La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Firecracker 50 race report

Better late than never, here’s my quick run-down of the 2010 US Marathon Nationals; the Firecracker 50 at Breckenridge.

It was an epic failure for me. My legs felt fantastic but my bike did not cooperate. My time of 5:35 was comprised of about 1:02 of dealing with mechanicals. At some point I just stopped racing, stopped caring, and just rode it to finish.

Stop #1: As soon as the starting gun went off, my bike felt odd. Sure enough I had a flat on the start line! Tried to ride it out but it was clear I needed to stop and put some air in.

Stop #2: 5 miles in. Lost a bit of air but tired had sealed. Rolled tired in corner and burped some air requiring another pump session.

Stop #3. By this point I had hammered my way back up to the front and started the climb up Little French. Along the singletrack at the top, I tore a 1.5 cm hole in my sidewall on a rock. I just threw in a tube with some duct tape and hoped it would hold.

Stop #4. It didnt hold. I tried using duct tape as a “patch”. But ended up running up the fireroad with a flat tire. I tried a few times to pump it up with a floor pump but i needed a new tube. Along the way I stopped to chat with some folks and helped someone else fix their mechanicals … the “race” was over for me. Found a spectator who lent his 26″ tube … This time I had a nice sturdy piece of nylon chair fabric as a boot.

Stop #5. End of lap 1 so I pulled into the “pit” and grabbed some water bottles and an extra tube just in case.

Stop #6. Spectators had set up a jump on the side of Boreas Pass road so I hit the jump a few times and got some cheers, shots of wild turkey and coors light to help my second lap.

Stop #7. Rider had crashed and slid 15 feet down a steep slope. I climbed down and helped him back up, made sure he was OK but his bike was in pretty bad shape. I wished him luck but I’m pretty sure he had to walk out.

Stop #8. Singlespeeder was hanging out on the side of the trail and he was looking pretty bad. Cramping and dehydrated I think. I gave him some endurolytes and water.

Stop #9. Good thing I brought that 3rd tube!

FINISH! I was disappointed for sure. I felt great and when I was riding, I was riding strong. I could have podiumed the National Championships. That was my big season goal and some mechanical trouble just destroyed that. I am frustrated to say the least. All the time and effort and sacrifice to get here and a freaking tire ruined that. It has started me questioning my long-term goals as an athlete; whether its really worth it (financially and otherwise) to rest my athletic success on expensive lightweight gear.

Anyways, this week I am in Mammoth Lakes, CA for my ‘bachelor party’; lots of mountain biking, hiking and beer. More to come on that.

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July 8, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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