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Blue Ridge Brutal - CycleCentury

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West Jefferson, North Carolina
United States
Ashe County Civic Center
51F / 11C
Total Time = 6h 13m 20s
Overall Rank = 83/147
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 12/17
Pre-race routine:

Peanut butter/banana/honey sandwich around 5:30 or so, drove to the race site (Ashe County Civic Center), realized there weren't many tri-bikes in attendance...
Event warmup:

Got everything set up, jogged .75 mile to 221 and back.
  • 6h 13m 20s
  • 100.89 miles
  • 16.21 mile/hr

Ridetime was 5:54:08, for a 17.1 ride average.  My overall race time was 6:13:20, for a 16 something race average.  This means I spent about 20 minutes not moving forward at all. As opposed to the other 5:54 where I felt like I was barely moving forward!
I felt good going into the event.  My legs were a little tired, but lately they've been that way for about 30-45 minutes into the ride, then they come around.  I got to the race site at about 7am (race started at 8), and began getting things unloaded.  Got my shirt, bib number, and chip.  As I was unpacking, Stacey Richardson walked by.  She was parked nearby, and said "let me guess; aerobars, singlet, you're a triathlete right?"  She smiled, and introduced herself.  Hah, my brush with greatness. She wanted help breaking her CO2 inflator loose, but when I went over to help, she managed to get it.  She asked me my goal, and I told her 6 hours.  She said that was hers too, and that we'd hook up on the road.
Well, I got lined up way at the back (poor planning on my part), crossing the start line a minute after the start.  I spun out very calmly for about 15-20 minutes about 5-6 miles, then the hills began.  The first climb came at about 7 miles, for about .75 mile.  Then I caught Stacey, and rode with her pack for a bit.  We turned to head up 3.2 miles to catch the parkway, and when we turned, I put the move on and pulled ahead.  I didn't see her, but could hear her somewhat behind calling out passing traffic.  I was at 20.2 when I hit the Parkway at 16 miles, after a fair amount of climbing.
I stayed ahead of her until mile 28.2, where I stopped to refill my Aerobottle.  I was in low ring, largest cog, and going 6-9 mph for a lot of the time.  She passed me while I was filling my bottle, asked if I was okay (by name!), and kept on going.  I got back on the bike and chased her down within a mile.  We rode together (with two other guys) until we all stopped at mile 38 (I had to make a bathroom stop, she only got gatorade and kept going).  I did not see her again.
I mostly rode solo from that point on, passing and being passed by 2-3 of the same guys throughout the day.  I rode aero when I could, which was about 35% of the time it seemed.  I was ahead of the second pack, but could not see the lead pack.  Much like my rides with IOS.  The thing that added insult to injury was that they placed signs at the start of each major climb, with elevation change and distance.  I began purposely ignoring them.
At mile 43 or so, I hit the start of some of the larger climbs.  Some in the saddle, some out of the saddle just to stretch.  Pretty big climbs all the way to mile 71 or so, where I got a little break before climbing the steepest part of the course, Three Top Mountain.  My break lasted for about 3 miles, when the climb up Three Top started.  What I did not know, however, was that my rear axle was a little bit loose in the dropouts, and my wheel tweaked under pedal load.  I dragged my left rear brake pad ALL THE WAY UP THE LONGEST, STEEPEST CLIMB, but did not realize it until I reached the summit and noticed brake dust all over that side of the rim.  I was so mad.  I had to stop 3-4 times climbing that hill to get my heartrate back down.  It was that tough.
Once over that climb, I knew there were about 5-6 more major ones left, that I just needed to stay focused on and hydrated for.  I finished strong, upping my average by 0.1 in the last few miles, then did a .75 mile run off the bike, which felt fantastic.  It actually just felt good to be off the bike ;)

I missed my time goal of 6 hours.  The winning time was like 4:45 or so, 21.3 ride average,same guy that's won it a few years running (Ryan Jenkins).  Stacey finished the ride in 5:45 or so, then she did the assault on Mt. Jefferson, then she ran afterwards.  Unreal.
I will do it again, but not on a tri-bike.
What would you do differently?:

Take the road bike.
Post race
Warm down:

Quick brick run (.75 miles), feeling fantastic off the bike!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mechanical issues up Three Top (loose back wheel, rubbing on the brakes), only riding a double, not my triple, not having a sufficient hill-climbing base.

Event comments:

Would like to do it again, but I didn't really like the section around Warrensville. After that point, it was okay. Just steep. Liked the climb out of Todd on 194, in a sick/twisted way. Didn't like having to cross 221 with 2 miles to go.

Last updated: 2008-07-11 12:00 AM
06:13:20 | 100.89 miles | 16.21 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/17
Overall: 83/147
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Hilly. 52 miles of uphill. ~8900 feet of climb
Road:  Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-08-27 11:57 AM

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Apex, NC
Subject: Blue Ridge Brutal
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