The fog has lifted somewhat and it's time for some arm-chair quarter backing of my performance or lack thereof, from ORAMM. I am not to down on myself so don't get me wrong. Going into the race, I knew I was ill prepared and ORAMM is a place where you better take your "A" game because anything else is going to get rammed right back in your face. ORAMM is famous for it's nasty and long climbs but less talked about are the descents. The backside of Kitsuma and Heartbreak Ridge are both really long and really rough and demand that you pay attention at all times or it's going to be very bad for you. Since I choose to do my bidding on a rigid singlespeed, I am automatically at a disadvantage on some stuff like long, rough descents and long flat road sections but at and advantage on climbs and in nasty stuff like mud. If I shoot myself in the foot with bike choice why not ride a gearie? I can't answer that beyond I don't want to, there's no challenge in it for me. I don't know. It would take many hours of therapy to extract the true reasons why I punish myself the way I do.
At ORAMM, it was hot from the start so I began drinking immediately. I emptied both bottles between aid stations and it just wasn't enough. Maybe I should have taken a third or less desirable - used a camelback. I heard stories of some of the aids being out of water. I never experienced that, I guess I was far enough up in the field that it wasn't an issue for me but it will need to be addressed by the promoter before next year. I have done several of Todd's races and he always does a good job. I am guessing the increasing popularity of this race along with the heat from this specific day just overwhelmed the supply. By the time I got to Curtis Creek Rd and up to the steeper parts, I began to cramp and was forced to walk it off every time I did. My gearing choice was 32X19 which is a stiff gear but I still stand by that choice. I did have problems, mainly on CCR, but they were a combination of lack of riding in the month prior to the race and being dehydrated. Any other time, I could have handled the gear fine and my pre-race goal of climbing CCR in an hour could have been met.
After crossing the BRP, it was pretty much elementary. I was dehydrated and there was no way that I'd be able to recover before the finish. Eventhough most of the climbing is done after CCR, you still have a good bit of climbing left. The climb back to the BRP, Mill Creek Rd, and Kitsuma again, just those three climbs alone would make a hard day's ride.
On Kitsuma, I began to feel the symptoms of heat exhaustion: clammy, goose bumpy skin, dizzyness, nausea. I have been there before and I knew not to push it anymore. It took me about 2 hours to do the last 10 miles. Other than being better prepared, training a little more during the month prior to the race and taking more fluids, I don't know what I could have done any different.
My finishing time of 9:11 in and of itself is a disappointment to me (my goal was under 8:00) but under the circumstances, I am satisfied I did what I could this time.
I finished, I didn't crash and I didn't have any mechanicals and there were a lot there that couldn't say that at the end.
So Adieu Mt Mitchell, I'll be back next year and I'm whipping your ass!