Posted on 6:31 AM by Schottler
Last week was busy, really busy. I got some rides in, but they were all short, and pretty intense. Thankfully there was a 6 hour mountain race in Lawrence, so I could pile a whole week into 1 day in the woods. The race was Bone Bender V3.0, put on by Chris Locke. The course laps were about 9.5 miles, with a mix of technical rock sections and some super fast smooth sections.
A lot of people were there, however most of the heavy hitters were doing 3 hour or a co-op 6 hour team. So, my plan was to drill the first 3 hours with everyone and try to just continue on for another 3 hours. Not exactly the best plan for a 6 hour race, but oh well, I need some anaerobic training. The race started with a long run up a gravel hill, I hate running. I was on the front line and got pushed back to around 10th by the time I got my bike. But thanks to a nice placement, I was on the road in about 4th and time trial'd past everyone on the road section and had a small gap into the woods in 1st.
I usually don't like being in the woods first, it takes me a bit to get my technical riding skills going, since I rarely ride in the woods. I was bouncing off everything, taking some bad lines, lots of mashing and powering through obstacles. Another reason I don't like being in the woods 1st, I go hard. The whole first lap I drilled it pretty hard, but I wasn't being smooth, so I wasn't going super fast. I had a few people in view behind (Kent McNeil (Trek Store-3 hour), Travis Donn(Ethos-6 hour co-op), and Kevin from Iowa City (3 hour). Time gaps behind me varied throughout the race, at times I couldn't see anyone, while other times they were on my wheel or 20 seconds back.
Lap 2 I was still in the lead and some skills were starting to come back, so I stayed on the gas. About 1/3 through the lap I hear 'psh psh psh psh,' AWESOME, a flat! I stopped, put my thumb over the hole and let Stans do its magic. I was at probably 15 psi and kept racing. Garrett (Ethos, 6 hour co-op), was on my wheel by now and I was hitting rim on a few rocks, so I stopped and aired it back up. Kevin also went by. I rode easy for a bit to make sure it stayed sealed, which it did. Back on the gas, I caught and passed Kevin and continued on to lap 3.
Lap 3 was about the same, plus lots of lapped traffic. 99% of the people were very friendly and quickly got out of the way for me to fly by, much appreciated! Half way through the lap I hear 'psh psh psh psh'. Neato, front tire is going flat. But, Stans amazed me again and sealed it up after 4 psh's. Lost little to no pressure, so I kept going.
At the end of lap 4 I was still in the lead of the 3 hour field, so I basically won the 3 hour race, but unfortunately I couldn't have registered for both races. The rest of the race I didn't have much motivation as there wasn't anyone around me for the next 3 hours and 2nd place was wayyyy behind. So, I tried to motivate myself to go fast. I was trying to do the math of how many laps I could do, and it was looking like 8 laps, or over 70 miles. I didn't want to do over 70 miles, 6 hours is already past my limit. Lap 6 and 7 I doodled along so I wouldn't have to go out again, but I was riding much more smoothly so my laps were not exactly slow. Ploch (6 hour co-op) eventually caught me on lap 7 about half way through, finally someone to talk to, I was BORED! I eventually just told him to go by, I have had enough.
I finished 7 laps in about 5:49. I could have gone out for an 8th, but I was 22 minutes ahead of 2nd, even with my slow last few laps. Lap 8 would have put me at 6:30 ride time and over 70 miles, that's too much. The technical rock sections of the course beat the crap out of me, 29 hardtail with 2.0 tires made it rough.
I felt great for pretty much the whole race, I rode hard for over 3 hours at the start which burnt some matches, but I could have done that pace for A LOT longer. It kind of sucks not having anyone around you or anyone to chase, like Manny Prado in Arkansas a month ago. I didn't even know Garrett and Travis (Ethos) were in front of me, I thought I passed them with a flat... pretty irritating. I had no sign of cramps or nausea, which ProPam told me was a classic sign of not getting enough sodium in. I put an effort into eating more sodium throughout the race, great advice, thanks ProPam! Overall, I am disappointed in myself for not doing an 8th lap, it would have sucked, a lot. It almost feels like I quit, I don't quit, I don't like quitting. But, I still think it was a good decision, maybe I am too hard on myself.
Here is some Garmin stuff. You can see at about 3:15 once the 3 hour race was over I kind of settled into a different effort. The lap times are confusing, my Garmin was lost. MTB-Bone Bender 6 Hour by jcschottler at Garmin Connect - Details