Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Iceman Curse

I've been doing the Iceman for quite a few years. I never seem to have a good race up there, but I keep going because it is the last race of the season and I am an eternal optimist. However, I now look for the thing that is going to derail my race, which I imagine is something of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

So I made some changes to the new bike. I put on a different stem with more negative rise, the Jones HBars and a Specialized FastTrak tire on the front. Then I headed out to Cannonsburg Ski Area for a shakedown. The bike worked great! The FastTrak sticks like glue, and the increased leverage and lower bar height provided by the new setup made climbing easier. I was very pleased.

I didn't want to put in too hard an effort, so one lap was all I planned to do. There is one tough climb on the East side of the course; I rarely make it on the 26er. The course is very grippy right now, and I understand that the 29er wheel has good traction, so I gave it some gas and attempted to clean the hill. Good news: I made it, and I think I had a bit to spare. Bad news, just before the top of the climb, I felt something 'pull' in my lower back. It hurt, but not in a ride-ending sort of way. I got off the bike and stretched a bit; sure enough, the back is sore when I bend. Ah, so *that* is what will keep off the podium this year....

I took a bunch of advil yesterday, and the back feels fine for day-to-day stuff. I went on the Kiss Kross Halloween ride without a problem. It seems like the back is fine for up to 80% efforts. Of course, Iceman requires 110% efforts. I will give the race everything I've got. I just hope that whatever I did is minor enough that the four weeks I'll be off the bike after Iceman is good enough to heal it up.

Taking it easy for the next few days. Driving up to TC on Friday for a short pre-ride. Then race Saturday, post-race parties, then home Sunday. Race report to follow.


Endurosnob said...

You're back will be fine and your going to have a great race.


Paddy Humenny said...

Your Iceman sounds like my Cheq40...giver shit regardless!
and go see a chiro about yer back, trust me.