike and/or take a spill, but fortunately my tire choice and new cassette/chain combination held out just fine.
As soon as I started my second lap I entered a miserable place of second guessing why the hell I was out there. Everything was starting to hurt and half way through the lap I realized my hydrapak was out of water. Piss poor planning on my part. I conversated with myself and agreed that I would pit for a bit when I finished the lap. Take in a little food and some coke, regain my composure.
Coke is an elixir of the gods. It brought me back to my happy place and I was able to get back on my bike and finish my day in eighth place. Overall there were three things that thrilled me about this race...first of all, I cleared the two rock gardens that I just wasn't all that crazy about....second, I was able to make every climb without even thinking about jumping off my bike...and third, I stoked the fire for my upcoming season...