#1 Remember your map: Yes, I will admit that I forgot my map at the starting line. Luckily, I realized it in enough time that my Mom, who was my support crew (thanks Mom), was able to get to the hotel and back with it just as we set off on the course.
#2 Ride at your own pace: Due to the whole map incident, I was DFL at the back of the field and felt like I had to make up ground. Even though I kept my heart rate well away from threshold and kept my cadence even (thanks garmin) I regained on much of the field and found my self in the middle of the second or third pack and had past most of the field about 10 miles in.
#3 The best laid plans are usually the worst ones: With that being said, let me preface this whole section with, I knew that I was going into this event very under prepared for what was coming my way. Seriously, the longest ride I had done all year was 85 miles and I was expecting to get in 200? C'mon man! I believed that I had a solution for my hydration and fueling needs so that I could keep going. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to throw a curve ball at me and with the elevated temps, I sucked down almost all my liquids by mile 50 (three bottles of water and one of perpetuem), with the first check point another 10 miles away. I went into this event feeling very confident and came out of it feeling like a two year old that just got scolded for doing something wrong. I deviated from my normal mentality of "I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it", trying to go as lite as possible, I took a gamble and I lost. Water is one thing that you want to follow this motto.
#4 Seriously, Kansas is R-E-M-O-T-E: When the promoters say that the course is remote and rugged, they mean it. Some of the cattle we came across seemed puzzled as to what we were doing out there. Most of the buildings that we did come across appeared to be abandoned.
As for the Minimum Maintenance Roads (MMR), they put Nebraska's MMR to shame. The MMR that we traveled over were more akin to beginner Jeep trails. Unless you had something similar to a Subaru with a bit more than normal ground clearance you were gonna be scrapin' and dingin' the underbelly of your car. I have to say that this section that I rode was the most fun that I have had on a bike in really long time. Pick a line and try to keep the rubber down.
So in summary: Forgot map, pushed probably a bit too hard in the beginning, had a thought of "What am I doing out here" around mile 15, had a blast on the MMR, inside of my quad cramped at mile 40 while shifting to an easier gear going up hill (go figure), hit 35 mph on a downhill around mile 41 :-P, ran out of water at mile 50, got to check point one, re fueled and headed out, mile 65 called it quits due to dehydration headache and was starting to get disorientated. On the bright side I had no mechanical issues of any kind. The Specialized Crossroad Armadillo Elite 700x38 Tires at 65 psi worked like a champ, fast on the straights and grippy in the corners and my SRAM Rival/Force combo groupo didn't let me down.
Overall, I had a great time and it was a good experience. I was only disappointed in my self and lack of preparation. Thanks to the Promoters, Jim and Joel, and all the volunteers for putting on a top notch event and the KC Jeep club for marking the course. Congrats to RD and Eric for their performance. It's on my calender for next year.
Next event: Rapture in Misery. Any takers?
Enjoy some pics I took along the way.
fuel for the ride.
Oh yeah, that's right. In the AM baby!
The whole town was behind the event.
Riders gathering for the start, before I realized I didn't have my map.
The last bit of pavement before the gravel goodness started
People trying to find good lines and someone to draft off.
Looking back at the hill I just climbed.
After mile 40 the course flattened out and we had a tail wind. Averaged 22mph.
How I looked when I called it quits.
The bike held together perfectly.
I felt how the flatbed truck looked..... worn out, broke down and shelled.