21 Jul

Stage 1 Cascade- Tough luck, Tougher Course, Toughest competition

74 mi race with 7000 feet of climbing.

The race starts with a 28 mi descent, followed by a 20 mi climb, followed by a 15 mi descent and then another 11 mi climb. Tough course with even tougher competition, probably the strongest field I raced against so far.

Today I learned what speed wobbles are: SCARY! Finally after Toona, I feel more comfortable descending and then my bike plays games on me!

During the first 28 mi fast descent I hit 43mph when suddenly my front tire started shaking. I tried to ignore it first but when it got worse and it became an uncontrollable movement, I had to slow down big time to get control of the bike again.

Since the peloton went over 43mph, I had to watch the gap getting bigger. I had to wait until the road got flatter to chase back to the group. Great! I just used a major amount of energy on a part of the race which shouldn’t require any effort whatsoever. It’s not like that the upcoming 20 mile climb would be challenging….

I don’t need to mention that the 20mi climb was long, like really long. Long enough that you have time to think about how hard this climb is. Long enough that you are debating with yourself why you had to eat so much the past years, if you were only 20 pounds lighter.

Despite the rather lengthy suffering going uphill, once on top of the McKenzie Mountain, you are riding through the lava field, which is spectacular. Very moon-like, only that the gravity part seemed to have the reverse effect.

After another 15mi descent, I timetrialed with 2 other girls for about 10mi and got caught by a group of 10 5 miles before the finish. The end! I finished. It was hard.

  1. Usually a cure for the high-speed shimmy is putting a knee to the top tube. The vibrations are usually a deal with weird harmonic frequencies through the frame, and the knee to the top tube often cures it. Hell of a race!

  2. Out of curiosity..which Specialized frame are you riding year?
    Reason I ask is I have several friends on new Tarmacs that have complained of the same thing ~40mph.

  3. Very nice blog and very useful blog
    Please suggest me about marathon
    marathons race

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