Sunday, October 21, 2012

My First California MTB Race

The TBF (Total Body Fitness) 50 Mile MTB Race was held in Granite Bay Beach (Folsom Lake), It was a fast flowy 12.5 mile course (x4) with nice elevation and some decent natural rock garden obstacles (plus some soft sand obstacles) tied together with some double track and a bit of paved road.  For my NC friends, I would compare it to a blend of 286 and Warrior Creek with at least one tough single track climb and double track climb that might be comparable to something at Dark Mountain.  Unfortunately I have been sick for a while...first a sinus infection, then some nasty head cold, so basically this ride kicked my butt!  Only one ride in the two weeks leading up to this and it was a 40 mile road ride (Auburn to Colfax and back) that I barely finished.  Still, I paid for the event and I was itchin' to get a feel for the racing culture here, so off I went.  I rode hard my first lap, letting the momentum of the race help carry me (1:07); the 2nd lap I settled into my pace and rode within myself (1:10). I realized I had a serious lack of strength so I focused on spinning hard and going as fast as I could on the flats and downhills while I struggled on most climbs and walked the one steep double track climb as it was just too steep and loose leading to instant spin out. Lap 3 (1:13) was mostly like lap 2, other than a stop to take a whiz off the trail and cramping beginning with ~4 miles left.  The last lap was a constant fight with cramping legs, but I gave it all I had and finished it in 1:11 with a total time of 4:42. Ended up coming 7th in Single Speed (don't ask how many SS riders were in the race please), and if I would have been in the 40+ group, I would have been 23rd (again, don't ask how many riders were in the category please).
So what did I learn? There are fast riders out here, and a whole lot of em at that. Sure, I was slowed by illness (constantly blowing and spitting snot out throughout the race), but I rode pretty well and would have likely been mid pack in previous races. Out here I was that guy that a few people clapped for at the end of my race..."Oh, look at the short, old, bald, kinda chubby, special needs guy finishing...good for him...way to go buddy!"  Am I discouraged?  No, on the contrary, I am motivated. I need to get my butt into shape.  And as always, I start tomorrow!

Feeling like crap at the start of the race...

Feeling even crappier during the race.


  1. LMBO,I ALWAYS start getting fit tomorrow! Cool beans,my friend,mad props :)

    The DC

  2. Great job sticking it out. Sounds like my podium at Scouts Honor, except that I quit riding and still finished 3rd (thanks for dropping out man!). I look forward to better reports on better results ;)

  3. Thanks Matt and TDC,
    I was just getting ready to step up my riding (I like me some cold weather ridin'), but I just messed up my hand in a wood cutting accident. I will heal up in a bit, but in the meantime, I had better start eating right, because there will be no biking for a few weeks.
    Matt, I will be following you on Strava my friend. :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.