Seems like there is a perfect storm brewing for the Pennsyl-Tucky Championship tomorrow in Murraysville. The weather forecast is predicting a 60% chance of a snow and rain mix. Boy, doesn't that sound wonderful, when you consider that the ground is already saturated! I have read Joe's description of the course on his blog (http://teamfudiary.blogspot.com/) but I really have no idea what the course is going to be like, especially when considering the nasty weather coming our way. I was able to ride outside in the snow two days this week at Mammoth park. I did one day on the fixie cross bike with J-Pok and the second alone on my Speedgoat Special Cross Rig. The fixie was faster on the flats, but overall my regular cross ride felt faster and easier to control, so it will be my choice for tomorrow unless the course is really bad. If the mud does seem to be the major obstacle on the course, I will use my single speed cross bike without the fixie set-up.
This cross season I have pretty much been able to pack all of my stuff and travel to the race that day. To prepare for Murraysville, however, I will have to prepare for tomorrow's race today because of being scheduled to work. I will be going to work later this afternoon and work until 11pm. I work again tomorrow at 7AM, which will only allow for about 5 hours of sleep between shifts. With this busy schedule ahead of me, I will have to prepare my bikes this morning and then pack them in my car along with all my clothing and stuff. I can tell you now that I will be packing a lot because the weather sounds like it is going to require a lot.
My goal with my clothing choice tomorrow will be to stay warm and dry. This will pretty much be impossible to do, but by using my thin neoprene gloves and socks I can keep my hands and feet pretty good. A polypro base layer or two under my skinsuit should keep some heat in my body during the race, too. I am sure that the biggest clothing challenge tomorrow will actually come after the race when I am trying to quickly removing the wet, muddy clothing from my body without a changing room before going into hypothermia. Sure does sound fun, doesn't it???? I swear cross racers are sadomasochists in disguise. For some reason we cross racers seem to enjoy pushing our bodies to the point where it feels like our hearts about to explode and then to add to our level of discomfort, we typically do this in weather that makes a sane person's trip to the mailbox a difficult expedition. Gotta love it!
One last thing I think that you guys might be interested in hearing about is my tire choice for tomorrow. Recently, I mounted a pair of UST tubeless ready Hutchinson Bulldogs Tires onto a pair of Mavic Ksyriums SL Wheels with some tubeless tire sealant and Stan's Valves. The tires sealed up easily without the use of tubeless sealing tape or a rubber rim strip being used on the rims. These things hook-up great in the muddy stuff, even better than the tubulars I use mounted with Tufo Plexus Tires. The tubular set-up is probably faster on the dry stuff, but I think this new set-up will be my first choice for any slick, muddy races.
I will type up another blog entry after the race tomorrow. I am sure the conditions will be epic!
See you Sunday - Gerry