Thursday, October 29, 2009

the conglomerate is born

My previous title thinggy was a from the first race of this season at Big Bear, and a wee bit dated. I've since retired the rigid fork, triathlon shorts with a token chamois, and my slightly to large green helmet (and a little saddle bag I sewed that proceeded to explode on me mid-race.)

The blog has been retitled the 'knobby meats racing conglomerate' because 'racing conglomerate' sounds roughly 237% more awesome than 'knobby meats' by itself. The meats may not actually be a conglomerate, and I may have had to google a conglomerate to find out exactly what it is, but since this is the interwebs, I can call it what ever the hell I want. As an added bonus, the blog now has a tough sounding acronym thats only one letter off the name of the maker of obnoxiously colored bicycle chains. Nice.

The forecast looks like rain on Friday and Saturday. I'm really hoping that it's lots and lots of rain. I need a soggy course for Marilla 'cross Saturday morning, because that's the only time that a may have an advantage on my fixed gear (my back brake never stops working and shifting never gets gunked up.)

Hopefully I'll be able to get down to the purtiest shop in the world later today and pick up some new tires.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pounds of cake

"Hi. I'll have a vente non fat latte with whipped cream, and is that yogurt parfait non fat?"

"No its just regular yogurt."

"Ehhhh....Do you have any non fat yogurt?"

"No, I'm sorry we just have regular."

"No non fat...ok, well I'll take a pound cake instead!"


On what planet is a pound cake a reasonable substitution for non fat yogurt? Those little slices of doom pack upwards of 400 calories. Furthermore, why would someone get whipped cream on a non fat drink? I don't understand people. I really don't.

Anyway, its a good thing I won new tires last Saturday. When I exited class the other day, I looked at my wheel and was greeted with a two or three inch long side wall rip. The little tube was poking through and waving at me.

From Drop Box
I hate it when that happens.

Three days until Marilla 'Cross. Woot. I love racing my bike. I feel like I haven't mentioned that recently, but I do. Time to go ride to school in the rain.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Murrysville 'Cross 2009

I planned on riding out to the Murrysville Cross race last Saturday, but I decided against it. It was raining and I did not want to be wet and freezing until I actually started racing.

By the time I did actually get there, it was 9:40, and the U19/Cat 4 race started in 20 minutes. I went over to the registration and tried to understand how much it was going to cost me to register for two races, but I was thoroughly confused. It was $5 more for each race than it was on line, $10 for a one day licence, $5 less if I did two, and something else. Too many numbers for my little brain. I was waffling between signing up for both races and skipping the U19 since it started in 15 minutes. Finally I signed up for the U19 with the stipulation that I would come back over later and register for the 3/4.

I rushed back to the Grumbler, threw my clothes on, and bolted on the Thunder's front wheel. There was just enough time to spin up and down the road before we lined up.

The race started with a sprint up the road before turning off to the left. I got up to the front of the pack early on and stayed there. Midway into the race I was in 2nd, with no one close behind, and the leader pretty far ahead. I tried to bridge the gap between me and the leader, but I was not making up any meaningful ground. At that point it occurred to me that I would probably be crushed in the 3/4 race. I rode the rest of the laps without much incidence and finished 2nd overall and 1st in the U19.

For my efforts I got a cowbell medal and a place on the podium, two tires (both for the 2nd in Cat 4), and a super swanky helmet (for the U19 win.) I felt a little bad when I saw that the other U19's looked like they were U16, but whatevs. I might as well use the youngness while I have it.
After that race I was a little tired, and seriously considering skipping the 3/4, but once I grabbed some free coffee (at least I hope it was free. Otherwise I stole some coffee) I was right as rain again. I stood around for an hour before the next race and watched in dismay as the mud covering my legs turned crusty.

At last it was time to line up for the next race. I was mingling in the field when Gregg said "Has anybody ever given you shit about not having a back brake?" "No, nobodys said anything" "Do you even use the front?" "No, I can't really get to it." I replied. The field gave a collective chuckle. I think I was the only SS in that race, and certainly the only fixed gear.

The starting line girl gave us a barely audible 'go' and we took off up the road. I found my self in the middle of the pack, and started to try and work my way up. The course twisted around and rolled back onto the road before going back into the grass. Up ahead, I saw a gnarly crass and several riders pile up around it. Someone yelled "Jay Downnnns!" (which is funny, because he was down, and his name is downs. heh heh.)

Fortunately, I was able to stay on the bike and go wide around the cf. I sprinted up to the first run up, jumped off, and tried to stay on my feet.

(picture stolen from Aaron Bennett's facebook)

I kept my head down and ground up the next section of power sucking grass. For the rest of the lap I continued picking people off, and somewhere around the middle of the second lap, I moved into 2nd place. I was genuinely surprised. I held onto 2nd for a lap or two before Jake Grantham went by me in a slippery turn. Another lap latter someone else passed in almost the same spot.

(photo pirated from Vaughn Wallace's facebook)

Churning the 39x17 through the mud was starting to wear me down, but every time I hit the road section I still had enough energy to get out of the saddle and sprint up. When we started the last lap I had a ProGraphics guy sitting right behind me. I tried to lose him for the remainder of the race, but I just couldn't get a gap on him.

We hit the road for the last time and I gave it everything I had, but he clicked into a faster gear and got me by half a wheel length for 4th.

With four 'cross races on the fixed poo poo thunder, I can honestly say that what I read here when I was looking for info on racing cross fixed is not accurate:

"If you want to race fixed gear cross, make sure you are comfortable with all sorts of flying dismounts and lots of off camber skidding stuff. Prepare to be utterly uncompetitive, but a crowd favorite."

Now that I'm starting to really get the technique of racing the fixed gear down, I don't think that I would be that much faster on a coasting bike, especially in the mud.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette was there taking pictures of the race, and for some reason, they chose to publish my ugly mug bounding over a barrier:

I'm guessing they used my picture because my neon fixed gear with checkered deep V's and flipped cruiser bars is representative of most bikes at a cyclocross race.

(I can't find the actual damn paper, but I guess the color version is prettier anyway.)
Montana Miller of Greensburg jumps over an obstacle in the second Murrysville Cyclocross race held in Murrysville Community Park. Racers sometimes have to get off their bikes and carry them. Mr. Miller came 2nd in the Mens Category 4 & Under 19 race. Photo by: Tony Tye / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10/25/2009)

As far as I can tell, the above blurb, which is entirely about me, was the only coverage of the race in that paper. I'm hittin the big time now. Nice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Month of Mud Moraine 2009 Repor

Another excellent weekend of racing is in the bag. On Saturday I raced the fixed gear twice at the Murrysville 'Cross and ended up with a win in the Under 19, a 2nd in Cat 4, and a 5th in Cat 3/4.

Yesterday was the final Month of Mud race in Moraine State Park, and I retained my status of perpetual second place single speeder (except when the pflug races gearless and I'm bumped into third.)

Race reports will appear on the blog in reverse chronological order, just because thats how I feel like doing it. And that makes Moraine first. Salty.

When we lined up and were given a go signal, the field blasted out of the parking lot and onto the first section of double track. I put my hands on the skinniest part of my bars to get into my stunningly lame single speed aero tuck and started spinning my brains out. To my anaerobic elation, I actually passed a few geared guys. The track made a sharp left and started up a gradual climb. I kept my head down and ground up it on the way to the first section of single track. A little bit ahead I saw JPok shoot up the hill and into the woods.

The opening single track is a section of climbing switchbacks, on one of the first turns, I passed Steve Bedillion as he was stopped on the side of the trail. I went by, and knew that I had probably just moved into the 2nd place SS spot.

After cresting the hill, the trail turned down and in my typical early race jumpiness, I skidded off slippery rooted turn and into some trees. I stood to the side and let Aaron Shelmire go by before hopping back on my cycle and continuing down the hill.

We hit the first big rock garden, and Aaron made pass on a guy who was moving a little slow through the chunks. I was trying to get by him, and when he picked up his bike and started to run, I yelled to him that I was going to try to go around. He told me to go for it, but he was carrying his bike across the flat of his back, so his wheels stretched from one side of the trail to the other. Finally I yelled "Dude your bikes in the way!" and he quickly pointed it forward. I went around and chased down Aaron.

At some point I passed him, and put a little gap on him, but at the bottom of a big descent I lost the trail. For the entire race, everything was covered in wet leaves, so not only was it difficult to ride, it was really hard to discern which way the course went. By the time I figured it out, he had closed down the gap.

I turned on the gas and tried to get away from the man. When we hit the spectator filled boulder field, we were moving:

When we ran out onto the double track again, I saw Jake Grantham up ahead in the distance. I made it my goal to chase him down. By the time I hit the single track again, I had almost cut the gap between him and me in half. I kept chasing him, and Aaron kept chasing me, and at times I really thought we were going to be able to catch him.

Then we hit the big rock garden again. I completely blew up. It was as if I'd never ridden a bike over a rock before. I was tripping and slipping all over the place like a duck with greased feet. Aaron shot by in a blazing quest for glory, and I continued to wallow in among the stones. I finally got my shit together when I glimpsed another rider behind me. After convincing myself that he was another SS, I hammered down the hill and through the boulder field.
I was able to hold him off for the rest of the lap, and I rolled across the finish in 6th (I think) overall, and 2nd in the SS (and the guy behind me was not in fact another SS.)

Results will be here when they're there.

I finished 4th in the series with my one missed race. Ryan Gotch took 3rd, Steve Bedillion came in 2nd, and JPok took the win while earning a spot in the MOM hall of fame. Nice job gents.

I know its hard for anybody to care about the experts when the Single Speeders are so damn good looking, but Tim Carson won the overall. He really can get that little belly moving. Kudos dude.

After the race, everybody went to the Brewery, and I joined a couple of girls and Don Powers in not having a beer. Good times.

Speaking of Don, the Padre was quick enough to capture him running his geared hardtail over some rocks while Darin Shriver crushes it on a fully rigid single speed:

And in fact, here's Dave Krack riding the same section on a single wheeled fixed gear:

(I love the person behind him dragging the bike. Good stuff)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

grug and a quarter

I have a problem committing to races. I just can't bring myself to pre-register for something until the last possible minute. And now I'm out $10.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was about to get a screaming deal by registering for two races and getting a $10 refund on top of a $5 discount. That's more dollars than I have fingers. But now, my dollars will be five less than my fingers. And that I do not like. It's quite tragic really.

I still plan to do the U19 race and the 3/4 at Murrysville Cross tomorrow. And because the race(s) is/are only 15ish miles from my house, I might even get to ride there.

But before I do any of that, I need to go get a new tube for the the back of the Thunder. I ran into a curb the other day, and was rewarded with a furious hissing and a near instant flat.

Fortunately, I was only 200 feet away from home. Unfortunately, normal length valve stems do not work with super deep Deep Vs (my wheels look damn good but I'm starting to question their practicality. hmm.)

(I take that back. the checkers are far more important than any practical considerations)

So I had to use two patches to half assedly repair the tube. But still it leaks. I may just dump some Stan's in the tube and see if that fixes it. After that, I need to replace brake pads on the mountain cycle so that I can arrest my bikes forward motion on Sunday at Moraine. (I know, I know, replacing pads once a year is just dreadful.)

Honestly, I don't know how guys that race geared bikes do it. I get annoyed when I have to do routine maintenance on a fixed gear and a single speed (which basically consists of fixing the occasional flat and lubing a chain.) I've never raced a geared bike in the mud, (or at all) but I would imagine that all those shifty bits get screwed up. Real bad. Coming home after a race and fixing all that stuff just seems like a headache and a half.

And I enjoy working on bikes. I really do. But only when its someone else's bike.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a new grumbler

I mentioned yesterday that the Grumbler would be getting some new clothes in the form of blue and yellow rustolem:

From Drop Box

A little stirring, a foam roller, and three hours later, a new Grumbler was born:
From Drop Box
Short bus vomit green never looked so damn good. I have a little work left to do in the form of wet sanding, another coat, and trimming. And I still I have to apply the piece de resistance from the lady bear that has been in a bag since graduation. More on that when the time comes. In the mean time, be on the look out for an incredibly obnoxious lime green Cherokee grumbling to a race near you.

This weekend is shaping up to be another double header with Murrysville 'Cross on Saturday, and the Month of Mud finally on Sunday at Moraine. The plan is to race the U19 and cat 3/4 on Saturday. I have to admit, I feel kind of weird doing a junior race. I wouldn't say that I feel like I'm sandbagging, because I'm sure that there are people my age that can blow my doors off, but I've never done a race with just my age group. Craziness. But I could never pass up a $20 race with a $10 dollar refund. That's a steal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a new rating system

Last Thursday, I did make an attempt at riding my newly acquired 20t cog. Unfortunately, it was 38 degrees and pouring that day. Before I left my house I convinced myself that after riding for a little I would be warmed up enough to be comfortable. I was so, so wrong.

When I unloaded the bike from the Grumbler my clothes started to get wet. I should have expected this. Man has know for millennial that when water fall from the sky, man gets wet. Again I convinced myself that once I started to ride my body would become so warm that it would vaporize any water that touched it.

So I rode. And I felt every damn drip that hit my wool jersey. Drip. Drip. Drip. I cringed with each freezing impact. After rolling through some tall weeds, my arms became totally soaked. My original plan was to ride the Blue loop at Apollo once with the 18t, and once with the 20t and compare the times. But I was freezing, and the poly-poo pants that I was wearing were soaked and not holding any warmth at all, so I resolved to return to the Grumbler to change my clothes and install the 20t. One lap of the course would be plenty that day.

I got back to the vehicle and changed my pants (I'd rather wear a live raccoon than wet synthetic) and socks, and put the 20t cog on. I was short one spacer. Apparently, a surly cog is narrower than an endless bikes cog. At that point I was cold, wet, and annoyed. So I threw the bike in the Grumbler and drove home. The weather beat me that day (I'm not mountain biking in 38 degree rain ever again. Unless I'm racing, or somebody decides to pay me to do it.)

I did go back to Apollo on Sunday, and it was a gorgeous sunny day. The leaves were out in all their colorful golden glory, I was able to wear a short sleeve jersey, and I didn't have a ride ending flat until I was two hours into my ride. What more could a guy ask for?

I'm guessing that topics for blogscussion are going to be scarce once the race season ends and the snow blankets the trails. So I plan on writing a few gear reviews over the dark months. I'm not insinuating that I'm actually qualified to review a carefully designed product, but hell, this is the interwebs. Everybody is an expert.

To facilitate my reviews, I've carefully designed my own rating system:
From Drop Box
In the four skogkatt system, a product receiviving a score of: three skogkatts is very good, two is functional, four is
perfect, and one is poorly designed. No skogkatts is a very bad thing.

But more excitingly, the Grumbler is getting some new clothes:
From Drop Box
Hells yeah. Its going to look sweet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

the gnashing of teeth

Destroy the bracelet.


that stupid bracelet on the bike.

That was harsh. Destroy it?



Hey is it ok if I quote the breacelet conversation on the blog? Cause I think it's funny.

Actual textversation between the lady bear and I last night. (I didn't destroy it. Tenderfoot would be devastated at the loss of his new chain)

On to the real meat of todays postage. Will more teeth make me ride bicycle faster?
From Drop Box
I've run a 32X18 on my 29er in every race I've ever raced. Most of the time, it's felt just peachy. But on muddy and very twisty courses it has seemed like a lower gear would be beneficial. Since my old trusty 18t is near death, now felt like a good time to try something different.

So on Monday I went to my loving shoponser and was awarded a slightly used 20t cog for a nominal fee. I really wanted to try a 19t (going up two teeth is a little risque. almost gives me the shivers. brr.) but no 19toothes were to be found, so on 20t I settled.

By my meticulously careful calculations, 32X18 is 51.8 gear inches. At 90 rpm, I would be going 13.9 mph. With a 32X20 I would travel 12.5 mph and have 46.6 gear inches. Riveting stuff eh?

I rarely (never) average more than 12mph in a race, so perhaps the 18t is more gear than I need. In theory, the only place I should lose time with a 20t is on flat smooth sections, which hardly ever appear in the XC races round these parts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the great mystery of the bicycle bracelet

1/2 fortnight past, (last Wednesday) a bracelet appeared on the handle bars of my poo poo thunder. I know not from whence it came or how it ended on the grip of my bicycle, but when I left class at 9PM I noticed it glimmering in the moonlight:

From Drop Box

Unfortunately, the individual who gifted the bracelet did not leave me a hand to put it on. So I was forced to provide my own. What if my hand had better things to do that day? Do anonymous jewelry givers even think? The nerve. Anyway.

The stones are mysterious black onyx that appear to have been forged in the fires of Orodurin. In spite of their fiery birth, they remain icy to the touch. Considering it's heft, I can only imagine the number of eagles it took to fly it across the lands. The stretchy band seems to made of elven genital hair...

to weird? Hells, we all know that's what Gimli really wanted anyway.

The poetic glory at :50 is what we're looking for my furry footed friends. Just skip to there and play it over and over with pride. Brahhh.. Its the dwarfs who go swimmin with little hairy women Brahhh.. Its the dwarfs who go swimmin with little hairy women Brahhh.. Its the dwarfs who go swimmin with little hairy women. See? It's even fun to read multiple times.

Keep in mind, I have no idea how any of this is relevant. Or if your feet are actually furry. If they are, that's fine. I'm sure your not alone.

But back to the bracelet. I've recreated the scene of the gifting:
From Drop Box
It appears that it was slipped over the end of my bar, where the force of gravity held it to the rubber grip like it was glue. I may never know who put the bracelet there (if anyone does know, they best come clean.)

In the meantime, an up and coming master of ceremonies is lovin his new chain
From Drop Box
Yeah son I squeak real good with this. Son.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the new plan for apple custard

My cycle's cockpit has been reassembled the way Odin intended it:

From Drop Box
(This picture makes me real dizzy. Stare at it for a while. And you shall be dizzy as well. Or maybe I'm just crazed.)

It's about time to start pre-planning (not really. but I don't know what else to write about) the races I want to do next year. Presently, the plan is to hit 3 or 4 100's (Lumberjack/Cohutta, Mohican, Wilderness, Shenandoah) The Wilderness 101 and Mohican are for sure, because they don't require to much driving and I can procrastinate on registration. The other ones I'll have to play by ear as the time to pay the promoters large sums of money approaches.

Crush the Commonwealth is for certain on the list. 400 unsupported miles across my home state, and it won't cost me a penny. Whats not to like?

Although now that I think about it, 400 miles is a long ass ride. Eh. It couldn't be that hard right? Maybe I'll buy the thunder a freewheel for that one.

I'm going to attempt to plan my WVMBA participation a little better so that I don't end up driving 6 hours for a 2 hour race. I know that this past summer I missed many of the races that were near my home out of shear ignorance. However, plans aside, I'll probably end up doing as many races as I need to to stay competitive in SS.

This year, I still have the final Month of Mud race at Moraine State Park, one or two 'cross races in WV, and the Dirty Dozen in November.

Speaking of the Month of Mud, I'm currently 4th overall with my one missed race. Though it's unlikely, if I have a good day at Moraine, I could move into 3rd.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brady's Run

I'm happy to report that I beat most of the people who made fun of my incredibly awesome new handlebars.

But sadly they will be re-retired to the poo poo thunder later today. More about this after the spine tingling race report.

At the beginning of the race, all the riders deemed worthy are called up to start in the front of the pack. Yesterday I got a call up. I feel validated.

Starting at the front sounds nice in theory, but when the first half mile of the course is totally flat, on a SS it's more of a cruel joke than it is an advantage. When the go signal was given, I heard the furious clicking of gears as the the mechanically assisted field picked up speed and rolled by me. A lead pack broke away and I stupidly tried to catch them. I failed.

We hit the first big road climb and everybody bunched back up. JPok went by, but I didn't really have the legs to go with him, so I just settled into a nice pace and trundled up the hill.
(Pirated from Mike Briggs facebook. Why did no one tell me I looked so silly on those bars? And if you did, why didn't I believe you?)

The road ended and narrowed to a moist leafy section of flat double track. Before long we began to hit deep mud holes. They became more and more frequent until they appeared about every 230 feet. The trail took a sharp right and started up a super steep climb.

I was caught behind two Dirty Harry's gentleman going up the hill (I use the term caught very loosely, because I was not actively trying to become un-caught. perhaps 'followed' would more accurately describe my situation.) Anyway, we were not moving with any sense of urgency, so I alternated between running and riding my bike.

At the top of the hill the course became very predictable. If you missed it, I'll paint a written verbal photograph:











Cheering women in the middle of nowhere



And so on.

There were a ton of slippery logs. In the two four mile laps of that course, I think it's safe to say that I crossed more logs than I have in all my other races this season combined. After the land of the logs, the track went back down the hill. Near the bottom of the paved climb, it went back up and the pattern of mud holes, running, and logs was repeated.

Coming down the hill the second time, I saw I sport rider up ahead who was about to complete his first lap. We hit the pavement at the same time and a sprint to the finish/ half way line ensued. I narrowly edged him out as he rolled through for four more miles. I am such a bad ass.

While I did thoroughly enjoy using my upside down grandmotherly handle bars, they will not be on my mountain cycle for the next race. The sweep was good, but they're just too narrow to be practical. I was not feeling like I had enough control on the wet rooty sections of the course. A bar with more sweep and the same width as my Salsas would be about perfect.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

use more brooms

I've been meaning to try big sweep bars on my bicycle since it's birth last summer. Even though I already had said big(ger sweep bars, a 17 degree bend is my starting point) in my possession I never did it. Loosening and re-tightening 10 allen bolts was more work than I cared to tackle.

In addition to the daunting allen bolt odyssey that awaited, I was a little afraid to change my cockpit setup mid season, especially when I could find no fault with it. But the past two cross races have made me revisit the idea.

On my cross bike, I'm able to put the power down really well, and I felt more in control of the bike than I do on my mountain cycle. I figured that if the handle bars on the thunder worked well for riding over bumpy grass, they would be perfect for mountain biking. Sound logic eh?

The bars are 520mm Soma Sparrows with an unknown amount of bend, and about an inch of drop.
From Drop Box

Compared to the Salsa's I've used all season:
From Drop Box
(The new bars are a little lacking in width)

From Drop Box
I've put almost three hours on them so far, and I'm happily surprised. They feel much more natural than my other bars, I have more hand positions, and I can actually weight the front wheel in corners now.

In fact, I've yet to find anything that I like more about my old setup. Because of the sharp bend, I don't think I've lost any leverage, but I have gained almost 120mm of tree clearance. My bike is easier to turn and it's just as easy to pop the front wheel up.

I rode the race course at Apollo the other day with both setups. The first time I used my salsa bars, I put in a decent effort and rode the loop in 43:18. I rolled back to the Grumbler and installed the Soma's (Sans ergons. I'm not sure how I feel about those yet.) I did the loop again, felt like I was dragging the whole time, and finished in 41:20. 2 minutes is pretty significant.

My biggest concern is the lack of space to mount my bell. I'm going to have to work out some way to get that little devil on there because I have no idea what I'd do if I had to verbally tell someone that I was behind them.

Although I'm not certain that the Sparrow bars are faster, I can be sure that they're not slower. I'm going to race with them this Sunday and see how it goes.

And I'm going to start posting every week day again. I swear.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grove City 'Cross

Race two of the Month of Mud was this past Sunday. Since I did the series last year, this was actually the first time that competed in a race that I had done previously. How novel.

The Grove City course is long, flat, and fast with about 1/3 of the race on pavement. We started with a prologue on the tarmac to spread everybody out before we hit the first set of barriers. Everything was damp, so I took it a little easy on the road to avoid a crash.

When we came to the barriers, I was solidly in the mid-pack. I saw Don and Aaron a just ahead of me, so I made it my goal to catch them. We rode through a short dirt section, then spilled out onto a field where all the tight turns were set up. The course was wet, but not enough to become muddy.
From Drop Box
(the first barriers. but not the first time we jumped them)

From Drop Box
(I wish I had skills like these. although on lookers claim he was actually going slower by hopping the fences)

We hit the road again and Don and Aaron really went for it. I was about 100 feet behind them when we came to the first corner. All of a sudden I heard the buzz of a tire losing traction, then saw Don sliding across the road with his bike next to him. Aaron was either hit by the human projectile, or swerved to try and avoid it, because he went down as well. I rode by (slowly. I didn't have any burning desire to suffer the same fate.) and asked if they were ok. They claimed they were, but they did not look comfortable.

From Drop Box
(the Pflug and Steve nailing the section that took out Don and Aaron)

I marked the next guy in front of me and started to chase. Once I had caught him, I moved onto the next rider, and kept it up until the end of the race. Riding the fixed gear was not as difficult as at the Raccoon race, mostly because the course was easier (less slippery. thank you semi dry weather.) I finished 13th overall and 2nd SS.

I was only 1 minute and 40 seconds behind JPok, the #1 SS. I think that if I would have been riding a coasting type bike I could have given him a hells of a race.

Just because this is the first time I can compare previous results, last year I came in 38th overall and 9th SS.

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Don's wound after the race. His entire hip area looked like raw burger meat. Yum.

Dave Crack rolling into the finish:
From Drop Box
There were 3 other guys on Uni's. That's a four man unicycle class. Figgin sweet man.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Busy busy week it has been. On Tuesday I had a nice ride on the cold, rainy, mountain before work. I averaged a blistering 6 miles per hour for the 90 minutes that I rode. In my defense, I was on the technical trails, so a slightly slower speed was (kind of) expected.

On Rocky Gap Trail, I came super close to cleaning a section that I've never been able to hit before. The trail drops down a few higher than hub sized rocks then takes a sharp left. There's a little path of logs of slippery logs about 12" wide that go up onto a large boulder, then curve to the right down the hill and into the rocky gap. The gap is a touch wider than my handle bars with the rocks on both sides stretching to about 6 feet above head level.

I made it around the first turn, then into the second I got excited because I almost had it...then I proceeded to ram my shoulder into the rock. It was a little ouchy and bleedy, but I tried the line two more times, with a higher degree of failure than the first attempt. Oh well. I'll get it eventually.

I didn't take a picture of the line, but Speedgoat did at some point in the past, so I'm going to borrow it.
(Not me. I ran my other shoulder into the rock.)