Friday, July 17, 2009

What does the Solitude race course need?

If you said "more climbing", then you are right, or at least Ed thinks so. ("more cowbell" would also have been an acceptable answer).

The new singletrack section starts out with a nice little twisty descent before starting the climb up to the top. As with any descent, it does not come without a cost. The new section does cut out some of the really steep nasty switchbacks that were part of the old race course, so the climb really doesn't feel much longer.

I prerode the course on Wednesday with Adam, Rick, and another Aaron. The pre-ride of this course is always one of my favorite rides of the season. Beautiful singletrack, technical descent, good company, etc. That last dirt road climb never feels too hard. The technical steep section after the dirt road is always cleanable. The descent is a blast.

And then I race it and everything changes. Somehow that dirt road gets 5% steeper. That technical steep section becomes rockier and nearly impossible to clean. The descent gets looser and more demanding.

Last year, I saw this course bring one of the fastest guys I ride with nearly to his knees. I don't know that I fared much better, but at least I had a granny gear to fall back on (thanks for being there for me, LaBerta). I can't wait to see how things play out in the morning.


South County Ciclista said...

Good Luck. Come on over and let me tune your brakes for you. You will definately win!

Rick Sunderlage said...

I have a bad feeling about tomorrow. It's going to really hurt.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I completely forgot how bad this race hurt until I pre-rode it today. I only did 1 lap and was totally cooked. I don't think I will be able to do it tomorrow. I will start I may not finish. Good luck out there.

Aaron said...

Rick, you made that last climb look easy on Wed. And Brad, from what I remember, you weren't riding much at this point last year (didn't you almost pull out of Leadville?). You're on fire right now. You'll both be going for the W in the morning.

itgotweird said...

Racing is always harder than a day at the park. Going downhill with arms like jello and lack of reasoning from hypoxia, is what makes mountain bike racing a lot harder than just an uphill grind. The ability to go downhill fast while totally blown is something the fast MTB racers learn to do well. I just crash.