Another PMBAR down in the books. Another extreme test of grit and sheer courage to survive yet another longish bike ride in the mountains, with one dang gear. After 4 attempts, the best placing yet. A freakin top 10 at PMBAR, yes!!
So for the second year, I teamed up with Clay. Whom may I add has a vast knowledge of single speed friendly and practical routes from point A to point B. A slight obsession maybe or maybe not. Any who it came in very handy for this adventure into Pisgah.
As always PMBAR starts many months before race day. Preparation miles on the trails or even day trips to the hills to test your mettle amongst the locals. What ever your poison it's generally well thought out and down to a science. Well not always. This would be my 15th ride of the season. Longest being 3:30 in the saddle. Nervous oh yeah.
So goals for the race in order of improtance
- not crash hard (1 crash but not to bad & few close calls)
- keep up with Clay (with the exception of FS1206 & Maxwell Cove)
- have a super duper time (with the exception of FS1206 & Maxwell Cove)
Now nerves in check and a set of well rested legs it was time to race/hike-a-bike up Black Mountain at near anaerobic pace. With a mystic fog lingering over Black the sense of a good day was there. Clay had the master plan nailed for the day. It was all 5 CP and no discussion about anything less. Now slap on the chamios creme and get a pushing ya flatlander its gonna be a long day in the woods. At least in my mind that is what I heard.
Luckily all was going well. At a steady pace we pushed up and over Black > Buckhorn > South Mills > Squirrel Gap > Laurel Creek > 5015 > 1206 > 5000 > 1206 > Laurel Mtn. > Pilot Rock > 1206 > 276 > 475B > 225 > 475B > 276 > 477 > Clawhammer > Maxwell Cove Rd. > Black Mtn.
10:30 - 67 miles, 16000' elevation gain.
Things that went right
- forgot my watch it's good to not realized you are 6 hours past your longest ride of the season.
- nutrition finally got it right just not enough of it
- focused on survival and not speed
- nothing came off the bike, did manage to snap a bottle cage
- frosty cold PBR at FS5000
Things that went wrong
- FS 1206, just in a funk walked a few times to change my rhythm a bit
- Maxwell Cove, just a mere 5miles from the finish and the taunting of pizza and beer had my senses on overload, it just would not translate to my legs to push harder.
After proof reading this blog post. I realize its a bit vague and mixed up. It is the true time warp I felt at the time. Some 48 hrs after and I'm still beat. My body aches and my mind is numb. Hope I'll be back for more in the future and maybe a new plan for 2011.
(all photos cred Clay)