Bear Mountain: Pre Race

The Bear Mountain race is coming up on Sunday! It's going to be the biggest race of the season for me, in terms of travel, effort, and anticipated difficulty.

The course, which I've ridden exactly once, is a beautiful, somewhat technical 14 mile loop, with a major climb, a long, rolling back stretch, and a couple of corners that can easily become technical, political, and treacherous. In my mind, this course is the larger, surlier brother of Prospect Park. (I'm sure Bob Moses would be proud.) That long climb is going to thin the field, but I suspect that, without real teamwork, the back stretch will help re-collect the field.

The Cat 4 race starts just before noon, so it's going to be much later in the day than I've raced recently. It's going to be difficult to eat properly, and enough, without just bogging myself down in empty calories before the race. I'd like a low fat, high protein breakfast, and light, healthy, carb rich snack foods with a moderate glycemic load, going into the race. I'll also have some Perpetuem before and during the race.

For equipment, I'm riding my Specialized Roubaix (as if I had a choice!) with my shiny FP60 wheels. I'll be running my compact 34-50 crankset, with a wide range 11-28 cassette in the back. I use the 12-25 for Prospect Park races, since I can stay in the big ring for the whole race, never use the 11, and benefit from the closely spaced gear selection. The compact double will give me plenty of spinning power up the big hill. I seriously considered using my Bontrager Race X Lite wheels, which are about 350g lighter than the FP60s when all is said and done. In the end, I decided that 350g would only be so helpful, and that I'd really appreciate the aero advantage on the other 11 miles of the course. I hope I decided correctly.

The lovely Jane, my girlfriend, will be my "support crew". I may ask her to ceremonially hand me fresh bottles of Perpetuem once a lap, to save a couple of pounds on that climb.

In these days immediately before the race, I'm taking it easy. I didn't ride today, and tomorrow's ride will strictly be a full equipment test, though I may throw in a couple of efforts.

When all is said and done, my goals are to have a fun race, to keep the rubber side down, to get a good workout, and to do my best in finishing as close to the front of the race as possible.