GRASSMOOTS Rider Steve McCallion checks in …….
Test of Endurance 50 (June 20th, 2010)
I decided to spend father’s day racing my first endurance MTB race. I drove 2.5 hours to the start, forgot my orthodics, borrowed a pair of
insoles from a CyclePath team rider (unbelievable sign of goodness), and rode (and rode). The course was nasty wet and technical. The YBB performed flawlessly, although I can’t say the same for the me. Some technical sections got the better of me, and I found myself off course and bike on more than one occation. During the race I drifted from thinking I had a chance to win my category to hoping I would finish. By mile 38 both hamstrings were severely cramping. Fifty miles, 8500 vertical feet, and five and a half hours later I found myself in 2nd place for cat 2 45-50. I returned the insoles (slightly worse for wear) with a generous tip and drove home for father’s day dinner.
High Cascade 100 (August 7th, 2010)
Unable to get into the Leadville 100, and with the endurance bug deeply planted, I signed up for the HC 100 – an epic 100 mile MTB race in Bend, Oregon with over 12,000 vertal and 85% single track (and at 6000 feet elevation). As the event approached things seemed far from good. Both of my knees were acting up as I was spending more time on planes than on my bike. I was seriously considering a DNS, but decided to drive to Bend anyway to see how I felt. At the pre-race briefing the field looked strong and serious. Clearly these people were not traveling for business enough! Course notes included a crazy bird that was prone to attacking cyclists, and a weather report that suggested the winds would blow the smoke from a nearby fire over the course. Sunrise and the start came soon enough. It was just after 5:00 am and surprisingly the knees felt good as we rolled out for the longest day in the saddle I’ve ever endured. The day brought epic High Cascade single track, stupid amounts of climbing, lots of conversations with baby Jesus, and several sitings of strange animals darting in and out of the trees. Eleven hours and seven minutes later I finished 58 overall, 17th in open 40+ and first in cat two 45-50. The YBB, XX and Mavics worked flawlessly — I must have passed at least 7 riders who stopped due to mechanicals.
Next up, cyclocross.