Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ouachita Challenge

Ouachita Challenge
Day 1 Tour  Finished 3rd  -5:h05m
Day 2 Race Finished 25th - 5:h20m
Total Time: 10h25m

Sitting second from left to right in picture (Purple and Green)

If ever my physical limits were tested it happened this past weekend in Arkansas. Day 1 of Ouachita challenge started out as a training day where I had set a 3hour ride time but that clearly never happened once pedaling. The tour is just that, a tour to enjoy the experience of the new surroundings and opportunity to ride terrain that may not be available to some of us everyday. I wanted to get the training volume in and this provided the perfect back drop. As we rolled down the road at the start I was committed to the day, 3hours, in my mind anyway. It was only once we passed the first checkpoint I knew then I was all in for the day. The trail went something like this....

Tar Road, Gravel Road, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Single track, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Rocks, Single track, Rocks Rocks Rocks, Fire Road, Rocks Rocks Rocks, Creek Crossing, Rocks Rocks, Single Track, Gravel Road, Rocks Rocks, Creek Crossing Single Track, Creek Crossing, Gravel Road,Tar Road.

I had a comfortable ride until 4hours and then the fatigue started, I lost energy levels but I knew this would happen at some point during the ride. I had been managing intake of fuels consistently and perhaps had neglected it ever so slightly in the 3rd hour. I popped two gels and found my legs again. It was a great adventure and some of the best mountain biking Ive done in a long time.

Sample Footage April 2013 - Arkansas from Aerial Vid on Vimeo.

Footage by Craig Roberson

Day 2 was really the final nail in the coffin, the course had been change slightly with an added section of single track called Blowout Mountain. It  added only about 2miles onto the total distance but they were a hard 2miles of rock gardens. I had recovered well from the previous day but battled to find my rhythm early on . I hung with the lead pack until we entered the first section of single track and then decided to sit up, back off a little until I found my lungs. I lost several positions but on a long day in the saddle so much can change. In the 3rd hour of racing I got my anticipated second wind and started to turn the tempo up. When I hit the tar road at mile 26ish I put my time trial face on and pulled back at least a dozen places. I rode home to finish 25th overall and felt content with my consistency from back to back days. One in the bank and to be drawn from later in the season.

A big thank you to my sponsors - Skin Strong kept me from burning up with over 10hours in the sun, Cadence Cyclery had my bike dialed, Orange Seal kept my tires firm and Elite Performance Chiropractors keep me moving and injury free.

No comments:

Post a Comment