Monday, July 13, 2009

Cascade Cream Puff Race Report

Cascade Cream Puff Race Report

Conditions: Cold and rainy. Very cold on the ridge, no warmer than 60F at the bridge.

Quiring Ti 29er, 34x20 gearing
Rockshox Reba Fork
Industry 9 wheels with Kenda Small Block 8 tires

The Cascade Cream Puff is a very challenging 100+ mile mountain bike race with 18,000 feet of climbing near Oakridge, OR. I chose to run a gear that was too big for the course; 32x21 or maybe even 32x22 would have been better. I also chose the wrong tires for the conditions that existed on the course; the rain made several of the singletrack descents quite treacherous.

What Worked

Eating Real Food - Instead of Hammer Nutrition products, I decided to eat whatever was stocked at the aid stations. This included sandwiches, homemade cookies, a cinnamon roll, trail mix, Gu packets and bottles of Gu2O. I had plenty of energy for the race. As a bonus, my stomach in not in a state of revolt which would be the normal outcome of using race food.

New Seat – I have worn out all my Selle Italia SLR saddles, so I put a WTB seat that came with my geared bike. Today, my ass feels GREAT! No chafing, no soreness, no patches of skin waiting to die and peel off.

What Needs Improvement

Gear Choice – When Corndog says 34x20 is too hard for the course, listen to Corndog.

Suspension Fork – I might have been better off with a rigid fork, a fat front tire, and the Jones bars. The Reba didn’t seem to offer much help on the fast singletrack downhills, and I would have appreciated losing two pounds and gaining stiffness while climbing.


It was good to complete an endurance race! My last long race was Spokane 24 Hour in 2008. Considering my preparations and planning for this race, I am pleased with the result.

This is by far the most challenging 100-mile course on which I have raced. 18,000 feet of climbing is no joke, even when most of it is on dirt roads. The weather was a big challenge; it was extremely cold, at least for July. Even so, I felt good all race. I also successfully tested some new nutrition and equipment options.

One final note; a post-race massage given by someone who really knows what they are doing is INCREADABLE! Although my knees are sore, I have almost none of the normal soft tissue problems that I have come to associate with endurance racing.

Pictures and final results to follow.


Anonymous said...

I am psyched to see that the race went well for you. I was looking for the results somewhere online and stumbled across your blog. My co-worker was out there and I was curious how he did. I made it out last year and rode the course SS with 32/17.. could of used another tooth.. but totally awesome. 12 hours flat. Missed it this year.. Anyway, your comment on real food was very cool. I work for Sun Valley Bar, a whole or real food energy bar company in SV Idaho.. actually the guy who won last yrs SS division at the puff is the owner's husband.. anyway, I would love to send you a few bars to check out. I believe you said you live in Portland.. if you dig em. I could sent you in their direction. I think they are a great endurance blend of whole food ingredients. Send me your address if you want a few to check out.
Mike Herlinger

Anonymous said...

Endurosnob said...

I think we're culturally obligated to go after too much gear every once in a while. Way to mash it out.

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