This weekend will be the last bit of prep work before TransRockies. Zeke and I will be racing ORAMM. This is where I was bitten by the endurance bug. Back in '05, soon after I met Zeke, he mentioned this "little" race in North Carolina. "Instead of riding around in circles on a groomed course, why don't you try ORAMM, where you can ride one big loop?" Zeke said. Sure, why not, I thought. It is only a little more than twice as long as the XC races I had been doing.
Well, 62 miles, 11,000 ft of climbing, and 7 1/2 hours later, after riding a 3-inch full suspension Epic, with rim brakes, a squiggly SID fork, and tubed tires with 35 psi, I crossed the finish line, thoroughly exhausted. Oh, yeah, it had rained, and parts of the course were so muddy, I thought I would slide off the mountain to my death. But Zeke had me, hook, line, and sinker. An endurance racer was born.
This time I will be going back with 4 years of experience, a wicked, fast bike, the Specialized Era, and 10 months of superior coaching. With a lot of hard work and a little Lady Luck, I hope to have a great race and give my body that last bit of max effort training before I head to Canada.
This whole year has been building up to TransRockies. Zeke and I will be racing in the 100+ division. Our goal is to podium. I am so ready! I could not say this last year, as I was skeptical of my self-coaching and I had no idea what to expect from a 7 day stage race. It appears that this year's course is very similar to last year's. Hoo Rah! I will know what to expect, can clue Zeke in, and I will know not to climb ALL THE WAY UP the avalanche chute on Day 2.
Thanks to my sponsors, I will have everything I need to perform at my best. Without them, the road to TransRockies would have been a lot harder. I probably would not have been able to race as much and my nutritional intake would have been subpar (i.e. less fresh fruits/vegies, more Ramen noodles).
Eddie of 55nine performance fame has fit my Era to me like Michael Jackson to his white glove.
Specialized, Ergon, Chamois Butt'r, and Swiftwick have all my body parts covered.
Dedicated Athlete has the perfect energy drink for me.
PowerTap has given me the tools necessary to convince me that, yes, my performance has improved.
Magura has given me the confidence to fly on the descents.
And, of course, Bruce, is always there to ensure my bikes are race ready.
17 days and counting...