OK. So let’s get this one out of the way….
“Would you do Leadville again?”
……..I won’t anytime soon.
Look Leadville was a lot of fun. The atmosphere at the race is cool as heck. There are people everywhere along the course. It has a great vibe. Yes, its a little more corporate now that Lifetime took it over, but it is a really fun race.
So why not do it again? Well logistically and expense wise it is too much for me to do. If I was in Colorado, or someplace close that I could drive easily to the race, I would do it again. Right now its too hard and too expensive for me to do it again.
“But, you had a great first race and could do so much better next time. You know you want to!” (Shut up Yeti!).
Here is the deal on that. I know I could do this race much faster. In fact I know I could do this race in 9.5 hours. But I do not think I could ever do this race under 9 hours.
“But…” (Shut up Yeti!)
I had hot chocolate with a friend yesterday and she asked me what’s next then. And I quickly rattled off what I was going to ride next year. She said two things…. 1. You are now officially a mountain biker eh? 2. You did not get anything out of your system this year eh? (She’s Canadian).
Here is my list for next year:
1. Wilmington Whiteface 100. I hereby declare that I am going to do this race in 5.5 hours (I am going to shave another 30 minutes off of my time). This is my “home” race. I know the course. I know how hard to go and when. I want to be top 100 in this race.
2. ORAMM (The Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell) Its a 63 mile romp in North Carolina. An easy 11,00 ft of vertical gain. My brother wanted to do this this year, but had to delay to next year. Next summer’s vacation has turned into a trip to NC for a week which will include this race.
3. I want to do one of the NUE (National Ultra Endurance Series) races. I am thinking either Wilderness 101, Hampshire 100, or the Wildcat 100. It will depend on timing for the races.
Looking at that list, it is remarkably devoid of any road events. It is also much more technical than anything I did this year. Leadville is tough because of the length and the altitude, but it is not particularly technical. ORAMM is fire road uphill and single track downhill. Both Hampshire 100 and Wilderness 101 are about 40-50% single track. All of those races will be tougher than Leadville from a bike handling standpoint.
So….yes….I am settling into the mountain bike world. I like it and long distance MTB’ing fits me well.
And…..yes……clearly I haven’t gotten anything out of my system. I expected to have a real let down after Leadville. I mean I aimed and focused myself at that for over a year. It occupied a lot of my thinking. It was a big big goal. Then it was done.
When it was over I started to think about what to do next. I didn’t really feel like I had to “top” Leadville or do something harder. I was just thinking about what to do next. I’m excited about the races next year. I will really have to put in some time on bike handling over the next year. But that growth is part of the fun.
I think that ultimately all of this is aiming/prepping me for something like Tour Divide. But that is a couple of years off.
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