Rattlesnake Rampage – Wyoming Trails Festival

Posted: June 17, 2016 in 2016 Cycling, Hammer Nutrition

Rattlesnake Rampage, Glendo State Park, last year this was my my first race post cervical fusion. A race I will probably do every year due to the difficulty level. Free camping, lunch-dinner, and an awesome trail system. Seriously some of the best trails that no one knows of ‘shhhhh’. Prior to the race I was having leg cramps from ?? So at midnight I took a couple Endurolytes. Boom, slept well with no more cramps. Forecast was for a high of 99 so I loaded my hydration pack with my favorite HEED flavor Strawberry. True to my race nutrition, breakfast consisted of a coffee. Yep, a habit that I’m not going to drop. One hour prior to start it was Endurolytes, Race Caps, and Anti-Fatigue caps to prime me up. Before the start it I took my Endurance Aminos and a Nocciola gel. Race started out fast on a road climb to break it up and I found myself in the front 5. Being almost 50 years old, I consider this an accomplishment that I can compete with these guys 10-20 years younger. Craftiness, experience, and Hammer Nutrition has helped me get to where I am still. As Craig, the eventual winner pulled away from everyone, I was content to maintain position with the 2 riders in front of me. I eventually let them get away on a very hard technical section knowing that I could probably use my knowledge of the trail to catch them on the descents. Mike, a rider from western Wyoming caught and passed me until an untimely fumble in a rock garden allowed me to get by.

Chasing Christy

Chasing Christy


Hitting the descents, I opened it up knowing the trail flow. I eventually caught up to Evan and Christy who were going much slower on the descents. Easing back and sipping HEED from my pack I was relaxed but in reality wanted to pass. Unfortunately for Evan, he hooked a tree with his bars and crashed, he was fine. Christy let me pass and I made the most of the rest of the descending before pushing too hard and fumbling myself in the rocks on the following climbs. With Christy on my wheel, I pulled over and let her by hoping to see her again (not a chance).
through the rocks
I settled into my pace not wishing to blow up before the halfway point. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a top overall position and I was determined to not relinquish it. Knowing a few of my closest pursuers were on hardtails, I felt confident as I rolled strong through the rough rock sections on my full suspension Salsa Spearfish. The heat was pretty unbearable but I was cramp free and hydrated. On a fast, smooth section of trail I saw what appeared to be water on the trail. Everything slowed down in my mind but happened in less than a second “…water? Why is there water on the trail? I don’t remember any water here last weekend. I wonder if my wheels will stick?” The answer would be, Nope. DOWN I GO! Sliding on wet grass on my left side, my knee hitting my bars (ouch), it was cool water(yeah!) though. I get up, and jump back on thinking, wow, that could have been worse.
finishing Twenty15
Continuing on with only one last obstacle to the finish I maintained pace without looking back. On the final climb I looked back and was pretty sure no one could catch me. In the last switchback I saw no one behind me. I was pretty tired and couldn’t even get the energy up to jump the bumps on the last stretch to the finish. 3rd place overall, incredible, as I thought only a year ago I would never ride competitively again. So fun to be performing well. Credits to Milissa Melle for the photos and Hammer Nutrition for the support.

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