Mountain bike race (FatBoy) 1:17:50 10.68 km (7:17 / km) +138m6:51 / km ahr:140 max:174
STARS MTB-O short course.
19 1/2 year ahead of my schedule for starting to race, I tagged onto this because I think it is a good event that deserves increasing attendance - that and Bash had things under control so didn't need any extra help.
My plan was to take a fairly relaxed approach and focus on accurate navigation. The plan was to take the time at each check point to pick a route to the next one until I was finished. Without a compass I tried to get my bearings using the big trail map at the Chalet as reference once we got the race map - North was a bit different than my instinct wanted to believe.
CP 1&2 were straight forward being on trails I remembered from testing the novice course two years ago.
CP3 was a big error and where I think I lost most of my time. I clicked a lap on my Garmin at each check point so I could look at where the flaws were later, and so I could see the CP-CP distance in lieu of a bike computer (I stayed on a screen showing temp, heart rate, heart zone, speed, distance in lap and an 8 point pseudo compass). I missed the small trail to the left from red to greed. Not a problem because I could go the long way around on green and catch the other end of the little trail. I stopped where I thought the CP should be, but didn't see it. I then raced around the area like a bit of a fool until I picked up the flag exactly where I had originally expected it. So two lessons: 1) not all trail entrances look the same - some aren't traveled as much so don't have that tell-tale worn to the ground path 2) trust yourself and look *carefully* before going off plan I did pick up the trail easily when picking up the CP after the race and the flag was very visible coming at it on the right trail.
The rest was pretty uneventful. I crossed paths with a fair number of rides, mostly going in a different direction than I was, but didn't second guess my plan. I paused at the bigger intersections to make sure I was where I thought I was before moving on. I generally picked a route that I felt was least subject to error without going a long way out of the way. I paused a couple of times to help people identify where they were on the map. I guess I looked like I knew what I was doing.
I was under an hour at CP11, so figured I might as well pick up the two bonus CP and stretch the ride out a bit.
Great event. It was nice that the rain settled down for the bulk of the actual race time.
At the pub I asked a group of guys if they were dirty bikers - they were so I sat with them for a bit. Turns out they had been riding Palgrave so I made sure they knew they could have been racing. A couple of them seemed keen on it based on having done some orienteering in school. Their families needed the seat I had taken so I headed home to elevate my leg (it finally clicked in that I had been about 4 hours standing, walking or riding a traditional bike and was likely to sag if I didn't).
I am now in the market for a good compass. My last one was military and worked a charm snowshoes across woods and fields in the north. Recommendations most welcome.
Mountain bike (FatBoy) 29:00  4.0 km (7:15 / km) +105m6:25 / km ahr:146 max:171
Post race roaming.
Part 1: 'Bent wondered how the fattie would handle the trail around long course CP14, so I headed out that way and rode a bit of single track. I should have just sent him out so he could compare the tire grip to the Kodiak. After this much time upright the climbing on muddy trail with big wet roots was demanding, but most of that I attribute to by diminished vascular capacity. I did get a bit of rear wheel slip, but I'm pretty sure a lower tire pressure would have addressed that. I was running 7 psi, which was perfect for my course. I think that 5 psi would have been right for the long course.
Part 2: collecting a few checkpoints south and east of start-finish.
Beautiful morning for a dawn ride, but my Achilles is feeling the stress. Rode Js new bike home from the shop and did a 6+ km colour walk with an old friend and her dog in addition to the logged activity.
Mountain bike (Stumpjumper) 1:36:00  23.0 km (4:10 / km) +175m4:01 / km ahr:124 max:157 shoes: Specialized Comp mountain
Needing to be back to help J finish bike shopping meant not going to Albion Hills to look for flags. Instead the south end of the Holland River to see if there was better colour there. Even Sheppard's Bush had limited colour n the trees - the leaves are falling as they turn and not staying on the trees long enough to get the big, broad brush splash. There were so many leaves on the ground that it was hard to pick up the trail in spots and I completely missed the entrance to the ragged single track in the south.
The colour looked much better coming home. I'm starting to believe this mono vision setup with only one eye carrying a distance prescription is compromising my depth perception. I misjudged clearance on the right side a couple of times. I did find a new stretch of extremely bouncey trail on the return.
6C starting out was a bit cool for the layers I chose starting out, but it was perfect once I got going.
Road cycle warm up/down 30:00  8.0 km (3:45 / km)
Grabbed a tiny wheel folding bike to go out with J on her last test ride. She liked the first one enough that she didn't bother retesting the one from yesterday that she was prepared to ride again. She is now a bike owner again: cruiser styling but 21 speed.
The little folding bike had better ergonomics than I expected. The butt-pedal-bars geometry was much like a typical hybrid. The tiny wheels did notice everything on the road and got a bit upset by larger rocks, it a better than expected ride for something that would pack up into regular luggage.
Mountain bike (Stumpjumper) 1:50:00  30.2 km (3:39 / km) +129m3:34 / km ahr:122 max:151 shoes: Specialized Comp mountain
Search for colour.
The plan was to go along the river to find the best place to take an old friend and her dog for a walk later this week. The colour I had hoped to see in the northern woods didn't really show up until I got to the bridge construction. I ran into minutes old asphalt on the way to Shepherd's Bush so don't know if that maple forest has changed yet.
It was interesting to notice some spectacular single trees. A few fully turned and others with splashes of colour scattered over the body of the tree. The joys of having lots of time.
9C to start so I got to practice layering a bit. The neck warmer I got from the Ride to Conquer Cancer this year works like a charm.