a little more about The 2010 12 Hours of Lodi Farms

a few more words and a few more image from The 2010 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
RESULTS are up

Gwadzilla archive with the RACE REPORT from the 2010 12 Hours of Lodi Farms

The 2010 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
The poison ivy has subsided and the soreness in my neck and my legs has lessened. A glance at the results gives me some consideration about my effort on the course. Although I may not have been the fastest DCMTB racer out there... I was definitely consistent.

57:50, 58:00, 58:05; 1:03:10

As I look at my times I think about the course, my bike, and my effort.

The Course
It is not really fair to complain about the course.... as the course offers a set of variables that all the racers have to contend with while racing. That is the race. That is the race course. But... but... but... But, I do have one set of complaints. No... I am not going to complain about sections of freshly cut trail... or that things were too twisty and not enough flow... no... the tight twists and the tight turns... the turns into a climb and the tight turn at the base of a short fast descent... those are the characteristics of the Lodi Course. And the freshly cut course... that is the race promoters and the course designers effort to give us what they see as the most logical trajectory for a fast fun racing experience.

So no... I have other issues... Yes... I have issues. Although I am not going to make a complaint about my weight being a factor instead I am going to make a statement about some other issues that do relate to my larger than life form. Two Simple and plain issues... a few too many low hanging branches and a few very tight spots between trees.

Honestly... if every racer hit their head on a low hanging branch... then that branch would be too low for the course. I feel that there were a number of limbs that were obstacles against racers over six foot. I definitely connected with too many low hanging branches. On each lap there were a number of times where my helmet kissed some low hanging branches. This is not uncommon... I try to memorize this spots in an effort not to repeat the kiss or worse yet make a solid connection. On my single night lap my riding style was such that I failed to anticipate some of these low hanging obstacles. Maybe five or six times my helmet got caught by low hanging branches to such a point that my helmet was pulled back and I suffered some strain to my neck while being lucky to be freed before crashing. One of these low hanging obstacles was right above a log pyramid. Anyone else over six foot suffer this issue with the low hanging limbs?

Then there were the spots on the course where I had to pretty much stop my bike so that I could fit my handlebars in between a tree on each side of the trail. Definitely unfair to those of us with wider shoulders. Sure... I understand that the trails are cut by hobbits for hobbits... but really... there are enough disadvantages on the course for the larger riders. To send the course dipping through a rabbit hole is just not fair. So many times I had to bring my speed down to a crawl so that I could fit my shoulders and my handlebars through a set of tight trees. Unfair and perhaps unnecessary disadvantage. Did anyone else over six foot feel that there were a few too many spots on the course where speed had to be dropped so that the handlebars could squeeze through a tight space?

My Bike
In our DCMTB camp there were a good number of single speeders. At the race site under the DCMTB EZup there were people doing all sorts of modifications to their bikes. Rear wheels were being pulled off the bike and then single speed cogs were being pulled off those wheels. I was riding the standard 32X18 on my Single Speed with 29 inch wheels while I think that the others were all pushing an easier gear. This begs the question... Would I have been able to race faster with an easier gear? Did I push a gear that was too tough for this course? what if... what if...what if...?

I am not one to mix and mess with my gearing... I ride what is on there... that is my bike... it is all set up... it is all ready to go... but should I have tried a 19 or a 20?
Did I disadvantage myself by working such a small cog in the rear?

My Effort

Ah... the tortoise and the hare

In our Duel between DCMTB single speed teams I was matched up against fellow beardo Keven Stapleton aka Paperclip
Kevin has really stepped up his fitness. Currently Kevin is involved in not only cycling but also ultra endurance running. At one of the team meetings Kevin casually brushed me off as "no contest" Although I have not crunched the numbers... it appears that my slower... still fast... but strong and consistent lap times may have given me a faster average than his jack rabbit first lap then his serious of declining lap times.

I feel good about my effort. Each lap I pretty much left it on the course. Each lap I was out there dying 3/4 of the way through each lap. After each lap I was greatly re-leaved that my time on the course was finished. It was a short course... a short course that often felt like it was never going to end. What the course lacked in miles it made up in intensity.
Each lap was a mad sprint. Not unlike a cyclocross race Lodi is about trying to work each section of the course to the best of your ability.

I felt I had a good effort
I feel that my bike handled things well
I totally dug the course

The 12 Hours of Lodi Farms is always a highlight of the mountain bike season
the registration seemed low this year... lots of solo racers... lots of duo teams... but not so many three man squads
interesting that such a great race... such a great venue... such a great venue gets such a small draw
but honestly... I do not mind
I love the grass root racing
I love that down home feel

Lodi Farms Rocks!
thanks Konrad and Kompany at FRED EVENTS!
and Backlight Photography.... GREAT SHOTS!