Raid on Sherwood Peak

February 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

June 10, 2013

Decided last minute to head up to Ft. Bragg today for the Raid on Sherwood Peak, a relatively unknown race that started last year put on by Murphy Mack, whose is known for his refreshingly unusual and difficult events.  It is a pure gravel grinder, a dirt road race with zero singletrack, about 50 miles with 6,000ft of climbing.   Endless fireroads don't really appeal to me, but hey, a tough race in an area as beautiful as Mendocino? Sounded worth checking out.

   

           

                           

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Start line.  Yep, about what I expected - maybe 25 people showed up, super informal and low key, and after a few words about safety (i.e. don't get lost or you probably won't ever be found), we were off into the misty rain.

   

           

                           

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I did a hard ride the day before to try and intentionally wear myself out for this race - I wanted to see how I'd respond to starting a tough race like this with tired legs.  Good training for CTR as I'll be riding on tired legs for many days straight!  Legs felt good at the start, and I was mixing it up with the front group for a while.

   

           

                           

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About 10 of us took a wrong turn and ended up doing an extra 3 miles or so.  Still felt pretty good as we hit the start of the main climb, a long, 20 mile climb up to the top of 3,000ft Sherwood Peak.   A couple people went off the front and I couldn't follow, as my legs were feeling the effort from the day before.  Just tried to keep a steady pace and fight off boredom up the long climb - clouds and trees obscured most of the views and I was stuck just staring at a fireroad for a couple hours.

   

           

                           

                    My view for most of the day                

                                   

               

My view for most of the day

           

                   

       

Finally got to the top, looking forward to bombing the downhill.  Passed a couple people on cyclocross bikes and I thought I might be in 4th place.  Not much else happened, I just pushed as hard as I could back to the finish line and came in at a bit over 4 hours for 4th place.  Overall, definitely worth the trip up as Mendocino is beautiful and it was good training, but not necessarily my favorite type of event - more of a road race than mountain biking.

   

           

                           

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