Visit the website at www.2wheels4hope.com and register! All money from the event will go to benefit Heidi Clayton.
The last race of the year was in Flagstaff last weekend. The course was changed a little due to the amount of snow on the mountain - really, snow in Arizona at the end of May, who would have thought!
Anyway, the race started out fast and I ended up getting a pretty sizeable lead on the field in the first few miles. Well, due to my own poor judgement, I ran a slightly too big of gear and ended up losing some time on the first of the climbs that were in the race. The second place guy caught up and ended up passing me. We rode together for most of the first lap... but he ended p getting a little more time on the climb the second time around so I just let him go... I had a great race and the course was super freaking fun!
After the race, we all put on our "Got Darrin" shirts (Darrin is the coach for www.synaptictraining.us) and looked like a team of sorts!! There were 10-15 or us with the shirts on, all from different teams, but looked like one group... very cool!!
Anyway, time for all the summer races to start up in the next few weeks!!
I arrived at the venue a couple of hours early to get everything set up, prepare for the race, bbut mainly just to hang out and talk to everyone! I spent the first hour and a half catching up with people that I have not seen since the end of the season - then went and rode around for a little while to warm up.
Lining up for the race is always a lot of fun because most of the guys in my class have been racing for a long time... and we all know each other pretty well. Dejay Birtch lined up next to me and we promptly started the normal pre-race banter about not getting enough sleep, lack of training, stuff wrong with bikes, and trying to confuse each other on the course route :)
When the race took off, I did my best to KILL it for the first lap... which was working great for the first 3 miles of the race - I had about a 30 second lead over the rest of the field and was feeling great! Then, out of nowhere there was a loud bang like I hit a rock with a pedal and I went flying off the trail... I gathered myself, got back on the trail and and tried to maintain my lead, however one foot would not clip into the pedal. The chase group caught me and 4 guys passed, however I was not able to clip in. I ended up riding the rest of the race with only one foot clipped into the pedal... which is challenging standing on the little spd platform with cycling shoes!
I ended up catching everyone except Dejay and finished second place, a couple of minutes behind. Even with the issue, it was super fun and I had a great time racing! It felt good to get out there and really hammer on the bike for a couple oof hours. When I inspected the pedal, there was nothing wrong with it.... the cleat on the shoe actually broke in half!! (never befor seen a shimano spd cleat do that!!)
I am looking forward to the next race in a couple of weeks and getting ready for the 24 hours of old Pueblo!!
I raced in the 12 hour solo singlespeed category. This was the first 12 hour race I have completed in a while... so I forgot how hard they are when you do not train properly... I thought I was going to die a few times!
The race started like a normal cross country race... NO RUNNING!!!! (thanks Jeremy). So when the bell went off... we all sprinted for the singletrack. I ended up getting smoked by a 13 or 14 year old that is fast as hell... Tyler Coplea. We rode together for a while, and then I ended up passing him, and we both got passed by a couple of people on teams. My race ended up being pretty non-eventful... just a lot of riding, thinking about everything, and a nice 10+ hours on the bike with a lot of suffering. While doing it I had no idea why I was doing it... but then after a while I just started to feel a lot better and get back into the groove... very cool and I can not wait for the next one.
I ended up with the overall solo 12 hour win... and was able to stop racing a couple of hours early and get ready for the Midnight Vassago Cycles hamburger BBQ!!! We went out and bought a bunch of burgers and invited all the 12 hour races down to hang out for a while, eat, drink beer, and share war stories... very very fun! I think this is something that should be done at all the events!
Tom Stack - What a stud. He did the 24 hour solo race and freaking rocked it. He rode the entire time without any long breaks... had tons of bike issues, rode through all kinds of stuff... and managed to crank out 19 laps for a second place!! I have never seen anyone so happy, and messed up at the same time, as Tom at the end of that race. I see a pro contract in his future.
Also, congrats to Kevin and Mimo for their Duo win. Kevin was on a new Superfly 100 (which he talked about every 3-4 seconds for the entire event) that he just picked up from the bike shop. I had to help decorate it by adding some Titus stickers to the seatstays... he was not amused :)
Anyway, a super fun event and one of my favorites of the year!! Can 't wait for the next one!
I decided to race the series in the SS marathon class... something new for this year. The promoter is a hardcore singlespeeder... so he is always up to challenging us.
The first race was 40+ miles at McDowell park... one of my favorite venues because there is not much climbing!! :) The race started at 7:00... and the geared and SS riders all took off together. Evan... one of my close riding partners... ended up with the holeshot and led for the first few hundred yards of the race (he totally rubbed it in later!!) I managed to pass him on the first climb... but he hung in there for the first couple of laps... just a couple hundred yards back. I was super worried the entire race because I was getting really tired... but everytime I looked back he was still there... I think he's doping :) I ended up with the win, but just by a couple of minutes. It was great race and we pushed really hard for the entire time... something tough to do out of season!
The second race was at my personal favorite course... Estrella!! It is a rocky, snady, twisty, turny nasty race course that a lot of people do not like... so attendance was a little lower. We started off and I ended up with the holeshot... and pushed as hard as I could for the first couple of miles. Then, out of no where... some gy I have never seen before on a SS blew by me like I was standing still... what that hell? Anyway, I did everything I could to keep him in sight the first lap... he was freaking flying and had great tech skills too!! Man, this was going to be a long race!
I ended up passing him on the second lap and just dug in to get as much time as possible... suffering like crazy. I looked back a couple of times and did not see him... so I thought he either had a mechanical, or had blown up finally. I ended up pushing for the rest of the race... had to fix a broken chain, and flatted about 300 yards from the finish (it was pretty cool... I crossed the line on a flat!!), but managed to pull out the win.
Super fun first couple of races in the series... we will see how the next couple go!
Check out the event write up in Mountain Flyer Magazine: http://www.mountainflyer.com/news.cfm?itemid=301
The race started at 7:00 in the morning and it was chilly (well, by AZ standards, it was probably 65 degrees or so!) I warmed up for a few minutes and lined up as close to the front as possible... about 5 or 6 people back. We were all standing there waiting for the start and I was talking to a guy with dreadlocks on a cannondale... and did not even realize it was Garth Prosser! I have never met him in person, but we have talked through facebook... so it was pretty cool later in the day when we figured it out!
The race started and I passed a few people to make sure I was in the front group when we hit the singletrack. The first 10 miles of the race was pretty uneventful... but with a lot of super fun flowy singletrack and a couple of short climbs. I was feeling pretty good and hanging a couple of hundred yards off the back of the first group of Pro riders on geared bikes, and I was the first singlespeeder in the race so I knew that I had to go for it.
About 15 miles into the race there is a long (12 miles long) stretch of flat forest road... a singlespeeders worse nightmare! I decided to gear a little lower than normal because I am not in the best shape and really paid for it. We had a group of about 10-12 geared guys that were hammering in their big rings in a roadie style paceline... and me hanging on the back at 25+ miles an hour doing everything possible to hang on. I knew my main competition in the race climbs a LOT better than I do... but I am a lot faster on dirt roads and downhills... so this was my chance to get a gap. Well, I managed to hang on for about 8 miles before popping... and I popped hard! After I dropped and was out of the draft... my speed dropped drastically and it was everything I could do to ride on flat roads... and there were 30 miles left!
At the end of a road there is about a mile of nasty steep hike a bike... then pretty much downhill and rolling swoopy fast mostly downhill singletrack to the finish (with a few short climbs thrown in) I was having a BLAST!! By that point in the race I was probably sitting about 30th overall... but managed to catch a bunch of the geared guys... and passed a few guys that got lost. The last 30 miles of this course is probably the most fun of any of the endurance races in AZ... just super fast, fun singletrack with a little techy stuff thrown in every now and then.
In the end I managed the SS win by about 20 minutes, and finished 12th or 13th in the overall geared class... so I was super stoked with the result... and after 4 years of 2nd or 3rd at this race it felt really good!
The volunteers... wow!! Everyone really pitched in and made it all happen.
- Kim did a ton of work on all of the logistics... fliers, awards, registration, timing, everything!!! Awesome
- Jeremy from Four peaks racing donated his event setup, then helped us setup and tear everything down!
- Darrin Austin from Jetset magazine brought out his pimp motorhome and box van for us to use for registration and setup.
- Cory Stem - Probably the best announcer any event could ever have!! He kept everything interesting the entire night and we had many comments on him! Thanks Corey!
- Evan Smith - Basically the do everything guy that just jumped in whenever needed!
- Zach and Sarah - Helping out with registration and consuming the free beer!
- Darrin Permentor - Providing the medical service for us...
- Kevin Donnellen - Super duper course marshal extrodanaire!!
- Raymond Papineau - Timing... and backup timing!!!
- Tom Stack - Setup, tear down, timing, course marshal... and fun guy to pick on!
- Steve Houk - Beer meister
We ended up with a little over 150 registered riders, probably 20+ kids, and a lot of other people that just came and hung out!
The kids race ended up being very very cool - we had 20 or so kids that showed up, and I had no idea where they came from. Well, come to find out, some of the parents were surfing the web and came across our website. They were actually parents of kids that had Neuroblastoma cancer but were currently in remission. Very cool to have a couple of kids in the race that could identify what Haven is going through.
The time trial was a big hit and all the racers seemed to have a good time. Jeff Herrera won the pro mens with a super fast time. We also had a lot of beginner and first time racers that showed up... which I consider a big success!!! We even talked a couple of the MTBR guys that ride all the time but never race into doing the time trial... super cool!!
The fun ride was equally fun. We had more people come out to ust ride at night than for the race! Everyone from regular racers to first timers out there on the course tearing it up.
I am very very happy with the result of this race... from a bunch of people that have never really put on an event before, it went very well! Not sure about a follow up event next year, but we will see!!
So, riding home after a Tuesday ride a few weeks ago, someone made the suggestion of doing something for the family. They said, why don't we try to do a charity ride or something. Well, a few phone calls later... we have set up a full blown night time in Phoenix summertime mountain bike time trial and fun ride!! We have a ton of interest from everyone because the trails that we actually received permission to use... have not been open to legally night ride EVER!!!
We have also received a ton of support from different companies and local bike shops. We have items for raffles, beer from Ska Brewery, a sponsoring bike team, volunteers, the coolest awards ever, promoters helping out, a sweet website and flier set up, insurance for the event, and all the proper USCA permits/permission/etc..... holy crud a lot in a couple of weeks!!!
So, visit the event website, sign up on bikereg.org, sign up when you come out to the event, just come out and donate to a good cause!!!
For Havens Sake Website and Registration
I arrived at the race and found Sarah and Zach. Zach was off to do some volunteer work so we hung around the "campfire" ring from the night before and waited for Sarah to get ready for her race. While we were sitting there, a forest ranger pulled up and gave us a hard time about having a fire (even though it was out and there from the night before) He was going to give us tickets for "tending" a campfire... even though it was out and I had just arrived 10 minutes prior! Sarah came to the rescue and talked him out of it!
Sarah Tearing up womens PRO Class!!
The women's race took off a couple of hours before the men's race, so I took pics and handed waterbottles off. During the women's race, there were all kinds of announcements about people that were on the course rerouting it, putting up wires across the trails, and basically doing what they could to derail the race. Some of the locals in Flag do not think the trails should be used for racing... and they were doing what they could to discourage the riders. About half of the women ended up getting lost and were not able to finish... bummer
Somewhere on the course
My race went ok... I had a pretty good lead for the first lap, and flatted my front tire. I got it changed in record time and still had the lead. I am not sure what I did, however about 2 miles from the end I looked back and Scott Countryman was coming up the trail... only about 100 yards back!!! What???? He had a giant gear on his singlespeed and it was almost downhill or flat the entire way back to the finish, so I knew I was in trouble. I did what I could for the rest of the climb and went as fast as I could to the finish to keep him back... but he ended up passing me about 1/2 mile from the end. I have no idea where he came from or how he managed to push that gear for this race... but it was nothing short of spectacular! Scott is 17 years old, been racing in the mens singlespeed classes for a couple of years, and is basically a bad ass... and one of the nicest people that I race with. Man, he is not going to do anything but get faster.... SCARY!!!
After the race we hung out for a while, took some pics, and then just went home. Very fun day on the bike and I can not wait to get back up to Flagg for the next race!
Zach looks like he is FINISHED!!!