Monday, August 2, 2010

Four Hours and a Feed Bag

This weekend I got back into endurance MTB training, since the DINO 6 hour (I've settled on the 6) and Berryman Epic will be here before I know it. The plan was to ride four laps of French Lick at endurance race pace. Since French Lick has a nice wooden deck at the trailhead, I decided to ditch the pack and set up a "pit" on the deck.

The only bad part was riding from the parking lot carrying a fairly heavy bag, and I actually got off and walked the little steep pitch from the road to the deck, since my balance was bad. Of course, there was a big group of people sitting on the deck who watched me walk up and set up my bag, which was awkward.
The good news is that it worked out well and it was nice being able to ride pack free. I also tested out a new mid-ride food that worked out well: a Bloomington Bagel Co. soft pretzel bagel with Nutella, cut into quarters, and eat one quarter at the beginning of each lap. A good balance of salty and sweet, seemed to digest well, and didn't leave any weird aftertaste. (I hate the aftertaste of anything peanut butter or cinnamon flavored while riding.)

I ended up only doing 3.5 laps, because I needed to get home, but the three full laps that I rode were good. I did 1:03, 1:06, and 1:07, which were all significantly faster than my single lap at the French Lick DINO race (1:16). Of course, I had better trail conditions, a faster bike, and didn't have to ride the start/finish shoots nor the ridiculous fireroad section. Hard to tell if the DINO course was noticeably longer or if I was really faster, but regardless I was happy with my ride.

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