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Old 10-16-02, 12:01 AM   #1
Nikon Nemisis
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My First Race...XC Begginer 25-29 @ Big Bear

Wow, what an experience! I just raced my mountain bike for the first time ever and it feels great! I entered with two goals in mind... to finish and not finish in last place! After I arrived and preroad the course on Saturday, my goals changed. Now I wanted to finish in under an hour and a half and not be last.

I drove down to Big Bear from Gilroy (about 7 1/2 hours) on Friday night, crashed in Victorville. Preregistered and Prerode the course (taking it super easy) on Saturday, crashed again. The begginer course was 13.1 miles with about 1600 feet of elevation. At the summit, the elevation is 8200 feet, so I was also dealing with altitude.

Still unsure whether or not preriding was the best approach! I was able to calculate and judge my exertion, but I was fatigued from the day before, just didn't feel fresh! I wanted to go harder but I simply couldn't... I never really trained at "RACE INTENSITY" before! I am definately going to incorporate some interval training into my program now though...

OK, so I finished the race in 1:21:41.1 in 16th place out of 20...
I'm pretty happy with that, for now... The winner finished in 1:01:xx! So, I was a full 20 minutes behind the fastest guy! But, hey its my first race and I finished in under an hour and a half and ahead of 4 people! It felt ****ing Awesome to actually Compete in a mountain bike race!!!

All of the elevation was gained in the first 8 miles (with the hardest climb being miles 2 and 3) Mostly fireroad and double track with lots of sand. Intermittent singletrack broke up the climb a bit. But what made the whole course for me was the 4+ mile downhill to the finish. It was FAST, technical, singletrack and I passed 8 different riders coming down! Damn, it felt good, they were hesitant, and I just shot past them on the left or on the right, sometimes it was 2 at one time, and they'd all just look at me and I wondered if they realized that I was on a hardtail?! I felt like I absolutely nailed the downhill section, just cleared the whole thing (its the falline trail, same one they use for the super D). I know that preriding helped me to go as fast as I did on that section of the course, just knew what was ahead, and where my lines were (even though I had to make a few new ones - over some big stuff too!).

So, even though everyone and their brother passed me on the climb, flying past those few riders on the downhill made the whole weekend for me! I know that the races are won in the climbs (and you can bet that I'll be training even harder for the Sea Otter Classic in April), but it feels good to know that I'm already a little faster than most on the downhills!

I'm a brand new racer, and I think I'm addicted...

Thanks to all who gave me advice and encouragement leading up to the race! Keep it coming, cause I need motivation through the winter!

Peace and Love,

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Old 10-16-02, 03:39 AM   #2
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congrats on your first race!! i did my first race in '98 and was totally hooked!

Still unsure whether or not preriding was the best approach!
i not much into pre-riding... i personally don't do anything but spinning the day before a race - and usually NO RIDING at all.

i have only pre-ridden courses a few times and usually it has been more than a week or so before the race - often the course is not deifinite so i kind of "guess" what the route will be.

i excel at technical sections so i rarely encounter a course that i need to practice or anything. i usually study the course map paying particular attention to the vertical profile, noting big climbs and downhills (for example in my last race with 1600m of vertical, i noted that after km 32 there were no climbs more than 100m long so i knew i could push strong from km 32 till the end at km55). i usually memorize a few key points by elevation/distance as well as marking any feeding stations. since i have been in Europe where the courses tend to have more vertical (usually 1500-3000m vertical - that's 5000 to 10000 ft vertical) i often see guys who print out the profile and tape it to their handlebars which is a good idea but i've always been too lazy (or rather busy repairing and tuning my bike and whatever)

i think some of the pros will either walk the course or i've heard that some people (not my style) ride a motorbike over the course...

in general, i think pre-riding the day before will bring fewer benefits b/c you won't be rested and recovered and in top form
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Old 10-16-02, 05:09 AM   #3
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Hey Hawk,

Well done...and your first race at Big Bear...I dreamed of racing there...what was the course like?

I'm getting back into racing after a few years break, and can't wait! My first race is this coming Sunday, and it'll be a local Cross series I'll be competing in.


Making New Zealand a safer place :)
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