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Tennessee Pass Night Jam


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    • #14441

      I made the trip to ski cooper near leadville on saturday to race the tennessee pass night jam. Fat bike race made it on to my list of things i’ve never done that i’m going to do this year. A friend set me up for this with the promise of free beer and a fun after party at the nordic center lodge. The event had been on the calendar since december but i was waffling right up until friday afternoon when i secured a loaner bike from a friend and a ride up. It was enough to get me on a bike after work on for a quick ride and some openers.

      I knew i’d enjoy the party and hanging out with friends afterwards, but the surprise was how much fun i had racing. One part competing for the first time in a couple of years, one part decent fitness, and one part unique experience racing on snow with lights under a full moon.

      2nd time ever on a fat bike. I didn’t do much in way of a serious warm up, so the first climb was a shock to the system. Not a lot of oxygen up there. A decent size group rode away on the front while the large group I was riding in played leapfrog on the climb. I dialed up vulture mode and as the race progressed i started reeling riders in. I hit the flats near the highway at the front of the group and then managed to put a small gap on the rest of the chasers and rode into the back of what turned out to be the top 10.

      At that point I settled in and managed a couple of passes as we worked our way back to the start/finish and onto the finishing loop. There were two riders hovering a handful of seconds out in front of me, but when I picked up the pace and started to close the gap they got motivated as well and opened it back up.

      I did learn that fattys loose traction quickly. Even after a get off and a bunch of close calls on the first two fast descents I still had trouble dialing it back and finding a happy speed. I got a little excited on the single track descent to the finish and had two more get offs. One of them was good ejection off the trail into some very deep, very soft snow. Nothing like trying to wallow back on to the trail when you are already maxed out. I rolled back through the finish with a nice cheering crowd, camp fire and cow bells. 6th place overall for me. My teammate nabbed 2nd, so also a good night for the COS racing mtb team.

      They hit it out of the park with the party. I had a great time chatting with friends from all over the state, drinking beer, and eating good food. Between the consumables and the raffle I walked away thinking my paltry entry fee may not have covered their costs. Lucky to have opportunities like this to spice up the winter.

      I’m almost 1/2 way through the SS XC Base plan in prep for some 50 milers this summer. This was proceeded by a couple of months of regular sweet spot indoor sessions with fun cross training or riding on the weekends. I know my indoor work gave my fitness a great jump start and was big contributor to the good result. Knowing i’d be following the Lynda’s plans this season did help me to be a little bit more focused and disciplined through December and January.

    • #14445

      Sound like a great race and fun evening. That’s what racing is all about! Congrats on your 6th place finish!

      Thanks for race report and the nice words about my training plans.


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