First, I have to send a big shout out to the Total Cyclist team in Charlotte, NC. They are an amazing group of riders. Specifically, I would like to thank Cricket Butler who turned me on to Chris and Tracy Baker who put me up for the weekend, cooked and pitted for me. Scott and Sherry who allowed me to pit with them in their accommodations at the race. Without these fine people I would have had a hard time getting the win. Cheers to them all and I look forward to racing with them in the future. Chris Baker took the pictures and allowed me to use them in this post, thanks Chris.
The Tree Shaker 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race was one heck of a race and very well put on. Great course, food, awards, and people. The race was held at the Anne Springs Close Greenway outside of Charlotte, NC. The course was 9.5 miles of fun, twisty and flowy single track. So it should have been easy, right? Well there is a thing that must be acknowledged up front when doing the Tree Shaker, “The ROOT Factor”. Oh, its not that bad for 6 or so laps, but after that your body wants to convulse and fall over as the pounding becomes somewhat of a torture test that sends the cringe factor needle out the top. Jack hammers have nothing on these roots. Matter of fact, I think it should be mandatory for jack hammer operators to ride this course in order for them to operate that piece of machinery. Lets get to the race shall we. I started off the line casually as I knew 12 hours would be long and a steady pace is what was called for in order to be up in the rankings. I set out for the first 6 laps delivering an 80% speed effort, which worked well along with mental cues to remind self to keep the pace manageable. Then on lap 7, cramps set in, what? This never happens to me. Yes, my right quad seized up and caused some major discomfort. I watched this cramp literally pulsate out an inch or two. It looked like an alien was trying to come out. I would have to fight the cramps for lap 7,8,9 and 10. I kept moving even though I wanted to sit and rest. I would walk some to stretch the cramps. Eventually, I found a pace that kept the cramps at bay. I drank and ate every lap as I normally do. I can’t really place my finger on why this happened. The only thing I can break it down to is that I must have been under hydrated before the race. The temps were in the low 70s and beautiful as Fall begins. I sweated a good bit and lost a lot of salt. I kept trying to replace the loss, but it was a slow process by that time to recover. However, I kept at it and due to the positive support I had in the pits, I was able to keep the lead and continue reeling out laps. I made it in by the cutoff in order to go out and do a 13th lap, but it wasn’t needed as I had built up a lead that gave me a buffer for the victory after 11 hours 20 minutes of racing. All in all, I had a fantastic time and met some wonderful people who love mountain biking, PLUS. The Sette Serum did great, no mechanicals or flats. The Sette Serum continues to amaze me as I subject it to one course after another and it always answers the call and delivers me to the podium.
Final tally of the race: 12 laps (114 miles) of single track, 9250 ft of climbing, 10.2 mph/avg, 11 hours 20 minutes of racing, 1st place Men’s Solo Division
This year has been a blast and a big success. Couldn’t have done it without great people supporting me. I have one more race in November.
Again, a big shout out to the team over at Total Cyclist. By the way, Scott and Sherry who allowed me to pit with them, both won their divisions at the Tree Shaker (Men’s Singlespeed and Women’s Solo Division)