Monday, March 12, 2007

The Warriors Society’s Vision Quest
56.5 miles and 11,000’ of climbing, why is it that I keep coming back to this event every year? It’s a simple answer…I’m crazy!!! At least I used a suspension fork this year.

5:30 a.m. darkness still flooding Black star Canyon, some had lights some rode by brail. Cameron (the overall winner) had a light and used it to establish an early lead and spread the group of 300 or so out like a line of ants. I was dreading the early start, mostly because I don’t like to get out of bead before 8:00, but it ended up being pretty awesome sight. After fifteen minutes you could look down the switchbacks and watch the line of lights snaking up the canyon. It’s not too often to see a group that big on a night ride.
So, this is what the race works out to be…
An hour and a half of climbing, a ten-minute technical descent.
An hour and forty min climb, a 30-minute descent.
An hour and a half climb (including a 30minute hike), a 30-minute descent to the finish.

This was my first big test of the year and it went pretty well. I lead the single speed category for almost the whole race. Mike Kent (this guy can go fast!!!) passed me on the Holy Jim trail and had the lead for about 15 minutes. This is when I was truly tested; I had started cramping about five minutes earlier and didn’t have the agility to flow smoothly and almost gave up and let him go. I wanted the win and couldn’t give up; there was a long way to go. I found a groove and made it to the bottom where I found Mike fixing a flat tire. Just the break I needed!!! I went as hard as I could without cramping, only for Mike to catch me at the base of the hike-a-bike section. I knew if I beat him to the top of the last descent I could beat him to the finish. Everything I had went into that hike.

No sign of him at the top of the hike. I had a margarita (Clif shotbloks) and made my way across the Main Divide to the top of the Trabuco trail. 11,000 feet of climbing done, it was all down hill to the finish. And I was in the lead. Within a couple minutes Mike was on my wheel, but this time he as going to have to work if he wanted to pass me. He was on my wheel for a couple minutes, the he was gone another flat. I caught Brad and Todd (both race for Team Shoair as well) and they let me draft for a couple minutes, but I couldn’t keep the pace on a singlespeed.
I crossed the finish line in 5:56:35 more than 21 minutes faster than last year. First place single speed and sixth place overall.

The BIG wheel single speeds take first and second, it must be the hair!!!

Great job to everyone that competed this year!!!
As someone famous said:
”It hurts the same for everyone, some people just go faster”

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Finally a good time at the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo.
The two previous years for me were rough. Both solo attempts, neither lasting more than 11 hours. There was mud, crashes, broken bikes, rain, getting lost, and freezing temperatures…it was no fun.
This year was nothing like that; Dejay Birtch, Jake Kirkpatrick, Chris Latham and I decided not to solo, and to try a 4-man singlespeed team instead. It was the perfect year, good weather, a little windy but I like the wind (while I am racing). We had a goal to set a new course record, unfortunately, half way through the night we knew that wasn’t going to happen. We were having too many mechanical problems; flats, broken chains and a couple crashes. Also, the “Jack Mormon Militia” was there with the same goal and they weren’t having the problems that we were.
The mechanical problems were over by the middle of the night, and we had some catch up to do. We had found ourselves in 4th place about 35 minutes behind 1st. By 3:00a.m. We were back in second place getting closer to the “Militia” but they kept a gap of about 25 minutes all the way to the end.

In the end we finished pretty well, Dejay had the fasted night lap of all the singlespeeders, I was the third fastest person on the first lap (with a flat tire) and we were the third fastest team overall!
Four guys, four bikes, one gear, 25 hours, 345 miles! Priceless

For all you thinking about doing a 24-hour race, think about the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo!!! It is a fun course and is the best-run race that I have ever competed in. Thanks Todd and the Epic rides staff and volunteers.

I would love to write more but there is a new update on Fox news about Brittany leaving rehab… talk to ya later.