This weekend I competed in a local 12 hour race as a tune-up for La Ruta. I was originally supposed to race with Ursula on a duo team, but she was too banged up from a dog taking out her front wheel on a road ride just last weekend. I told myself that this was a training race and not to go all out. Luckily the competition was not too fierce and I did not have to push myself to the limit.
This was the first race of the year where I did not have butterflies leading up to the start. I was actually able to ride a steady tempo and enjoy the course, the festivities, and catching up with old friends. I stopped several times, both on and off the course, to talk with cycling friends I had not seen in many months. I ended up with 10 laps in 10 hours. With a 3 lap lead, I decided to end early and save my legs ... and back.
You should really check this race out (www.highland-adventures.com). This one was where the endurance bug bit me a few years ago. The course has it all: rocks, roots, smooth flowy sections, power climbs, sweet, fast descents, and one long powerline climb known as "The Hill of Truth." The race promoter does a wonderful job: cash for the open classes, several premes, festivities for the family and support crew, and online timing so that loved ones at home can keep up with the race. New this year (and quite a surprise as I sat at my pit watching racers finish their laps) was the "naked lap." Yes, some crazy bastard rode a lap at night with only a Camelbak, shoes, helmet , and light.