Just some thoughts and experiences from a mountain bike endurance racer who likes to ride and race his single speed mountain bike a long long way on remote single track in the mountains and desert.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

La Ruta de Los Conquistadores 2012, Finished 4th overall on a singlespeed in the 40-49 geared category

La Ruta de Los Conquistadores 2012, Finished 4th overall on a singlespeed in the 40-49 geared category.   http://larutadelosconquistadores.com/ruta2011/

Finished 3rd on the first day.  It was extremely hot!  Probably the hottest weather I have ever ridden in.  There was a long muddy section that was very muggy but some sections were ridable.  The mud was not deep, just extremely slick.  I typically have not used the optional spikes bolted onto the front of my shoes but they would have been really handy.  A large part of the climb was on pavement and the temperature was much more tolerable at the higher elevations.   This was the toughest day.  They had showers, food and the finish was very festive!  Check out the day 1 stats here http://connect.garmin.com/activity/248054107

Day 2 I finished 4th. There was a bunch of climbing but a majority of it was on pavement.  The downhill was pretty rocky and slick because of the constant rain.  I found myself wanting a little uphill so I could get a break from standing on this section.  Visibility was minimal as well toward the top.  After the initial drop off the volcano the last section was a fast fun downhill on pavement.  At times I was spun out with my climbing gearing on the descent.  There was a flat section toward the very end where I ended up getting passed by numerous geared racers and that’s where I think I got bumped out of 3rd place.  They had great amenities again at the finish which included some hard earned grub.
Day 3 was much shorter and very flat.  It started out with rafting in the morning which was a blast and totally worth doing!  I got completely blown away on the flats with my gearing.  I should have put on a tiny rear cog geared for flat to slightly descending pavement.  This gearing would have been tougher on the railroad track section but you can’t pass there anyway.  There were also racers who put in a huge effort on the beginning road sections and were blown by the railroad track section.  They were holding traffic up.  There were significant waits to cross the rickety old bridges as well.  Would have been nice to be ahead of that scenario.  Apparently the end could be sandy but due to the downpour it was fast as well on race day.  It was great to ride straight onto the sandy beach and drink some cervezas on the beach.
In the end it looks like day 3 only possibly cost me one spot (a podium spot) since I had such a lead from day 1 and 2.  I’m happy with the way the race went.  It would have been handy to speak Spanish but they were accommodating to English speaking racers.  Great experience and I met some super people! 

Prerace meeting
View from the first climb
Day 1 finish
Day 2 section
Finish on the beach
Finish on day 3
Jeff in the food line at the finish of day 3
Finish line venue

Jeff on a preride of day 2