Saturday, July 30, 2011

Midnight Century minus a week

Here we are again. A week out from the MC.

Unfortunately (well, actually it's fortunate in the bigger picture, but that's not what this blog is about...), I've got a shift in project stuff at work so it's taking up a lot of my obsessing processing space, which is really something I have to do "in memory" if you know what I mean. Pro obsessers like Pat can save off a complex set of obsessions to disk for later while churning on multiple obsess-threads in real time. The guy is good.

I'm a serial-obsesser. If I get more than one obsession going at once I can't really focus and no obsessing gets done. So, I'm putting my active obsession into work at the moment and I'm putting my Midnight Century obsession on auto-pilot.
In year's past, I've worn a backpack with blinkies and reflective tape.
I have a blinky and a solid (lower left -- dyno driven) on this bike.
I may sew some reflective tape on my vest.
To wit: after riding bits of the route over the last few weeks, I've decided to go with the Quasimoto's. Normally, I'd prefer to obsess on tire selection a bit more. Maybe have a few sleepless nights to end with a last minute tire swap at 11:30pm next Saturday night. But man, the dirt sections have some serious wash boards this year. Maybe it was all the rain? In any case, I'll take the penalty on the pavement for some comfort/speed on the dirt.

If weather continues to hold, I'll be happy in knicks, light LS wool, and vest. I'll have emergency bivy (about the size of a hacky sack), wool cap, and thin wool liner gloves too.
A bit more bag than I need.
I'll have to be careful not to fill it up.
Tool bag on our left. Spare tire on our right.
Rory's bag hack works swimmingly btw.
Hydration: Three water bottles. I'll pound tons of water on the Centennial Trail roll-out, then fill up in Liberty Lake to hold me out to Spangle.

Food: Ruffles and a couple snickers. One water bottle will have Nuun.

Dope: Two Advils before roll out. Two at the Palouse crossing.

I plan on taking a couple 40 mile rides this week before work. But other than that, I'll take it easy.


Noah Sutherland said...

I am in no kind of shape (except the soft squishy kind of shape) to attempt the MC this year. Some day, some year, I will conquer it.

Joseph said...

I wear a backpack for my commute, but I loathed the thing during my MC ride last year. This year everything goes in an extra large seat pack.

Last year I filled up on water at the state line dog park. Is there a good place for water further along after the descent into Liberty Lake? Whereabouts can you get water in Spangle? Last year I held out to the FLT.

Last weekend I hit the middle half of the course from Linke to Valley Chapel. Conditions seemed similar to last year, but those memories are tainted with sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Then the course seemed to get more and more bumpy as the miles went on.

I will say the initial descent from the top of Bruna Rd is sketchier than I remember it. It has some of those giant 4x4 mud ruts. There's a good line, but I'm not sure I'd be able to find in the dark. Immediately following the ruts are some deep gravel. Watch out!

John Speare said...

Noah: I'm pretty sure I can finish it. But I don't think it will be pretty.

Joseph: that Burna road section is always tricky. I try not to think of that section (and the deep stuff that follows) when I think of tire optimization. A couple years ago, a guy in our pack pinched there on his 28mm tires.

Water at Liberty Lake is here.

In Spangle, I can't remember the exact spot, but there's a lot of buildings -- I just watch for a water tap that is easy. The one we hit a couple years ago was on the left as you pulled into town, on Main street.

Stephen Morgan said...

I'm in this year. I was trying to decide between the smooth Michelin Sport Contact 26 x 1.6's or low profile knobby Specialized Fast Track 26 x 2.0's, and after reading this I think the Fast Tracks will be the way to go. I have them on the red Velocity MTB Deep V's I built in the P2P wheel building class, and those are on an old Raleigh M50 that I commute on. Should work and be sweet.

mechBgon said...

Heads-up for you guys:

1. the water fountain at the dog park around mile 23 is TURNED OFF. The sign says the rest stop was closed due to lack of funding.

2. like Joseph said, the Bruna descent has hardcore dried-mud ruts, so proceed with due caution!

This year I'm going to try to make the bike carry all the water. I shoehorned a couple extra bottle cages onto the bike. If it looks like rain, I may stick a wind shell and wool sweater in my bigger Camelbak, but I'm not planning to put 2-3 liters of water on my back if I don't have to. Back pain, seat pain.

joseph said...

Mech: thanks! you just saved me from a massive fail.

John: your LL watering hole looks like an apartment bldg. Is that right?

mechBgon said...

No problem :) The ninja hole in the golf-course fence is still there, so you can also ninj across to the building with the fountain:

That's at the intersection of Sprague & Molter in LL, where you'd take a left downhill towards the water.

Bryan B said...

Like Noah, one day I will do this. Perhaps later this summer I will actually explore some of the route, but I don't get south of town too often.

Stephen Morgan said...

Just pre-rode Madison to Elder this evening. It seems like to me like the best line down from the top of Bruna is the left side. The ruts are towards the right of the lane, but inconsistent in the middle. Bit washboardy in places as mentioned before. Fat tires will definitely be good. I might try stashing some H2O along the route somewhere in this section (probably on Dunn Rd. somewhere). At 225 lbs, I'll probably need it, especially with that Spangle Creek climb coming to kick my sorry butt.

Jonathan Eberly said...

I think not knowing what to expect has a bit of an advantage. I don't know how much worrying I should be doing, and because I am so worry adverse, that means not worrying at all.

My bike, a LHT with 26x1.75 paselas has done me good on the training rides of the course I have done. My only real concern is water because I sweat like a pig and drink like a camel. My plan is to just keep my head down, spin my legs, and finish this thing. I am debating whether or not to pack along a 4 sided water key. Don't know if I'll use it or not.

Not said...

Maybe next year, for me....

Regarding the water at the dog park, they turned off the fountain a while ago. There's a faucet on the side of the building, labeled "potable water" or something, that was on when I was there a month ago. Is that off now as well?
- Ventura

mechBgon said...

I'll attempt to get through my Monday with enough energy (mental and physical) to cruise out there and check the spigot at the dog park. Goodness knows I need some riding time.

lazyeye72 said...

I rode from Highway 27 to FLT yesterday and agree the washboard on Bruna is a killer. What got me was Jennings. No really big hills but some brutal washboard when I was ready to be DONE. I'm thinking of stashing water somewhere in the middle as I got dehydrated in the heat of the day despite a 3L camelback and 2 waterbottles. Oh, and I need bigger tires, 32 mm marathons are not cutting it.

John Speare said...

Lazyeye: Agreed. Jennings appears to be the worse. Basically 8 or so miles of heavy-duty washboards.

mechBgon said...

Good news! After work, I gulped down a PowerBar and bolted out to the dog park on Reflecto-Bike, currently running 1.25" Pasela TG folding tires, which aren't super-plush at 90psi, but definitely fast on pavement. We have confirmation: the Potable Water faucet on the south side of the building is still turned on.