Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harvey Bear Mountain Bike Race Report - The 22 Hottest Miles Ever!

"It felt like my head was in a furnace," Tracy Moyle said cheerfully during our drive home yesterday from the hottest race we had ever competed in - Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race in Morgan Hill, California.

"Uh-huh," I replied, zombie-like, in the passenger seat, suffering from the effects of racing for 2.50 hours under the blazing sun. I was grateful Tracy was driving because I was nauseous and had a big headache moving in like a tornado.

Speaking of turbulent weather, my friend Hank Coffin, who lives in smokin' hot Sacramento, checked on the temperatures yesterday in Santa Clara County where I was racing and reported: "Looks like it could have been approaching 95 degrees. That's nothin'!"

I feel certain it was at least 100 degrees by the time I crossed the finish line, ecstatic to find some shade and drench myself in water.

Miraculously, Tracy and I returned to my house in Santa Cruz around 1 p.m. Sunday without my having to use my new race goodie bag as a barf bag! But it took me hours to recover, hydrate and assess the race, the Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race, which was a brand new event put on by th South Valley Bike and Run Club.

That's me on the podium, at right, still wearing my orange helmet for shade. I'm holding the hand of Julianna Perry, my friend on Team Santa Cruz, who is so speedy that she easily won the women's sport category title and was faster than quite a few sport guys, too.

Here are my thoughts on the Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race, which I shared with the race director, who was wonderfully open and welcoming of feedback! There is another race at the same venue coming up! 8/2/2009: Mid Summer Mountain Bike Race at Harvey Bear.

The Good Stuff
• The volunteers at the aid stations were nice.
• Registration folks were friendly.
• Communication pre-race via email was superb.
• I felt like a celebrity out there with photographers on the course
• Very punctual delivery of race results - excellent. Though you are still missing listing my friend in the women's sport class. (*She has since been added).

Room for Improvement
• The course was fairly well marked - there was one major spot that needed clarification - in fact, a bunch of us went the wrong way until a local guy caught us in the nick of time to correct us. When you are out there, in my case, overheated and solo on the course, there should be a "wrong way" at every intersection - and there were two more spots, other than the one I just mentioned, where I seriously was unsure which way to go. Luck prevailed.
• The awards ceremony, (in which I got second in my women sport age 30-39.)
The announcer called up the winner in my category announcing her as the SOLE competitor in her age group, which was incorrect. (There were 3 of us in women sport 30-39). The third place winner in our group was overlooked altogether. I still enjoyed my moment on the podium, standing next to my friend and teammate, Julianna (see photo).

Harvey Bear Ranch Race Overview:
July 19th, 2009 - race begins at 9:00 a.m.
Classes for Beginner, Sport, and Expert.
10-23 miles depending on class
Space is limited to the first 100 riders
On site registration from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM day of event if spots are available.
This will be a fun, challenging race at Harvey Bear Park. This is the first time a race has been allowed there so please respect the grounds if you would like to see more races in the area.
Harvey Bear is a Santa Clara County Park & Rec Facility

Course Notes:
The course includes several big hills over fire roads. The hills are challenging. There is a mix of single track in. Beginner and sport will run 10 miles and expert 23 miles. Total elevation gain will be 2000 ft and 3000 ft.