For me, the 5K is a challenge that makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished a great feat. It is that carrot that gets me off the skiis to start training because one cannot do this event without a high level of fitness.
Also, I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with being part a group of like-minded people that includes youth (youthful enthusiasm), pros and us old cons. And the post-ride festivities are just great.
I did a 100-mile road ride in the Dalles last year that had 8,600 feet of vertical. I compare it to the GG5K in terms of difficulty. The climbing at the 5K is demanding, but the downhill is also tough and fun.
This will be my third 5K. Training for the first 5K, there was much self-doubt, worries about getting lost, worries about finishing and just hoping to survive.
The first time I made it through a practice lap and didn’t get lost was pretty thrilling. With the second 5k, I pushed myself to ride some of the difficult parts of the trails that I had been avoiding and worked on pace. There is still much to learn. Each year, I have seen improvement, and it is all due to the training for this event. If you can ride one lap, the odds are good that you can do the 5k. Do not let the 5,000 feet of elevation or the 23-26 miles put you off. Focus on improvement and you will receive many gifts from the training for this event.
Of course, the after-party is always a blast too. Thank you so much Jeep for all you do to make all of this possible.
The 5K is tough enough that even before you start all you can think about is that last climb out of the Ridge Trail after riding four hours of intervals. If your legs aren’t already locked up before that point, they will be having violent seizures heading up that SOB.
The 5K is THE gauge to know how the best part of the riding year is going to go. Fortunately, it is early enough that there is still time to adjust training and peak fitness later if preparation for the 5K didn’t work out and you blow yourself up during the event.
If I do well on the 5K, I know I can keep increasing miles, moving forward without getting burned out or frying my legs, which can cause a setback of several weeks or a month if I push myself too far.
I’m amazed by how many people step it up and do well on the 5K. The group of finishers grows every year, and I encourage more folks to do it. The event is not only a vehicle to take your passion to the next level, but the collective energy and successes of the friends around you provides the fuel for you to accomplish what you thought was otherwise impossible.
This ride really tests my limit of toughness and requires me to train hard to get my ass in shape.
If you ramp up your fitness early in the season to handle the 5K, it makes for a very solid base. This translates into many happy returns throughout the summer and fall ride season.
I know that some people can ride it without doing much training. This does not apply to me. The 5K brings me to my knees when I see those super-human freaks knock it out like it was just another Saturday ride.
The 5K is a very tough event, both because of the actual design of the ride and what is being accomplished, and because of the time of year with our crap-shoot spring weather. 5K is a lot of elevation to gain, and the fact that we’re getting there on sub-30 miles of trail makes things difficult.
I totally increase my riding before the 5K. It is not just a big ride; it is really a challenging, technical, endurance event. I come from a pretty competetive past – not that I think I will be winning the event because of the caliber of athletes we have riding among us – but I always try to come in with the goal of at least doing better than I did the previous year. The only way to do that at an event like the 5K is to build up your endurance and strength for it.
And it definitely helps. It gives me the ability to go for more 3-4 hour weekend rides without even worrying if I can keep up with the old guys.
How could you not be impressed by the quality of the riders? There’s nothing quite like coming to the bottom of the Upper KMA on lap 2, knowing that you are decimating last year’s time, only to see McMaster pedaling up the road at about 25 miles per hour on his third lap. That’s a “Holy S**t” moment in anyone’s mind.
Our group of people never ceases to amaze me because they prove over and over again that they are not only top-rung mountain bikers, but they also work hard at pushing mountain biking forward in our area. I think everyone coming out to the 5K that is aware of what they are getting into is a phenomonal rider in their own right.
If I survive it, this will be my sixth 5K. Each one gets a little more challenging. In the early days, most of the climbing was on gravel. That isn’t the case anymore, and it has definitely upped the ante.
Because we have always been incapable of staying in shape because it’s the right thing to do, we created the 5K to motivate us to start training earlier in the year. The end result is that we are in better shape and can actually enjoy those big rides at Ape Canyon, Huffman Peak, Goat Mountain, etc. (well, maybe it isn’t all enjoyment at Goat Mountain).
The overall ride level of the GG crew has increased dramatically for two reasons. First, the system has been extended farther and farther out, which means more pedaling and more ascent. Second, the increased sign-up at the 5K has led to a much higher level of fitness.
Even though the third trip up Bitter Bitch nearly turned me into a quadrapalegic last year, it was instrumental to being able to finish the 60 @ Sixty ride in July.
Ryan refers to the possibility of blowing yourself up during the event. He must have been talking about me. Last year, I found out I needed to work on my adductors, change my hydration mixture, and do much more intense training. It was a painful lesson but it paid off.
I’m blown away by the caliber of riders that attend the 5K, but I am most impressed by the first-timers who come out with goal of simply finishing. It’s a great accomplishment. All of us have nothing but respect for the beginner and intermediate riders who step up and take on the challenge.