Park City Point 2 Point

This past weekend was the Park City Point 2 Point (PCP2P) race down in Utah.  This was the second to last race in the NUE series and also the shortest one coming in at just over 78 miles.  Despite the somewhat shorter distance, the PCP2P offers up over 14K feet of climbing, with most all of that coming in the form of tight single track.

I was really looking forward to sampling more of Park City’s great trail network and getting to finally ride the bike that I’ve been looking forward to all year.  On Thursday, the final pieces showed up and the Elephant’s Perch put it all together for me (thanks Jason!!).  The new bike is another beautiful Black Cat creation, this time built to work with the new Gates Carbon Drive – Center Track drivetrain system.  More on the overall wizardry & geniusness (I might’ve just made up a word there) in a later post…..

The 'Tres'

The race started at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.  The temps were hovering just above freezing and all I could think about was wanting the sun to hurry up and make an appearance!  The race started out and we were treated to some really fun roller-coaster purpose-built trails that had consistent radius turns and mellow grades.  In short, these trails were built for mountain bikes and were really fun!

About an hour into it, I had to stop briefly to make an adjustment on my bike (something that was my fault) and I lost contact with 3 single speeders that I had been riding with.  I had failed to check my saddle position and had never fully tightened the seatpost and saddle.  From the start of the race, my saddle was moving and the seatpost was slowly slipping.  I was hoping to make it to the first aid station before dealing with it, but couldn’t do it so I had to stop.  Trying to ride with the saddle 2″ too low was not very nice to my legs!  At an hour in, and still shivering cold, my quads were already starting to ‘twitch’, which is a telltale sign of cramps to come.  It’s not unusual for me to flirt with cramping issues somewhere around the 3-4 hour mark of a race.  But, to have that happen less than an hour into a race is very unusual.  I’m not sure whether it was caused by me trying to ride with my saddle too low, or just because I haven’t had a lot of ‘intensity’ this year due to my limited racing.  Either way, I wasn’t too excited to be facing that so early in the morning and knew that this could turn into a long day.

After the first 20 miles or so, the course made it’s way toward the Deer Valley resort and got into more of the more sustained climbs and descents of the day.  Having not ridden any of the course, it was tough to know what was coming next.  The main climb between the first and second aid station was about twice as long as I anticipated, and the major climb after the second aid station was quite a bit shorter than I expected (thankfully!).  My legs continued to try to cramp, but I was mostly able to manage it and only had to walk one particularly steep hill because of it.  The descents on the course ranged from super tight, twisty, treed, single track to high speed open double track.  While I wasn’t exactly enjoying the climbs, I was absolutely having a blast on the descents.  The new bike handles intuitively and was more than capable of handling everything I threw at it.  According to my GPS unit, I even clocked 45 mph on the descent into the second aid station!

In the end, I crossed the finish line to take 5th place in the SS category with a time of @ 8:30.  All things considered, I’m pretty happy with that.  I felt decent and had a blast on the new ride.  This bike is pretty unique and I’ll post some pics and details about it soon.  For now, I need to unpack, go try to look good (or at least not too bad) in a photo shoot, squeeze in some work, then leave Wednesday for a six day ride with Specialized from SLC to Vegas for the Interbike trade show.  I’ll be at the show for two days and then fly back to SLC to pick up the new Rokon trail bike that the Wood River Bicycle Coalition just purchased and then back here to host an IMBA Trail Care Crew visit for 3 days where we’ll have seminars/clinics on topics ranging from trail construction techniques to the community benefits of having a good trail system.



~ by ketchumgreg on September 5, 2011.

2 Responses to “Park City Point 2 Point”

  1. Hey Greg- I have a Black Cat coming my way this Spring and I’m going with the belt drive… wondering what you think of the new Center Track now that you’ve ridden it a while.


    Another Greg

    • Hey Greg-
      Sorry for the delay. Now that I’m officially “retired” from racing, I don’t check this blog very often. The Center Track system has worked flawlessly thus far. Paired up with a Black Cat, it’s the sweetest ride on the trails, IMHO. Enjoy!

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