Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Granite Grinder 6 Hour Race Report

Stop two on the Chainbuster Series was in Conyers, Georgia.  Zeke and I were both single speeding again, he is the SS class and I in the open women's field.

I had headed down to Atlanta a couple day's prior to be Wobble-naught fitted by Eddie O'Dea of 55nine Performance.  I was not too far off my "blueprint," as I had been fitted a few years back.  Eddie moved my saddle forward and a tad bit higher.  I am hoping that this will help with some IT band issues I have been having.

Preparing to be "one" with the bike!

I was fortunate enough to spend the night with the O'Dea's.  My accommodations were awesome.  My bed was in the bike room.  Bikes, parts, and accessories everywhere!  It was a maze to get to the bathroom.  The room smelled like rubber and lube.  And I had the best sleep ever!

Back to the race ...

Gearing was a hard choice for this one.  A lot of flat sections + several steep grunty climbs = difficult decision.  I chose to go for a slightly easier gear, as I would rather carry a high cadence on the flats and be able to clean the climbs.

The start was a never ending flat gravel section.  I was in the first row, but soon got shuttled back to what seemed like DFL by the time we hit the single track.  Oh well, at least I was not going to blow up on the first lap!

It is nice to have all body and bike parts working and flowing together.  Eddie's slight adjustments made my IT band issues all but disappear.  He also gave me pedal stroke advice from which I created several mantras I used during the race.

The first 6 laps flew by effortlessly.  Oh, yeah.  On the first lap I had to throw in a little effort to get up the red clay punchy climb followed by the fresh cut trail climb after some dildo scrubbed ALL my speed when he rubbed my rear wheel for what seemed like a solid two feet.  I can't remember what I shouted, but I think it caught those behind me off guard!

Top of the clay climb ... think ski slope steep!

Must of been the first lap adrenaline that got me to the top!  Funny thing, the dude who scrubbed me got funneled back.  The next guy that was on my wheel immediately said, "That wasn't me!"

On the third lap, I caught up with first place.  At the time, I really did not know where I was in relation to my competition, the downside of racing against "gearies."  Whenever I am unsure who my competition is, I pass with gas, get a gap, and then settle back in to my rhythm.

Those climbs on the last 3 laps began to sting.  I never had to push, but my cadence was dangerously close to track standing in a couple of steep pitches.  I was also doing the math in my head on those last few laps to see how hard I was gonna need to go to get those laps in before the 4pm cut off.

My can of Red Bull gave me wings for that last lap.  Catching up to one of my friends that was doing the 9 hour also helped to make it one of my fastest.

I was pleasantly pleased with my performance as well as with my Niner AC9 ... with the Niner RDO seat post.  In the past I have been a faithful Thomson follower, but on the singlespeed, the RDO carbon takes the "sting" out of the bumps.  There is a slight weight penalty, but I will gladly take it to avoid getting my spine jacked!  BTW, I am still running my Thomson Masterpiece on my geared bike.

My training/racing partner, Zeke, who is also sometimes mistaken for my husband and/or father.

My good friend, Ursula, placed 3rd, in the 6 Hour Solo.  She was "singling" it as well.  Zeke finished 4th in the SS class ... out of 13!  Hoo-rah!  If he didn't stop to make a wheat bread and Hammer Gel sandwich every lap, who knows where he might have finished!

Next up for me is The Ouachita Challenge.  Time for gears!

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