Thursday, October 1, 2009
So what is the Crested Butte Classic? You show up at the 4-way stop in Crested Butte. Sign your name on the list, listen to Dave give the route description and then roll on the hwy south on at neutral start. There's no entry fee, course markings, rider numbers... you just check in as you come into town after each lap and at the finish. Each lap takes you through a different set of classic CB trails.
So I decided I'd do it and keep it at a moderate speed, nothing too fast so I could finish and live to tell the tale.
I showed up and parked in my usual place and up pulls Gary Pierson and Chris Dickey. Gary is doing it all and Chris is doing it as a team. The temp out is 24F. brrrrr.
I put my GPS on this ride to get the actual stats... Here they is.
Here are some pics... My photographer had the day off... Go to Xavier Fane photography.
So off we go at a very moderate pace--probably because it was so cold. About 55 solo riders and others doing part or a team version. I began shivering pretty good after about 4 mi. I had on a vest, arm-warmers, jacket, and jersey and regular bib shorts. Dave O's wife was waiting at the first climb to pick up jackets. We turned up Brush Creek and then hit Teocolli ridge trail. This is a steep 2000' climb. I dumped my jacket. By the middle part of the climb, my fingers began to work again. As the sun came up and we got to the top, I took off my vest and arm warmers.
Down we came a quick stream crossing (got my toes wet yuk--it was still pretty cold) and then up strand bonus and down strand hill. Then back to town along the trail by the high way. 30 mi and lap one done! I had eaten a bit much for breakfast so figured my Glucose was a tad high so I stopped at the car and checked my sugar. 290? So I took a unit of insulin. I then skipped my next feeding (every 37:33 min my watch beeps for a feeding of a gu or something). I put on my light camelback as the next stage got me really dehydrated last year. I grabbed a small water bottle and more food. ~2:50 to the check in.
The second lap goes up past Peanut lake north of CB and out the Lower loop trail. This is an easy trail for the tourists then hits Slate river (dirt) road. This is pretty mellow until the old town of Pittsburg where it climbs up and up and up the Slate d'Huez for about 2500'. This is about 18-20% grade to the turn off to the 403 trail. The 403 is a bit tricky single track with steep descent to just above Gothic on the Schofield pass road. Now just another 1500' to the start of the 401 trail. This got a bit muddy in the trees climbing up to the top and the tires were covered with thick mud.... A guy was counting racers and let me know I was 13th. Not bad for a mellow pace.... Many guys were hurting pretty good at this point. I reached the top with Charlie Nuttleman-One of the Nuttleman twins. I had to pee so I told him to go down first. The 401 trail is really just a cool trail. You traverse across the side of a high ridge with views everywhere as you scream down. I hit a rock and heard air screaming out of my tires.. So I hopped off on the narrow edge of the trail and fix it. Blast it I get passed by 3 guys. Two I had passed up the climb. So about 4-5 mins the tire is good to go. And down to the road out. Here beavers had dammed up the crossing. This was supposed to have been cleared out but they were evidently some busy beavers and the crossing was a thigh deep trot... Now you hit the Schofield pass road skipping some single track trail. And it's a fast ride back to Crested Butte with a couple small hills. I get back and put two new bottles on and some food. My Glucose is looking good at 100-150 (I forget). I came past the check in at about 3:40 for this lap and 67 mi total. I was getting slower and slower on the hills... But the sun was still out and it's a beautiful day.
The last lap heads up Kebler pass to the town of Irwin. There's Nuttleman on the climb. I just hang behind him as a million cars go by on the dusty road. Nice! And there's a stiff headwind. We climbed the grade slowly it seemed to me, especially as Kerri Nelson comes screaming by us at the top. She is doing it as a team so is fresh. She has won several prestigious ultra hard running races. And she is a Western State College graduate. We headed to the start of the Dyke trail single track and on the downhills I can easily stay ahead of Kerri but as soon as we head up again she hammers past. The trail is mainly down hill to the other side of Kebler pass. Really a sweet trail even if it is 80 miles into the ride. Screaming fast single track through aspens with leaves turning yellow and falling on the trail. We hit Kebler pass road and the last climb of the day. The road is steeper on this side. I spun an easy gear up to the new Wagon Trail that cuts off the top of the pass and adds a bit of single track as you follow this trail half way back down the other side of Kebler. Finally I hit the paved Kebler pass road and the easy coast back to town. A total time of about 9:45 with 18 min for stopping at the car and fixing the flat. I think I was in 9th place. Last year I had done it in just over 9 hrs....
Now Free beer!
Monday, August 17, 2009
I got her all cleaned up, put on some new rubber, lubed her, and tightened her up. We really were intimate... I packed my bags and was ready to go. Jim Dirksen showed up at 7:30 Friday morning to give me a ride to Leadville to register and go to the prerace meeting. He is a local legend who was racing in the M5 category. It hadn't rained for weeks--Of course now it was raining.
Anne and the kids were coming over in the afternoon and we would go to Copper Mountain where we had a condo that afternoon. Grandma Sue and Grandpa Bill were going to show up and watch the kids and help Anne with crewing (and be the official photographer), respectively. But unfortunately Grandma while picking daisies, slipped. The resulting fall broke her tibia, fibula and 3 bones in her foot. So with a plate installed less than a week before the race she decided that maybe she was in too much pain without a morphine drip to come. Luckily we have some great people in Gunnison that were willing to help. Becky, my scrappy partner in the Elk Mt Grand Traverse (See post) came over that night to help crew. Emily, a Western State student, came over early as we left for the race to watch the kids.
So Jim and I headed out. As we drove up Monarch Pass (11300') we were engulfed in a thick mist. Then out of the mist in front of us appeared a large suburban. The infamous Dave Wiens. He beat Lance last year but it would be difficult this year. I think he was ready to do the race as he had been training hard. We waved and hung out behind over the pass. Leadville had low hanging clouds but the weather wasn't too bad. The registration went fast. Got a water bottle, bag, Mountain Flyer magazine and a T shirt. I also got a wrist band so I could start in the front since I was 32nd last year. This would relieve some stress. The prerace meeting was the usual. Ken Choubler rallying the troops into battle, "I Commit! I won't Quit" we shouted in unison. "You're better than you think you are, You can do more than you think you can" Then Dave comes in to huge cheers and tons of cameras flashing gave a short speech. No Lance. After the meeting, Jim and I hung out to let some clouds move over, got some coffee and went on a short ride. At 3:30, Anne showed up and we loaded the bike and headed for Copper Mountain. Becky showed up and we got everything in order.
The first thing to do was to make a peanut butter sandwich that I would be offered at mile 60 or 80 during the race but probably decline it. But WAIT we forgot the jelly! No problem, I had a vanilla gu that had developed a leak. We'll use that. Here is Anne making the peanut butter and gu sandwich.
We filled water bottles with Gu2O, got extra water for Anne and Becky, got piles of gus, power bars, tools, extra tubes and clothes. Becky helped pin my number on my jersey very aerodynamically and I got the two numbers on my bike and sticker on my helmet. I also made some pancakes for the morning and set the coffee maker to go. It was a clear night as we went to bed.
At 4:30 we got up to a light rain. Emily showed up from her sister's place in Silverthorn and off we went. I grabbed a handful of pancakes and some coffee and checked the blood sugar. All good. I had taken 15 units of Lantus the night before. This is the same as I normally take. I had been real active normally so I felt that I didn't need to reduce it.
As we headed up Fremont pass on wet roads up towards the closed Climax molybdenum mine out of the mist appears the Wien's Suburban.... We found out later that they forgot the race food! Stressful! So they were a little late like us as they had to go back. I was getting worried that I may indeed freeze this day as I tried to ride at 12000' in the rain but BEHOLD first the moon appeared and then to the south as if to lead us to Leadville it was a star. THE STAR OF LEADVILLE! We followed this miracle of light, turned on the IPOD randomly as Anne can't see to well up close these days to INXS loudly (OK yes INXS is on the ipod) and as we got to Leadville the skies cleared to a light dusting of snow on the peaks.
We parked behind Dave, Susan and his brother and got the stuff out. I pumped up my tires, gave Dave a good luck high five and we all headed up to the start line.
At the start line I gave Anne some secret sign language. I think she was more stressed out than me.
At 6:00 clouds began to flow over the mountains we were heading into as the film crew in a helicopter flew over. We sent Becky back to the car to get more rain gear! At 6:30 they shot of the shotgun and off we went. As we followed the lead car we quickly accelerated to 30-35mph. Lance must have told them he wanted to go fast...to break the record... We made it to the dirt road turn off and off we went. The lead pack was gone so fast I didn't even see them go. My pack cruised along and then began the first climb. It was misty and cool with rainbows popping up here and there. We continued quickly over the first climb and the second. Here it began to rain and fingers and toes began to get really cold. Descending the power line was wet and hard to see. I hit a bump and lost a water bottle. Since I wasn't seeing Anne and Becky for 25 mi I stopped and picked it up. Big mistake as a guy I just passed got ahead of me and went really slow down the rutted out steep road. I couldn't pass safely so I stayed behind. If I raced more, I would have passed him I'm sure. So we reached the bottom and I felt a little off. We passed through the first aid at 26 mi and then down dirt roads with smaller hills. I hit the new single track and felt really not fast at all. Cold hands, sunglasses covered with water and dirt. The single track added 0.5 mi out and back to reroute around a steep hill. I eventually got to the aid station. Anne and Becky quickly put new water bottles in and lubed my chain. Susan D. helped shove dry wind resistant gloves on my hands since I couldn't move them. Here are some shots at the Twin lakes aid.
As I began to climb, it was clearing nicely and I began to get warmer. I climbed at a moderate pace still feeling off. Last year I climbed it 10 min faster. At the start I took off my cheap plastic rain coat but couldn't get it back in my pocket so after wasting to much time I tossed it behind a tree and continued. Here are some pics courtesy of Summer R. at mi 45 or so.
Only 40 miles to go! Can't help but smile....
My blood sugar was 63 a few minutes after finishing. I think it was fine for the entire race but was probably dropping towards the end. I ate regularly--gu every 35 min. I also ate a couple of power bars during the longer climbs. We went and had some pizza and headed back to Copper Mountain.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This will be the third time I've done the race. Each year it gets bigger and bigger-especially since Lance did it last year and since he lost to Gunnison boy Dave Wiens will be back this year. I had thought about doing it several yrs ago. Dave was doing it and it sounded like a good challenge and good way to stay in shape. But you have to sign up in Janurary so I forgot for several yrs...
So anyway here's a rundown of the top riders, Dave, Lance and Me...
I'm really just a slower and less pretty version of Dave (or my blog last yr here or here). He's 44, I'm 41, He's 6'1" or so and 175lb he says, I'm 6'3" and under 180 for the race. He has won a lot of Mt bike races, is in the Mt bike Hall of Fame and his wife has a bronze medal for '96 olympics. I have raced some and my wife rides her bike to work. I have diabetes and as far as I know Dave is a marvel of healthiness.
Lance has won the Tour de France a few times and is a cancer survivor. I have watched the tour and am a diabetes survivor. He did the last tour to train for leadville this yr.
Dave and Lance will probably beat me by 1-1.5 hrs. But I will probably be in the top 30-50 riders out of >1300.
The training has been going pretty well this summer. I nordic skied a bunch and did the Grand Travers Ski race this winter so came out of our late spring pretty strong.
Here are some numbers of ride time, elevation climbed and miles. Note that this is a mixture of technical mt bike miles and road bike so the mileage would be much longer if I just stayed on the roads... I got a new toy Garmin Edge 705 to get #s. Go to connect.garmin.com and filter rides by jryter to see them all on a map!!
wk of 6-8-09; 16hrs, 15224', 245mi
wk of 6-15-09; 15hrs, 13890', 217mi
wk of 6-22-09; 14hrs, 16148', 193mi
wk of 6-29-09; ~15hrs, ~20000', ~190mi -did breckinridge firecracker 50 w/o GPS so some estimation...
wk of 7-6-09; 18:33hrs, 19000', 269mi
wk of 7-13-09; 17hrs, 22649', 216mi
wk of 7-20-09; 16:16hrs, 17724', 214mi
wk of 7-27-09; 17:39 hr 18493', 19000', 269mi
Well thanks for stopping in... I'm in taper mode now.. Shorter rides... less intensity. We'll see how next weekend goes!!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The weather was calling for 50% chance of rain. The streets were still wet when I got there from a thunder storm. I was a little concerned that we may get cold and wet at as the race goes above 11000 ft for a good portion of it. So then I went back to the house and threw my sleeping bag on a bed and went to sleep.
The race the next day was to start at 10:55 for the Pro men and then my Maveric class started after several waves at 11:05. The maveric class was for people who didn't want to get a year racing license but were still pretty fast... So I had time to watch some of the start of the TDF and get my bike all set up. I dropped a bag with extra rain jacket and insulin etc at the start of the second lap and checked my sugar about an hour before the race. It was pretty high~300-350 so I took some insulin. The race started on mainstreet as the start of the 4th of July parade. Kind of cool with tons of little kids wanting high fives as we rode down the street in a neutral start.
The race starts with a good climb up Boreas pass--paved and then eventually get to a dirt road and then some single track after a couple thousand feet of climbing. As I began to climb I got a distressing pain in my upper stomach. I slowed down a bit and after a few it went away. As I climbed I just didn't feel great. After about 45-50 min I began eating a gu or something every 35-40 min. This seems to work as I have done it in other races. The race then drops a bit and has one more big climb and a few more climbs before it descends back to town. The descent has some very rough sections.. I wished I had my full suspension....
I made the first lap in just over two hours and even though I wasn't feeling great I blew threw the aid where my bag was. The second lap I kept feeling worse. My legs just felt soooo slow. I began to get passed by people that I didn't think looked all that fast. My stomach began to churn if I tried to push too hard. I began to realize that my sugar was probably high. The problem with high sugar is that if it get too high (80 is normal, above 250 you have problems bringing it down with out extra insulin.) your body starts to try and use fat for energy and you have a hard time using the sugar in your blood so it just goes higher. So I just struggled to the top and back down. Going along feeling very weak and an odd aching sensation caused by the high sugar. So I got to the finish and checked it. Sure enough my sugar was 410 (auggg)! So I took a shot and got cleaned up and grabbed some beer and food that was provided. Riding with such high sugar caused my muscles to continue to feel weak and achy...
total time 4:52. I was 30 in my class. 70 or so finished... 97 had signed up. So I was a bit frustrated...I felt I could have done top 10. I finished just ahead of a pro girl that I had beat by more than an hour in the Growler........ and back a ways from other people that a had finished near in other races. Always a learning experience with a disabled pancreas!
So what caused my highs?? Most races I do start more like 6:30-7 in the morning. My long acting insulin is much more intense at this time of day so it can eat up sugar better. (I had high issues in a ski race that started at midnight) I also wasn't feeling great the week before and may have had a little something. I also may have not brought my sugar down enough before the race. If my sugar is too high it may not come back down.... So I should have waited longer before my first energy gu and then not eated quite as often......
Now I'm in Leadville as I decided to break the trip up and ride here a bit between rain storms... and back to Gunni tomorrow...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Growler was in its second year. Each year I think the plan is to choose another lap at Hartman rocks that is in the neighborhood of 32 mi. This year we started in town and then rode as a group at a neutral pace behind a patrol car. Then you can do one lap or the full Growler of two laps. Here is a map of the Sunday May 24, 2009 race course. The course is mainly technical single track with over 8ooo ft of climbing--in short steep bursts. This means that there are lots of places that are steep and large rocks must be ridden over and even some places where there are large cliffs. There are also sections of fast smooth trails. Dave Wiens, a local biker, started the race to raise $ for local trails. Dave is way fast and way nice.... See http://www.gunnisontrails.com/ for more info on race!
It had rained for several days with Sunday predicted to be the best day with just 30-40% chance of rain. Rain is actually good here because it causes the sandy trails to firm up and compact.
Sunday morning we get up early and make pancakes. I'm riding the old hard tail. It's light but I'll take a beating on the rocky sections. I grab some chow and head downtown. My nutrition strategy is to eat a gu or bar every 35 min as my watch will beep at me. I have two large bottles with Gu2O-about 100 cal from maltodextrin. Anne follows with the kids to watch the start. 225 bikers line up on main street--about 150 are officially slated to do the long course that I'm doing. The clouds are hanging low and the temperature is in the mid 40s. It could be worse..... Ken Coleman, the city manager, fires the shotgun twice to start the race at 7 sharp. And off we go behind the patrol car. They keep a nice easy pace so that the people with single speed bikes don't spin their little legs off. It it a easy ride and I chat with the other Gunni folk.
Then we hit the dirt. We climbed the main road and kept on roads for a couple of miles to spread every one out. The first part is very steep and aptly named "kill hill". Today it is about 2 inches of slimey mud. The single speeders can't ride it so they have to walk--which makes me walk as I should have gotten in front of them. We clean the summit and the road gives way to nice packed sand/granite. I purposefully go at 3/4 pace as I want to save something for the second lap. Also I haven't ridden a ton yet....
We then hit the first single track and I was slowed up a little by some people but not to worry. Many people lost this race last year by bonking in the last of it... like me last year. The first lap the trails were nice. Not super fast but just a bit of mud as some different geology was covered. I got lucky and missed the rain storm that passed to the north of me. As I went around the loop many Gunnison people were out making sure that correct turns were made. Brian Riepe, from the mountain flyer , was out taking pictures with his girl Larken. He would hop in his truck and drive around to several locations... so I saw him several times. He's also a way fast rider.. Finally I hit "the top of the world" trail where Brian Wickenhauser was overseeing the course. This was the windiest place on the whole course. He looked cold as the wind and light rain blasted him--looks like more like 80% chance of rain today! Now just one more seriously technical section (the ridgeline--400 ft cliff on one side, big knarly rocks on the other) and then down to the start.
Anne drove out with the kids at 10:00. I figured it would take me around 3 hrs for the first lap. I must have came in at around 3:11. Julian was doing a little victory dance for me. Anne handed me some more drink and food and I started the next lap. This lap started off by going up the steepest trail up to the ridge--the notch trail. From this point on ,I started to go faster and began to pass some people. Everyone was pretty spread out so I had no idea what place I was in or how close people were. The trail was really compact and fast for the first 15 miles. After this, however, some really muddy sections came up as the rain i had missed earlier had soaked some clay sections. No problem--had to walk a section or two and didn't crash as I slid down sections. I just kept thinking of the next two trails ahead so as not to overwelm myself...
Halfway around each lap you drop down Skull pass then back up the steep road. Ricky, from the Tune Up, and Clint, who I played with on the Gunnison Rec League championship team, grabbed my bottle and refilled it with Gatorade and offered me a pbj sandwich and a PBR beer at the aid station. I was tempted but thought I may not get going again. They were having a great time as they had camped out the night before and had some beers already...
Going up the "Ridge Trail"
Now a quick drop down and out of "the enchanted forest", up and down "Dave Moes" a steep climb up "dirty sock" and descent to "josies" then back up to "gateway" and down to "fenceline trail." Now just up the steep road to Brian at "top of the world" and then down to the start of "ridgeline" Coming out of ridgeline, I began to catch a guy who was obviously hurting. I caught him on a steep climb back up to the last trail straight down to the finish.... But a serious cramp hit and I forced to follow him down the single track to the finish as it was too muddy and narrow to pass....
So I finished 2nd in my old guy 40-49 yr age class and 17th overall in 6:23. I hung out for a while and rode back home. I took a hose to my bike to get the mud off, showered and rode back to the park with Lila for Cajun food served by Sugah's restaurant and Fat Tire beer. Anne and Julian came down after his nap and a good time was had by all.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
We came back Friday and Becky was going on a big ski Sat and Sunday with some friends but I still didn't feel very well so I did a shorter ski Sunday at Mill Creek. Hmmm I wonder if I can do the Traverse in two weeks.....
The weather continued to be very warm and all the snow in town melted. The high country began to turn to corn chowder snow, crust in the morning and slush soon after. Hmm maybe skate skis would work on top of the crust. Finally a big storm hit a few days before the race dumping about 30 inches of snow in the mountains and cooling things off a little. So no skate skiing.
Here's Becky--Not very big but very scrappy. So we headed to CB school at 10 pm, got a bag checked to go to Aspen, got our avalanche beacons checked and our medical tags that we had to wear over our necks. We headed down to a quiet end of the school to organize and get final prepartions. Here we are--I'm tucking in my shirt.
And here is the start--thanks Gunnison Country TimesAnd they're off!
For a overview from The Gunnison Country Times GO here http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kbut/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1487263
Thursday, April 2, 2009
This year we drove up to Crested Butte around 8 in the morning. The ski was clear and it was cold. In CB it was -10 or so... But pretty nice in the morning sunshine. Lila was going to do a 1K kids race on the track through town but got freaked out when she saw all the people and skis and everything.. So we picked up my number and goody bag and hers as we had already paid. The race goes through the streets and alleys of CB and then out on a big loop north of town. The kids race started and then the longer adult races.
Here we go! There I am in the middle just behind Dave Wiens--This is how he stays in shape for Mt biking.
So off we went. Again on a race like this It's pretty fast paced and there is no time to check blood sugars--especially as you would have to take off your poles and then gloves and then have someone with all your stuff so it wouldn't freeze. I basically ate a gu every lap or so. Every lap was a little under an hr for three laps. I ended up doing pretty well even though I did lose some time on the last lap as usual but not as bad as sometimes. Anne, Lila and Julian had gone down to a friends house to play with a bunch of kids. I told her I was hoping to finish in 2.5 hrs so she was to come back around then. And Lo I finished in 2:33 a PB... And Anne and Julian got there just as I finished.... On races like this I have a hard time drinking enough so we went back down to our friends house and I was very nauseous and felt like barfing but I toughed it out and after a couple of bottles of Pedialite baby electrolyte I was golden... Now time to bike???
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I have been trying to skate ski a bit for the Alley Loop Nordic marathon 42K race in Crested Butte. Not necessarily to try and win but to make the pain less. But then again the pain is always there because then you just go faster until you reach the same level of discomfort. Maybe I can do it in 2:30 this yr.....If I'm lucky.
I did a 20 K classic race 1/17/08 and did OK. 12th behind some pretty fast guys. I was pretty tired as I hadn't done this style of skiing much. Yesterday was a 20K skate race in CB. I was 5th just behind one guy. Some of the fast guys didn't show.....Just a bit tired. Next week a 30K race in Gunnison and then the Alley Loop and then I may try a 50K race, the Super tour in CB and maybe a 12hr ski race in CB.