Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 - A new start and a new challenge

It is in the shadow of the 2013 Dakar that I write this entry.  NBC Sports has been showing daily 30 minute updates on the Dakar race and I've been sucked into the racing and drama like never before.  It makes the race more concrete in my mind and highlights just how far I need to go if I am ever going to take part of that most amazing race.

This year I have elected to bump myself up to a class C rider and in doing so will attempt to ride the full length of the D37 and NHHA courses.  As always the 3 main goals are to not get hurt, not damage the bike and finish all the races (by riding very conservatively).  The purpose of this year is to increase my riding skills and my endurance.

The first AMA District 37 race (the District where I live) is this coming Sunday.  The type of race is a hare scramble where the race course is one loop that is run twice.  That is a great start for my two loop debut since the loop should be made easy enough for beginners - the only thing I have to do differently this year is have the conditioning to do it twice.  Which is no small feat since every one loop race I've done to date has left me without further energy.

How am I going to run two loops when I've barely been able to do one?  Believe me, I've thought about that a lot.  The plan is to simply go slow to conserve my energy and take breaks to rest and enjoy in the scenery.  I've always pushed all the way through the race unless I had to stop for some reason and that really takes a toll.  On trail rides I rarely if ever get tired so I don't see why the strategy of going slow and taking breaks won't work.  What I don't want to happen is to get tired and shaky like last time and crash on an easy trail when it isn't necessary.

I still have a couple of last minute things to do to the bike, check the valve clearances, tape up a slow leak in the radiator fitting, change the oil, clean the air filter and check the chain tension - normal race bike maintenance.

Good luck to all the Dakar racers - the long 477 mile day 6 is already underway and I'm anxious to hear how they do.

Until next time,

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