Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You know, just kicking it

Riding has been happening of course, but most note-worthy right now is that once again Team Ed took the show on the road to Michigan to contest stop #3 of the NUE 100-mile series last weekend. Once again Ed is such a stud, finishing 11th in the Masters at barely over 10 hours, dholmes rolling the SS super-fast for 7th at 8 and 1/2 hours, and daughter of ED, "little bit" rode SS in open women (on the TEAM ED ss Seven) for 10th place at 10 and 1/2 hours!!! Superbadasssweetdaddyjones!!!!!!!!!! More details as they arrive.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Favorite place, favorite ride

Sunday saw myself and A.J. heading to the mountains of western N.C.-him for a week summer camp near Black Mtn. and me for some type of single-speed, leg-shearing extravaganza. Drop off went smooth, got to hang out, eat lunch and sit by the lake for a couple of hours then it was on to some riding. I had some ideas and with flying solo and not having to be anywhere, I decided to do something I haven't done in awhile. Drove to North Mills River and parked, rode up FR1206 to Yellow Gap, where a funny thing happened. I noticed someone parked there but since I was in head down mode to get up the first little grunt off the road to begin the Laurel Mtn. trail, I didn't look closely at the person getting ready to start their ride. As soon as I got into the woods I heard "hey Gary!" and I was like WTF, I'm in Pisgah and someone knows me? Stopped and hear comes Carlton, a grad-assistant with the UT outdoor program, complete with full-rigid single-speed! He was there to spend a few days camping and riding and said he hadn't ridden in Pisgah before and was planning Laurel Mtn. loop (from the guidebook). I told him that was what I was doing and that he should join me. So, off we went up,up,up and chatted some-I only know him from some dealings at the shop and enjoyed the hard effort to get up to the top.

Once at the top I told him to be careful in that Pilot Rock is the rockiest, steepest, rideable trail in the area. We did stop partway down to enjoy the view and the blooms!

Made it down without any problems, went down 1206, then into Pilot Cove/Slate Rock loop. Hiked some, rode some and made the push up the next ridge to another great viewing area.

Down the next trail, back to 1206 then up to Yellow Gap. I gave Carlton my map of Pisgah, told him all the riding he could ever want was right here and to have fun. Bombed down 1206, but because I'm a moron and didn't think that was quite enough riding, I took a left just before where I had parked and rode up FR5000 towards Trace Ridge. Went up and did a short loop off of the road then back down to end up with 4 1/2 hours of riding for the day! Then it was on to Papa's and Beer-"Dos Equis senor?" "Si, muy grande, por favor!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Laying the smack down

Its coming up on a week since the 12 hour race at Panther Creek (Disc Burner) but words must be said. In the open class "jasons chili" featuring faithful Team Ed members rode their happy single-speeding butts to FIRST place overall. Not only that but KeithD. laid down the fastest lap of the day of anyone with 39 minutes flat!! Superbadasssweetdaddyjones! Jason, "The Hammer", and Bhann rounded out the team-loaded for sure-not loaded like the fast TVB guy, but quite possibly the best 12 hour team that could be assembled. ED rode his single speed in the 6-hour ss class and probably was racing against people half his age came in third-only a few minutes out of second. All this only a week after doing 100 at the Mohican AND being sick all week! Stud-boy for sure! Sounded like a quality event made possible by dholmes and "little bit" (daughter of ED). Great course, plenty of beer, and quality racing in every class-keep up the good work dave!

On another note, the Tuesday speedway smackdown at the Queen has fired up again due in large part to a motion by "The Hammer" and me being able to attend now that baseball for the boy is over. Guest appearances abound but none better than Clark-O (BTW he raced with a team at Panther Creek too-HE's BA-ACK!!)

Even the roadies have decided that some time in the dirt might actually do them some good!

These freakin guys are killing some road racing lately. I just wish the club wasn't paying entry fees back or they would be sporting the beautiful BLACK jersey at crits and what-not.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Finish this up already

The last quarter of the race was highs and lows. Tired legs but an "extra" rest stop as everyone passed by number three again somewhere between four and five. Quick through this one as I figured number five rest stop was supposedly at the 90 mile mark (no need to stop 10 miles from the finsih!). Just after passing rest stop five we went into the woods for the final bit of singletrack. I believe we were in the Mohican state park at this point as the trails were definitely groomed and well-used. Fun up and down, twisty trails rejuvenated the legs partly because of fun, partly because the end was oh so close. Wound around the ridge and began catching some of the 60 milers. They were courteous enough to jump out of the way so I could keep my roll on and I knew that soon the trail would come oh so close to where we had set up camp. I clicked the computer to "mileage" just to see and realized that it read 96 miles just past our tents and thought "oh shit" we are going to go all the way around this F-ing campground just to get 100 in. Sure enough, through the upper reaches of the campground and up this crazy hike-a-bike on what looked like a trail that had been cut the day before, back out the ridge aways, then finally around the outer reaches of the campground to come into the finish area. Crossing the finsih line in these all day events is always good, but even better when they call your name over the speakers then hand you a pint glass. Luckily the beer was close by and I had two in me before I fully realized that I was done. 9 hours, 23 minutes for myself, 9 hours 13 minutes for dholmes, and 10 hours, 27 minutes for the legend ED!

The post-race food was awesome-unlike Cohutta-although the beer ran out pretty quick. Luckily I always have my own. Once we were all settled, cleaned up and such we went down to the pizza place again as they had an adjoining sports bar so we could watch the NBA playoffs. Two pitchers of yellow beer, bacon and cheese fries and a big ride in we were feeling large and in charge. (Cleveland sucked it up and lost of course, much to the locals dismay) Next morning we loaded up, hit the Mickey D's by the interstate for a quick b-fast and the worst excuse for coffee ever. Drove for awhile until almost TN border where fuel was needed both for the race squirrel and ourselves. Killed the hell out of some Subway and came on home. Damn this stuff is fun!

Mohican continued

On from rest stop one, more great singletrack connected by some cool backroads-alot of the one laners are still gravel. I remember someone talking about being on private property to make this giant loop happen and wondered if those trails would be any good. The first real sense of that was heading down a road that said "no outlet" and quickly became someones driveway. Rest stop number two was at someones house basically in the garage!! Good country folk (Ohio-style) as the garage was filled with stuffed deer heads, who built some awesome singletrack on their land. I had caught up with dholmes before this stop (he had crashed) and when we entered the woods I was telling him I thought we had just entered the "dirty south" ride. Looked alot like bhanns work-flowing trail and the sense that you better not stray too far for fear of ending up on the wrong side of the property line! Trail dumped out on the road which lead to more seasoned mountain-bike trail and rest stop number four. I quickly got some stuff and headed off into what would be the longest time mileage wise between stops-24 miles. Endured a flat gravel road by the river, then the worst of the day a flat "trail" which was a rail trail that went on forever! Single-speed hell as I could pedal at about 13 miles an hour and I have never wanted to go uphill so bad in my life. Finally it ended and the course made its way through some more private property that again had amazing singletrack.
(we'll wrap this up later)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Mohican

So, around 5 in the morning thought about getting up with the actual being 5:30. Lots of fog, but the sun was trying to come up and would soon warm up the 50 degree morning. Ate some food, got dressed and we proceeded to ride into town for the race start. No reason to drive as the finish was in the campground and to get to the start only required a couple of mile spin down a greenway to downtown Loudonville. Folks were fired up, the road was blocked off with lots of police escort as the start left town, straight up a hill (for a $250 preem) then out of town to the first of the woods.
The start was fine except unlike Cohutta they started the 100 and the 60 at the same time so that there were upwards of 350 people on the road to begin and when that first hill came the sound of shifters and chains clanging was incredible. Of course going to easier gears means people slow down and I was forced to weave through all kinds of people as I stood up. I was trying to be careful but I clipped someones handlebar and he did the weave and shouted "good thing I didn't panic!" I had to giggle because here we were at the start of a multiple hour day and this guy was probably going to have much more to worry about than some skinny single-speeder barely bumping him. Drama averted, the pavement turned onto a grass doubletrack and then we went into the woods for the first of what was to be many, many more times that day. The first singletrack was fun with lots of up and down and of course the forever train of people that happens when there are this many racers and singletrack so close to the start. In and out of the woods then the real trail started with a 20 mile continuous section of trail through the Mohican state forest. Beautiful trails, perfect dirt, up and down but nothing crazy and the train stayed together. It's pretty neat having that many people in front and behind and everyone is staying smooth and going fast. Rode all this trail which seemed to last forever until rest stop number one at 20ish miles. Quick topping off of water and rolled on. More later, gots to go sell some bicycles.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mohican 100 Race report part one

So, Friday evening none of us wanted whatever unexciting food we brought for dinner, so luckily for us there was a pizza place on the main road right next to the entrance for the campground. Went in and realized the buffet was the way to go (carbo-loading) for me and Dave, while Ed got a large pizza with the plan being half now and half before bed. Went back to the tents and while the weather forecast for Saturday called for no rain, the once sunny skies were looking ominous right around sunset. A little breeze whipped up and sure enough some light rain followed as well as many explitives from the mouth of Ed. Last year it rained something like 3 inches overnight which left the trails quite slippery and Ed didn't like the thought of that happening again. Light rain though, then it stopped, then once in my tent it started and sounded pretty steady. Did some reading and then slept great-must not have rained to hard because there were these under the bikes in the morning-

Oh yeah, the racoons ate the pizza and opened Ed's cooler and ate his bagels. More later......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm just saying....

Sometimes you don't feel like sitting at the computer and doing this. Hell yes we have been riding but just now am I feeling the inspiration flow from the fingers to the keyboard. By now everyone knows that Dirt Sweat and Gears was a disaster. Torrential rains all week left the place a giant mud pit and many, including ED didn't even do one entire lap because the conditions were so bad. Sounds like there was plenty of beer and those that had made the trip at least got to party like rock stars!

Ed's been killing himself regularly during the week by riding more and more-crazy long climb-fests. I really have just tried to maintain what I left Cohutta with in the hopes it would be enough to go do Mohican.

Well, it all fell into place for me to join ED and dholmes for the trip to Ohio to do the next NUE 100 miler. We left K-town and drove through rain near the KY border but soon drove into sunshine and beautiful weather but despite what Ed had told me about how hilly it was and how good the singletrack was, I still had my doubts. Sure enough, about an hour past Columbus when we got off the interstate it got hilly-nothing long but it was shaping up to look like the course would be alot of UP and DOWN. Got to the campground early afternoon and did the tent thing and stayed with the theme of eating all day.

More later........