Monday, May 7, 2007

Busy Bee Survives Salty Dog

In the spirit of not taking myself too seriously, I occassionally sport a bee costume when I'm out on my bike. The yellow base increases my visibility, making it great for safety. The black bands act as a highly efficient heat sink, while the non-breathable felt fabric is effective at ensuring no heat escapes. These are great features in the spring and fall, when an a little extra warmth goes a long way. These are less than ideal features during a six hour mountain bike race in 20 degree heat. I discovered this yesterday during the Salty Dog Enduro race in Salmon Arm.

I rode with my Transrockies partner, Cindy, for most of the race. It was our first chance to ride together and I think it went quite well. She's patient and courteous, and she didn't seem bothered by being chased by a bee for several hours. The gap between us didn't seem insurmountable. Of course, that was the first three and a half laps and I was feeling reasonably good. The last lap and a half wasn't pretty, so it was probably a good thing that I was on my own. Cindy might like riding with a honey bee, but I'm not sure she'd be keen on riding with a killer bee.

Six hours is a surprisingly long time on a mountain bike. The heat of the bee suit didn't help, but I was still glad I wore it. It functioned as a giant billboard to fellow racers to 'pass with caution'. More importantly, the jokes and comments from racers and spectators really contributed to my energy level, especially on the last (painful) hour of the race.

In the end, I hammered out five laps, (fifty five kilometres) in five hours and fifty five minutes. I couldn't have done another lap - I was bee-t.

An equally important acheivement for the day was a great first ride with my Transrockies partner. I've got work to do, but I think it's going to be a great partnership.


Blogger BikingBakke said...

You're not exactly a weight weenie are you? Or are the bee-wings carbon?

May 7, 2007 at 10:45:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed with the way you've thrown yourself into mountain biking this year. A 6 hour race in early May? Very impressive!

May 8, 2007 at 10:13:00 PM MDT  

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