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.
|From Drop Box|
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)