Sunday, January 30, 2011

Frozen Hog 2011 Last Place Podium Finish

After another December of overindulgence, I started training for the Frozen Hog. I look forward to this every year. It gives me a reason to get out of bed during the grey winter. Usually at 4:40 so that I can make it to the 5:15 spin class followed by a 2-4 mile run before work. Given the choice I would always rather ride outside instead of on a spin bike at the gym but the reality of it is that it's just a more efficient use of time. The running part of the training is entirely new to me, last year I neglected to train for the run and found myself hobbling for a week after the race after my atrophied running muscles got completely shredded. You never know what you are going to get, this race is entirely in the hands of Mother Nature and last year she decided that she wanted us to run. I suppose this may have scared a lot of people off because the numbers were a little sparse this year.

The trail conditions were absolutely fantastic. This was the drag race of winter mountain bike racing. I went into the Le Mans start feeling confident with all the running time I had put in during training, but I just sucked at it. I got passed a lot and got a poor start position going into the first single track section. The first real opportunity you have to make a clean pass is about half way through the lap at the start of the down hill. I did my best to make up time and started passing riders but just didn’t have the power I had hoped I would so the progress was slow. The laps flew by and before I knew it I was riding up the final road to the finish. My sputtering engine finally started firing on all cylinders and I gave it all I had. I wish I would have been able to do that earlier in the race. I ended up finishing 3rd out of 3, yep dead last in my class yet still a podium finish. I doubt that will ever happen again.

One thing I have noticed that can either make or break a race is the promoter. I think there are lots of race promoters that do a great job at all the behind the scenes stuff but when it comes down to the most visible stuff like having DJ skills to call the race and announce awards and raffles they fall on their face. And then there are the prizes, a race promoter needs to be aggressive and convincing to the sponsors that their donated merchandise and serviced will make good financial business sense. Every time I have been to the Frozen Hog they have given away at least one bike and usually two. This year Raleigh gave away a belt drive single speed and a 24” kid’s bike which were awesome. Josh did an excellent job at all aspects of promoting and I look forward to future races.

The beauty of this event is that it exists, I don’t know what the conditions will be like next year but I can tell you this much, I will train for the worst and hope for the best. To all those who didn’t show up because they didn’t like the conditions last year, it is time to put away the purse. Oh and Josh next year you might want to coordinate with Lynda Wallenfels.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan, work travel kept me from participating this year--big disappointment. However, my first year was the 2010 "bike push" event which forever endeared the race to me. Thanks for the updates. Bob