12 October 2012

Hold My Beer And Watch This Shit*

*Title shamelessly stolen from the Burnin women's team of Cash, Hill, and Holtmann. Crush it chicks!!

All of a sudden, AR season is over for me. Bam! That was fast and furious. I've got a couple different options in the works for the Bonk Hard Castlewood 8hr but no more big out-of-town races are on my schedule. A whole bunch of my friends are duking it out this weekend in the Catskills at USARA Nationals, but instead I'll be riding laps (plural) at Council Bluff (singular). Oh yes, reader, the time has come for me to redeem myself from one of the darkest days in mountain biking memory...Burnin at the Bluff 2010.
Pre-race, 2010. Photo by Stephen Venters.
The event started out with all positive signs. I was teamed up with some super-fast, super-nice dudes on a coed 12hr team. I got a ride down to the race, set up camp in a primo spot, and enjoyed an awesome campfire with some awesome people. Race morning, mass start, Todd rides a great lap putting us in 2nd place among coed teams, then John rides a great lap putting us in 1st place among coed teams, then it's my turn. I hadn't ridden hardly any of the trail beforehand but I was confident that my 29er could handle anything. It's just a 13 mile loop...13 miles is NOTHING. I got this.

So John finishes up his lap and comes into the exchange zone absolutely hammering. I am inspired by his effort and take off down the gravel road leading to the singletrack. I'm riding jazzed out of my mind, and suddenly my bike gets away from me on a slight downhill and I crash into a tree, hard. The tree stops me from falling over but my helmet takes most of the impact. Ouch. Let's take it a little easier, shall we?
Theme for the day.
Shaken but undeterred, I continue on down the trail and maybe 2 miles later I start to feel some squishiness happening in my rear tire. That's weird, last time I checked I was riding a hardtail. I keep riding and sure enough, my rim is bottoming out and I have a flat. OK, no big deal, just change this thing and keep going. The change goes well enough, not super speedy but not slow, and I am riding again. But not a 1/2 mile later and the new tube goes flat. What! Evidently the tube I put in had a hole in it as well. And that was the only one I was carrying. I'll save you the gory details...I ended up begging for extra tubes from other racers and changed about 4 or 5 flats on my FIRST LAP. My second lap was much "better"...only 2 flats. Or maybe it was just 1, I can't quite remember, anyway the day did not go as planned and I was the weak link on the team. We ended up 4th on the day.
Todd, me, John at the amazors afterparty!! Photo by Stephen Venters.
October 2011 I was deep in triathlon mode so did not get to return to Burnin.

Now it's 2012, I've spent a lot more time on my mountain bike (still the same one as 2010, an older Gary Fisher aluminum hardtail...it's heavy!) and even done some training rides (and races) at Council Bluff. I got a few invites to race with teams but turned each one down...this year is about redemption. I'm racing the 6hr solo and have a big hairy audacious goal for myself. It's gonna take some setting the gearshift to the high gear of my soul, but I'm excited for the challenge. And after my 6+ hours of sweet singletrack are over, I'm ready to kick it with Pfoodman Racing and the rest of the STL mtb scene. And hopefully get some updates from USARA and FPC's big race in Kona.
BTEpic Tour 2009, the year of all the flooding. 
Two weeks later, I've got another date with the dirt in the form of the Berryman Trail Epic. That's gonna be another fun time, and since race day is curiously close to Halloween, it gives me a great opportunity to race in costume. Any ideas??? Pin It

1 comment:

  1. That many flats would do me in...or eventually teach me to be faster changing a tire, I guess. Not a huge fan on CB (bc I'm a wimp), so this is one race I feel NO pain sitting out of. Have a great time!