out like a puss.
The Bradbury 12, a sorry tale.
Here's how it went:
Mad Mike and I ended up getting to the race venue less than 45 minutes to start time. Not ideal when you need to set up, pick up reg. pack, change, do final bike prep etc but we were basically ready by the time the race started. The one major thing I didn't have ready was that my support crew didn't get there in time for me to fill them in on my nutrition plan so they'd be ready when I came through each lap. Uh oh.
The race started with a le mans start. I did well and was about 10th to my bike, probably second solo. We quickly cranked across the field, crossed the road and hit the first section of VERY fast double track. While in the stampede on the slight downhill doing a little over 20mph I clipped a mid size, morning dew slimed rock which sent me directly towards a huge (3 ft wide, 6 ft tall) stump. It was at this point, less than 1 minute into the race that I thought my day was over, if I didn't break myself, my bike would surely be done. I quickly grabbed as much brake as I could, slid a bit sideways and thumped the stump pretty hard but managed to keep from dying or breaking the bike and my brother narrowly managed to go around my front wheel which ended up partially in the trail. I'm sure that if I was still running v brakes that my day certainly would have been done. Thank god for disc brakes. Unfortunately, by the time there was an opening in the stampede I was about 40 or so positions back. The rest of the lap I worked to pass everybody I felt I should be ahead of and tried to keep my head in check knowing I still had almost 12 hours to go. By the end of the lap I had caught back up to Mad Mike and fellow expert racer Chris Laflamme. They were setting a fast but comfortable pace so I settled in with them. Soon after catching them we finished the first lap. Unfortunately, since I hadn't had time to lay out my nutrition and hadn't filled the crew in on what was up they were not readay for my return and here is where I made my pivotal mistake. Instead of taking the minute or two it would have taken to get things sorted out for the rest of the race, I instead just grabbed a new bottle of heed and headed back out so I could stay with Mike and Chris.
Lap two was the same. We stayed together the whole lap until the very end where I bobbled a bit and they got to their pits about a minute ahead of me. I was having so much fun though and we were riding so well together that I once again only grabbed a bottle. I did have the common sense to ask my brother to mix a bottle of Perpetum for the next lap though.
Lap three all was merry as well but it was on this lap that I realized that I was almost three hours into the race and I hadn't eaten anything. ANYTHING! As I lapped through I had a about 1/3 of a p&b sandwich and the bottle of perpetum. A little better but in hind sight still not enough.
After lap four I was starting to feel the effects of not eating early enough. I lost touch with Mike and Chris and finished by myself. I had more to eat, got another bottle and set out again. During this lap I stopped passing anyone. By the end of the lap I had no power in the legs, my stomache was starting to bother and my will to ride was dwindling rapidly.
After finishing lap five, I decided to sit and eat and drink for 10 minutes hoping some energy would be regained. I wanted to stop but knew I had to give it one more shot. Within five minutes of heading back out I was sure I wasn't doing another lap. I could barely push the pedals, my stomach hurt enough that I knew I wouldn't be able to eat much more and most importantly, I wasn't having fun. What point is a race like that if you're not having fun? So, I struggled (and I do mean struggled) through the last lap and called it a day with six laps and about 60 miles in 6:18. I felt a bit down but at the same time I was relieved because I knew at that point things weren't getting any better.
Chris went on to finish second with 12 laps, Mike was fourth with 11 and my brother Rus finished soon after me with 6 as well beforing pulling the plug. Interestingly, the wining solo rider had 12 laps and the winning team (three man I think) had 13 laps so the solo's were really holding their own out there.