Where to begin?
As Chris Calimano and I drove into New Jersey to attempt our first off road run bike run event a sense of relief came over me. I know none of these people, I have never done anything like this before, and yesterday I led a group on a 12.5 mile trail run so my legs were already fried.
Run 2 miles, no problem.
Bike two 5.5 loops, okey dokey.
Run a second 2 mile loop, easy peasy.
We sign in, put our bike down and get ready.
The first loop I got stuck in a very slow pack along a single track so i knew right away that this was going to be a long day. My legs felt pretty good though so i was looking forward to the bike.
My first transition area! Very exciting, I ran in grabbed my helmet, picked up my bike and away i went. I didn't bring my clip in shoes and I regretted that but again this was my first time. A cherry popping experience.
Splish splash through a tiny creek and away we go. I am finally using my bike for what it was intended. powering over everything, gearing down low as I climb up and over roots and rise to the top of the hills. Super glad I have the 29 inch wheels.
My first down hill on a mountain bike in over 20 years, HOLY SHIT I forgot how fast this goes. Flying over roots, hitting every switch back, weaving big rocks, grazing past trees that were way to close to the trail. Leveling out I had a giant smile on my face. This was amazing, oh yeah more up hills. this is horrible.
About 3.5 miles into the first loop I caught Chris, who although an experienced IronMan has little to no experience on a mountain bike. In fact the bike he rode today he borrowed earlier that morning so he was extremely cautious. I passed him and set on to do the second loop.
My legs were sore and tired but my hands, my hands took the brunt of the downhill. They felt like they were in smashed by sledge hammers. I couldn't believe i had to do that all over again.
Here goes loop number 2.
This time there were very few headed out. The speedies were well into lap #2 so I was with just a few bikes not the line I started out with during my first loop. A funny thing happened on the second loop. I was definitely faster, things that came to me during the first loop seemed to come quicker the second time around. The downhills were amazing. I kept flying down faster, and faster hopping up and over roots and rocks and really digging into the switchbacks, pedaling out of the curve to gain speed into the next turn. Such a rush! Just a ton of fun on the bike.
By the time I hit the transition area i was looking fwd. to running the second 2 mile trail run loop. Bike down, water bottle in hand and I'm off. "You're helmet!" A nice lady saw me leving with my helmet on, a pretty newb experience but whatever.
A weird thing happened as i got off my bike and started running. My human legs were replaced with wooden table legs. My mobility was so bad that the Tin Man would have beaten me. To make matters worse I got lost for about a half a mile so I added more distance to already dead legs.
I lumbered into the finishing line sore, stiff, and tired, but ultimately satisfied with my ice breaking event. I will be searching out more off road duathalons, and even triathlons in the future.
Some advice as i leave you tonight.
Buy a bike that fits you and your needs. I did and I am so happy that i did. it saved me a lot of time and exhaustion.
Train for the event your about to do. I did, a little but in the future i will train a lot more for these type events.
Do not do a 13 mile trail run the day before this event. That is what killed legs today, i knew it would though so I am not concerned by it.