Dan's La Ruta Experiences (2 of 3)
M: How do you deal with cramps down in CR?
Dan: The only successful way I was able to prevent leg cramps in CR was by using e-load along with e-load tablets that work in conjunction with the drink (use the tablets if you are a heavy, salty sweater like I am)
M: What tires do you like for CR & TR?
Dan: I have been using IRC Mythos for the most part for both races
M: Hardtail or Suspension?
Dan: I used to use a hard tail, v-brakes and thought it was fine. Most racers started using suspension and disk brakes so I went out and bought an Airborne Paka Wallup with disk brakes. I did not like it at all and ended up getting an Epic S-works with V-brakes and really love this bike. It is light and acts like a hard tail when need be, but also helps you on the technical descents just a great bike.
M: How do you deal with the mud down there?
Dan: Since the mud can be really nasty and I have yet to find a good tire that will shed the mud, I came up with a pretty good routine this past year. I guess the mud was just the right texture, but I managed to ride down the hills keeping just enough control to stay on the bike and not crash and keep the wheels rolling. Once at the bottom of the hill, I would immediately dismount, than put the bike on my shoulder before it got all clogged up. This seemed to work pretty well.
M: The finish rate at CR is about 2/3 to 3/4. What do you think is the most important determinant for a first timer finishing? No mechanicals, a little luck, fitness, no crashes, etc...?
1) Be very fit capable of riding 8+ hours at a reasonable pace in very hot humid weather
2) Have a descent bike that can withstand lots of mud
3) Ride within yourself on the technical part of the course to avoid crashes, which can injure you or crash your bike. I tend to be somewhat conservative and then try to make up time on the climbs
4) Have lots of luck. I kind of can’t believe that I finished 6 times now with minimum damage to my bike, or myself but I do spend hundreds of dollars before and after race to get it ready.