1st Race of the season

This morning, I took part in the first race of my ’08 season. As I mentioned in my last blog entry this was done in part to gauge my fitness for the upcoming Garda marathon and just because I wanted to do it. Yes… I have to be truthful there.

So, I’ll get results out of the way right off the bat and head on to the meat of the matter. I placed 46th (if you look at my time not where they placed me) out of something like 160 in my class. They don’t seem to have overall results posted, but I’ll keep checking.

O.K., the meat of the matter. Kera and I left (she didn’t race) to ride up to the Olympic Park at about 8:00 this morning as my class and distance were to leave in two groups starting at 8:50 & 8:53. I left in the second group as I didn’t feel like fighting my way to the front of 700-1000 people. By doing this, it meant that I was in the heart of the newbies instead of with more of the seasoned veterans. Looking back, it was probably a big mistake on my part.

The city had blocked off the streets with signs for not only our bike marathon but a running marathon as well. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize what they were dealing with and made a lot of “pinch points” on the course while in the city. Everytime that we got close to one of these areas things got really squirrelly.

What else? Oh… they’d place cones in various places but no one had any idea why. While hundreds of us where rolling though the English Garden and rounding a turn, suddenly there was a bus coming at us. Surprise! We then figured out what the cones were for.

About 25 km in to the race I saw some course tape lying on the side of the gravel/dirt road that we were on. I assumed that it was to block that off and a hiker had broken it (hikers don’t like most cyclists here either). Well…. no! That was there to actually mark the corner. Again, a group of maybe 100+ seemed to figure it out simultaniously and we all did a U-Turn and headed back toward the tape. That cost us 20 minutes and 6-10 km.

Immediately after that, we hit a huge bike traffic jam. When we, finally, made our way up to the front it turned out to be a 1 bike width bridge that we had to cross as the canal was too deep and too cold to cross with the bike.

That was the last major foible short of the roadies that aren’t able to handle a mountain bike on anything other than pavement. As an added bonus, they seemingly can’t make it up a hill without falling over in front of you either. This is where I picked off a lot of people. Give me a climb baby! It’s definitely something that I’ve learned to love while singlespeeding here and in the Alps. I’m a damn good climber. Woohoo… I have at least one good skill on a bike.

After all this it was nearly all flatland gravel, dirt or pavement for the remaining kilometers. I honestly don’t know how many actually. One place the long course was listed as 100 km. Then it was listed as 90 or 87 km depending on where you saw the listing. On my speedometer (with getting lost as well) I have just shy of 72 km. Are you with me? No, I have no actual idea how far we travelled.

Anyway, the end of the race found us riding up and over the Olympic mountain three times in different directions. It was here that I realized that I was in danger of cramping so I downed as much of the fluid that I had and that seemed to help along with spinning vs. mashing. We then rolled in to the Olympic stadium and crossed the timer.

They then fed all of us pizza, all the fruit, cucumbers and cobbler that we could stomach. As always, we also got all the Alcohol-Free Weissbier that we could drink. I had a bit of each and headed home.

How do I feel now? Pretty good actually now that I realize that I’m actually 12 places higher than where they put me. I also know that I need to do some pretty heavy training before Garda and especially before I do a week of climbing starting in Garda and ending up on the other side of the Dolomites. It’s 270 km and 10,800 vertical meters in 6 days.

We then headed off to the Chinese Tower for a going away party for one of the girls that I worked with at Berlitz and her boyfriend who are moving back to the states. It was a perfect day to be outside and even more perfect to be in a beer garden.

Kera’s working on a cool bag for our friend David who’s hosting the SingleSpeed French Rally 2008.

Now we’re home getting ready to BBQ. Till next time.

Published by: wunnspeed

What does one say here. Hmmm. First, I'm a "trailing spouse". Kera, my wife, works hard and keeps us afloat. I work... not nearly as hard and contribute enough to let us have fun. Oh, I also make bags for bikepacking under the name of SpoK Werks http://www.spokwerks.com I'm an English Teacher (English as a Second Language) here in Germany. It's an amazingly rewarding thing to do. I'd never have believed it until I'd tried it. I also make bikepacking bags under the name SpoK Bags. Just search for us in Flickr. We're adventure nuts (i.e. cycling, travel, life, friends, etc.). We attempt to live each day as fully as we can manage.

Categories 29'er, cycling, München/Munich, MTB, racingTags, , , , , , 6 Comments

6 thoughts on “1st Race of the season”

  1. Holy cow thats a lot of people. I don’t know if I’d ever enter a mtb race that size. Good showing amigo, thats a lot of people to finish ahead of.

  2. That does sound crazy but it also sounds like a lot of fun. I’d love to do a race in a foreign country, especially one with a beer garden.

  3. Matt… talk to Lenny about how many show up for Garda. It’s almost twice as many. I think that they cut off the entries there at 2500. I wasn’t thrilled about my placing but considering where I started in the field, a huge group of us got lost and I didn’t have anyone to work with (it was basically a sprint so drafting would have been great), I think that I did o.k. Thanks for the pat on the head.

    Mr. Keyes… come on over, I’ll introduce you to a Beer Garden, of sorts, at the end of nearly every race.

  4. sounds fun, it would be an incredible feeling to get to ride into the olympic stadium to finish.
    i’m like you, my main skill in cycling is climbing. its the only place i can catch and overtake people.
    i had a cross race last season where the yellow course ribbons came loose from what they were originally attached to and were blown the wrong direction
    which i followed and ended up riding way off course. luckily i wasn’t the only one to make that mistake that day.

  5. You all get some serious participation at these races!! Looks like an interesting event…although I can kinda see why Kera sat that one out, based upon your pics. I think I would have preferred being a spectator for this one. 😉

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