Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Back From the FC:508!

returned back to the Northwest on Monday from the FC:508. I'm going to be posting a huge post race write-up pictures and all. But until then, here's the inside scoop..

Road super strong averaging over 18 mph, till a little post baker, 400 miles. Just as the sun started to creep up over the horizon, riding in 4th place my stomach turned big time. I then found myself on the side of the road with nearly everything I'd eaten the last few hours pouring out of my mouth. I slept for ~25 min, vomited again. At this point the crew asked if I wanted to go on, on the surface I didn't, I said out loud, "I don't think I can make it." Then, I had my vision. No, it wasn't spiritual, we all have heroes/mentors, and one of mine is the RAO Race Promoter George Thomas. In my mind, George appeared like a vision from star wars standing in the middle of the desert. In my vision, George told me "I was on day four of RAAM, everyone puked, and that if I quite I would forever be branded a PUSSY, the one thing ultra cyclists don't do is DNF. DNFing is a curse, do it once and you will do it again and again." With that I knew there was once choice, I consulted the crew, but the decision had already been made. I needed to be in 29 palms on my bike!

Pedaling On!
At this point my goals changed, I was no longer mentally racing, I was just going to get my body to the finish line doing what ever I had too. Over the last 108 miles I barely ate anything consuming just a few shots of raspberry hammer gel as stomach couldn't handle anything else. Riding on a total bonk, I slipped to 7th place, finishing with a time of approximately 32hrs 30 min. My goal had been a top 3 and a sub 30 hr time, but crossing the line none of that mattered.. I was a official FC:508 finisher, FC rookie no more.

Yes, with out the stomach issues the race would have ended very differently. But in the end, it all comes back to why I ride ultra's in the first place. I choose to ride ultra's not because they are easy but because they are hard. Finishing under severer difficulty only makes crossing the line in the end all the sweeter.

It's Tartan Time!

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

- Science Section - Dino Soft Tissue Found!

With races at the 508 using totems instead of numbers team tartan thought long and hard, conducted aerodynamic, psychological, and physiological testing, consulted with the experts and only then was the totem decided upon. If team tartan does one thing we race to perfection and in the case of the 508 racing to perfection means having the perfect totem!

With that the "Titanium Triceratops " was chosen the totem du jour for the 2006 508. But why was Titanium Triceratops chosen? Could it be its initials TT? Could it be for Time Trial? Possibly Team Tartan? Could it be due to Kenneth's childhood love for the dino's? Possibly that Kenneth rides a bicycle made of that oh so light material called titanium? Or possibly was it for those three points that will pierce the competition as team tartan rides past, rider up front, party wagon in back, blaring that disco beat that just goes thump, thump, at a cadence of 95. On the other hand, was it for some completely different reason?

In the spirit of the triceratops there is no way I could let the very recent discovery of "Soft connective tissue" from a T. Rex escape the science section. Yes that’s right 70 million year old un-fossilized T Rex connective tissue. For more info, I'd encourage you to head over to National Geographic.

Could it be chance that an earth shattering dino find happened on the eve of this years 508? The Titanium triceratops doesn't believe in fate but at this point things do look mighty sweet..

It's Tartan Time!

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Count Down Has Commenced..

With the508 only a few days away, its time to talk race strategy. In the most recent email from Chris Kostman, (Chief Adventure Officer, Totemizer, and Race Director), it was announced that one of this years racers had created a google earth map of the race; I'd encourage all of you to take a look as its quite nifty. Anyway I digress, last night after getting my internet running, my crew chief and I went over the race, planning every thing, pee spots included. Obviously, most of our analysis is tartan specific but with the limited space that the blog will allow I thought I'd share a few of our findings with you all.

- Tighter Support = Victory Points

Yes, the 508 is a well, a tad long, but with 88 solo racers those who lead will succeed. With 88 solo entries support crew shoulder space will be limited. And with this it will be critical to maintain an early position in the fore front of the race? What you say? Well the answer is actually quite simple, 88 entries = 88 support crews, with the average mini van being 15.5 feet in length, then if every support crew were to park end to end the 508 support line would stretch a little over 1/4 a mile! Thus, races who lead will have tighter support then races who follow and closer support = victory points.

- Power the Climbs

We (Team Tartan) debated if we should share this "Tartan Secret", but then we decided, it was so obvious to pass over it would be ridiculous. When faced with a climb the correct tactic is to power up and over it. Why you ask? Well the logic is actually quite simple. If you assumed that the competition will ride the steep stuff at say 10 mph then if you ride up hill at 11 or 12 mph you would be riding 1 to 2 miles father per hour then the competition. While 1 to 2 miles per hour might now sound like a lot its worth calculating how much faster one must ride the flats or descending to gain the same relative distance. To put a equal time on a rider doing 20 on the flats one needs to do 24 mph, and for a rider descending at 40 mph one needs to do a whopping 48 mph. With air resistance going up by the cube of the speed it only becomes obvious he who climbs the fastest will win. But how hard should the rider go? Well, that is a personal variable for every racer but with descents of equal distance on average following most climbs, one can defiantly breath hard as following every climb is a decent and every decent offers time for recovery.

It’s Tartan Time!

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