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Harding MTB Time Trial

This should be cool.   Sat. 25 Feb.  9.5 miles @ 7% avg.

After some folks saying this twern't the thing to lots of people doing repeats and checking their times.   Haha....Harding is a real test.

Two weeks to go and, it looks like there will be about 50 riders.  The site is showing 33 registered and word is that there are a bunch of Strava riders and some Cat1-level riders waiting to the last minute to see who's in.

I've been training on Harding every weekend and will put in one more big week before tapering.  Been averaging 140--180 miles a week and 10-14,000' climbing/week for the past month.  My legs are getting 'heavy' but feel like I can get it back if I lay off all climbs starting the 20th and just do some speed work.  Come race day I'll just gobble some sweets at the start and get it going - should be easy to get amped once you get dropped by a few riders.  It's pretty competitive on Harding now - most people are working it hard when they go up for training rides.

Harding goes in about 1 hr with the fast guys.  With a group racing I can see this going down in about 55 minutes.  My times vary from 1'20 ish to 1'30.  I'm probably going to have to drop down into the 50-59 y.o. age group so it's not looking good for a top three age-group finish.

Drop a few more pounds in the next two weeks - trying to get to 165# and still stay strong.  Can't find a carbon fibre hardtail for a rental - I think the ideal bike would be a single speed (33-21 or so) in carbon of course.  Rode a race carbon SS up at Four Corners one day (about 20#) and that's a sweet deal if you can afford it - probably $8-10K of bike, including the carbon wheelset.  On the flip side there are some locals around here who are mighty fast on old steel, rigid fork MTB's who just hammer that climb.   It's about the rider anyways - you show up with an all carbon bike and you better be fast or you'll look kinda weak.

The first mile of Harding is the toughest, after that it's just a grinder to the 7 mile mark and sprint to the last climb at 8 miles.  

This should be a good start to the season.  I know a lot of people don't want to peak in February with long climbing events, so a short time-trial is a good chance to check your training fitness.

This could get interesting if the snow level drops to 3K and we get 1-2" right before the 25th.

If that's the case it's a toss-up who can hit that trail harder:

The spandex-army on their light, $6K carbon hardtails vs. the adventure brigade on their bulldozer Pugsley's fronting 4" fatties.

I'd bet on a snow-biker taking down 1st with the carbon riders not getting enough traction in the slop and not wanting to risk bouncing off a boulder near 4K'.  Fatties can ride that at 8PSI and roll the whole climb straight up.

Praying for snow and mostly vile conditions from 3K to Four Corners. Very Happy

We had a plenty fun time on Harding Saturday.  Total of 74 riders and perfect weather.  I had no camera but here's a link from a photog who was working the event:

I finished in 1:26 which was far down the overall but second in my age group (60-69) tho - only three of us old goats were racing.

The number of sub-1 hour times was really impressive.  Peter Smith won overall in 54 minutes.  Try that sometime. Cool   Sarah Jansen started after me and said "Hi" as she smoked me at about mile three - she won women's in 1:03 and is one hella climber...about 5'2" and 110 pds.

Next year I use my cross bike (6 pds. lighter than my MTB).  I didn't know you could use them and, then I get passed by a guy I knew on his titanium "7" CX bike....VERY light bike.  If you can get down Harding w/o crashing in the drops I would defintly do this race with a CX bike. I run a flat bar on my CX which I think is a good setup for a rocky course like Harding.

Wait till next year...... Rolling Eyes

Oh yea,  big ups to the promoters and bike shop sponsors - $5K in prizes and raffles.  I came away with $120.00 in gift certificates.  Very well organized event and kinda cool that climbers get their due now and then in what is a fairly unusual event around here.

Lurking somewhere there had to be a Go-Pro.....and yes, here is the obligatory, helmet-cam view of the ride: Forum Index -> Other SoCal Ranges
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