Friday, January 29, 2010
Friday, January 01, 2010
Getting ready... for chafing.
The bike of choice for the year(most years)
The boys before the Whiskey 50
Mud from one lap at Dirt Sweat and Gears!
Rob... the man at SSUSA.
This man needs no introduction.
Will we ever grow up.
Are we getting bigger or are the bikes getting smaller(I thought they were 26ers)
Having fun at the 24 hours of Finale, Italy.
On a little walk from the gelatto shop to the espresso shop.
Team Niner with some random dude in Italy.
So glad to be done with those 100 miles.
Trails in Italy.
Camp out side of Breckenridge, CO.
Winning the short track race at the national championships.
Hiking in Rocky Mountain national park.
Hanging with friends in Bend.
Exploring the redwoods in NorCal.
Jake on the 36er
Basketball was fun, and I got a trip to NZ out of it. but I'm sticking with bike racing.
The last stretch of road coming home, lots of road work.
Posted by FuzzyJohn at Friday, January 01, 2010
Monday, December 28, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Earlier this summer I decided to skip the rest of the NUE races because I was getting a little burnt out on the format. As you might have seen from previous posts I decided to do the Intermontane Challenge stage race, but really wasn't sure what to do in August as the races planned were the NUE races. I thought about doing the Leadville 100 for a while but never got around to working my way into the event as it had been sold out for a long time. While I was in BC doing the stage race Chris told me about the High Cascades 100. I had to make a decision as I don't like doing 100 mile races on back to back weekends. I weighed the pros and cons of each race... here they are the Pros: High Cascades 100 - 75 miles of single track with a high point of 6700' The Cons: Leadville 100 - 100 miles of pavement or dirt road with an average elevation near 10,500'. The way I saw it, all the pros pointed toward Oregon and the High Cascades 100 and all the cons, well toward Leadville. Oregon here we come, with a few stops on the way to visit friends and family.
We arrived in Bend a few days before the race to do a little riding on the trails and float down the river(three days in a row). We also caught up with a bunch of old friends, went to an air show and watched a roller derby(go Lava City Smokin' Ashes !!!).
I signed up for the race the night before the went to the pre race meeting to get the scoop on the race. once I arrived I noticed a bit of the competition that I would be racing with... Sloane Anderson and Evan Plews who finished one spot ahead of me at the Intermontane Challenge. But I really had no idea what the SS competition would be like. I missed most of the meeting due to Ian being busy as usual. when it was done I asked a couple questions and took off to get a couple hours of sleep before the 3:00 a.m. wake up.
I arrived at the venue around 4:30 with an outside temperature around 32 degrees and dropping. By the time the race started the temp dropped to 30 and I found a little more competition, Chris Shepard the winner of the Intermontane Challenge.
I was on the starting line about 5 minutes early mostly because it was to cold to warm up. I was wearing arm warmers and a base layer!!! What's going on? I really wasn't complaining though, the cold was a nice change. 2 + hours into the race I was in 2nd overall behind Chris riding past this lake and my fingers were still cold.
While getting to the lake was a blast, what was to come in the next 10-15 miles did me in(for a while). There was a ton of little steep and loose climbs that I had to walk then a long and pretty steep climb where we topped out at about 6700'(frost all over the ground). After that was the lava rock descent that I had been hearing about. It wasn't any where near as rocky as I thought it was going to be, and I was able to go pretty fast! this is what did me in. while slipping between the cantaloupe sized rocks I managed to cut a side wall. I tried to put in a little air but it was bad enough to need to put in a tube as the Stan's couldn't plug a hole that big(the gash was about an inch long). I moved out of the trail, ate some Shot Bloks so I would have something to boot the tire, changed my tube, and got ready to air it up. Just then Evan comes by with someone else on his wheel, Great 2nd place to 4th in less than two minutes.
Get the air in and go!!! What? "Something is not right", the valve on my tube was bad and my tire was flat within 2 seconds of me taking my CO2 inflator off. What to do next, wait or walk? I chose to walk even though it was more than 10 miles to the aid station. I walked about 10 minutes before the next person caught up to me. It was about 20 minutes before I found a new tube(26"), a pump and got my bike working again. Thanks, Geoff Hubert of team Lost Coast for the CO2(more on that later). by that time I was in 12 place or so, not where I like to be so I went back out hard and caught 5 of them in the next 8 miles and was up to 7 place. On the descent after aid two I caught one guy who I had been following for about 20 minutes when he got a huge branch stuck between the crown of his fork and his tire and I caught Geoff a few minutes later who flatted and had the same problem as I, a bad tube and not enough CO2 I passed him a CO2 Niner (the only way to go for big wheels!) and I was off to catch the 5 people that were still in front of me.
The rest of the day was pretty lonely, 50+ miles by my self again. I never say another soul, except a few people that I was lapping. I kept hearing that someone was right in front of me but I never caught him. Unfortunately a couple became victim to course markings getting removed and were lost for a while, moving me to 3rd place overall when the day was done.
Posted by FuzzyJohn at Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
It's taken me 10 days to get the energy to write this report. Not because the race was that tough, but because I didn't know where to start. There were so many thing that were great about this race and so many more that were nowhere near great. there are two things I really want to talk about, The race itself and the organization of the race.
I really had a hard time deciding on weather to race the geared bike or the singlespeed. on one hand there was a lot of cash up for grabs but I really needed some "fun" tome on the SS. After we arrived in Kamloops, BC we looked at the race website and saw that the prize money was only for the overall win. So with Tinker, Jeremiah Bishop, Ben Sonntag, Chris Sheppard, Evan Plews and a few others on the starting list I was convinced to ride the SS.
The weather forecast for the week was HOT! and it was, Record heat for the whole week. I was dreading the heat but somehow after racing the Cowbell challenge earlier this year, even the 105 degree heat didn't seem so bad. Even with a 10:00 start and very little shade for the first couple days I never felt like I was baking in the sun except for a couple descents to the finish of the first couple days.
The first day started of with a 30 minute roll out through town before hitting the dirt and the start of the race. It was a great start for me and my Niner One9, a long steady climb with a few breaks that I could sit in a draft of the lead group. I made it to the first aid station just a few seconds behind the lead group, as I decided to do some huge wall rides descending into the aid station. After stopping to resupply I was back on it and caught the back end of the lead group on a couple of steep climbs. Unfortunately not to long after that we came to a long steep climb where I had to walk and I lost some serious time to the lead group and was caught by a few others. I rode by myself for most of that day through sage brush covered hills on some pretty steep single track and a bit too much fire road. I roll into the finish in 8th place to find something more races need to have. It was great they had a huge tub of cold water to dip yourself in, It got pretty muddy later in the day even with a hose running constantly. I guess that was a little extra motivation to finish fast. Being a first year event, there were a lot of thing that went wrong this day, poor course markings not enough water stations for the heat and not enough single track. In fact I think most people out of the top 15 got lost the first day.
Day two was very similar to day one except the steep hill that tore me apart for the front group was about a mile from the start. I chased all day trying to catch them with no good luck and a little bad luck. Even with a much better marked course I missed a turn and lost about 5 minutes. I finished the day 7th and moved up one place in the overall.
Day three was where this race was bitter sweet for me. It was probably the best day of racing I have ever had! Unfortunately the promoter lead part of the main group off course as the "lead moto", and felt bad so he neutralized the day. No time gains or losses for anybody, except Jeremiah Bishop who crashed and was knocked out of the race. I had never raced like that before, so aggressively. I was riding with the guy that was one place in the overall behind me, he was attacking on the flats and I was attacking on the hills. This went on for about 45 kilometers, I was and still am amazed at the power and endurance I had after two long days in the heat. We were together all the way to the finish, where he out sprinted my 33x20 gearing. this day changed the way I race! Everyone moved up one place in the overall, and I was in 6th.
Day four was the Longest day and for most of the lead men it was very hard to motivate and nobody wanted to push the pace or even ride hard. the lead group of 5 were talking and just cruising along, we even waited for Evan to tighten a loose water bottle cage. while soft pedaling the leaders in the pro women's class caught us and beat us to the first aid station.
After the first aid station where I stopped and nobody else did, I chased and made it back to the lead group which was starting to distance themselves from the rest of the followers. After that I rode by myself for about 50K to the finish except the last bit with Peter who ended up 5th overall, riding a Niner Jet9. Peter thanks for the pulls on the last flat sections!!! This day took it's toll on a couple riders in the running for the overall win. Ben Sonntag crashed out and is still suffering from a severe concussion, and Tinker missed a turn and ended up way out of the way and hitched a ride back. I moved up 2 more spots to 4th place overall.
Another thing that happened on day 4 I have to mention. A racer Chris Shepard, who was in the overall lead came upon Ben who was unconcius, and stopped to check in on him. he ended up waiting for over a half an hour with until help got there. Even with $10,000 on the line he waited, telling all others, even Ben's teammates to keep going. That is why I love this sport! there are some great people in this world, most of them are mountain bikers.
Day five brought the best trails of the week during a 30K time trial. I was just out for fun, trying to enjoy some fun descents and finish the race. It was almost impossible for my overall position to change,I had over an hour cushion to 5th and would have to make up more than 15 minutes on 3rd. I ended up riding with Peter again, we had a blast and had someone to listen to our bitching. a Win, Win situation.
So a quick summary, I like stage racing, I will do more! Mountain bikers are great people! if you want to run a big event, get some experience first and know who you are serving. I would really like to thank Thule Racks for their support getting to and racing this event.
I've had enough typing, I'll come back to this subject later.
Posted by FuzzyJohn at Monday, August 10, 2009