12 Hours of Bradbury

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12 Hours of Bradbury

Postby Fenlason » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:54 pm

Well I guess it is time for a report of this last September's race. :NC 8)

I was a little uncertain about this race heading into it. Uncertain if I would even do it. I did have other friends doing it and did not want to be left out. For some people this park is a big ride destination, yet I had never ridden there before. A few weeks prior to the race I had a couple of friends heading down to check out the course, and to just ride. We decided to tag along. I found that riding there didn't help any with my apprehension. One of my friends supposedly had a map of the course on his smart phone… but he did a horrible job of trying to read it and follow the course. We kind of rode and stopped.. rode and stopped, never really getting to see much of the course, or do much for steady riding.

I typically like most any trail I am on, yet I was not impressed with this network. I think some of this was all the "big" talk of the area, It did not live up to the expectations I had. Some of the trails also seem rather beat up. They were fairly rough, with a LOT of roots [and rock]. I normally like tough trails, this one was rough pounding, but technically I did not find it that challenging. Just a ride might have been fine, but I was also looking at riding it for 12 hours, and racing for 12 hours on this seemed like it would be brutal. Another aspect of the course I did not like was all the turns. Again they weren't particularly challenging, but they prevented you from opening it up and letting it crank. There also were not many places to pass other racers.

After giving up trying to follow the race course, we hit a trail called the O trail. That one was quite tough and challenging, and I LOVED it. I know it was not part of the race course [and it would have been brutal, and perhaps dangerous for that0, but for general riding it was awesome!

My friends had to leave and Laurie and I headed to some other trails on the other side of the road. The race side did not have any serious climbs, across the road there was some significant climbing. The system extended out beyond the park and we found some fun, albeit challenging trails.

Before the race I found out that I could not use my race trailer for our pits, and that all the solo racers got to share 1 10x10 pop up. :o :? That was a big set back. We then find out I might not even be able to have my trailer even near the course. There were campsites nearby the course, but they told us Friday, that they usually fill up by Thursday.. so we should get there early. [someone messed up and sent that memo out late] Grr.. After some phone calls we were told we could use a back parking lot, if need be.

We did go down earlier than we had originally planned and got the last campsite.

The course was fully marked by now [of course] So we went out to ride it. There were many trails we never saw with first attempt, those weeks prior. It was a fairly tough course, and there did not seem to be much for easy stuff to rest on. After riding the course I still was not sure about all this. I really wasn't in a good frame of mind to be going into a 12 hour race. Then to top it off I got up race morning to a migraine, and my sciatica was bothering me from my last race, and then it started to rain while we were waiting for the start. This wasn't looking to be that good a day. :NC

I had decided for a slow start again, and they were starting the various classes off in waves. We first do a loop around the campground before heading onto the regular course. We head out and just before we dumped out onto the course I look back and it looked like a stampede coming at me, the next group was already heading out and approaching us fast!! :(

I did hit a piece of ledge.. it was rain slicked, and sloped to the side, and you didn't see it coming until you were on it. I slide out sideways sliding harmlessly to the ground. I grab my bike to jump back on and I had to wait for a solid line of 30 bikes. There were often bottle necks like that at least early in the race.

After the first lap I was having fun, I was enjoying the course. I am a fairly skilled rider, and found the course a challenge, yet I was able to ride it all.

Oh there was one spot I was not riding It was not marked the day before when we rode. They did have various places where they had an easier route around some of the more technical areas. This one was a 30 foot long ladder skinny. 16":18" wide and 24" :30" off the ground. You had to turn onto it, and even though I have been working on my "skinny riding" I opted to take the little longer way around it.

Later in the race I met a friend Dick in that area.. he had ridden the skinny. I am generally a better rider than him.. so I said screw that!! if he can ride it I can. So next lap I tried… and didn't make it. :oops:

Later in the race another friend who was following me a while took the skinny while I took the "safe" way. He fell and broke his shift lever. :o

This might sound weird but except for the sciatica and the migraine I felt pretty good. It is amazing how different a 12 hour race is to a 24. The pacing is very different, and the 12 hours feels really quite short. Placing wise early on I was not doing so good in my class, it seems there are a lot of good older racers out there. I did eventually move up a little.. but still quite a ways from the podium. I did quit early, not that that would have made much difference. My two friends were riding as a team [of two] One of them crashed bad, with a possible broken neck even. I was starting to worry about getting sloppy myself when Laurie told me she would rather I not go back out. I was out of contention… and my hip was in great pain, why risk further injury with a crash?? In this situation at the 24 HOGG race, there were nasty sections, you could walk if need be [not that I did there] Here it was all technical enough, that a sloppy crash could happen anywhere. I did find it a Brutal course to ride on a hard tail. I also found my gearing a little weird. I am running a 2x20 on my race bike. The first couple of laps I was able to keep it in the big ring the full lap. Further in.. I seemed to need to shift the front too much, up down up down. I did end up learning the course better and kept it in the big ring except for a couple of sections. That worked fairly good.

The race started weird [for me] and ended up ending that way. Dick had gone to the hospital, with heavy rain to later that night and through the next day, Dave was heading out, and we ended up leaving also. I do sort of wish I had stayed to hang with other racers and friends.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw
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