Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015 Mongolian Bike Challenge By The Numbers

The race, which I'll write about in more detail soon (with photos) was a pretty unique experience - not like a road stage race, not a true mountain biker (i.e. very technical) stage race either - something in between but very very tough. Staying safe on the bike, healthy, recovering and still riding fast was my focus each day. But enjoying the incredible scenery and great camaraderie snuck itself in :)

This is a brief breakdown and full files (including power/hr etc...) for the stages. I'll go into more detail later, but the first stage I didn't feel great (altitude, 12hr timezone flip in 2 days and heat (30C+)?) and from 10km into stage 3 I was nursing a very bad gash (6 stitches) just below my left knee which required a course of antibiotics - I was a bloodied mess when I finished that stage.

Camping grounds post stage 2 - stunning

Across the seven stages:

Riding Time: 31 hrs, 20 minutes
Distance: 840 kilometers
Climbing: 12,500m
Work/Kilojoules expended racing: 29,000 (approximately 135 Mars Bars!)
Average Cadence: 80
Amount off-road: 99.999% !
Punctures: 0 (Racing Ralph 2.25 front, Thunder Burt 2.1 rear)
Longest Stage: 176km, 6hrs 20 minutes (and I won it!)
Days with Internet: 0

Post stage 4 camping

Thanks Schwalbe, Selle SMP, NoTubes & Cycleways!

The race finish - 13th Century National Park 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Mongolian Bike Challenge - Day Zero+

A morning transport to the start location of the race. I have not really been to a place like this before (this is the 44th country I have visited, so I have seen a few) - stunningly beautiful, very remote and 100s of Prius cars everywhere...

Only a short spin today - this is probably the shortest week of riding I have done since the off-season while next week will probably (hopefully - please no serious mechanicals/sickness) be the biggest.

Panoramic photography was made for this location... (click on the images)

On the way to dinner

On the training ride

A few kilometers into tomorrows stage

Vast of nothing

Home for the night - luxury!!!

Lots of traditional and non-traditional shows

Bike with lots of survival (mandatory) bits on

Pano from the top of the horse

Friday, August 21, 2015

2015 Mongolian Bike Challenge - Day Zero

I have posts about the Czech MTB Trilogy (4 stages, MTB), Nationals XCO (ker splat) and the 7 day fabulous MTB Stage race The Sudety Challenge in Poland - but before all that (lack of time in front of a computer while not working) I'm going to start writing about one of my biggest racing adventures to date.

I'm racing the 2015 Mongolian Bike Challenge - it will be no where as technical as my previous MTB stage races but what they give up in that they take on in rugged isolated beauty and sheer length of stages. Think of the AnPost Ras (UCI 2.2 Irish road race most Irish folk know) - make it longer, add a lot more climbing, put it at (moderate) altitude, sleep in Gurts/Tents in the middle of nowhere and oh, put it all off road - this will be epic! (I say comfortably typing from the last night I'll be in a hotel for a while)

I have an internet SIM card (there is some mobile coverage, no wifi), so I'm going to try to update each day as it goes - please excuse the brevity and possibly incoherent thoughts - hopefully I'll add a few nice pictures and inspire folks to put it on their calendar for 2016.

Thanks to Schwalbe and NoTubes - 2.25 Racing Ralph on fron, Thunder Burt rear

Out on a leg opener ride - ehh, pretty

Climbing up here

View back to the capital Ulaanbaatar

Central Square

Post ride tourism

Post ride recovery - somehow I don't think I'll have frozen yogurt for another week!