|06-23-2003, 11:04 PM||#1|
Formerly know as TheDude
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Maple Ridge
Posts: 3,440Rep Power: 1098618
Test of Metal
So, here I am on the starting line with 800+ people ready to start 'THE TEST OF METAL'. Now this is only the second race I have ever done in my life. The only other race that I have done was a toonie race a month ago and it took all of 53 minutes. The test takes the fastest pro riders 2 1/2 hours. I on the other hand took longer..................allot longer. But getting back to the race.....I am at the start and we sing oh Canada and the race starts on the road for a few minutes and we begin to climb. I look around at all the bikes and I seem to be the only guy with dual 8" hydro's and 5" of travel on the front of my Cove Stiffee????? Hmmmm, what have I got myself into.
For those people that do not know of the 'Test Of Metal', it is a 67km cross country race that starts in Squamish and goes up it to the mountains and finally finishes where it started, in Squamish. To say there is allot of climbing would be a BIG understatement, it has 1,200 meters of climbing and 35 kilometers of singletrack.
I finished the race in a time of 5:20:56. About 1:30 into the race, I had the worst leg cramps I have ever experienced in my life. My quads, hamstrings and hip flexors were spasming in both legs at the same time, so in other words I could not move. I stood on the side of the trail completely unable to move with my legs in knots. I contemplated dropping out but I decided I had done too much preparation for this race an I wanted to say that I had finished the 'TEST' . I had a new drive, a new desire to get back on the horse and do it for the Gipper!! I tuned out the pain and went to 'my happy place' and began the dreaded 9 mile hill. It is a big hill and it really is nine miles long and just when you get to what you hope is the top, you reach Bonk Hill where the grade gets even steeper to kick you in the balls while you are down.
Without going it the details of the whole freakin ride I will say that it is one very long ride. I have a new respect for cross country riders. HOWEVER..........many XC guys know NOTHING about going down the hill fast. There are a couple sections on the race course where spectators go up the trail to watch the carnage of the steep technical sections. One of the sections was called the 'Roller Coaster' this was probably my favorite part of the course. As I approached I could hear the cow bells of the spectators ringing and screams of encouragement for those in front of me. I looked ahead and I saw 5 guys tip toeing down some relatively easy rocky trail. I began to grin. I yelled out on you right, on your left, on your right.......... and screamed past these guys as if they were standing still on the trail. I then heard the crowd lining the course pipe up a bit. It was me that brought them some action and something to really watch. I began to smile as I saw another group of 6 guys all creeping down a rutted section of the trail, I shouted out, ON YOUR RIGHT and proceeded to make my own line up around and over a rock dropping in off the wheel of the front guy and screaming away from them. The crowd then roared in excitement. This was by far the best part of the race for me. I blew by 11 people in a couple seconds and had my own cheering section screaming at me.
If you are thinking of doing this race next year, being very comfortable going downhill will help you, but going up hill is MUCH more important. I have no problem with either, but I had HUGE cramping problems which hurt my time immensely. Also as it turns out, I should have been in the Freeride category because my bike easily met the minimum weight for this category. Not that being in the different category would have helped my time, but my placing in the category would have been better (plus I am a freerider at heart, not a cross country guy).
So to sum it up....................I finished the race
Last edited by Dean W; 06-24-2003 at 03:24 AM.
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