Monday, August 03, 2009

Chasing the Chamois....A tale of the Wilderness 101

Gong! 0530 on 1 August 2009 the Gong went off! It was time to leave the warmth of the tent, eat, hit the porta potty, chamois up, and get ready for 101 miles of Dirt.

Next to me at the Start fellow Team Bikeman Racers, Brad S, Josh W. and John B.

A few rows Behind me was Former Team Bikeman dot com Racer and creator of XXC mag Jason M.

The Motos that would lead us out moved to the front of the group. As they fired up their bikes and reved the motors getting ready to lead us through town, Brad gave me the nod and the look…..It was on.

You see a few nights earlier, the message came down from Bikeman Headquarters from Big Al…”Pete, I need you to stay back and hang on Jason’s wheel. Don’t Give him the opportunity to bridge the Gap to the boys up front”.

Well, orders are orders, and mid-way through the first climb I saw Jason make his move. I was recovering from pushing a bit too hard but I knew I needed to protect my teammates in the front. I answered his attack and for the next 60 miles Jason did some pulling.

All Joking aside, I was happy to be riding with someone I knew. I let Jason do a lot of the pulling – in fact I Let him do all of the pulling. He was on a mission. Anytime I broke the wind on the flats at his pace, It was just plain uncomfortable.

Questions arose -

Where was this kid going?

Is he Crazy?

What PSI is he running in that Shock?

Did I leave my Iron on?

Look Mom No Hands!!!

I was pretty certain that at this pace, I would not have riding company for very long….that is until we hit the first descent. I was able to open up a bit of a gap as I bombed down the first single track section. I didn’t think it was anything special, but Jason made a comment when he caught me on the next climb about how fast I made my way down.

We made it to the first super funky single track section, the one loaded with amateur photographers – wet bridges, gnarly rocks, and another gap opened up. I hit the next climb I really paced myself on this one as I was glad not to be hanging on to Jason’s rear wheel while I tried to settle into a more normal heart rate zone. As I worked my way around the switch back, there was Jason just below closing the gap….no quicker then I could yell “let’s go Chamois boy” Jason was reeling me back in.

I figured if I am going to finish with Jason, I need to let him go on the climbs, and work my magic on the descents and perhaps at some point things would even out a bit.

I can’t remember how I ended up in front of Jason on the long Single track rocky climb, but there was a lot of walking next to my bike, and a lot of looking back, watching Jason walk next to his bike.

At some point, I decided to take a nature break and Jason , rolled on by. I shook it off got on the bike. Soon enough I caught back up and gravity started to take over.

This my friends, was the beginning of the coolest downhill section of the entire 101 miles. I had only ridden this section of trail once in 2007, but as I was descending, I remembered every detail, every rock, every turn. Riders ahead of my were pulling over to get out of the way, almost as if I were Mosses making my way through the Red Sea. It was beautiful.

Back to reality and onto pavement I made my way to the next aid station. Filled the bottles and hit the next climb…..always looking over my shoulder. I was going slow…pushing was involved, things weren’t look so hot. It was only a matter of time before Jason would show up again. I was feeling pretty worthless at this point.

I finally made it to the last climb, still looking over my shoulder. At this point 75 % of the riders I past on the hairy single track descent caught me, but there was no sign of Jason. Damn, after the first switch back I started to worry a bit. Surely he would of caught me by now. Maybe something bad happened?

Anyway, I got over the climb, descended and made my way through the last super technical single track section; I passed one of the Top Masters riders, who had more legs then me, but not quite the skill set. He caught up later on the flrat rail trail, he through down a wicked attack. I was able to hang on, thinking I would launch my own attack near the finish. We were much further out then I thought, so I started to wear down, but still hung on. We hit the final tunnel…. It was dark, so he played it conservative and dismounted, however I could see the line clearly and I plowed through opening up a big gap. He caught back up and started to hammer. At this point I let the dude take it.

Maybe there were some funky master’s points to be achieved for finishing 129th instead of 130th . I definitely had it in me to punch it at the line, but he pulled my ass for the last 4 miles I think pulling any shenanigans would have been a dirt bag move.

Jason Finally resurfaced at the finish, I was glad to see him, as I really thought something bad might have happened to him.

The night ended with Burgers, Beers, hanging out with some new people and talking smack. The race was tough enough for me to swear of endurance racing forever, but Im already looking at heading down to maybe ill see you there!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wilderness 101

Time To Rock out Brother!!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Marysville - I almost rang the bell

Things started going bad during my 9 hour solo effort at Marysville at the 5 hour mark. by hour 6 I started questioning my existence and I swore I would never do an endurance race again.

I was trying to go back to an all liquid nutrion plan, and it wasn't working...but i didn't quite realize it until it was too late.

After things went bad I rolled into the pit and sat down in the chair. I didn't think I was going to get back up. I grabbed a sandwich from my cooler and a coke feeling sory for myself. I saw a former teamate that i dropped hours ago roll by and It just pissed me off that I was going to quit so I got back on the bike feeling like ass. I dumped the bottles on my bike and filled them with water and shoved some pumpernickel pretzels in my pocket.

I rolled out and by the end of the lap, i was coming back to life. I was able to get back into position catching the folks that rolled by me during my break down.

The course was wicked cool, lots of steep ups and downs, and logs everywhere.

I was able to maintain a top ten finish out of 30 somthing.

Really though, the best part was camping and throwing down some beers with everyone.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic

Oh Man MTB Stage Epic Coming to state college next year! Who's in?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Time To Vist PA!

If this mofo keeps running ill be their by Friday night!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A little Exploration

I made a little trip to Mom and Dad's farm in NY this weekend for Fathers day. I have only been there a few times since they setup camp so I packed the bikes for some potential Exploration.

I rolled in Saturday morning and saw dad cruising on his latest acquisition, a 1952 Farmall Tractor.

This thing is pretty cool - It runs awesome. I got to take it for a quick spin.

I spent some time on Sunday exploring on the Mountain Bike, my Dad's cousin has a big piece of land across the street. If you look at the picture below, he owns a big chunk of that hill across the street from dad's house. He had a road put in from where his current house is that goes to the top of the hill where he will build another house.

The road doesn't really have any switch backs and it goes straight up. I road up it on Sunday, and I almost didn't make it. I actually had to put my foot down.

The View from the Top was nice, if you look above my bike you can see the dot that is actually my parents house.

There are bunch of double track trails cut up top, but It was really water logged from the rain, and there was a lot of dead fall, so riding was dificult, but there were some kick ass climbs.

After screwing around on the MTB for a few hours, I switched over to the road bike. I need a bit more time to explore as, a lot of the roads I mapped out on google were actually private dirt roads, but I think I will be able to piece some nice stuff together.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beating The Weather....Its just a few Flakes

This is amazing, I totally imagined moving back east to suffer through a Hot Humid Nasty Summer, but except for one hot weekend in may, its been bouncing from the 50's through the 70's up here in New England and Very wet. I really like the temps, but the Precipitation is a bit challenging.

I am taking advantage of the flexible work schedule. This weekend was a bit crappy so I knocked out some work ahead of time Sunday, The Radar was looking good for Monday so I jumped back on the bike after forwarding some of the stuff I worked on and answering a few emails.

I watched the Radar on Tuesday and hit the trail when the hourly forcast allowed sometimes taking a few drops of rain.

Wednesday was nice all around.

Today called for significant rain right around our group ride time this evening, so I opted to throw down a big effort in the AM - and meet with some customers in the PM.

Looks like Friday will be solid rain - but 13 hours of singletrack in sofar this week so it might be time to chill

Heading to Ma and Pas in New York, might be able to get in Some Climbing on the Road Sunday in the Catskills...

Next week...maybe Marysville 9 hour Race