What a weekend.
Sunday was the VT 50, an almost entirely off road race, with about 8000ft of climbing in beautiful southern VT. Nat, DA, JayPro and myself were representing the big wheels.
Our day started at 4am, so we could get all fueled up, and jettison the garbage before making the jump to lightspeed. We stayed at Nat’s parent’s house which meant we only had a 40 minute drive, vs a 2hr drive from home. It made life so much easier.
Jay’s group left at 5:45, the rest of us at 6:25. Fortunately for us, it was starting to get light. I can’t imagine how it was when Jay’s group left in pitch pre dawn black. It was cold. It was about 40 degrees before the sun crept up. We had been on the bike for about 4 hours before the morning fog burned off.
There was a lot of climbing. Straight up sometimes. One of my major gripe, was the “noobie” factor. And I don’t want to sound like an elitist snob, but if you can’t handle a trail, get off to the side so that those that can, can pass without getting hung up. I was amazed at what people were loosing traction on. Maybe it was Kermit’s big wheels.
I had to ditch the jacket early but kept my arm and leg warmers on for pretty much the whole ride. I love wool.
Then I had a massive chain suck, which surprised me. First time ever on Kermit. It took me about 10 minutes to dig the chain out. I was worried that if I wasn’t careful, the chain would let go on me when I was far from help. It hung tight for the rest of the ride.
By this time DA and Nat were long gone. I rode the next 30 miles by myself, chit chatting with other riders along the way.
I found Nat later on at an aid station with cramps. I helped him out with some nutritional advice, and stuck with him for the rest of the ride. DA was ahead. When you get in the groove, you got to keep it going. I was lucky, my left hammy cramped on me around mile 10, but was quiet for the rest of the ride. I’d say that was a first for me.
The rest of the ride went off without incident, but I have to tell you, the last 3 miles were the hardest. Holy cow! There was quite a bit of stuff thrown in there that was pretty technical, in an almost Waterbury-esque sense. Big penalty for failure. I almost rode off a bridge because I was gawking at the dry waterfall and river bed it spanned. Only about 6 feet or so, but it would have hurt landing on all that river rock. The way in and out of the dry river bed was a bench cut that featured protruding rocks, where one mis-timed pedal stroke would have meant a trip to the bottom. Fun, but could have been done when riders were fresher, or left out completely.
I was ready to be done, but managed to find it within myself to hit the last mile with all I had left.
Nat and I finished, go tour medals, found DA, and got ourselves fed and we left. We had to make a stop at the Harpoon Brewery (it was on the way) and pick up some supplies (umm, beer). An hour and a half later, the extreme lethargy had set in. Movement was painful.
My IT bands were killing me, after the abuse they took from two days of trade show, followed by 50 miles of riding. Left knee, right ankle, ow! Lower back, ow! Shoulders and neck, ow!
There was much vitamin I and stretching before my very early bedtime.
I’m feeling better this morning, but the stress from the last week has caught up with me, and now I am sick. I’m hoping to be back to my regular self in a day or so.
I probably would not do that again on a hard tail. Kermit was a good bike, and took everything in stride, but it became increasingly more difficult for my ragged body to deal with.
I was also surprised at the overall lack of 29ers out there. I saw maybe 3 that folks I didn’t know were riding. Oh well. I had a good time on mine.