Previously sent out to registered riders…now available here to make the updates easier to find and all that.

Anyway, Greetings!  Welcome to the EC Update series, intended to keep you informed about the EC and what to expect.

The EC is a little *different* from other races and rides.  A little more climbing perhaps?  A little higher even?  A little bit more intense in some ways?

OVERVIEW and Friday, 9/28/2012

Two days, three big climbs each day, finishes at the third summit.  The Stage 1 course was reversed for 2011 to reduce traffic through Paradise (really!), which is now on the third climb instead of the first.  Most folks thought it was OK that way last year.  We are going that way again in 2012, and you can expect the course change to be permanent.  More about that next time.

Online Registration is here:

Pre-Race Check-In is noon – 6:00pm at the Tri-County Fairgrounds, same as always, but in the larger Chas. Brown building this year.  Signs will get you there from Main St.  Which is the same as US395, so no worries.  Nowhere in Bishop is more than a few miles away.  YES, folks can sign up for the EC on Friday.

The Fabulous FREE Pasta Feed follows 6:00 – 7:00.  This is orchestrated by the really awesome folks at the Bishop Chamber of Commerce.  Actually, they do all the work.  Say something nice to a volunteer at the FFPF.  You might be talking to the Mayor.  Or the Police Chief.  Really.  Somebody always wants to “buy a ticket” to the FFPF for a non-rider.  Not possible, I tell them.  No tickets, no problems, no reason to worry.  Bring everybody and eat.  Too easy, right?

Mandatory Pre-Race Meeting 7:00 – 7:25.  Half the weight as the 2011 Meeting, but still laterally stiff for good descending.  Yes, my advisors have (finally) persuaded me to talk less.  Lots to cover, and we always finish on time.  Actually, the Meeting cutoff time is 7:30, so by writing 7:25, I force myself to reduce the chatter and get done on time for real.  Just like the weights of real components, eh?

We will talk about the course for both days, the Rules, the STOP signs, the climb through Paradise, the weather and fashion (what to wear), Aid Stations and Feeds and Medical and Neutral Support, cutoff times, give out some awards, induct a few folks into the EC Hall of Fame, weigh the Clydesdales, and some other fun stuff.  Yes, there is a script with times for each thing.   Otherwise we would never get out of there.  I will take questions, so ask away and everybody will benefit.  Send me your questions NOW and I will answer them at the Meeting!

Neutral Support Briefing 7:30 – 7:45.  Anybody who wants to drive Neutral Support MUST sign up at Registration and attend this briefing!  We really need your help on this, and appreciate those of you that bring a volunteer to help out.  Having said that, everybody wants to drive…what we really need are Aid station/Feed volunteers.   More on that next time too.


Our sponsors are awesome.  HAMMER NUTRITION sends us a lot of stuff for the EC, and we cannot imagine trying to put this on without their support.  It is good racecraft to only use tried and proven gear, or clothes, or (especially) nutrition products ahead of time.  You really do not want to find out that something is not working, and is not going to work, on race day.  Socks that rub you the wrong way?  Blisters the next day.  Drink mix that won’t stay down?  All day misery, maybe a DNF.  The stakes are too big to make a mistake with your nutrition products.  So try them ahead of time.  We will have HEED (mostly maltodextrin plus some electrolytes) at all of the Aid Stations, mixed up.  About 100 calories in the bottle.  It takes 10 seconds to add another scoop if you want it thicker, or if you want Perpetuem (adds some protein, 135 calories) also/instead it takes about 15 second to make a fresh bottle.  I gotta eat, so I always use one big water bottle and a smaller bottle with 2 scoops of HEED plus a scoop of Perpetuem.  Yeah, 335 calories. OK?

The point was to try HEED and/or Perpetuem ahead of time so you know what to expect.  The stuff is really mild, does not taste like dish soap or a maple fudge Slurpee or old plastic, and will keep you going.  Contains no gluten, no dairy, no artificial ingredients, or stuff with names you can’t pronounce.

We will also have Hammer Endurolytes.  Basically, the same mix of electrolytes that you sweat out, only all clean and fresh.  You will get a tube full of these little gems at Registration.  I don’t know who or how many of you, but somebody’s race will get saved by Endurolytes.  A lot of you if the weather is hot.  Which it was the last two years. Even more on Stage 2.

If you are not used to riding at the limit for 6-7-8 hours, in the heat, you WILL get dehydrated, and you WILL bonk, and you WILL sweat out a bunch of electrolytes.  So you drink, and you get a bar or a banana or some HEED.  And still you can’t see straight, and you cramp up like pretzels, and you still have the whole last climb to look forward to.  Nice thought, hmmm?

What you should have done:  Slip that tube in your pocket and pop a couple of the Endurolytes each hour or two.  1 an hour for you thin types is plenty, 2-3 an hour for bigger folks or heavy sweaters.  Ask me where I am riding the week after the EC.  I NEVER get cramps, and the fact is you need to replenish your electrolytes.  Endurolytes work.  They work best when you take them before you are writhing in agony on the hot ground, but they will work then if you insist on waiting.  We see it every year.

Next EC Update tomorrow:  Stage 1 Course, STOP signs, Paradise!