High Cascade 100 MTB Race - One Week Out!
As I write this post Mandie and I are just over a week away from doing the High Cascade MTB 100(HC100).
After a wild Test of Metal(TOM),weather wise it was the wettest in history, we were both wondering what would be our next challenge. We were happy with the results of our training and were seeking a new training goal. About the same time I received a Facebook message about spots being available for the HC100 and so we were presented with a potential candidate for the next challenge.
LSCR Bowl - An example of an amazing vista one may see while cycling in, or near, Vancouver, BC.
I’ve been intrigued by the ultra distance MTB movement currently happening in the USA. There is a National Series(NUE) of 100mile mountain bike events, the AZT 300/700 and the CTR, Leadville etc. These events are on my radar and I am looking forward to completing them in the near future.
HC100 is a 100 mile mountain bike race that starts in Bend Oregon and circumnavigates Mount Bachelor Ski resort. 100mi is 160km - Over 11000 feet(3300m) of climbing - it’s a crazy load of cycling, even more so when done off-road. 80% of the race is on single track and based on my preliminary research the trails look fast and flowy(Check out this footage of Upper Whoops). Bend is nearly 4000 feet above sea level and the race course only goes higher. Last year the winners did the race in about 8.5 hrs. The slowest riders, that made the various cut offs, did the ride in 16.5hrs.
I’m a passionate cyclist and use cycling events to push my own fitness and skill level. I love cycling so much that I've created work around sharing the sport with others - so I coach on the bike and have specialized my personal training to help individuals with their cycling goals. This year I did TOM for my 2nd time. The TOM and Whistler GF are my “A” events for 2012. I had a great TOM ride this year but was WAY off on my goal time - so its back to the drawing board I go. Mandie is a client of mine and I had the pleasure of introducing Mandie to mountain biking in 2007 and MTB racing, her first race was the Sunshine Coaster, in 2008. She has since gone on to do the BC Bike Race, Police Games, Ore Crusher and other great rides. This year we trained together for the Test of Metal. Since TOM she has purchased her first full suspension bike. The new bike is just one part of her story in the sport. In her own words she is “built for the long haul” and I know she is excited about doing the Cascade 100 as a stepping stone to doing the CTR.
Looking Ahead to the HC100:2012 Edition
If the weather is good in Bend on July 21st our biggest challenge will be staying well hydrated as both the moderate altitude and heat will be working against us. Two other challenges we are currently facing down - I have been racked with a "Code 5 Flu" that 1 week later is lingering in the form of low energy - I’ve got a week to get my strength back. Mandie is on a brand new bike and shoes. Both serious upgrades from her previous set-up but the changes are happening with a small window to get acquainted and adjusted. We are one week out, Mandie has hit her training goals leading up to this week (she had a heavy training schedule last week) and here is our plan for the week leading up to the HC100....
Schedule - July 15 - 20
Saturday-8 hr ride on the new equipement. Zone 1 HR
Sunday-Rest or easy ride/run
Tuesday-Moderate workout. Gym session for Mandie, I will be doing the UBC road crits
Wednesday-Easy 30min ride
Thursday-Easy 30min ride - Pack and prep.
Friday-Hit the road by 7:30am. Drive to Bend, Or. Easy ride.
Details on Saturday's Training Ride
Saturday. 8 hr ride on the new equipement. Zone 1 HR riding the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve(LSCR).
There are 4 things we are trying to achieve with this ride.
+ Keep our fitness primed for the July 21st event.
+ Nail our nutrition for the training ride.
+ Make sure comfort on the new bike is dialed.
+ Stay true to Zone 1 Heart Rate during the ride.
2 sub goals...
+ Use the Circuit 8 trail to tune Mandie into the joys of riding a Full Suspension bike ie. better climbing, better traction(therefore better control), ability to pump the bike AND to get her tuned into the power of pumping for speed and efficiency.
+ Use Homestead trail for the initial hard climb. If/when we end up walking homestead than we will cut this section out of the ride and use the twin bridges climb. Both Circuit 8 and Homestead will be the only areas where HR is going over Mandie's Z1 limit.
In preping for the Test of Metal, Mandie used the services of Peak Centre for Human Performance to dial in her HR zones for both her running and cycling. Mike and the crew at Peak did a great job in giving her concrete HR numbers and a plan to follow as she prepared for TOM. Mandie did a great job in working the plan and her follow up test at Peak was a testament to their programming and her hard work.
Yesterday(Saturday July 14th) we did the big training ride - 100km Mtb'ing over the coruse of 8+ hours. Mandie did it all on the new bike and with the new shoes. She is really excited about the new gear and we are both excited that comfort and performance have only improved over what she was using before. We nailed all 4 goals plus the 2 sub goals for the ride. Mandie was thrilled by the ability to pump the bike through the trails AND she climbed Homestead trail TWICE!!! The second climb we did at the 70km mark. So awesome!
Mandie-First time cleaning the climb on Homestead trail and so STOKED!!!
She claims its the new bike - the traction offered by a FS bike really helps on those steep loose pitches, but its also a testament to her fitness. I was really proud to see her clean that climb for the first time and its proof that her fitness is improving. One is bound to have a great ride in the LSCR - such a gorgeous park minutes from downtown Vancouver. We took our time to explore some of the spurs in the north end of the park - neither of us had seen Lost Lake. We were pleasantly rewarded with the new bridge near the dam that connects the East and West sides of the valley allowing us to make a giant loop.
LSCR Bear Island Bridge
Whoever had the forsight to invest the resources necessary into this bridge and accompanying trail I just want to say a huge THANK YOU! I am very grateful. On that note is it possible to develop a bit more of a Richard Juryn inspired trail network in the north end of the park? There is so much great terrain within the park and a new XC trail would take some of the traffic off of the paved path - I'm just sayin'. Well all in all yesterday was a great day and a great confidence boost leading into the HC100.
100+km's and standing strong!
I look forward to providing an update on our final prep this week. I’m so excited to take on this event with Mandie and can’t wait to soak in all 100mi of epic riding.