North of the Boarder
Julian Death March 2013
Quick back drop on JDM, it is a 68 or 86 mile MTB race thru the mountains east of San Diego. It draws a good crop of local talent and on occasion big PROs like the guys and girls from the Ergon/Topeak team.
For the record the gear I rode on.
Geekhouse 26er, 2.1″ tires, 3×9, 2 large bottle, 5 GUs, 3 rice cakes, 1 lara bar
Got to the venue in plenty of time to reg and relax. pedaled around a bit to get the legs moving this is always tricky but the 1st 13 miles was going to be fast and a DH so I wanted to be a little warm plus it was 45F out.
Race start: neutralized for 3 miles till pine hills road, then the attacks started I wanted to be near the front till at least eagle peak (paved climb) just to stay out of trouble. The front group split from the rest of the field.
Trek Store Rider (forget his name but fast)
Trek Store Rider #2
I decided to do the 64 after thinking about all the times I tried to ride San pascal and all the issues I’ve had with cattle…. I’ve been chased there by a bull also the section is just no fun. So I settle in and realize ok if you race your race you have a shot at a podium in the 64 if you can stay near this group…
The pace picks up and I am pushing 300+ watts I think ok here is where you trust the power meter and just let them go and I did…. I settled into no mans land and got caught by a few more people I was sitting ~10th overall…. but I knew just stay up right on the DH as I own the next 13 mi after that as its all uphill!
We cross Cedar creek and I immediately real in 3 guys. I look at the power and settle down to about 220w and think ok stay right here for the next hour. And so I grind it out and start eating early! Way earlier then last time. I start with a GU. 15mins later a Lara bar. then 15mins later 3 enduralytes I wanted to eat every 15-20mins 100 kcal. Crest Cedar creek and I see one trek guy ahead. I do not pick up the tempo I sit right around 220w. I real him in and pass staying right where I want to. Eventually I see the other Trek guy I am super temped to real him in but I don’t push I stay on my plan. eventually I real him in and right as I did he kicks up the pace I do not chase I let him go as I know my plan is working!
Thanks for riding your moto out to take pics DAN!
Aid station #1 trek guy is there he pulls out ahead of me I stop fill 1 bottle. I get back on the gas one quick burst, ok now I am with him. I set the tempo on the climb he is content to let me pull him and I think I’ll pull him now he is bigger then me I have the advantage here but once at the top around the windy section of lake Cuyamaca I could use his size and wheel so drag him up the hill for now. We chat I hold 200-220w. We catch Daryl he says he is on an off day I don’t count him out but that now means me and Trek guy are in the lead for the 64.
We crest the climb and hit the pavement around the lake I get on his wheel and let him pull me for a while I eat a rice cake, I drink and relax. I set tempo for a while so I feel no guilt here. We pull into soap stone I take 1 pull to make sure not to seem like a wheel sucker we get back on dirt and I let him pull me again.
Here I try and eat again, rice cake but I hit a rock and drop it!!! fuck….. I go for a GU instead (foreshadowing this will come back to haunt me later) This is working to plan. We get to the DH to sunrise and he pulls way (damn 29er vs 26er) i make the turn onto the climb to Fages and I see him and Aaron Hauk. I relax and real them in and pass Aaron and let Trek guy set tempo. I yo yo off his wheel all the way till the Mason valley DH where again he drops me on the DH (talking with him on the climb he reached the bottom of the 1st decent 1st overall so he is a great Descender) Down down down into chariot climbing out I can see him I have a 2min gap. Coming up Rodriguez I see him again still 2min gap. Down Rodriguez and now he is out of sight. I relax and get down Rodriguez in 1 piece. Now the test Orriflame!
This is where the wheels came off in 2011. This time conidions are way rocky! and I’m on a hardtail makes it a lot of work but I feel like I am going much faster (looked it up I was 5mins faster up orriflamme) I am smooth and only dab 1x. I don’t see trek guy though!!! crap! I don’t freak out though and I push 200w up orrifalmme with a couple burst to clear stuff and a couple rests after bursts. Top of orriflamme aid station guys says you are in 3rd overall (trek guy and brian taylor in front) my gap is 3mins. I try to catch but he keeps puting time into me on the DH. Up charriot I can see him again I push alittle more to try and make up some time but again DH to banner he is out of sight.
Start of banner I feel good I am climbing well but he is no where in sight I get to long setions where I hope to see him but he is gone 😦 I push on but now I start looking back conceeding that with out a mechanical or flat I am not catching him. I roll up banner and I start to feel like shit. I ate too much gu not enough rice cakes and I’m getting sugar rot gut. I push on and after what seems like a life time I crest the top. I rip thru town almost 15mins down on him….. He hit the afterburners on Banner and dropped me like a hot coal…..
But I raced to my plan didn’t get suckered into burning matches early I wanted to avg 200w for the entire race and I basically did. The strongest guy won but I had a pretty good day. I beat my 2011 time by over 20mins! My nutrition was so much better but loosing that rice cake was tough… it lead me to eating too much GU and getting rot gut thankfully the race was already decided at that point. I wish I could figure out a better way to eat rice cakes on the MTB. They are so easy on the road but its hard to take your hands off the bars on the MTB. That being said I was able to eat a normal dinner and didn’t feel pukie that night so night and day difference.