Friday, May 30, 2008

Flash back to the past.

So, this flash back only goes back about a month to SSUSA and Dirt, Sweat and Gears. If you remember from last year I said if you only do one race make it DSG, Well I make the same recommendation for next year. Except there were two races there this year.
Friday was the first installment of SSUSA and it was great fun. Full of all the components needed to make a great Singlespeed event. A bunch odd characters, more beers than gears(by far), grown men in costume (I was part of that), a fun race course and random games that decide the championship.

Top honors for the SSUSA went to Slohio Rob and Rebecca T(Wikki).

Saturday brought the event that I was looking forward to; Dirt, Sweat and Gears. The luck that Dejay and I are having this year is that 4 of 5 races have given us a large rain storm the morning of the event, DSG was one of those. The first couple laps would have been better called Mud, Sweat and Broken Derailleurs. The first lap made for a long day for many of the top pros, Nat Ross broke his chain, Yuri Haswald ripped of his derailleur and had to run 7 miles to finish the lap to get back to his pit, and some didn’t make it across the start line before they got flats to name a few. The singlespeeders had it a little easier but we were fighting the mud. Pushing the bikes up the hills after they collected 20+ pounds of mud, then truing to control them in the slipping sliding mess. I even had problems with my drive train, the mud was so thick I had rocks stuck inside my chain.
Luckily Friday afternoon the last the parts needed to build my backup bike arrived from my sponsors. This proved to be pivotal as I needed to change bikes every lap for the first five times around for our pit crew, Mike, to wash and lube them up. Thanks to Stan’s notubes, Dt Swiss, Easton, Chris King, and Revolution Bicycle and repair.

After the third or fourth lap the course was in super condition, fast and mostly dry. I was feeling ok but still felt a little off, not my usual self. I was in second place and did not want to finish any worse than that so I kept trucking. After the sixth lap I really gave up on trying to catch Dejay he had been putting 3-8 minutes on me for the last few laps and was 15 minutes ahead and I couldn’t seem to go any faster. But somehow I think I got faster after that. And with in two laps I passed him like he was going backwards.

He told me after the race that he didn’t believe it was me, he thought he imagined it and he had to ask the next person he passed if I passed him… unfortunately I couldn’t keep it going, I cramped really bad about a mile after I passed him and he caught me a little later. We rode together for about a half a lap then he made his move and I let him go for it.

I new I was done after that lap and let Dejay go for an extra like he made me do last year. Being in the pit for only a couple minutes I realized Dejay didn’t take lights and it would be dark before he could make it back. Being the nice guy I headed to the top of the course with a light and tried to give it to Dejay. I yelled at him but he didn’t stop, he didn’t realize it was me and he thought I was I was still chasing him. Having to borrow light from others around him he made it back and took the crown.

The SS podium has been the same three riders both years, the only change was I was on top last year and Dejay was second, and this I took second this year and Dejay took the top.

I really was to say thanks to Clay, his family and his crew for creating such a fun and challenging event that I will do every year as long as I still ride a bike. Without their energy, creativity, and passion for cycling and for others it would just be another mountain bike race. Thanks for even more great memories and stories. See you next year.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where did my baby go???

While in Italy we happened across something very cool. It all started out the first morning. We sat down for breakfast and ordered our cappuccinos, when they arrived the woman running the restaurant asked if she could hold Ian. We thought, sure, she would hold him for a minute then give him back. But no, she took him for about twenty minutes.

This was not an isolated occasion, this happened at least 6 times at different restaurants.
It was so refreshing being around people that weren't worried getting sued or whatever.

Another plus for Italy!!!

I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More about the race (part 2.1)

So I told you about the race, now a little about the event...

The 24 hours of Finale is the Intergalactic championship. This is where the team NASA came from. last year there was an unofficial team(team NASA) that was out in for for 5-6 laps before the were abducted and disappeared. They returned as four singlespeeders from the USA.
It is the largest Mountain bike event in Italy, so I hear. The venue sits atop a hill 450 meters above the sea, it is so steep it feels as if you could throw a rock in to the water. The first thing you notice when you enter the venue is the huge transition tent, then the large stage for entertainment, and the ramp up to the stage and the tunnel out the back of the stage. The ramp and tunnel are part of the course. During the night you come raging out of the transition in front of the crowd and ride through the band, it's a pretty cool feeling.

Like all the other great endurance events (Dirt, Sweat and Gears) I have been to, there was the trials show and a great expo area and a (metric) ton of great people.

Expect to see some great photos from this event, the organizers said the photographers took over 20,000 images. plus all the magazines and website that were there... I will post a bunch when we get back to the states.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The race I'll never forget (part 2)

The 24 hours of Finale

Friday, the day before the race, 24 hour town exploded to a tent village for about 2000 people. All of our bikes we assembled and a little preriding of the course was necessary.
The Course: Approximately 4 miles with 700' -800' of climbing. Out moderate pace for the preride we rounded the course in about 24 minutes. This was a little slower than our average time for the 24 hours. So the bikes (all Niner One 9, Tang) were great! Super smooth on this Rocky and 6" deep braking bump covered trail.

So after the preride, the crowd of athletes and photographers was unrelenting. Whatever we were doing there was someone talking to us or taking our picture. We felt like celebrities, in a way I guess we were.

So for the race, most of the time we did two laps at a time until the morning when we did one at a time. I was elected to do the run and the first lap. The run was crazy, I almost thought we were in Spain and there were a bunch of bulls chasing us. The area the run went through was only about 2 meters wide or on narrow single track, people were throwing elbows and pushing, if not the running of the bulls it was football (American) training camp.

When I got to the bike I was in about 30th place but by the end of the first lap I was up to about 5th. After a couple laps we were up to third and never looked back. A couple times we thought were in second but the standings were a little hard to decipher, so who knows.

The more laps we did the more people were coming to our camp and asking us questions, looking at our bikes. The language barrier was a little tough sometime but I could tell they were impressed and amazed at what we were doing on singlespeeds.

At the end of the race awards came quickly!!! The there was a huge crowd at least 1000 people.
The first thing they did was the General classification (the overall). After calling up the Italian national development team (1st, 8 people), then the second place team (also 8 person), the called team Nasal (that's us, more on that later), the crowd went crazy! Everyone’s eyes and cameras were on us, almost completely ignoring the two other teams.

Over all a great race and awesome people all around wonderful event! Thanks Mauro, Silvio, Lorenzo, Enrico and everyone else involved with race and getting our intergalactic team to Italy.

Pictures to come soon.

More posts to come...
Who took my baby?
Are we really in Italy doing a mountain bike photo/video shoot?
I haven't forgotten about Dirt (mud), Sweat and Gears.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One I'll never forget. (part 1)

Ariving in Italy, last Wednesday, we had no idea what to expect, and I don't think we could have ever imagined the experience we have had.

Da one picked up from the airport, with wine and fresh bread waiting in the car. and stopping(at a gas station) for some of the best cappuccino I have ever had. The drive from Nice, France was along the coast passing through tunnels,on cliffs highabove the Meditarian Sea and weaving through the deep canyons that drop to the sea. Then to the Italian bike hotel(hotel Florenz) to get some rest.

The next couple days we spent relaxing and exploring the town of Finale and the race venue/course. we walked the beach ate Gilatto, built our matching Tang Niner One 9's and did a lap or two of the course. the whole time there was someone waiting on us bringing us water, cheese, holding Ian for a half hour while Kristina and I ate, and the list goes on and on...

most of the gang on part of the race course.

The race was Saturday and Sunday 2:00p.m. to 2:00p.m.
24 hours
4 guys
4 bikes(singlespeeds)
60 laps (we got a little dizzy)

Come back later for more on the race, It's time I go get another cappuccino.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

24 hours of Finale

The race starts today....
Things are crazy..

20 minutes lap times in warm up and a real fun course.

they are writing about us on the race website. look for team NASA in the News section. (can not make it a link sorry)

More tomorrow....

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Well I hope to do a lot of posts in the next few days....

So here is the quick story.....

SSUSA (singlespeed USA) I wore a skirt and had fun...

Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 hour, No skirt, lots of mud had fun and made some money....

took a quick flight to Italy... rode some sweet singletrack...

Getting ready for the 24 hours of Finale.