Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wait its not over yet........

3 Short Track races, 6 Cross Country Races, 2 Six hour races, and 100 miler. I just raced in the last race of the Mid-atlantic superseries at Bear Creek followed up with a short track race yesterday. Just as I was about to completely switch gears to chill riding up pops another race on the radar screen. The Panorama Paranormal in VA. A 6 hour race starting at 4PM riding in to the darkness........looks like its time to put in another rode century this weekend.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Shenandoah Mountain 100

The Weather was perfect, Ernesto blew by VA ahead of schedule and by the time we arrived in Stokesville, It was sunny and the trails were pretty dry. The evening before the race we all gathered for a Spaghetti Dinner and had the Opportunity to meet the pro riders that were about to Kick our ass. Among the pros were Jeremiah Bishop, Chris Eatough and Susan Haywood from the Trek/Volkswagon Factory Team and Harlan Price from independent Fabrications. It was pretty cool when the Sun started to come up on Sunday Morning to be able to line up with the Pros, although this would probably be the last time I would see them until I crossed the Finish line. 630 AM came around and we were off. We took off on the paved contry roads like a roadie peleton for about one mile, as the road twisted and turned you could see the pros stretching it out and hauling ass.We rolled into the first fire road climb, about a thousand feet of elevation gain followed by some sweet down hill single track. We then hit the road for a few miles, prior to hitting pretty big hike a bike single track section. It was pretty steep, full of lots broken slate loose rock, and the entire field was pushing up the trail, so there was really no choice but to push.We slogged our way up to the top and were rewarded again with some Fast Rocky twisting Single track that seemed to continue forever. The next climb was long twisting fire road switch back with approximately 2000 Feet of elevation gain. I started in the middle ring and put the hammer down, it was also a nice opportunity to chat it up with some of the other riders. Again as we reached the Top we were rewarded with a long single track down hill that hugged the side of the mountain to the bottom. At the bottom of the single track we hit Aid station number 3, about 45 Miles into the course. These aid stations are unbelievable, the volunteers were working like a NASCAR pit crew, I rolled in, they stripped me of my, bike, threw it on a bike stand and started lubing the chain, while someone else filled my water bottles with HEED and another volunteer filled my flasks with hammergel. I shoved some Pringles in my mouth and I was off.I hit the road for a few miles when I pulled up next to some crazy guy on a fixed gear, turns out to be tomi mcmillar. After we got our introductions out of the way I suggested that we work together on the road for a while. As we hit the downhill, we had to go our own ways as the fixed gear just cant keep up with a geared bike. We then hit the single track again, we crossed a knee deep river or creek and hit the hike a bike section with a few ledges, for the next hour we pushed and attempted to ride the gnarly loose slate and rocks of the climb. After about 30 minutes of pushing and trying to ride, Tomi Mcmillar caught up and threw the hammer down on his fixie, I was very impressed. Again we were reward at the top after about 1000 feet of climbing with some sweet single track. We bombed down this rocky, rooty, fast, windy, off camber, single track at ludicrous speed. Somewhere in the middle of all of the twisting and turning I was unable to compensate on one of the turns and my hip caught a birch tree. The tree threw me off of the bike and down the slope into the rough. Ass, elbows and water bottles were all over the place. It stung pretty bad, and I thought that this might be the end of the race. I stood up gathered my stuff. I leaned on my bike, I felt a little nauseous . I was really pissed. I was having a great ride and I did not want this to be the end. About 10 Riders passed me and asked if I was OK. I remounted the bike and began to continue bombing down the trail. The initial sting wore away and I was going to be Okay.At the bottom of the single track was aid station number 4, the 57 Mile Mark. Again, on my arrival the volunteers rolled into pit crew mode, they snatched my bike, threw it on a stand, grabbed my water bottles and shoved a banana in my mouth. It was as if they were paid members of my staff….these guys were great! We then hit the fire road for about 18 miles, after a bit of some flat gravel road riding we began our 2500 ft acent up Shenandoah Mtn. This was the most difficult climb of the day, feeling a bit fatigued, for the first time, I had to throw it into the granny gear and slowly climb this beast. After about 30 minutes of climbing I hit Aid station number 5. Now let me tell you about Aid Sation number 5………They had Pizza……just unbelivalbe…Nothing says luvin like Papa Johns at mile 75. A little more climbing after aid station 5 and we began to bomb down some sick single track , roots, Rocks ledges, tight and twisty…it then turned to fire road at which point we hit mach one racing down the mountain. I could not believe you could get this much down hill on the east coast!At the bottom of MTN we hit Aid station number 6, the last aid station. We hit a small road climb and a fast road decent and then the final fire road climb. It was about thousand feet, but I threw it in the middle ring and put the hammer down,Granny gearing the last climb was a good idea, I was able to catch some riders that past me on the climb up Shenandoah MTN since I still had some rounds in the revolver. Somewhere in the Middle of the climb, Tomi Resurfaced, mashing his fixie into submission and passed me like a freight train. Once again another rewarding single track down hill ensued and we rolled into the finish. Just a hair over 11 hours. 150th out of 400.....movin on up.