Monday, August 25, 2014

Racing on the new race bike

Saturday from 7 to 7 was the Mid-Atlantic 12-hour, run coincidentally with a 24-hour and a 104-mile time trial on a handful of rural roads around Washington, NC.

Map of roads east of Washington, NC, where race is held.
Damon and I headed down Friday evening, supped with J__ and B__, and crashed in a seedy Comfort Inn just down the street from Washington's downtown strip.

The ultracycling dirtbag lifestyle.
We checked in at the race HQ, a tent in a high-school parking lot a few miles from the Comfort Inn.

Washington High School -- as if I never left home.
 The disorganization was exquisite.  I paid my entry fee and was given a race number . . . with somebody else's name on it.  When I returned the number, she exchanged it . . . but did not write down my name.  Punchline:  when I went to check on my final result at the end, she asked my name to write, in ball-point, on the medal.  It reads "Maxx Huffman."

If I'm ever a movie star, that's the spelling I'm using.
 We started in a parade format following a gold PT cruiser.

Much of the field continued in the parade format, riding in a peleton for the entire first lap.  I suppose much of what I like about these events is the laid-back casual atmosphere, although one does get frustrated when "laid back and casual" means "no rules enforced."

The course was flat and fast, with approximately 1500' of climbing over the 225 miles I rode.  The first few laps, before the heat rose and other realities also set in, were extraordinary.

Still feeling extraordinary.
 Some new equipment in my collection:  I've reported on the Focus Cayo Evo Di2 in two recent posts.  Here it is in the picture.  It is a nice-riding rig, plenty comfortable after hours in the saddle, able to clear 28mm tires, and fast-seeming (although that is a terribly subjective characterization).  I am running Schwalbe One 28 mm tires on those cheap Supra carbon wheels.

I did get painfully uncomfortable several hours in, more so than I have experienced in recent rides, but considering that I have only twice eclipsed 200 miles this year, with this race's being one of them, I can't really blame the bike for that problem.

A new Giro Attack helmet (on the head, above and below), which looks rather bad-ass, even if it serves no other purpose.  But it is supposed to be aerodynamic.

Badass-looking lid.
J__ and B__, there to see Damon through his third 24-hour of 2014, also provided me with remarkable support -- filling bottles, encouraging me to get out of HQ between laps, offering to pick me up at the end of 12 hours from mid-lap, and handing me a Whopper for end-of-race nourishment.  (J__ also served as the photographer, taking most of the photos on this blog post.)

The release of adrenaline at the end of these events always amazes me.  One can be hammering at 21 mph trying for that final mile one minute and sacked on a piece of concrete the next.

Adrenaline drain.  Yes, that is my Whopper I am holding, and prepared to protect with my life.
Damon continued on to reach 436 in 24 hours before his race bike imploded.  I picked up my medal and hit the sack so one of us could drive back the next day.

First age-group.  There were two of us in the age group.  The other guy was hand-cycling.


Unknown said...

I have heard hearsay accounts that the top finishers for the 104-miler were under 4 hours. That is pretty quick.

sam said...

Just saying. Nice job on the race, 1500' over 225 miles, who knew that was even possible? On a day when it isn't hot and humid, I bet that could be a great event.