Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 Fat Tire Festival Test Run

The Fat Tire Festival at Dryer Rd Park is on July 16th. Last year I got permission but then decided to skip it. It's a tough course for me and I was afraid of getting in the way of mountain bikers.

This year I have a little more confidence because of my recent races, but I'm still a bit nervous. I rode this morning at Dryer, following the posted course map. It's supposed to be 5 miles, but both my GPS and cycle computer told me it's under 4. Closer to 3.5 miles actually. Hmm.

I think I followed it right, with the exception of some of the parking lot area. But if anything I'd think I rode a little extra:

Under 4 miles doesn't seem like a big challenge, but Dryer has a lot of hill climbs. In the race, Beginners do 1 lap, Sports 2, and Experts 3. I think a single lap will do.
Looking at last year's results, I would finish about 5 minutes after the last beginner male mountain biker (excluding the very last, who was significantly later).

This was my first ride at Dryer this year and I was very pleased with myself. For the first time, I climbed Kasha! Last year I had to walk the upper half. I was panting heavily at the top, but kept moving down the slope across the field. Then it's up a small hill around the perimeter. Last year, I remember walking this, having not recovered from Kasha yet. But this time it was totally doable! The next section has enough descent to keep me going for a bit, though I did UPD once for no good reason. I continued through a couple of good climbs on Epping Forest that have always been challenging. Woo hoo! From the start to that point, I had a great run! But much of Epping Forest was muddy and had to be walked. I actually slipped and fell on my butt while walking. I did better than ever on the final hill climb of Epping Forest. But then Chutes and Ladders kicked my butt as always. The climbs (ladders) are too much for me by then. My lower back was fatiguing. SSW was muddy but ridable. By the time I get to Elevator, the main hill is just too steep to ride. But then it's into the field trail and I engaged my Schlumpf. I remember last year I couldn't shift well enough to use it. The rest is downhill through Gully Down and Kaliedoscope. So overall it was a stronger ride that last year's test run.

It helped that there was low humidity and it was cooler out.

Muni at Dryer - 2011-06-25

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