Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mountain Bike Double-Header

This weekend was an official MOUNTAIN BIKE EPIC! Downhill riding at Snowshoe on Saturday followed by the Shenandoah 100 on Sunday.

Camping in Slatyfork was beautiful as always. Joey and I set up our hammocks in the mossy forest and grabbed a few hours of sleep before our first day of riding.

The trail crew at Snowshoe has kept themselves occupied all summer, and their work shows in the trail conditions. There is also a new trail being cut, but I doubt we’ll see its completion this season.

After we had our fill of DH at Snowshoe, we loaded up the Jeep and headed to the Stokesville campground. We arrived fairly late, but had decent luck finding a suitable area to setup camp. That night I registered and prepared my gear for the race before heading to bed. At the break of day (well, before then actually), I rolled out of my tent and cooked a protein-rich breakfast before heading to the 6am start.

As always, I wasn’t perfectly prepared for the race, but I suffered through the cramped muscles and loaded up on electrolyte pills at each aid station. The aid stations are really the key to the SM100 and its high completion rate. Each stop has a choice of food, drink, and nutritional supplements to keep riders sufficiently fueled for the long day.

Just after the eleven-hour mark I crossed the finish line. It was a long, but not necessarily painful day. I felt relatively relaxed at the finish – a contrast to years past when I’ve felt completely drained by the end of the day.