Tushar Crusher | Thoughts About Going Back
So, I've written a lot about this event. I really enjoyed it. Maybe it's because my boss hated it so bad. He said it wasn't fun. Man, I had a great time. I look back on the 69.35 mile event and reminisce what I would do differently. What I determined is that I'd take more of it in. While taking video is absolutely a terrible idea, even with the likes of today's mad awesome hero cameras. But on this run you'd actually be a hero to finish knowing where the damn thing was.
The hardest part of the Crusher is the one 3 mile climb. Is it even a whole 3 miles? Ok, so Strava says it's in fact 3.6 miles of torture. I've never pedaled so slow in my life. I think it was like 38 rpms. It was simply hard to recover, which usually I'll take a break by standing up and using my body weight to turn the pedals over. Trying that leads to losing all traction on that rear end. There's so little that's solid on that road. Here's the stats, average 10% grade, but it's so hard to maintain high cadence and near impossible to rest your lower back from the massive and incessant washboard action. I'll never look at a 10% grade the same way.
But it's 3.6 miles. the other 65.4 miles are beyond spectacular. Climbing through the western slopes in the morning shade was unlike anything I've ever done. This year the rains had changed the initial climb and so maybe I had a particularly stellar experience. But it was my first impression and I liked it. The descent down those 3.6 miles is rowdy and awesome. After the KOM climb, the rest of the way is really pretty fast and then you get a surprise descent before the final climb to the finish.
So you see? It's an incredible race with a lot of beautiful riding, awesome support, unreal support; I wouldn't even change my bike. It served me well.
Reviewing the Errors
First off I would go faster into the first climb. It was much shorter than I anticipated. I also have found that no matter how I take a first climb I suffer for the second. That being said, I should have eaten more once hitting the plateau and down through town. I also would take water bottles I'd be willing to part with. My electrolyte balance was perfect. For me anyhow. Turns out I don't need that much. I used to OD on that crap. As long as EFS is around I know exactly how to supplement my needs.
I spent a total of 14 minutes stopped at rest zones. So I would do that differently. I would do my best to stay in motion through feeds. For training, well, I have to admit I didn't really train for this event. I did 13k of climbing the week before which I would also change. I would extend my last climbing activities, to that extent, out two weeks before the Crusher weigh-ins. That was poor planning as this year I was concerned more with losing weight getting a handle on the Rockwell Relay.
Food: GU and GU Roctane were absolutely critical. The orange slices at feed zones were critical. Looking at the one error I made was the DNA tent halfway up the Col. Hostess Cupcakes? really? shouldn't have had that. I would pack sweet potato puree. I would eat that across the road leading into Circleville.
Weigh in at 165 or less for the season. Entering the Crusher season with a significant amount of climbing training with gravel/washboard roads in mind. Multiple days of 10k feet elevation climbing. Also, base training would last throughout the winter.
Anyone reading this, please hit me up with questions. There are a lot of people writing about this, no doubt. My perspective for this event is more about the bike, since I'm a mechanic. With absolutely Zero (0) mechanicals on this event, I hope that you'll heed my suggestions for your bike.