Palos Meltdown Race Report

24 Aug

Saturday was race #2 for me in the Midwest and I’ve learned a couple things. First, don’t pre-ride the course by yourself because you will get lost.  Second, if you forget #1 remember to take everything with you on the pre-ride that you’ll need during the race.

With 45 minutes to start I thought I’d get in a nice warm up then come back to camp and get my bottles and instruct my crew on hand-ups etc.  While I had actually pre-ridden most of the course the week before the organizers hadn’t quite got the start finish area dialed in at that time so I needed to go scope that out.

I kept thinking the trail I was on would double back on itself and take me right back tot the start, nope. I started to get nervous that I was going to miss the start when I passed a spectator out on course and asked directions.  He said its a couple miles away and the race starts in 5 minutes, Doh!

I came out of the woods about 50 yards behind the start just in time to hear, “5,4,3,2,1”  I was already gassed from the effort of trying to make the start but somehow managed to still roll out with the group. Oh yeah, no bottles on the bike. Have I mentioned it’s really hot?

The course at Palos was non-stop single track, really tight and twisty with the just the right amount of technical.  It was about 8.5 miles long with some grassy hill sections near the start-finish to break things up.

From what I’ve heard hey had a record turnout of 500+ racers across all classes.  The classes were pretty big which led to a lot of congestion and multiple pile ups on the first lap.  By lap 2 and aided by the dense single track it seemed like there were only 5 or 6 people on course.

In spite of my botched start and lack of bottles on the first lap I felt pretty good all day mostly just passing racers and thought I had finished a lot better than I actually did.  Got 4th Expert 40+ and 24th overall.

pic by Brian Coggin

Some of my deep thoughts after the race:

  • I’ve  fallen off the racing bandwagon harder than I thought.
  • The dudes in Chicago are faster than the dudes in Utah.
  • Maybe I’m just getting old and slow.
  • I am so going to suffer at PCP2P.
  • 2:30 hour xc races are too much for me.
  • Rolling single track is more fun to race than monster climbs followed by monster DH.
  • Rolling single track is harder to race than monster climbs followed by monster DH.
  • Am I really craving a duck sausage and foie gras dog?

Deep thoughts aside it was a great day at the races. Thanks CAMBR for putting on a 1st class race at an incredible venue, I’ll be back for sure.

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13 Responses to “Palos Meltdown Race Report”

  1. GrizzlyAdam August 24, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    “The dudes in Chicago are faster than the dudes in Utah.”

    Them is fightin’ words.

    • brkeyes7 August 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

      They completely overwhelmed me. Real mountain bikers in Chicago, who’da thunk?

  2. Rick S. August 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    pretty big single speed scene out there? Seems like it.

    • brkeyes7 August 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

      I was only one of 2 SS’ers that I saw in the expert class, no SS specific class.

  3. bob August 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Tell them all to come out here and race you, me, etc…. No contest.

    Different terrain, different racing, rolling terrain is fun, but then again you have to pedal the whole time, You aren’t yet used to that.

    You are getting old and slower.

  4. Andy August 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I know I’ve said it before but if you want to experience Midwest racing at it’s best, you HAVE to race Iceman! I know it’s sold out but you’re interested in racing it, I know where people are selling registrations they won’t use.

    As far as people here being faster, just keep in mind that the race was held in the third-largest city in the US so the population of fast riders is bound to be bigger. Oh…and since we don’t have Nything to look at like you do in UT, we concentrate on making every ride a PR and worry about enjoying riding when we go out west.

    BTW, I’m also drubeecham from Twitter in case you haven’t figured that out.

    • brkeyes7 August 25, 2010 at 8:34 am #

      Andy, I’d love to do Iceman, if you can point me in the right direction that would be much appreciated and yep connected the dots.

  5. Forrest Gladding August 25, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Dude, racing back East/Midwest is so different. Yeah the guys are fast but you are use to settling in on climb, not sprinting in tight singletrack for hours with no recovery. Its a different beast, but learn how to race it will make you more complete. Plus these guys should have more power. At altitude we usually excel at the long endurance grinds but back east these guys can put out some serious Watts on level ground. You are also more of a climber so you are going to have to change your workouts to reflect the terrain. I remember having great form and placing in some Colorado Pt Series races and heading back east only to get clobbered. I was use to stage races where the XC was 3.5 hours of grueling climbing and then getting smoked on a 1:45 min race in flat technical singletrack. Once you figure it out you will be killing it too.

    • brkeyes7 August 25, 2010 at 8:35 am #

      I feel much better about myself, thanks Forrest I needed that.

      • bob August 25, 2010 at 9:48 am #

        no, just older

  6. KanyonKris August 25, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    If there were only 2 SS guys that may be a clue. Were you spun out much? Maybe gears are needed for racing out there.

  7. Kendra Clark August 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    You have mad downhill skills and I have seen you climb by me like I was standing still….oh wait maybe I was. Your going to come to PCP2P and kill it.

  8. tibiker August 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Having raced both East and West, trust me, there are fast guys everywhere, but the racing terrain is different. If the East coast/ Midwest guys come out here, they’d be eating your dust because they aren’t used to the sustained climbs and the DH skills you have. Racing back there is more like constant interval training. I also think the trails are more technical back East which takes it’s toll both mentally and physically. So I guess what I’m saying is you’re out of your comfort zone, but knowing you, that won’t be for long. Looking forward to seeing you for PCPP!

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