Countdown to the Vermont 50

2007 VT50 StartThe Vermont 50 is one of those races I tend to look forward to all season long. I’ve entered this race three times in the past and every time something major goes wrong for me. The first year I was having a great race until sometime around mile 30 where all the spokes in my rear wheel decided to go loose. All of them. I dropped from 7th place to something like 33rd. The next time I bonked somewhat near the end of the race but managed to come in around 38th. The last time was a complete mud-fest (2009). In my excitement about the race I failed to eat enough food before and during the race. I bonked hard and quit about 35 miles in. Lame.

I’m hoping to correct these problems this year – especially the food issue. Bonking is never fun.

Since I work at a college, September is a busy month for me.  Consequently, I’ve not ridden as much over the past few weeks as I would like. That may be a good thing as I tend to over train if I’m not careful.

To make up for scheduling problems, I decided to do a 6am ride this week to get in a hard ride and to see how things operate for me in the morning. I got out of bed around 5am. Not as early as I will need to be for the ’50 but unpleasant enough to get the feel of things. If I could arrange the world to fit my desires, one thing I would do is start my day sometime around 10am. Anything prior to that is like wandering through a thick mental fog, so getting up for this was an incredible demonstration of will power. I ate and took the car out to Kingdom Trials. The one thing I  learned in this process is that it has become DARK at 6am. Since there was a thick fog it was even worse than usual. I tried wearing my yellow/orange tinted glasses but that proved to be completely out of the question before I even got into the woods. Even without the glasses it was difficult to see once under the tree canopy. I was using the braille method for riding single-track. The woods were wet from the previous night’s rain. This, coupled with fallen leaves, made for a wonderful experience when navigating around root strewn corners. No major crashes but I managed to break yet another spoke. I will be rebuilding the rear wheel with 14g spokes once the season is over.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad ride. I stayed on the East side of Darling Hill the entire time. It was cool enough that I wasn’t completely drenched in sweat as I normally would be after a hard ride. That will be my last real workout before I race on Sunday.

I still need to figure out what I’m bringing for food and pack to camp at the base lodge area Saturday night.  A few minor repairs to the bike (the spoke) and I should be all set.  Now if I can just kick this head cold.


5 thoughts on “Countdown to the Vermont 50

  1. Wish I was there to race you… If you ride this fast enough (like I know you do) you don’t need too much food… a bottle of perpetuem and some gels easy to get at… blow by all the aid stations except to get water… forget about that one on the downhill!

    Maybe see you at Cicumburke?

    Good luck with the weB LOG. I haven’t touched mine in months… inspiring!

    Just did a ride in your neighborhood… maybe I’ll write about it…

  2. Dave, Yeah what’s with the no posts? I heard you were in Georgia with Huddle? Did you race down there? Post some content, I keep looking for something.


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