The Epic Adventure not Epic Ride.

This ride was to be an Epic ride that we did not know if anyone had done, we were going to do · Liberty Furnace Loopfollowed by Big Schloss Loop. (http://www.more-mtb.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6675)

I did this ride with my Big Bear, 24 Hours of Allamuchy teammates. So we started up liberty furnace which has this killer climb in the beginning, I mean you have gone 1 mile and it feels like you have gone 10! That hill is steep took about 35minutes to get up it(2.5miles). I did better this time then last, I was able to do the ride with only two walking sections. The only issue I had with the bike after I had spent $190 to get it fixed A fork rebuild followed by a new damper in the fork, and had the brakes re-bleed. Greg at Conte’s knows his stuff, but it can be expensive! Scott the owner of Contes was like,”well it is cheaper then a crack habit” was my tube in my tire blew out of the tire which was strange. I put in a new tube and we were off. We got to the start of the Big Schloss Loop and the trail was sweet until we had to hike a bike for like a mile through some sketchy rocks. I was slipping on the rocks in my stiff carbon mt. bike shoes. There was one section where we actually handed down our bikes to one another cause it was too steep to hold your bike and walk. The view was really pretty and then the downhill was nice as well. We then got to Wolg Gap park, and went up that hill, and that one was a pretty good climb almost cleared it, and I think I could next time, cause the last steep part, I didn’t know was the last steep part so I got off to save some energy. We were riding the ridge up there, riding these crazy rocks, that made me thank the gods I ride a dual suspension 29er. Jay was ripping it through these guys and I was holding my own. My stomach was not L I think it was the water we got from the Wolf Gap picnic area, had too much minerals in it. So we stop for a sec and I tell Sid to go in front of me cause I felt like he was breathing down my neck when he was behind me. He is going through the rocks pissed off, and then I hear him fall, and he really hurt himself. The chain ring on his bike made a chainsaw cut. I could see fat inside his calf. We had to get Jay who was way down the trail, he had the first aid kit. So Jay with my help put his wound together and then ace bandaged it, and then duck taped it for good measure. We had to get Sid off the mountain, so Jay and I road ahead and Steve and Sid were behind us. The downhill we had just come up was a sweet one going down, the kind that is long enough that your calves hurt. We were really lucky that there was an older couple in the parking lot who helped us out by taking Jay to the car and Sid to the hospital. Well in the end Sid got fixed up in Reston since the Woodstock hospital had a 4 hour wait. The Reston emergency room gave him 16 staples inside and 8 outside as well as good drugs to deal with the pain. Hopefully he will be ready to ride at Big Bear. So we road a total of 12-14miles took us 2 hours, so no epic ride but a good story. I think we will try to tackle this again sometime, cause this was Jay’s second attempt, and something stopped him this time too. So maybe the third attempt will be the one that actually makes it through the whole thing. Next weekend is the Mt. Bike festival at Stokesville should be a good time!


Wild and Wonderfull

Did a great road ride today I had some rider mates, on the ride I wanted to do this ride, but I needed to get back for a BBQ at my house. The ride has some flatter bits, so I wanted some friends for pacing. The ride has 3/4 major climbs I have a 34 x 26 on my bike it was suppose to be a 36 x 26 but you can't put an aftermarket ring on a shimano compact crank. I already bought the cassette, but today I used it to much effect. I felt pretty good on the ride, I really cranked it up the climbs and I payed the toll for it. I wanted the ride to end when it did . The legs were dead at the end, not as bad as last year where I could barely finish. I had a 18 mph avg so I was happy with that, I felt good on certain parts of the ride so I think I am in a good place in my training/Riding.


Poolesville Road Race 4/5

Poolesville is one of the few local Road Races in the DC area, that
uses real roads, and has 1 mile of gravel per lap. I had been
wanting to do this race for awhile, and I signed up in the first 15
minutes for the Men's 4/5 field and I was able to get in. I pre-road
the course, and I was a little worried about the steep hill into the
right hander to the gravel. OK fast forward to Race-Day I get to the
ride start (will finish soon, comeback)
(OK I'm Back!)
I wasn't able to get too good of a warm up, but I thought I should be fine.
I got to the start and Eric was in the front, and I was kinda forced to the back of the group since I got there late. As we are waiting they were fixing our numbers(which I thought was nice) and I was looking for MattyD I didn't see him anywhere, He finally got there and lined up with me near the back. First thing, I was used to blasting out of the gate like you do in Mt. bike racing, but people just clipped in and started up. So we are going down the road, and I am thinking how am I going to get up to the front with all these people. The course is flat to downhill to the gravel, so everyone was bunched up and people got settled in. I found it funny that I didn't have a problem riding, I was expecting to barely keep up, but I was doing fine with the group. I finally catch up to Eric in front and then we get to the gravel and people slammed on their brakes, but took the gravel corner pretty easy. I got messed up because of someone else's line and did a snow plow move with my front tire to get back on the dirt out of the gravel(messing up Eric behind me.) After the gravel section I see Matt going up the road, and I was OK look at that. Matt got reeled in and then I just worked on staying in the top 15 positions for the rest of the race. I was surprised that no team really took control of the race, I saw the coppi's try something early on, but nothing after that. I think that there could have been some cards to play if a team was able to mobilize. I think the 2nd or 3rd lap the big crash of the day happened. I was like 4 or 5 bike widths away, and I went into some gravel at the side of the road no biggy. I found out later my teammate Eric, was behind the guy who wrecked so he did some concrete gymnastics, he ended up being ok, but was out of the race. Around lap3 Matt came up to me so that was cool having a teammate by me. We talked and I said I might as well do something the next lap even if it fails.
After the first lap people were riding the gravel section single file with a few on the opposite side. I knew I could get some distance on the right had side not many were going over there, with this 3-4 foot puddle. When I came to the gravel corner, I stayed to the inside and got some speed bunny hopped the puddle(go mt. bikes) and then was riding solo, about 15 places down, I knew there was a downhill in there, so I gunned it in on that to see if maybe some of the pure roadies could get shelled I road more then half the gravel section on my own. After the gravel section, I didn't get too much distance on the group so I shut it off and easy peddled waiting for the group. Towards the end I was asking Matt if he had any sprint in his legs he didn't sound too positive(we needed Eric he has some kick). At the end I knew they wouldn't take the turn at full speed. So I decided I was going to do the David Miller flier and see what happens. I got a good jump everyone was yelling, and through the turn I knew someone was on my tail well it was Matt:-) I pushed as hard as I could I would have won if the finish line was 500meters sooner ;-) , Matt took off and he would have had it I think if the race ended 200m sooner. If we had Eric we might have done it, but once people started coming by I let up and coasted in with a 28 place.

A good race, I like road racing, but you need the team to really race. I found the people to be cool and relaxed for the most part, I liked that people would say they were on you inside so you wouldn't get spoked. Will I do another road race this year? I Don't know I think I will.


O'Hill Melt Down

For the weekend of April 29th, most of the DCMTB\City Bikes team was racing the Greenbier UCI rated race, I was representing down in Charlottesville. I was doing a cabin weekend with some friends not far from there so I decided to leave there early on Sunday and do this race. I was not feeling my best, I had some stomach issues I figured I would be OK for the race length. So I get to the race, and the turnout wasn't as large as they usually get(oldest MTB race int he state 17 years) they said. I debated about signing up for expert, but decided to see how I did in this race to see what category I should ride so I signed up for sport. So the Experts went off a minute ahead of us and then we started the race at the bottom of a paved road climb that we would do to get to the trail. I usually can start fast and this kind of start was right up my boat a road hill climb. We start off(I think 20 in the class), and there is one guy in front of me, and I then pass him on the road climb a little bit before I get to the trail. I am off on the trail, I did not pre-ride the trail so I have no clue what the trail was going to bring. I knew from reading on line it was like Fountainhead, and Gambril together, with more steep hills was right on target. So I am doing the course and Passing the female experts, and one or two expert vets. After about 3miles of a 14mile race, I was so anaerobic, I had to let up a little. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep this up for the full race. I had some people on my tail that I let pass, then I passed them later that same lap. I had a guy who was able to get up this steep section behind me, I gave him the trail since it looked like he was going to clear something I didn't. He was going good until he got right level with me, then I heard Hisssss. He flatted so I was still in the lead. I let a guy pass me who was a light guy like 145 he had me on some of the hill sections. There is a Powerline climb that is brutal, in the fact that you can do it, just not in a race. The first lap I made it halfway before dabbing and walking up it. The second lap, I made it 3/4 the way and that made me think that you could clear it if you didn't blow yourself out on the course. So I was thinking that I was in second place, and I saw some guy behind me so I was just thinking I got to keep this position. I passed an expert Vet guy Scott who I was trailing for allot of the race. The last half of the last lap I was trying to catch the 1st place single speed guy. I was pretty shocked at how well he could ride the course with one gear. In the end I kept my 2nd place and was a minute behind first. This was the hardest course I have ever raced on. I think my riding up at Liberty Furnace in the beginning of April helped, with the rocky downhill sections. I also have to be thankful I didn't flat, with all the rocks I was flying over. I would definitely do this race again, just not go out quite as hard in the beginning. The question is if I should race expert at Walnut creek on May 20th, I will look at the expert times and decide.