Friday, October 12, 2007

Whiskeytown 9 to 5.....Now Testify!!!!

So last week I headed up North for the Whiskeytown 9 to 5 8 h r race. Nothing but good times. I opted to Single speed it- not sure why, after doing the Wilderness 101 on the single speed I thought I was going to be done with single speed enduro’s. I guess I wanted to race against the guys from Lake Sonoma, where I ve been racing ss.

I met some cool people as soon as I rolled into the venue, people were all about saying hello- I was greeted by Mat, who I met at lake Sonoma the week before, I met Ron and Jen from TGR and a whole bunch of single speeders.

9 AM rolled around and we hit it. The race goes right into the single track, and it goes up, and more up. I tried hanging with the big dogs in the front but the single speed made me blow up pretty quick so I decided to put things into check and get into my grove.

I let one single speeder pass me on this climb and he got away from me for a bit. He was attacking pretty hard on all of the climbs, but I was realing him in on every descent, and that was how I would play it for the rest of the day, using my east coast skills . By the middle of the second lap, I was rubbing his tire on all of the technical trails. Right before we entered the most technical part of the course (which I thought was pretty technical for a race even by PA standards) I attacked hard on the climb and let it rip on the down hills. That was the last time I would see a single speeder for hours.

Every lap ended with some of the sweetest single track in California. I really looked forward to it every time, but it was followed by the beginning of the next lap and the toughest climb, which soon became the walk of shame.

Lap 7, on the fire road climb I saw a single speeder grinding away midway on the climb....he didnt look like he was enjoying was Fritz. I was pretty pumped to catch him as he beat me in the last 2 Lake Sonoma races..I caught up to him and it turned out he was having some ankle problems and was going to call it a day....i was bummed, i wanted a fair fight to the end...oh well, maybe next time.

3:40 PM rolled around and I found myself pushing my bike up a really steep hike a bike section, following this dude on gears and a beginner young woman who we were passing……it was right before the end of the lap and I yelled out “once around? “ to the guy infront of me…..”hell no” he yelled back, the girl replied “ but its 20 to 4!”, “Yes, Yes it is I replied”.

You see the thing is this isn’t like your standard enduro, if you don’t finish your lap before 5 PM it doesn’t count- and nothing would suck more then a lap not counting, but i contemplated for a bit....not going out would be straight up chicken shit.....quiting.

I rolled through the pits at 3:50, this would give me an 1 hr and 10 minutes to throw down another lap. I already had one lap that was an 1hr 7 mins and I was tired.. so there was some doubt tha I would finish I hit the climb hard, and it bit back pretty hard so I changed strategies pretty quick and got of the bike to conserve energy.

I rolled up to the top of the climb to begin the lonely lap….cue the bad religion on the iPOD, “The paper said that he hit the ground running, Oh yeah, you know Im not broken, a little cracked, but Im not broken”

focus set in and I hit the longest down hill of the course at mach one, scaring myself on all of the turns….almost blowing it on a few turns, but holding tight, up and down I hit the last length single track climb, exposed backing in the sun and pushing, behind was roger, the SS leader about to lap me, I tried to hang on but I was spent. Back into the fun whippy single track. I was pushing so hard on the short steep climbs, that my arms and toroso were cramping. I had to man up and shake it off to focus on the downhills. The end was near, I bombed down a fire road and hit the last hike abike section, followed by the last techy single track section. I rolled into the trail and over a rock pile, my legs and arms went to crap and I lost it. I was about to tip over and fall into a ravine. I had to take an evasive action so I turned the wheel down the ravine to ride it for a few feet. This gave me some time to bail over the bars and land some what on my feet…..any way I cursed a bit picked up my bike and rolled in to the finsh…..thats about it……oh and I came in 4th place in the Single speed class, top ten overall….the SS class pretty much hosed everyone…..good times…ill be back.

No comments: