Sunday, June 28, 2009

Even more OMBA Caramba training

Friday evening I braved the heat for another shakedown ride at the Sac River Trail in preparation for the OMBA Caramba mountain bike race on July 12th. My goal was to run 2 laps in under 1 hour and 30 minutes. Plus it was my first ride with my new Kenda Nevegal front tire that arrived via FedEX Thursday evening. I ordered the DTC version but they sent the Stick-E one instead. It mounted much easier than the rear tire did the week before, but I think thats because of the lessons I learned; I removed the core from the stem and beat on the tire as I applied air from the air compressor. On the second try the tire popped on the rim and I was good to go.

I planned on riding fairly conservatively on the first lap which I stuck to for about 10 minutes. Once I got to the top of the hill near the barn I rode the rest of the lap about as hard as I could. I noticed they've started preparing the course for the race; the fist section was nicely trimmed but they've still got a ways to go. I finished the first lap in 41:03 minutes and supprisingly still felt pretty good so I figured the 1:30 goal was attainable.

On the fist uphill section of the second lap I started feeling a pain under my ribs on the right side. I've been told this "side-stitch" is caused by not enough oxygen being delivered to the small muscles in that area. When riding (or running) the legs are using a lot of oxygen so the smaller muscles have to do with less. One remedy is to stop and do side bends with your arms overhead which increases blood flow to that area, but my pain wasn't very severe so I didn't stop, I just concentrated on taking deep breaths and in a few minutes the pain went away.

I finished the second lap with a total time of 1 hour, 23 minutes and 37 seconds; well under my target time of 1:30. When I rode up to the jeep after the second lap I was pretty winded and doing another lap would have been hard; but I figure that during the race I'll just ride that lap as hard as I can and see what happens. I met a guy named Stan parked next to me in the parking lot that had just finished riding and we chatted for a little while about the trails and the upcoming race. He's also planning on riding in the race so hopefully we'll be able to ride the course together before then. He lives south of Springfield and has a bit of a drive to get to the trails but I like to ride with someone else whenever possible so we'll see what happens.

I'm going to run the loop at Wilsons Creek battlefield today but I'll be back at little sac tomorrow evening after work.

Oh, and the new front tire was great. I was really leaning into the turns trying to brake as little as possible and I only felt it slip one time, which happened in loose rocks. I felt much more confident that the tire would grip and it did. It might have been a mental thing but I'm happy with the purchase.


  1. Mark, not sure how much racing you've done, but we have a group that does quite a lot of mtb racing here in Missouri and in AR. There are some great races coming up and it appears, from your posted lap times, that you're a pretty decent rider. There are a few of us headed to Breckenridge, CO to do a 68/100 mile race the middle of July and then 8 of us are headed to do the Leadville 100. We have a pretty good network of folks who love to ride. If you have any questions you can shoot me an email or reply post with your email address. We're headed to Busiek today to ride at 6:00 p.m.

  2. Thanks for the comment; I'd love to go to busiek today but I won't have my tire fixed in time. I sent you an email so hopefully I'll be able to get in on the next one.