Okay, getting reading for a MTB race takes way more energy than preparing for a road race. Like, a ton more. Especially when you haven’t been doing it constantly and are trying to get back up to speed on a lot of things.
The equipment issues are way more energy intensive. Sometimes changing MTB tires, tubeless, can take nearly as long as it does to glue on tubular road tire, depending on what wheels and tires you are using. Plus, you wear out so much more equipment. I’d forgotten how much equipment you go through racing and training off-road.
Back when I first started, Shimano was just getting into dominating the MTB market. At every Norba National I went to, they would virtually change all the components on my bike. It was a little disconcerting, but their mechanics were top-notch and I never had any issues.
For sure, later on, after each and every race, I would change all the cables and housing on my bike. It pretty much didn’t matter whether it was a super muddy race like Mt. Snow, or a dust cloud such as Mammouth. The cables got contaminated and the bike didn’t work properly.
This isn’t addressing how much time you have to spend at the venue, trying to know the course. I have only been over to Leadville 4 times since I got to Colorado. I pretty much know all the climbs and all the technical descents. But, I’m missing the middle connection between the start and the turn-around. I road it one direction, so know there isn’t any surprised there, but I have never ridden it all. I guess that is normally the cause when you go to a 100 mile MTB race. In Lutsen, I’d only ridden the last few miles at the finish.
Leadville, being at such high altitude makes it hard for low-landers to have a good race. I think I’m acclimated, but not really to 12000 feet. I felt pretty good recovering down in Arvada the last few days at 5500 feet. I’m back in Silverthorne, at 8600 and feel it walking up the stairs. Still having to hang out somewhere from between a week to a month, for one day of racing takes a lot of time and energy. But, Leadville is special in this regard. If it wasn’t such high altitude, then that time would be saved.
Anyway, it is going to start getting busy here today. I’m heading over to Leadville to register. Kent and Katie hopefully have a couple more parts for me to put on my bike. Some new brakes. I normally don’t mess around so much with my equipment right before a race, but feel the need to now. Vincent is letting me use a new Valor carbon front wheel that weighs next to nothing. I’ll ride it the next two days to make sure I’m good.
Trudi showed up last night. She drove from Park City here late in the afternoon. She took a couple days off and has to go back to work after the race on Saturday. Luckily, the start of the Pro Challenge is just an hour and a half away, in Steamboat Springs. Her sister’s family is in Vail on summer vacation, so she headed over there this morning to go for a hike and hang.
Vincent went to Vail too, to ride motorcycles with Karl, Stacie’s husband. They are going to be at Leadville, feeding us. I think they are going to ride from Vail, over Resolution Road and down to Leadville today to check out the best way to get around there.
I assume I’ll end up at Vail eventually today, since that is where everyone else is. Probably for dinner, I suspect. It is supposed to rain this afternoon, here in the mountains, so I should probably try to ride earlier than later.
Okay, T-2 days now. I feel alright, so that’s a good sign. Check out Alban Lakata’s “training ” ride form last week. Photo below. That is nearly a minute faster than he did the race in 2014. He won Leadville in something ridiculous like 6:04 in 2013, so maybe 6:29 is just tempo pace for him.