Biking with allot of Hiking @ MuttonTop

I was doing New Years this year up at MuttonTop near Standardsville VA. The Cabin had no plumbing, or electric, but a great view. The last day of the year Kev wanted to do a ride, I had planned to do a ride the following day on the cross bike, but said I would go out with him too. I road my cross bike with 42mm in front and 40mm in the rear, with a 34x34 low gear. We started the ride and were expecting to follow this fire road over the ridge to a dirt road. Well we ended up going on this hiking trail that had us (shocker) hiking more then biking. Kev is a beginner mt. biker but is a good runner, so he is working on getting those biking muscles. It was also a good equalizer with me on the cross bike and him on a mt. bike I was not able to go too fast on the downhills. Finally we get to an intersection and realize we are only 100yds from where we started! We then took the left turn which was the correct way to go. The fire road was totally ridable besides all the blow-downs on the trail. We get to the dirt road, and we descended like 1000ft real quick was a fast desent with alot of turns you really couldn't let it ride. We looked at the map and saw that this Mutton Hollow road went near to where the cabins were, so there might be a trail that we could do to get there. Well the road goes for a awhile, and then turns to dirt, then a gate where state matience ended. We were at a crossroads here do we turn around and go on the road back or adventure forward and hope to find something. We went around the gate and went up this gravel road, and then we saw that it deadended into someone's cabin:-( But right when we saw that we saw a trail going to our right that was the direction towards the cabins. The trail was freshly blazed, but It was a total hiking trail, he had to push the bikes most of the way. We finally arrived below the Morris Cabin and made our way back up to MuttonTop for Pho Soup for Lunch. We started the ride with the idea to be gone for 2 hours that turned to closer to 4. I think if I did this again I would just take out the first hiking loop, and revese what we did but add the longer dirt ride. The hiking trail back up to the cabin had some more ridable stuff if you were going down hill. Kev did good maybe I will do some more rides with him in the future.


Rivals and Friends

I have known Bruce for about 3 or 4 years. I used to race him in the Wednesdays at Wakefield races. We both raced sport back then, and have both moved up. I have done several endurance relay races with him, and I hope to compete against him this year in the Mid-Atlantic Cup. We did a ride on Sat. that is called "The Good, The Bad, and the Hilly". The ride combines a bunch of hills and there is Sugarloaf mountain for good measure. Bruce had ridden for 3 days straight so his legs were blown, and mine were still hurting from a ride I did 2 days before. We did the usual off-season talk, about maybe buying new a bike or parts, races that we would like to do, also Bruce gave me some incite into the whole power tap training thing. Bruce and myself are diverging this year with himself concentrating on road racing and I will be concentrating on endurance mt. bike racing. We will both be doing racing against each other, but he is not gunning for the SM100 this year, just to ride it. I will do some road races, but they will not be my "goals" next year. I was a little more spunky on the ride, I did sugarloaf, which Bruce opted out of, but the crafty veteran got the best of me on the last climb. We ended with a 3 hour ride time which wasn't bad for 2 people in the off season.(2:45 is the fastest I have done the ride)

X-Mass Biking

The first ride of the weekend was a short one, but longer then I expected. I bought my nephew a trail-a-bike for X-Mas, and I went and rode it with him on Sat. before the rain came. I was riding my cross bike set up with some street/path tire combination I wanted to try for following day's ride. I put my dad's cushy seat on the bike because my seat post was carbon fiber and I didn't think the trail-a-bike thing and the carbon seat post would be a good match. Well Cole did a good job, after he figured out the whole peddling thing. We went off-road on the grass around this pond, and we even got through some tough stuff I didn't expect us too. He finally got tired, so I took him home. He was so tired in fact when we road the next day he didn't even pedal after 10minutes I took him back home he said a funny line,"Cole wanna go lay on the couch"

The second ride I did was a little spin near where my parents live, the ride had about 10-14 miles of unpaved road, and I had my bike set up with some great tires that could do both. In back I was running a 32mm Panaracer tire that was smooth with some grit to it, this seemed good since you don't need too much traction in back on dirt roads if you are not riding agressive. For the front I had this Nashbar tire that I have used before that has a raised center tread and some side grippers for that give you a little bite into dirt. So that was a nice 36 mile 2 hour ride and the parents weren't too upset that I was gone for a bit.


Competing vs. Participating in Races and the $$ that Running and Tri Races bring to the Table

The following is a response I had on the local race board. There were many issues that were brought up that started with Georgia Gould's petition about equal pay for women in cycling events. This lead to people talking about the IronMan and Running events that have equal pay, which lead to people saying that because with the amount of participation these events get the sponsors flock to them, which lead to women doing this events because they were participating not competing, and they seem less dangerous.

Cycling could have a participation kind of feel to it, and does to certain events. I race road, mountain, and cross. All the 100mile mountain bike races in the country have more a participation kind of feel to them. For the SM100 I did well compared to local people, but I wasn't racing other people just myself. Also the Iron Cross was somewhat the same way, but felt more like a race. Now the top 10 in the men's and women's field were racing. The issue there is that we all started together and it was one race. So imagine the local road race, where CAT1,2,3,4,5, and the Women CAT1,2,3,4 all start the race at the same time. I know I would be there not to have a placing but to participate. I think one of the things that people are looking over is that Running races, and some Tri races are events that people do to participate because there are very little "events" that are not competitive. Now in cycling we have a whole subset of charity centuries, and rides that get sponsors, I mean look at some of the cross state tours that get huge turnout. People go there to participate not to win. Now one of the things that makes bike racing great is that we have categories. I always tell people to go out and try a beginner mountain bike race, and you should be able to compete against someone. In running I am a total beginner, so I will never do well. With the system that running has setup I will always be a participant, not a competitor. Lastly for the record I agree with Ms. Gould with her petition. I think that as a governing body(UCI) they need to have mandates that stick up for the minorities in a group. The MINIMUM equal payout for Top 5 for UCI races makes perfect sense. Now for local grass roots races, that is another can of worms. My uninformed opinion is if the disparity between the men and women is really bad, just get rid of the prize money. You can now weigh in.



I have been thinking about wheels lately, I have allot of my bikes figured out, with some odds and ends here and there that I need to take care of. I have been riding my spinergy XAero V2 for 7 years now, and I really like them, but I am thinking I need something a little stiffer. So here are some of the wheels I have been having my eye on.

Stealth PBO

American Classic
Magnesium Clincher
420 Black with Bladed Spokes

Then there was this Idea to build a the perfect ultralight 29er disc wheel that could be used on the crossbike as well.

ZTR 355 29er AC Disc Wheelset

Well one can dream, I am thinking one of these wheel sets will be bought in the coming year, I will let you know what I get.


First Ride of Winter

So Funny I end my last race, and not 3 days later snow is on the ground. I went into work late so I could get a little spin in the white stuff. Riding in snow is tricky, too little and it is muddy, too much you have no traction. Well I went to Wakefield, and saw only one other tire track that looked like it was from the night before I did see a good amount of Deer tracks so you know the trails are fun if the wildlife is using them too.


Capital Cross

(Photos Left by Craig)This race is my last race of the season!!! Finally. It was overdue, I have been skating on form from the SM100 and I have been tapped out since the last race I did. For this race I laid in bed for 15 minutes debating if I was going to do it. Since the weather was going to hold I decided to give it a go. I just barely made registration, and I did two laps on the course. I really liked the course layout. I would have preferred a longer climb in there, but that is not really cross. I signed up the day of, so I, along with my teammates Kent, and Loren were like in 60th position at the start. I knew I needed to gun it at the beginning, which I was not too worried about, because I seem to usually have fast starts then fade. Well the gun goes off and I gun it a little bit on the pavement, and I get to the grass in an OK spot. Two things that helped me out were not being afraid of others bumping me, and being able to do track stands instead of having to put my foot ddown. A great thing was hearing people cheer for me, and hearing Kent, who was a couple places behind me, cheer me on when we would be on different parts of the course but were near each other. Early on I got behind Matt Parse's (who ended up in third) Wheel, and thought that was the place to be, but he was really motorin' and then before the barriers I tried to get around several people and was riding the tape when my handle bars got caught in the tape. This was almost a bad thing but luckily the tape broke so I didn't get slowed down. By the time I had gotten to the run up I was sitting in 5th place. I was there for a little bit, but then Joseph Zorn and Brett K. From Drexel Cycling came around me. I was battling Brett for a lap I think. I remember getting annoyed because the places I could go faster, J.Zorn slowed, and then in the open flats they put it on. Then Drexel Brett passes me for good, and then I have the next two, Kenfrom Coppi, and Matt from BBC on my heals. I think they got in front of me as well, and it was the same thing that I was faster on parts they were slow and vice versa, but the parts I was slower on, you can easily pass. I think I am in front of them, and then I see Loren from my team coming up. After the little climb I am resting , getting ready for the run up, and the gravel. Loren goes in front of me and then in the gravel I encourage him, so we don't slow down and have the two other guys catch up. We do the steep downhill and I am getting antsy so at the next downhill Loren was nice and gave me the lane, I then took the inside line through the chicane and actually cut it pretty tight hitting a tree branch. With me in front, we get some distance, and tthen Loren was in front again, I thought he was going to be gone, but with the turns I was able to catch up to him. We then are going through the final trees and gravel to the pavement road. Loren was in front but not by much, but I was not drafting. So when we get to the pavement, I am thinking, Loren is like 135 lbs or something, I need to use my 185 lbs to my advantage. I shift to the big ring (50) and something in the back, and start turning over the gear. I think I can beat him to the line if I can get on top of this gear, so I am standing and it's starting to turn and I end up catching him. I'm still not sure but I think I beat Loren by 2 feet or something. So that has been my closest cross finish. I got 7th which I was happy with considering that I wanted top 10. It was cool riding with Loren and hopefully next year we will do some endurance Mountain bike races, and some cross as well. Ryan Bannon got second, and knew he was going to rock it, he hasn't slowed down like I have this fall (getting a new bike helps :-) ) Also Ryan has lost like 5 pounds or so. He is like 6'3" weighing in the low 170s. If I was that weight I would be kicking some A**. OK time to open a beer, the off season has begun!!!
(Photos below Kevin Dillard They Rock!)

Boys doing the Barriers Will need Divx and might not play at work I will load this up tonight.

More Photos By Darren Biggs and Click here Craig Mathew

Capital Cross 2007


ThanksGiving Weekend

I did three Rides this weekend. I did two Tandem rides which were fun, the first being on Thanksgiving day, and then on Sunday. The first was still in that warm front that had come through on Wednesday. We did 33 miles in Warrenton and I dropped Heather off at her parents. The ride was a flat one, but some of the vistas were still pretty with the late fall colors. The Second Tandem ride(on Monday) was a quick 20 or so in Arlington and Bethesda. We went up Military Rd. and then some side streets in N. Arlington, then took the Capital Cresent Trail to Bethesda. Well the trail was too crowded so we ended up taking Wisconson to Nebraska to Fox Hall for the way back to Arlington. Nothing like Tandeming in City Traffic!
On Sat. I had the chance to ride with one of our new Team Members of DCMTB-- Lynne, and my friend Mark at Fountainhead. Was a colder ride at the start. We did one lap pretty easy tempo, Lynne is a strong rider, she is just working on her tech skills to match her leg speed. I really hurt my knee on the first lap. The leaves on the trail made things slippery. I was doing a turn then my front wheel washed out, and hit a tree, with the stem going into my knee. We decided to do another lap at speed, so I was off the front pushing a good pace, but I had to take some layers off cause I was starting to overheat. I then got in place with my camera to get Mark and Lynne going down Shock-a-billy hill. I used the High speed capture mode, pretty slick. Fountainhead is fun, but that trail is so completely different from 8 years ago, really rutted and some parts are just not safe for novice riders. I hear there is going to be a redesign there in the future. Well I will do one ride this week, then the Capital Cross to get my Ass handed to me, since it is the off season for me at least.


BustHead-Dirtyburg Ride

This ride is my favorite Dirt Road ride that is easy to get to. The ride is 42 miles and I found out on Sat. has about 4000' of elevation. That elevation mostly comes from small hills with one bigger climb(BustHead) and then coming back over the ridge again towards the end of the ride.

We had 6 of us at the start, Unfortunately the boys on mountain bikes, Kent and his friend(Chris?) were riding a little slower and needed to get back sooner. This was the first real ride for me in like a week and a half, and boy did my legs feel it!
The ride is a good one, and we were able to see some real nice foliage, along with some $$$$$ houses that are out there. The Middleburg stop is great with the bakery there(not open on Sundays though). The ride took awhile with like a 15 mph avg so that 42 felt more like a 60 mile ride. The question is my knee good enough for the capital cross dec. 4th?

Some Ride notes:

-Never underestimate the power of a sausage roll for bike fuel

-WTB interwolves are the best dirt road tires around big for cush and roll well for hardpack/pavement sections.

-BustHead is a blast to come down you are flying around 30+ on the dirt

-Bruce almost hit a deer going down that same mountain, must have been the deer running away from the hunters since it was the first day of hunting season.

-Ryan was riding strong, or could have been his cool matching white/grey camo seat that matched his grey Giant.

-Pat was riding pretty good after being off the bike for awhile with his arm issues.

-My knee held up, but I am not in top shape anymore so the last climb I had to let Bruce, and Ryan go up the road.

-This is a great Iron Cross training ride, so next September I will remember to do it.

-Bruce had one of the best lines,"Stomach full of scotchies(oatmeal cookies with buttersctchcream between them) I feel good.


Tacchino Ciclicross

3rd out of 90 in the CAT4 race.
I had this race on my calendar almost after I had done it in 2006. This cyclocross course is one of the most unique. This race has no pavement, has one longer hill than most. I also went with low gearing a 11-34 in back and 34-50 in front. I never used the 34 in back, did use the 28 though for the run up section. I decided with these conditions I would race my bike monster cross style! I had a 42mm Mythos CX in front and a 40mm in back. These tires roll well enough, and I could run them low to help with the bumps. I think I made the back a little too low because it felt like the tire was going to roll off the rim!
I get to the start and there are 90 people lined up for the CAT 4 race! I ask the guy if they have call ups, and he says yes so I get to jump to the front of the line, and am starting with Matt Parse.

Well the start goes off and I am off. I didn't get the best start had to try twice to get in my pedals. Then comes the barriers pretty much right after the start.

I get to the Run up/Ride hill which I rode every time, not that it was faster to do so but I didn't have to unclip.
I get to the back side of the course and I am in the lead after Steve Wahl flatted(bad luck cause I think he would have won) I am in the lead with Matt, and Mike (teamates) behind me I get to the tight turn and over cooked it and went straight into the tape. I should have just went nice and easy though there, and made the guys pass me. After this the two of them were in front of me the whole race. I would get closer to them and then fall back.

I did actually bridge up to them at one point, but I think I used up too much energy and then I could not stay with them. It was cool though having the announcer talk about you for 30 minutes! If sponsors were there they would have had their names announced big time. I could hear him saying things like:
-"Looks like Darren Biggs is losing ground to the tag team of Capital Hill Bikes"
-"The Rubber Band is stretching"
-"This CityBikes rider will not give up!"
-"He is clawing his way back"
-"Darren Biggs of DCMTB CityBikes has made contact with the leaders!"

the lap counter got screwed up so when it should have been 3 laps to go, it was the bell lap. I got kinda messed up there, cause I went into survival mode when I thought I had 3 more laps to go. At the last lap I eased up a bit, and the front guys battled for the win(with Chris beating Matt this week after Matt won last week's DC-DX),

luckily Ryan Bannon didn't catch me. Ryan would have been a hard man to beat, and he almost caught me and he crashed three times, while I had a pretty much solid race besides that one bobble. I had issues with my knee earlier in the week, but it didn't bother me race day so the question is do I continue to race? Also if Mabra counts cyclocross races as mass start races I could move up to CAT 4 for road if I do the rest of the races.

Here are a bunch of pics that I took of the Masters,CAT3/4, and Elite and Jon and Heather took of the Mens CAT 4 race.(Click on Slide Show to go to viewer)



The DC-CX was being put on for the first time this year, and we as a team did a really good Job. I think Matt, and Marc deserve allot of the credit. I think if we are invited back we will have an even better race next year. I started the weekend off by helping the team all day Saturday raking, marking, digging the Brick Walk (gwadzilla way). While I was doing this I found out that I would be racing the "B" race not the "C" race because we ran out of numbers and I was the sacrificial lamb. I was kinda bummed cause I wanted to be in the mix of the race, instead of fighting getting dropped. At the same time this was our race that we were putting on so I wasn't really worried about a good result. I was given a good call-up because I spent a while bringing home the Mabra trailer from the Hagerstown race.
I started really well I think I was in the top 10 for the first two laps.

As usual with cyclocross I started to lose my steam after those first two laps. I was riding with Chris Scott for a bit he even gave my butt a push to keep me going. Chris also had a goof up that cost me a couple seconds, where I did a trackstand waiting for people to get moving again.

No worries there I lost plenty of time on my own. As the race wore on I was falling back and back. Bruce started slow and then caught and passed me, I wish I would have riden with him maybe I would have done better. The course was fast and a lot of people liked it. I was proud of myself for how little I used my brakes, almost wrecked one time because of it. I think I only had one bad barrier jump, and I rode the course strong, but my season has been too long, and my knee got aggravated again(started with the IRON CROSS).

My goal was top half of the Mens B field, and to not get bottom third. I placed 19 out of 32 so I just made my not getting in the bottom third. I think cross racing is like when I race expert at the W@W not really what I train for so I end up not doing as well as when the races are longer (12-24 hour relays). Next year I will race Bs for the couple of cross races that I do, but next week I am going to Cs again at the Leesburg Cross race, which favors my power over speed. Well check out the pictures that Jon Janis from Note to Jon fame took of the Men's B Race in the slideshow below. I give some commentary as well. Click on any picture in the slideshow to see hi-res.



All photos by Charles Armstrong

Darren Biggs DCMTB/City Bikes 51/205 overall 32/97 Men Under 40
Time 4:38:31

The Iron Cross………….. I had heard about this race about three years ago. The longest cyclocross race in America… Well to let you know it is not really a cyclocross race , but a race that is best ridden on a cross bike. The race is framed after the Three Peaks race in England which has been run for over thirty years. I believe the race was canceled this year cause of the scare of hoof and mouth disease. The big interesting thing was the 5 time winner Rob Jebb and podium placing countryman Stuart Bowers of the Three Peaks race in England came to the IronCross V to race the event. The Brits came not to play, but to smack it to the yanks! They got 1st and 3rd I believe.

I had talked to a bunch of people about this race, and last year I was about to do the race with Sid. Sid and I did not do the race, so I vowed to do it in 2007. I have had a long season. I have raced two or three times the amount I have ever raced in a year. So I wasn’t really looking forward to the IronCross, but I said I would do it so I did. I was able to talk Mark into doing the race, after he and I did the West Virginia Logger ride(on our cross bikes) in May
We did the the IC in one day so I had to get up at 4:50am!! We picked up Roger Massi on the way to the race, and he was a good traveling companion, with his knowledge of the race (he has done it 3-4 times) and general friendliness. We got to the start with plenty of time to spare. We got our stuff together, did our drop bags (will do mine better next year) and got ready for the start. The weather was chilly but fine. I wore toe warmers, a vest, arm warmers, and heavier long finger gloves. Mark wasn’t dressed as warm so I gave him my long finger gloves, and I put my lighter gloves in the drop bag.
Mark from my City Bikes team was there as well, so it was cool talking with him and lining up with him at the start. They start you down a gravel road, and I started with slower riders, which I will try not to do next year. The gun goes off and we start off going through the IC lite course that they did the day before. There is a spiral of death they call it in the course. Pretty funny, you basically go round and round for a long time, then over two barriers and you are off to the course.
My ride from what I remember:
So I start out passing a bunch of people, and am riding the road that goes to a walking trail, I am pushing myself but not too much, and I am loosing ground to a lot of people. We are going up this climb that goes a ways, I really pushed it up the climb to the KOM/QOM top with this Hagerstown guy Tim Lung on my back we get to the first trail section and he gets in front of me, but I basically would see him from time to time in front of me with him finishing 3 minutes ahead of me. The first single track I was loving my inline lever on the tops of the handle bar. My mountain biking skills were coming into play as I passed a lot of people in there. There was only one section that I bailed on doing, and I thought I would be faster if I didn’t crash. This went to another road section with some painful long rollers (this would be the case the whole day with the pavement sections). The fire road /trail to the run up I was able to get past several people on the climb with my low gear and power abilities. The run up is no joke! I stopped here and took off my vest/arm warmers. My back was hurting from pushing on the bike, so it was my back that hurt the most for the run up (next year more sit ups!) The run up is long and sucks the life out of you.

After the run up is CP2 (I was 42nd place at this point) where next year I will put a bag to leave extra clothes at. After this part you are doing ridgeline gravel roads and it is pretty scary at times cause you are going over 30mph on the downhills just praying that you don’t hit a pothole, or one of the rocks that has worked its way to the surface of the road. I finally get to CP3, by now I am passing every now and then. I was making time on people by catching them on the down hills, or on the longer climbs especially the trail climbs. At CP3 I was out of fuel, and liquids so I had to get a power bar and refill the camelback. The bad thing was I had to piss, that made me lose like seven spots, or all the people I passed. The next part was a hill that was a doosy! I was in my 34-32 going at times as slow as you can go in that gear. I passed everyone that passed me while I was pissing. One big motivator was passing Steve Wahl from Hagerstown bikes, he beat me at a cyclocross race 2 weeks prior. After the long climb there was a scary downhill that had some tight turns. The course marshalls let you know they were ahead so I took the downhill easy, which was the right move. At CP4 you take a right onto the funniest part of the course, basically double track/single track trail that is totally ridable on a cross bike. I was tired so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have normally. There was a short run up here, then a hill that I rode up very slowly, but passed three others walking. After this was a pavement downhill to the finish, but there three or four rollers that were just killing your legs that you had to get over before going through the Spiral of death again and then doing two barriers and done. Well no more long races for me this year!!

Some observations of the race:

* The race started really fast to me, I was expecting more of a SM100 kind of feel where people just went their own pace. Here people were trying to stay with people they were around or bridge up to others.

* The field was strong I think at least ¾ of the field were on teams, so most of the people racing the event were strong riders that were shooting for a good time, not to just finish.

* I had fretted over what tire/gears I should use for the event, but my bike worked perfect 38mm WTB interwolfs at 60psi with 50-34, 12-32 in the back. I am a spinner so next year I will go with an 11-34 in back.

* For next year I am going to make sure I do some fast road rides, cause I was not able to ride with people on the road, but was able to pass them on the big climbs.

* The course was a good mix of one really technical trail, easy trails, gravel road, and pavement.

* I think I was 24th place for the second part of the course compared to 43 for the first part of the course. So I think next year if I can improve on the first half and get a <4:30>

More Photos


First Fall Ride!

Fall has come finally, I did this ride before work at 7:30am. Was cold enough to wear the arm warmers and knee warmers. I wanted to ride the cross bike before doing the Iron Cross to check out my custom 12-32 cassette(a ultegra 12-27 with a 32 cog on it). I put 60 psi in the tires and really just road the bike hard though the Lake Accotink area and the Wakefield XC course. It really beat me up riding without any suspension, or the bigger tires that help deaden the bumps and vibrations. I was sore afterwards but felt good about the bike going into the Iron cross.


AVC Hagerstown Cross

This was the first cross race of the season for me and the only second cross race I have done. This was going to be a long day since I was picking up the race trailer with Kent’s Suburban. The weather was to get hot this weekend highs in the mid 80’s and humid, not really cross racing weather! There was a lot fog in the morning, with a good amount of dew on the grassy course when I did my pre-laps. The course wasn’t totally finished when I pre-road the course. I am very happy that I was able to pre-ride the course it helped me kinda get the feel of the course. I made one change to the tires I let some air out so I was running my WTB interwolfs at 38 lbs. They are a big 35mm tire so I thought I could that low without flatting. I raced the CAT 4 race which was allot bigger then I thought it would be. There was 55+ riders and almost no mt. bikes, boy has cross gotten big. Guys were riding the CAT 4 race with bling, bling carbon wheels and all.
At the start I got there kinda late so I wasn’t going to have the best position, but then the announce was like you can use the whole lane, not just the gravel road. Well we started off, and I was like in the top 6 at the first turn so I kept it going. I think after one lap I was in 3rd place. I got on to Matt’s wheel who rides for capital hill bikes I have ridden with him before so I know his ability. I am riding with him and I find out we are 1,2 so I was pretty stoked. We get on this fast downhill section, and his tire came flying off his wheel. So then I was in 1st place, this was short lived, I then started loosing ground to the other guys and was passed by several people. I then road in no man’s land for the rest of the race, and was able to pull off a 4th place. I was happy with the result considering it was my second cross race, and my pre-race predictions was to finish in the top 1/3 and my goal was a top 10 finish. The course was good in that it had a lot of turns and felt like really riding cross. I also liked that the hill on the course was very ridable compared to some courses where it is maybe ridable, so you have to choose to run or ride. I think the sandpit should have been longer to get the whole chugging though the sand or run through it. I ran the right amount of air pressure cause the tires hooked up well. I have at least 3 more cross races for the season will see how they turn out.

I then went and did a 35-40 mile road ride on the new road bike and that was good but the legs were kinda blown from the race. I got back in time to see most of the Men’s 1,2 race. I was able to support Marc and Chris from the team. It was cool to see Marc do really well, and actually pace himself and past some really fast guys that he doesn’t usually beat. I think Marc was thriving in the heat better then others. All the racers looked haggard, Marc seemed not to get slower as the race progressed, but kept a consistent pace. Marc ended up finishing in 10th place, that being 1st for the masters’ A class. Chris was hanging strong and gave me a couple of smiles so I think that he was at least enjoying himself out there. I think he was able to pass a couple of folks as well.


24 hours Landahl

Me after the last Lap-yes another Darren looks like a Jack-Ass photo

On the way to the venue, Mike and I driving the FOX minivan, and the KC skyline

Well I was a last minute addition to the team for this race. I was feeling sick( I got a sinus infection) It wasn't until Saturday of the event, that I started feeling better. Mike K. and I had a crazy time with FOX car rentals, I will not get into the details, but I learned to keep my mouth shut when dealing with nut job that owns a car rental place.
We got to the race site on Friday, and saw the Athens Wrecking crew there, and ended up hanging out with them a good deal over the weekend. Mike and I got the bikes from a local bike shop where we had them shipped, got them together, and sorta setup camp until Matty and Joe got there around 10pm at night(they went to work on Friday) We got set up in Joe's nice big tent, and then went to bed. There was a storm that came through the area, that was a big help for the trail, and for the weather bringing temps from the 90's to the low 80's. The race order was Matt, Mike, Joe, then myself since I was not %100. Matt pulled a good first lap, but we were in 3rd expert and 15th I think.

Mike K. went out and busted the team's fastest lap(5 sec. faster then mine :-() Then Joe went out and did a solid lap.

When my turn came, I saw that the Athens Wrecking Crew's fourth guy was on the side of the trail. I then knew this was our shot, I pulled my fastest lap without having ridden the course. I wasted allot of effort in that first lap, since I didn't know how to ride the course. The race was the hardest technical course I have ever raced. I wouldn't have been able to do this course 2 years ago the way I did at the race. The training rides I did at Liberty Furnace were key for this race, the ridge lines at Liberty Furnace gave me skills in riding rocks. The rocks at Landahl were a little different in that they were large and flat, compared to being smaller and pointy. There were 2 small sections on the coarse that I never did cause they were danger areas to loose a deraileur or a pedal. After our first rotation we were in 2nd place in expert with The wrecking crew a hour behind us. The Athen's Crew are a faster team then us, but we felt we had a chance if we rode our race which was to be smart and consistent. At some point Joe was feeling ill and sat out, so it was Mike, Matt, and myself doing laps, luckily Joe felt better after skipping a rotation which gave him 5 hours rest. I had the one big mechanical for the team with me breaking my chain, and getting my chain caught behind my cassette between the spokes, also my light fell off. I thought this would be the end of us, but I only got a 15 minute slower lap instead of loosing allot more time like I thought. At one point the Athens wrecking crew was only 2 minutes behind us and we were only 6 minutes behind the first place team. I felt Joe's morning lap where he held off the crew a key point, because it was then just up to the other racers to beat the crew one-on-one. My last lap was actually fun after the frustration that I had at night. I wish I had the energy of the first lap with the expertise from riding the course. The last lap I was riding the rocks allot smoother, and knew where to push it and where to rest a little. From Matt-Athens drove themselves into the ground and would not give up. They started fast, and ended (with the two guys they had left) fast. I think that is what busted them. Had Matt Gentry a.k.a. Big Country, a.k.a. 'Roid Rage not gone out so fast every lap, he probably would not have ended up out of the race on a stretcher with a saline I.V. drip in his arm on Sunday morning. We played the game we play best (our only game!), we're not the fastest, but we're consistent. We turn out times that are within minutes of each other over and over.
Joe Finishing the Race for the team

This race was a good team experience for me and I hope to be able to race with some of these guys next year.

More Photos

24 hours of Landaul 2007

So far so good...

I'm exactly halfway through the 24 hour Landahl race and so far our team is beating our arch rivals from Athens (due to what looks like a major mechanical on lap 4 on their part). But the gap between first and last is less than an hour so this is still any body's race. Follow along live at http://www.grannygear.com/realtime/public/class.php?display_standings_flag=1&class=ME as we (DCMTB/City Bikes) try to win the national title over the Athens Wrecking Crew.


Douthat More Trip.

(all photos by Chris Scott or Steve Riley I forgot my camera!)
I had wanted to do this trip last year, but I wasn’t able to get tickets in time. This year I got extra tickets, and ended up not using any of them cause Bruce and Amy Bailed out and Pat hurt his shoulder(gotta take Pat on some of these trails!).
Ryan and I got started on Friday, we didn’t leave until 3pm which was kind of my fault. We got stuck in the usual traffic, but it wasn’t that bad. We stopped at the big Wal-Mart in Harrisonburg where we picked up some food supplies, and Ryan gave me some hassle because I bought some of those new Fluorescent light bulbs (hey they were a good price and I needed them at home). As we are driving the weather is getting worse the rain is coming down pretty hard at times. We were not looking forward to putting up our tents in the rain. Well we get to the campsite and the rain has stopped which was nice, and we got there before sundown. We drank some beers( actually too many) and hung out with Chris and Rich, and also Steve and Carrie when they got there latter in the night.

Saturday I had planned to do some trail work, in part of doing the work I volunteered to take the Bob up the trail with the tools. I was trying to be all tuff trying to ride fast with the trailer, but I kind of blew up going up this paved road. One we got on the single track I did pretty well and I got up this one longer hill section that I didn’t think I would. My group worked under the guidance of Dan Hudson and we built up a switchback so that you could actually get around it. We had Ryan test it on his 26er, then me on the 29er, and the final test was the 29er with the Bob, I almost made it but the bag got caught in the tire. After working for 4 hours I did a ride with Bryan and Martenez(I might be wrong on the name if you read this let me know) we went down Brushy Hollow and that was fun. We then were going to do the Tobacco house ridge trail to the Blue Suck trail to the Locust Gap trail. Well once we got to Blue Suck I was ahead of the other two guys, and I missed the turn. I waited several times for them, but I figured that I went a different way. So I did this Blue Suck Trail to the top, and boy did it suck! I like climbs but this one was tough, I had to go slow to save energy when I needed it to get over roots,rocks,waterbars. As you can see from the map this trail was steep with all the switch backs. I did get to go on Lookout Rock which has great view, and the Tuscarora overlook as well. I took Stony Run Falls back down and that was a hoot, and then went on the Wilson creek trail back to the camp. So that ride turned into a bit more then I thought I would do, with that climb taking like 45minutes straight. That night we had the pot luck and sat around the fire with most people going to bed early after the long day.(photo Chris Scott)

On Sunday I did a ride with Joe, Mark, Ryan, and Chris.(photo Steve Riley)
It was good having Chris on the ride, since he knows the area. We did Stony Run going up. Chris was leading and I was following him, Chris was pushing me. I was determined to stay on his wheel, and he could have dropped me if we were racing. Once over the top we went out of the park doing the Fore Mountain trail which was fun. We came back on the fire road to this really steep but ridable sandy gap trail. I was able to clear the whole thing which I was proud of. We took Salt Stump back to the camp area. Joe P one fast single speeder!(photo Chris Scott) Mark looking cool(photo Chris Scott)

I really like the riding here, and I think I will be back in April to kick off mountain biking next year.
More Photos taken by chris scott.

Doughthat 2007