Hurkey Creek Park is a beautiful venue and a great race course. A few great techy climbs that are hard not to dab on, and some fast, flowy, singletrack descents. I decided to hit this race at the last minute, sure glad I did. It was my first attempt at an “endurance length” mountain bike race. I figured 8 hours would be a good indication of how well I’d feel at a 24 hour race. Wow. 8 hours was definitely enough for me.
I feel like I did ok. Even though it was just me, I had my water bottles pre-filled with Gu Brew and had plenty of Gu Chomps and Gu to keep me going. I ate plenty of bananas and avocados, and took supplements of calcium, magnesium, potassium, as well as Endurolytes every two hours… so I held off the cramps pretty well.
I didn’t get a chance to ride the course since I showed up a couple hours before the race. I befriended another ss’er that had done the course a few times, and he told me he was 32:20. My bike was already 32:19, so I went with it. I also figured that with the rigid carbon fork that was still on from the High Sierra Century, as well as the Furious Fred tires (with tubes at 30psi), the light weight would make the 19t doable. Yes and no. The gearing was fine. But I really could’ve used a suspension fork on this trail. Lots of rocky, rooty riding, and those tires are pretty much super fast rolling slicks, which were not ideal for this race. I think the fork/tire combo was a big reason I flatted twice- especially with my “drive through, not around” riding style. Next time I race in Idyllwild, i’ll be on a suspension fork and running beefier tubeless tires at much lower pressure. I had no pit crew, so the 2 flats and one chain issue cost me more time than it should have… Oh well…
I’m very happy with a 6th place finish overall, 2nd place for Single Speeders (there is no “SS” category here, so I raced against geared folk in the Open Category). HOOT!! I learned a ton, especially about the mental side of endurance racing, and the importance of prep & nutrition. Bring on the next one!!