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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Race Preview: Epic Fall 8h - COVID edition

Personal Update (feel free to skip)

Haven't blogged much this year, so quick update.  COVID has been actually... pretty good for me.

I've lost 20lbs so far, biked more than usual, and just generally enjoyed exploring the world on my gravel bike.  Working from home means hitting the bike at 4 or 5, hours to enjoy the world all summer!

Alberta Gravel Farmland
Took a road trip to visit family in Alberta so hit some new gravel roads there, it was a hoot exploring my home town.

Then a crash at Hardwood Hills took me out a few weeks ago - it was a bad one, from height (clipped a tree entering a bridge feature thing).  X-rays negative, but lots of pain for a couple weeks.  Just emerging now.

But enough about me... the race! 


A race!  Finally!

The format is simple - you have 8h to do as many laps as you can.  Most laps wins

I've done this one once before solo, way back in 2013.

That was before COVID... so there was a mass start, course crowding (especially on lap 1!) and a party atmosphere.

With COVID the race has already started - in fact this is the last weekend to do it!  Every day has a cap of 100 riders total, start whenever you want, keep track of your own lap times... it's on the honour system.

I assume most people will be honourable, but I'm not fighting for podiums so not anything I need to get too fussed about either way.

My Readiness and Plan

The crash from a few weeks ago set me back a little, but not tooooo much.  I was able to bike pretty much a week after, and last weekend put 200km on my gravel bike over 8h - so I'm back in business.  Did a quick mountain bike yesterday just to make sure the back was OK, it was.

Last time I did this I took a bottle per lap and that worked out well.  I don't have 10+ bottles that fit in the cage of my new bike though, so I might have to stop and refill at some point from a jug.  I toyed with chugging a litre of fluid between laps and not keeping anything on the bike, maybe that's still an option.

There is a 100km pin award if you can get 10 laps in - so that's the goal.  The course will really dictate more than anything how feasible that is, I should know after lap 1 whether I can do it!  The last lap has to be done by 8h30m so that is a 51 minute lap max, including the time spent stopped.

I just remember how shredded my body was after 11 laps in 7h50m last time... not sure I would be even able to mail in a late lap if it would put me over 8h... but I guess we'll see?

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