Monday, October 24, 2011

BT EPIC 2011

Was it Epic? You betcha!

Did a horde of KC kids who love to ride their bikes in the dirt show up? Fo Sho!

Did they all represent? Come on really, you know they did!

Was the start of the trip Epic? If 4 grown men (Justin, Drew, Sean and I), 4 bikes and 4 Chipotle burritos (thank you Mr. Burns for the sweet ride and tortilla goodness) stuffed into a VW Eurovan isn't Epic then I'll quit riding my bike and start quilting again!

Did we arrive Friday before nightfall? Yes, with just enough time to register, claim grass to sleep on and sneak in a quick recon ride!

Was a majority of our recon ride on gravel? Yes, but Saturday we flossed that shit with the intel gathered!

Were we greeted by familiar faces at the BASS RIVER RESORT? Only if you know the following people: T-Donkey, Dana, The Kid, Old Man Winters, The Bald Chimp, Katie, Claudia, Stewart, JPS, Kay Lynn, Roger, Shoffner, Captain Jack, and Gabriel! It was like a pirate ride in the Ozarks where the whole family showed up.

Were Timbo and Brooke familiar faces? Yes, but we intercepted them at a gas station in St. James where Tim forced me at gun point to eat a bite of his Big Bopper ice cream sandwich then buy myself one.

Did we have an EPIC campfire that evening? No.

Did we attempt to have an EPIC campfire that night? Yes, but unseasoned wood wasn't having it. However, putting mongoloid acorns in the fire added some extra excitement!

Did I sleep outside under the EPIC stars? Yes!

Were they EPIC? Close, but not quite. I did see a haze of the milky way!

Did it get EPICally cold? Yes, but i was warm and cozy in my bivy sack.

Were there more familiar faces in the morning? Boy howdy, to many to mention other than Sarah W. had made a late night arrival.

Was the start of the race EPIC? If near 300 mountain bikers tearing ass through crisp morning air to go ride 55 miles of sweet singletrack and gravel roads isn't, then hand me my needle and thread.

Did I have a strategy? Keep Dave, the Bald Chimp in sight!

Did Dave have a strategy? Keep me in sight! After divulging this we both decided to ride together as much as possible.

Was I sucking wind on the initial climb? EPICally!

Did I catch up to Dave at the first check point? Yes, then I sat on his wheel while he murdered 10 miles of singletrack and every person wearing Lycra that sat in his way. It was effing EPIC.

Did I take my turn at the front? Yes, after the second checkpoint I took the helm till the 2nd major climb turned my legs into a EPIC FAIL jello mold cake.

Did we eventually catch the lone singlespeed racer in front of us none other than Peat Henry? Yes and he was suffering in an EPIC way with his 32x17 gearing.

Did we get off course? Yes, but only for a short distance. Not near as Epic as the lead group which consisted of my buddies Travis and Garet. They had ridden 5 minutes out then turned around only to run into us.

Did the race change at that point? Yes, all of a sudden there were 12 guys together instead of 4 heading into the gravel section. It was about to get EPIC once again.

Did I get dropped on the gravel? Yes but Garet was smoked and he pulled me along while I spun my brains out to try and keep up, thanks dude!

Did I experience any muscle cramping? Affirmative, 9 miles of gravel back to Berrymen campground gave me opportunity to down nutirition.

16 miles of racing lay ahead with Dave and Peat out in front of me, did I give up? Hell no, blew through the last checkpoint without stopping on a mission to experience some full on pain.

Did I catch Peat? Double affirmative!

Did I catch Travis at the same time? Yep

Did that put Travis in a pickle? Yes Sir, he wanted to stay with me but not pull Peat along.

Did I up the intestity? Understatement! For the next 30 minutes I rode as hard as possible with cramps on every switchback.

And? I eventually bridged up to Dave, who "didn't have a lot of fight left in him!" You and me both buddy.

Did Dave and I bust out the last little climb then spin our brains out on the gravel back to the finish? Yes, and it still hurt. But we "checked our 6" the whole time keeping an eye out for Peat.

Did Ethos take the 1 2 in SS? Hells' yeah! It was an EPIC battle the whole race. But it couldn't have ended any better than rolling across the finish line with a friend and teammate. Dave had asked me if I wanted to try and sprint it out to the line. I declined, he had slowed for me on all of the last 3 little rises on the gravel road.

Did he take the win? Yes he deserved it. Now if I had known that SS paid out $$$$ I would have whipped my pump out and jammed it in his front wheel "Breaking Away" style.

Was the race well promoted? Double understatement! Awesome course, and venue. Unreal social atmosphere, tons of bikers and their families hanging out in the post race spectacular fall weather sipping on beer and cola's while chowing on BBQ.

Did I have BBQ? No you silly, I'm a Veg!

Did everyone finish with style? Yes!

Did everyone have as good a time at the bonfire that night as they did racing? I know something with 2 thumbs and a gray beard that did, this guy!

Did I train hard for this race? Yes, but never alone! Always with friends, some slower some faster just out riding trails and having a good time. So thanks to all of my pals who have joined me in trail time this year it has been a blast and it's not going to stop this winter!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Swope Redux

Went out to swope park for the first time without a bicycle nor handtools. Just a crashpad, some shoes and some chalk. I donned my spongebob squarepants outfit and headed east on Woodchuk run to the "headache" boulder. Jer, and the entire Braley crew were there throwing down. I intially was totally underwhelmed by the choss rock but quickly developed a line worthy of some effort. The Braleys split and Jer and I slowly dissected the problem. We had our pads laid out right in the middle of the trail which never was an issue since we only saw 3 cyclists in over an hour. I guess people are more psyched for phase 3 and 4. Anyways after the Beta puzzle was assembled Jer finally sent it by the skin of his teeth. I was close, but as they say no cigar. How hard is it? Please head out there and give your 2 cents, it is the boulder labeled "headache!"


My favorite flower
and now my favorite night light
yes-180grams of light and battery fit on your helmet for some true night riding awesomeness.

Cross Dressing

Much to the chagrin of some mtn bikers I have dabbled in a little cross this fall. But worry ye not Garet, last week I spent a total of 3 hours on my cross bike and 14 hours on my trusty Stumpjumper. What percentage of your bike time was spent on gravel or road?

Last weekend was my first cross race of the year other than the Tuesday Night Universe that I had attended. Which by the way, Its FREE and it's fun and it's got a lot of supercool hipsters who are also really fast and it's FREE and I can ride my bike to the race. Boss Cross #2 was Sunday. I had to work on Saturday but had heard reports from Travis about the horrible sandpit. Travis is a totally whiner about having to run his bike so I took it with a grain of sand! I was committed to race SS then immediately CAT 3. SS had the usual big guns, I started in the second row and had the hole shot by the first turn. Led for 1/2 a lap before the the roadies decided it was time for me to pay, Britton and Kent from crashavita blasted off the front and left me to fend off the hungry wolves sitting 4th-7th. 4th happened to be none other than StJo famed Ethos jerk JDoug. I had started way to hard and was trying to get my legs back, every time I looked over my shoulder JDoug was closing that gap till bam he snuck up and latched onto my wheel. I was happy to have a little friendly competition, and knew that I couldn't take any chances with him. Everyone else behind him had raced earlier in the day but we were both fresh. One the one technical section of the course he bobbled and lost 5 seconds, I turned it on and pushed hard for the rest of the race which ended up doing me in but secured third. JDoug kept 4th solidly, I'm going to have to watch that guy! It should be mentioned that I raced my SS mountain bike which was a blast. I love that thing on all kinds of ground cover; dirt, rocks, sand, leaves, acorns, squirrel carcasses, etc. CAT 3, I was whooped and having wicked bronchospasms from my allergies. I lined up got a good start to avoid any messes then suffered for an hour. Didn't have much in the tank but pulled a 13/30. It should also be mentioned that Travis isn't much of a whiner, running through the sand a total of 32 times for the day was defeating.
That ain't no smile!

Went home and ate some food got some chores done around the house then went out with Burnsey and Taylor for some night riding action at BuRP. Haven't ridden there in over a year with that new car smell of swope. Wow, that place is awesome, best night ride of the year so far!