This is the third year in a row that I've kicked off the race season with Old Pueblo. Historically this race hasn't been that kind to me, but each event had a lesson for me.
In '04 I went to register on New Year's day only to find out the solo field was full. How could that be? Who is thinking about 24's in December? So what the heck, Feb is experimentation month anyway, so I entered in the duo field. Upon getting to the race they told me I had to have a partner to race duo (duh!)...found some fast kid who wasn't racing but wanted to do 1 lap, he did the first one for me and I took it from there. Team "flying solo"...Tinker and Cameron were there and had quite a duel. My pit was right next to Cameron's - both Anna & I learned a lot about running an effective 24 hour pit from his family. Cameron had awesome support, and lots of it. He won the race that year. As for myself, I was able to stay on the same lap as the leaders until mid-morning. I developed a case of asthma & that really sucked! As I was laying on the side of the trail wheezing, some guy came by and gave me an inhaler and a beer, saved my bacon! I was 5th or 6th in the duos most of the race, but fell to 11th after that debacle.
Then there was last year - the year of the torrential rain. It rained and rained and rained...nonetheless, I was having a stellar race, but just couldn't keep the bikes working. No brakes, no shifting after about 2 am. Everyone had the same problems, but the guys that finished obviously handled them better. Some I think chose to just keep their bikes in a gear and run singlespeed style. My big lesson in that event was that if you want to be competitive, you gotta have a mechanic. You just never know what is going to happen.
So for round 3, Lynda and I are setting up camp together and between us have a mechanic and a 4 person pit crew. I now run full length housings as I've found they are more impervious to wet weather (and less ferrules is less resistance, even though more housing) than any other setup I've tried. Our battery charging is self-contained, here's what it looks like:
At the top right of the board is a 400W power inverter. This attaches to a car battery and spits out 110 volt AC. Pretty handy - we can run all of our chargers plus a low-power shop lite simultaneously.
I'll have 3 bikes: 2 Top Fuels and 1 Dos Niner. The Dos and one of the Fuels is power meter equiped, the non-PM equiped bike is backup only. Hopefully I'll have a complete power file from the event. Should be interesting! Having power files at 24 hour race pace for 26" and 29" bikes - in the same event - that will paint the picture I seek...
I'll be setting up camp up in the solo area sometime tomorrow. Stop on by - look for the red Nissan, a 12x12 red tent, and a gas barbeque grill. Feel free to bring something for the grill too!
In other news - did you notice the book in the above picture?
Just received my signed copy, and at first glance it looks to be a necessary reference for anyone interested in making the most of their training with a power meter. I'll have a review up shortly for those that want the skinny before making the purchase...but I can say right now that Andy and Hunter know their stuff, and also really complement each other since their backgrounds are so different. Andy is a physiologist who has developed IF, TSS, normalized power, quadrant analysis, power profiling guidelines, and Hunter is an ex-pro roadie and now big time elite cycling coach working with some of the most talented athletes in the sport. This book has a healthy balance of science and art, the 1-2 knockout punch. Get it or get dropped!