12 Hours @ the Back of the Pack: A Fixie Criterium Experience? What the….
THE BIG PICTURE:
Seems like there is a race or a race series for everything and everyone. There are endurance race series, sprint race series, stage races, point-to-point races, lap races. You name it, you can find it, almost. BUT, to my knowledge, there is no fixie criterium race series. And because of this, we at the Back of the Pack are here to help.
Ok, ‘we‘ is a relative term. As WE all know who does the work and who doesn’t….
So, you’re 8+ sentences into this posting. You probably think this is another rambling set of orchestrated lingo that doesn’t mean jack s*^t. Wrong. Ideas are coming together for the ultimate race series – at the Back of the Pack. This race series could be global AND will take some time to develop. More details later.
Just Some Initial Comments:
The 2012 edition of 12 Hours @ the Back of the Pack was an inaugural event – motivated by a few ludicrous ideas. The morning was cold, the wind was brutal and the turnout was dismal. But the race went on. The Judd was victorious with 12 laps (sort of) and 129 miles (data is proof).
If you want a few serious comments, try to make it to the end of the posting. If not… well, get back to your Cheetos Burritos. Or whatever else you’re stuffing your face with right now.
The Race Organization:
There were issues with the race organization, i.e., the race organizers and the course. But we don’t complain much – so, in the end, it all worked out well.
But three major issues must be addressed:
- The race director changed the start time from 4am to 5:50am, with no notice! The official word was that the danger of Mtn Lions and Cougars and Coyotes and Severe Wind Chill caused the delay. Ok. But still, a little notice would be good.
- The pit situation SUCKED! Solo pits were about 150 feet from the trail. UNACCEPTABLE!
- Dogs – dogs must be leased at all times. To be chased by dogs destroys the fixie criterium experience.
The fixie course was designed by one of the world’s best fixie criterium coarse designers. The basics: ~ 11.3 miles with ~ 1050 feet of vertical. There are reasons why the course is > 10 miles and < 15 miles. These reasons are obvious if you are a fixie criterium addict, as I am. It's all about turns, stops signs, intersections, vertical AND rider safety.
The Video, Some Tunes:
Warning: This video contains very little info via comments / text blocks. If you are SO BORED that you actually watch this… then you obviously want to experience the extreme boredom that a racer fights through during the 12 Hours @ the Back of the Pack. Good luck and don’t bitch me out if you find the video boring. YOU’VE been warned. (BTW, The Madre will LOVE the video – just because.)
The Lessons Learned:
- If the race starts at 4am, you better set the alarm for 2:30am NOT 4am – or you better have really good relations with the race organizer.
- If your hands are frozen & your feet are frozen… chances are that your water bottles are frozen.
- If your water bottles are frozen… you’ll be thirsty, eventually.
- If a dog runs after you with teeth showing AND you’re riding a fixie… it’s really hard to figure out how to kick the teeth out of the dog without going down.
- The Black Keys were dialed up on the official BPR iPod – 34 songs in the playlist. During the twelve hour race the playlist repeated 5 times. Interesting – 170 songs in 12 hours, like you care.
Ok, time to be serious. Because sometimes the big picture requires a few serious comments.
The 12 Hours @ the Back of the Pack evolved from one initial goal – a day of suffering to provide much needed experience with the mental demons that seem to OWN ME lately. 24 Hours of Old Pueblo: I was physically fit and THOUGHT I was mentally strong. But the curse of the pink futon struck again. Who would’ve thought.
The Mental Demons:
When you race at the Back of the Pack you are, for the most part, not competitive with the super freaks. Yeah, we have the ultimate pit, outrageous fun, and always leave the races with big A$$ smiles. But we really aren’t competitive, sort of. So, without that ‘Podium Fever’ driving you (us) to compete, what creates the motivation? How does one maintain motivation through extreme pain and suffering. How does one maintain motivation at 3AM? How do mere mortals maintain the motivation when living room comfort is trailside? Man, the demons at the Back of the Pack are strong. Real strong.
The Game Plan, Part 1:
The basics: Putting in the miles then sitting on the couch philosofizing about mental toughness doesn’t get the job done. (Philosofizing is a BPR term, similar to philosophizing BUT different.)
You see, I trained in comfort. I lost the ability to suffer. Or should I say I lost the motivation to suffer, especially when B.P.R. travels with a luxurious living room. Yeah, it’s easy to sit on the couch and convince yourself that you’re one tough dude – but that doesn’t count. You GOTTA get out there in the bad weather and put your mind & your body in situations that require mental toughness. Thus, my new training plan. Ride like I race. (Yeah, racing is a relative term – remember who we are at the Back of the Pack.)
Yep, Learn to SUFFER, once again.
The real story, the basics: 100 miles over 3 days is not equal to 100 miles over 24 hours. A weekend of 100 miles, no matter how you put in the miles, IS NOT EQUAL to 100 miles in 10 hours. Time to suffer, dude, dudette.
The Game Plan, Part 2:
Inorder to successfully battle the demons – I must figure out how to reduce the number of variables in the multivariate equations that dominate us dudes during these long rides & races. One major variable that should be a constant is The Food Stuff – or in other words the B.P.R. Nutritional Plan. If I can stop thinking about food, stop thinking about how I HATE to prepare food, stop wolfing down the pizza and cheetos… then maybe this set of multivariate equations can be reduced to a two equations and two unknowns, i.e., an easy solution.
So, we now have a professional Nutritionalist on the B.P.R. payroll. (Yeah, right. The payroll.) So we shall see how the The Food Stuff evolves with some professional consultation. Below is the breakdown on The Food Stuff during the 12 hours that I spent suffering at the back of the pack.
Disclaimer: This is not the B.P.R. Nutritional Plan, this is reality as dictated by the race conditions… the race environment.
- for some, it’s all about the PODIUM!
- for many, it’s all about the adventure!
- for us, it’s about the individual battle between the mind & the body…. and the adventure… and, at times, the fame and fortune that comes with the podium.
Well, what do you think? 24 Hour Fixie Criterium Championships @ the Back of the Pack. No Joke, Jokester. This is serious s*^t. Fame and fortune is on the line.
The field is full for the 2012 race. But if you’re interested in competing next year, send in your resume and formal letter that explains a) why you should be selected, b) what you want to gain by hanging at the back of the pack.
And this race will go GLOBAL! Because I have the ideas. More info will be provided soon.
here we go