Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This is the last day of the Bear recapping. I do swear it.

The Black Bear was a really was a great course. I loved the leg burning ascents and the cojones testing downhills. I rode well, but I was defiantly holding a little in reserve on the technical sections. The “scariest mountain bike race in the world” mantra was in my head the whole time, and it probably did slow me down. I had no desire to crash and break myself.

The course was definitely one that merited a pre-ride. Learning the lines would have made the difference between a second and third place for me. Next year I think I’ll try to head out the day before and get all the corners and rocky sections nailed down. There is a $200 prize for breaking the two hour mark, and I would only have to shave 27 minutes off my time. From the comfort of my cushy chair a 20% improvement seems like a reasonable goal

While I loved the course, loved the t-shirts, and loved the race, I was a little perturbed with the way awards were presented. I know that prizes aren’t the reason we race, and I don’t like to bitch, but I’m going to bitch anyway (mostly just because I’m bitter about not getting the snazzy green ergons on the prize table.)

Cash awards only went to the Expert Men and Expert Women. Everyone else went to the prize table. That’s fine. Not every race can pay gearless fools and old men. The order to the prize table went 1st place SS, then 1st place in every subsequent class.

The first place beginner, who rode half the distance, trained less, and spent less on equipment, went to choose a prize before the 2nd place Single Speeder. That really is not fair. Experts should go to the table first, then sport classes, then the beginners. There should be a benefit to racing at a higher level, and some motivation to move up a class.

Then the awards went down the line again until looping back to the 3rd place SS

Or so I thought. 3rd (me) was skipped because there were only six guys in the class. That sucks, but at the time I thought it was understandable, until the promoter hit the Sport Vet class. He started to go down through the places: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th?!

7th I say! Who goes 7 deep? There were only 16 riders. To only go two deep in SS and Expert Vet, and seven deep in a sport class is just craziness.

I rode 10k farther than the Sport guys, and I finished the 40k in the same amount of time the 7th place sport vet finished 30k. I may be crazy, but I think I worked harder. Purely from a reward based standpoint, why not enter the sport class, win, and get the pick of the table? I did finally go to the table and while I do love my "strap on tool sleeve", with a third place in an expert class, I feel like I shouldn’t be the last one to pick a prize.

From Drop Box
(Honestly, what injury is that little strap going to prevent? I'd love to email lezyne and find out.)

I think awards should be based on finishing time. Take the top three from each class, regardless of how many were in a class, line them up in order of time, and call them up. So if the 3nd place Vet finished before the 1st place SS, the Vet gets to pick first. The guys who did the long course (experts) pick first, the medium length race goes second (sport), and the beginners should go last and get what ever is left over. When they get faster and move up a class, they can have a pick of the good stuff.

Or the promoter could just throw all the crap on the ground and tell people to pick up a stick and fight each other for it. I feel like that would be fairer than the way it was done.

I'll still be back next year, because the race rocked, but I hope they get that prize thing straightened out.

I finally started on my requisite 10 hours of trail maintenance for the WVMBA series. 1 hour down, 9 to go. Woot.

From Drop Box
(this trail was way weedier before it saw the wrath of my machete)

Anyhoo, I was seriously thinking about doing the SM100 this weekend, but it seems that the race has filled up. I’m on the waiting list, and my fingers are crossed, but assuming it doesn’t work out, I may just go heckle riders at the Seven Springs 24 hour.

The cowbell is a ready.

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