Today I rode my fourth Iceman. I didn’t finish it. I waited 20 minutes at Williamsburg Rd. for a support van to take me (and 4 others) to the finish line. I was defeated, frustrated and sad. I’ve been excited all week about riding my single speed for Iceman. I mean, I LOVE that bike. I love the way I feel when I ride it. I was looking forward to finally enjoying an Iceman race. And I did … for 10 miles .. and then it all went to shit ..
Mistake #1 – I chose to ride in the Lady Clyde category, rather than the women’s SS category. And while I completely admire these beginner women, I don’t enjoy riding behind them when they’re braking and nearly stopping on the (glorious, but sketchy) downhills. As a single speeder, this is guaranteed death. Any momentum I could have had was lost on most of the downhills.
Mistake #2 – I’m pretty sure I was dehydrated. I put ~55 oz of water in my camelback and felt like I couldn’t drink it fast enough. I was constantly thirsty. I’d mixed up a 3 hour Sustained Energy and with an added espresso hammer gel (mmmm) and finished at least 1/2 of it, if not more. By the time I got to Williamsburg Rd, I’d emptied almost all of my camelback. And I was still thirsty.
Mistake #3 – I hadn’t eaten any food all day. I get super nervous before these things and I just can’t eat any food. I was up at the ass crack of dawn (7 am) because Nick started his race at 9:55 and when I took off at 11:20, I’d not had a single thing to eat all day. I didn’t really eat a whole lot of food yesterday either .. I’d had a good breakfast in Grayling and then stood in the MMBA tent at the expo until dinner time. I had some pringles and some super yummy chips and salsa that BTT Andy’s wife makes. I didn’t really eat a big dinner, but it was good pasta and bread.
Mistake #4 – I haven’t been training. I can ride 28 miles, but I just don’t have the endurance to push the gear on the single speed, over those hills, through that loamy singletrack, with no momentum. I said the words out loud, and now I’m writing them here – I just don’t think that the Titus (Racer-x) is for me. I’ve just never felt right on it, never felt “good”. And I’ve been avoiding riding it lately because of it. So, I haven’t wanted to do any long rides because my SS is usually geared pretty easy (34×18) and not good for long flat riding, and I don’t want to ride my only geared bike – the Titus.
So, the last 6 miles before Williamsburg Rd had my calfs cramping so badly that I couldn’t clip in after walking up hills. I couldn’t weight my pedals on the downhills and was getting sketchy because of it. Any time I’d cost, I’d cramp and every pedal stroke had a position that threatened cramping. I just wasn’t having any fun. And I knew that the last 11 miles held the worst of the hills. I threw in the towel and took the support van to the finish line.
*shrug* I’m not done yet. I’ll be back at Iceman next year, back on the singlespeed. In the mean time, I guess its time for me to start thinking about a new bike ..
Great job, Marts… You’ll come back stronger than ever, and I bet you have the ride of your life!! 😀
Stick with the SS, you’ll get stronger and next year you’ll have a great race!