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Mason & Mason Mountain Bike Race - Week 2

by William Turner • July 23, 2019

The backdrop for this race series remains the spectacular Mt. Washington Valley. You race after 3:30 PM on Tuesdays in a time trial format. The 2nd week's weather was delightfully comfortable with clear blue sky. You could see some clouds boiling over the Presidential ridge from the west. Other than maybe a bit cooler, you could not ask for a better race day. This week also had a bunch of children and one youngster commented on my nice bike. I figure he must be a home schooler to be so comfortable with chatting. His rear cassette looked like a pizza with 14 speeds?? and one ring up front, nice bike also.

I stuck with the short course again, looking for fun and to push to the max for 18 minutes. It was again just a blast, still well marked, and fast. I did dab on one narrow hairpin but otherwise had a great ride. I figure I pushed the Racing Ralph and Racing Ray tubeless tires from just about has hard as I dare on the gravel corners, and I dropped tire pressure to 30 PSI from 35. I did figure out based on my now cadence readout, that a slightly larger front ring would give me some more speed on the flats and not hurt on the hills.

Yes, this past week I again pushed my 69 year old body very hard almost always riding with my heart rate above 150 and seeing 165 on the top of three climbs. I really liked the Garmin cadence and heart rate displayed on the MSW 333 bike computer that supplied. I actually achieved my goal of inching out long time friendly competitor Howie Wemyss by three seconds in a 3 mile 18 minute race. Would be fun to actually race starting side by side vs the time clock and see what adrenaline would do. I continue to rely on Hammer Electrolytes Capsules and some GU to keep away the leg cramps. In reality, other than with more interval training, to build more cardio capacity and more leg muscle, and maybe a slightly bigger front ring, I do not see how I could ride this course faster on the clock alone.This week, I have now moved to cross training on Pleasant Mountain with Kate Grygiel and granddaughter Maryanne and with 16 lbs of water, dumping it out to come down easier on the knees in preparation for three 5 day backing trips in August in the Teton Washakee wilderness and Wind River Range which begins in only 10 days. Thanks for reading.

Coast to Coast 100 Gravel Grinder
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