Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wrapped up

To all those who came and took part in SSMT, allow to take this moment to offer my thanks, for your attitudes, feedback, and willingness to do anything I told you to do. By far this was the largest turnout I've seen of singlespeed racers up here in the Big Sky, and evryone seemed to enjoy themselves. I'll get a full write up on the site over the next few days, and load all of the pictures from the event. The quick results were that Jesse of Red Lodge won the XC portion, Ed from Helena took the hill climb sprint, and Sam from Wisconson won the Little Debbie decider. Here is Sam showing of his "medal". Once again a huge thanks to the Muleterro crew for making the day run smoothly, and the folks over at Surly, Drunkcyclist, and Hellgate Cyclery for hooking me up with goodies to give away.
Checkout the write up for day of mountain bike racing over at the Bozeman Chronicle.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Race Info

Nothing more than annoying than posting things like logistical information rather than just spewing my random thoughts through a keyboard out to the web.  Regardless working through annoying tasks is just part of life, so here it is.  I'm going to deal with this in the five stage plan of WHO/WHAT/WHEN/WHERE/HOW/EXTRA, and hopefully get all the relevant information out there.  

WHAT: SingleSpeed Montana

WHO: I'm in charge of the race with some help from the Muleterro Gang.  

WHEN: Saturday August 29, 2009

WHERE: Leverich Canyon on the outskirts of Bozeman, MT

HOW: The race is going to start about eight and a half miles up Hyalite Canyon Road (something like a half hour drive from Bozeman).  To get there follow these simple steps:
1.) Drive South on Hyalite Canyon Rd for about 5.6 miles
2.) Hang a left (heading east) onto FS 3159
3.) When you come to a fork in the road (6.2 miles into your journey), stay to the left
4.) At your next fork in the road (6.4 miles in), stay to the right
5.) At the next junction (8.1 miles) go to the left

The road is a gravel road, so be sure to leave the tricked out Cadillac with no ground clearance at home.  The road will be marked, and there will be parking at the start finish area, however try to carpool with a friend because parking will be tight.  Depending on his hangover Cory Hardy will be on hand to provide valet services (bow tie and all).  Please tip him so he can raise money to get a proper haircut.  Here is a link to a map google of how to get the start finish area.   

EXTRA: Please be ready to have some fun and deal with some shennanigans.  This is the first race I will be attempting to put on, so I'm sure there will be some bumps along the road on the day of.  If issue pop up, they will be dealt with as quickly as possibly.  For those who show up and partake in the fun, I have a feeling you wont be leaving with a bitter taste in your mouth.  If you have any extra questions feel free to email me and ask.  Finally I would like to thank all of the folks who have helped me along the way.  Mainly, Surly and Drunkcyclist, who are sponsoring the "Good Times Award", and the picture below should give you some insight to what is involved in earning this award.  


Monday, August 17, 2009

News and Info

Things are starting to come together.  I had a pleasant chit chat with Eric over at the Muleterro fort this evening, and it seems like everything as far as the venue has been finalized (I will post directions and other venue related information later this week).  Anyway if anyone is interested in pre-registering here is the link, if not feel free to just show up, it will work out all the same.  The website doesnt have a proper singlespeed class, so just sign up for whatever your usual mtb class is, and then on race day, the proper classification will be taken care of.  

I took care of "making" the grand prizes Sunday morning, and all I can say is BLING.  To victors will go the spoils, and by spoils I mean a medal that is larger than most dinner plates, and is completely unique to this event.  Just be totally prepared to earn it, remember a two parts bike, one part not bike battle royale will determine the winner.  There will be plenty of singlespeedy aspects to the race, like the choose your own adventure portion, "aid" stations, and a hill climb where minor cheating may be encouraged.  

Additionally Big Jonny and Homie Gnomie down at Drunkcyclist  sent some goods up this way for participants.  Gnome was kind enough to include his own stamp of approval for the event with a yellow post it note that simply said "F$*k Yea".  Jonny didn't include a not probably because he is still pissed about the Eagles signing Michael Vick, and that my Giants gets to potentially beat the crap out of him one two seperate occasions. 

For anyone who is interested the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance, is holding a big festival this weekend down in Lima, MT.  From the looks of things it should be a big party with tons of riding on high end trail, tasty food, booze, and tunes.  All that should be enough to get plenty of people down there, but to boot this is the organization that is doing a bunch to help mountain biking in the state, so the trip down to Lima might be well worth it.   


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pierre's Hole not race report, and some thoughts

The report for the Pierre’s Hole 100 is going to be really quick, mainly due to the fact that I never even made it to the start line.  Car troubles on the way down led to spending a night in Rexburg, ID hoping that the one tire/muffler in town which would be open on Saturday could tell me what was wrong with the car.  The night was rough due to the fact that Rexburg is basically BYU North, and the booze I desperately wanted was tough to come by.  When I saw part from the car getting loaded into the back of my car, I scraped my plans at least try to make it to Grand Targhee for some riding.  For one reason or another the karma gods were pissed at me, and as I drove up Monida Pass, the car came to a sputtering stop on the side of the road.  With a little help from the tow truck driver, I got my car back on the road and limped back to Missoula with my tail between my legs.  That’s all I got for the race report, and now its time to focus on SSMT, the grand prizes came in the mail yesterday, so I’ll need to add all the bells and whistles to them.  I’ll get up some proper directions and information up soon enough that I think folks might care about.   

On another note, the Big Texan laid down the hurt over at Leadville yesterday.  From what I read, it looked like the folks at Trek were putting together a team of folks to be Lance's worker bees for the day and destroy the field.  Now I've never done Leadville, so in no way do I qualify as an expert about the race, but I do wonder if Leadville basically become a road race.  It is especially screwed up due to the fact that it looks like Lance's worker bees got added to the start list at the last minute.  I have always felt that mountain bike races for the most part are a giant time trial, sure there is strategy in trying to figure out where to throw down and extra effort to distance yourself from other racers, but when all is said and done your legs not your strategy will be the bigger factor.  Despite my opinions about Lance's road resume, going under 6.5 hours for a 100 mile mtb race is just nasty, but I'd be more impressed if he went out an won it in the style that Weins did for the previous six years.  I just hope this is something which will be specific to Leadville, Roid Landis may be a disgrace to the cycling world, but at least when he showed up at the NUE races he didnt bring a posse with him to ride tempt.  And with that, I will be careful as I slowly dismount from my high horse.  

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Little 100 mile mtb race for good measure

No way around this one, I'm an idiot plain and simple.  For any sane person who has been riding since March, and just came off a huge block of racing, a long chunk of rest time would be in order.  I hadn't planned on anything in between Laramie and Dakota, which would have given me a solid month or so off from racing.  Instead I came across the Pierre's Hole 100 this weekend down at Grand Targhee.  Dejay and I were bullshitting back and forth last night, swapping race plans for the weekend, when he told me that Pierre's Hole was being referred to by some as the poor man's Leadville.  I'm fine with that, especially because driving to Colorado takes a long time, and has forced me to drive across the Crow Res more times than I have wanted to this year.  Anyway, instead of a weekend off, I get to look forward to 100 miles of mountain biking with something like 13,000 feet of total climbing.  Not sure what to expect especially with my motivation to ride being at an all time low for 09, and that I havent done a 100 mile race yet this year.  I got a feeling this race is going to destroy me physically, which will force me to really just focus on putting together the final touches for SSMT, which is just over 2 weeks away.  I've heard from people, that there is some chatter about it going on, which is good.  So yeah two more days of bike riding, followed by two weeks of race preperation, maybe I'll be able to figure out how to bring it all together by the 29th.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Help a Brotha and Sista Out

Last week I wrote about how Heather Holmes, Harlan Price, Pua Sawicki, and Jeremiah Bishop were selected to race for the US at Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, but had to pay their way to get there. Well in the case of Holmes and Harlan (the ones who have full time gigs on top of racing), their friends and sponsors have come up with ways to help fund their trips.

In Holmes’ case, Rev over at The Church of The Big Ring is having a blowout sale of all his merchandise, with ALL of the proceeds going to Holmes’ trip. Head on over, and in prep for cross season get yourself some motivation with a "HTFU" t-shirt.

To help Harlan’s cause the good folks over at CycleOps have donated a trainer which will be raffled off. The tickets are cheap, the prize is quality. and you will be helping out a guy who puts a ton of effort towards racing and riding. Even though Harlan lives out in Philly and is therefore my mortal enemy by default, head on over, and throw your name in the hat to win some high end bike stuff.

So if you have the spare money, head to the sites and buy some merch or raffle tickets to help out a good cause.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Laramie Enduro Report

The experience surrounding The Laramie Enduro started Thursday night with a drive to Red Lodge to spend the night at Jen’s place. The long weekend got started off right with a house party, good tunes, tasty beer, and capped off with late night drunken baking. Jen was kind enough to whip me up a batch of delicious Bridger cookies, chock full of goodness and topped off with icing, for the road (a quick side note, I’ve determined the best friend to have are the ones who are good at baking, or fixing medical problems). Friday was an uneventful, yet quick drive through the middle of Wyoming to get to Laramie. Due to the fact that momma, poppa, and sister were coming to town for the race weekend, I would have the luxury of staying at a hotel as opposed to the tent. I went to check in for the race, then prepped all the food and drink I would need for the race, all while the family was enjoying a tour of the New Belgium brewery. My sister drank in only a manner that someone with a jesusit education can drink, but eventually made it to town, brining a massive rain storm with them. As many racers ate dinner, we all were wondering what all the rain would do to the course, and I was beyond delighted that I wasn’t struggling to stay dry in my crappy tent.

The morning came, breakfast was consumed, chamois were buttered, and I made it to the race site with enough time to sign in, do a once over of the bike, and get to the start (who needs to warm up for a 71 mile mtb race?). The pros and singlespeeders were called to the line, and I took a spot on the outside behind Mr. 24, and next to Sonya. The gun went off, and with that the mad dash up the gravel road to the singletrack was underway. I made it to the singletrack in a reasonable position, and then managed to move up a couple places. The first portion of singletrack was still nice and sticky do the previous nights rain, but not slippery. From here, the course was a long section of dirt roads, which included a stretch with a gradual descent that will make any singlespeeder shake their fist. During this stretch Dave Wilson and I let a bunch of geared folk go storming by, joking about how we thought they would blow themselves up by the third hour of the race. The course would alternate between exposed dirt roads and tight technical singletrack. One highlight was when four of us singlespeeders got the singletrack behind a row of geared folks, then proceded to pass and drop them like flys once the gradient increased. On top of that there was singletrack that cut through cow pastures just like on the Rapelje course. While I heard other people bitch about this, I could only smile knowing that while the trail might be rough, at least we didn’t have to ride it for 24 hours.

By the time I made it to the third aid station I was sitting in second place, and saw another singlespeeder pull up right as I was leaving. The next section of course included a stair step style climb, a terrible headwind, waist deep water crossings, and several people making wrong turns. As I passed through the fourth aid station, me and the other singlespeeder were riding side by side. In between the fourth and fifth aid station I felt like I was losing a bit on my power on the climbs, I lost a water bottle full of Gatorade, got both my front wheel and my left leg stuck in a mud/cow shit bog, and my stomach started to disagree with me. I kept moving forward hoping not to be losing too much time to whoever was chasing me in fourth. As I pulled closer and closer to the fifth aid station, my stomach told me that it had had enough, resulting in a pit stop on the side of the trail. I got back on the bike and with eight miles to go, Dave Wilson came by full of pep, fulfilling his goal to “finish strong”. The last eight miles included a brutally steep singletrack climb, followed by a technical descent. I lost one more place on the climb, and wound up finishing 5th in the singlespeed, and had to throw down a final sprinit to hang onto 24th place overall.

Turns out third, fourth, and fifth place were only separated by about three minutes, which is pretty impressive for a nearly six hour effort. At the end, the family was there to congratulate me, and offer words of support. The post race spread the organizers put together almost made me cry, pizza, cookies, chips, fruit, pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, and beer filled up the belly. I took some time to chat with fellow racers, before heading out early to spend some time with the family. Family time was delightful, yet too short, and with the morning I was forced back onto the road for the drive home.  

Pros and Singlespeeders at the start, I look like I'm praying, which in my mind counts as going to church

At only one second into the race, I accept the pain I will be enduring for the next six hours

Being forced to spring by some a-hole with gears

That guy had nothing on me

Monday, August 3, 2009

Quick Laramie and some Ways to Waste your Time

Once I get some photos from the Laramie Enduro I'll go ahead and get a full post up. All I have to say is that in retrospect I am EXTREMELY happy that I got off the wait list, and had the chance to participate in the race. All aspects that go to making a great mountain bike race were taken care of, and I cannot thank Richard Vincent enough for putting together a great race. I wound up fifth place in the singlespeed, and 24th overall, so nothing to be too pissed about that. Also considering that I got to spend time with the family, I don't think I could ask for more in a race weekend. In the last week a lot has been going on up here in MT and other parts.

On the SSMT front, Hellgate Dave has been kind enough to offer some sponsorship, so if you are ever in Missoula and need some work done on your bike by one of the best mechanics around, stop in at Hellgate Cyclery.

Mr. MTCX and the rest of the NRO gang did a bang up job of putting on the ZooTown Throwdown on Sunday. I tried to make it back to Missoula in time to get to watch some portion of the final race, but I think my car could have handled going 90 mph. I will say that the post race gathering at Sean Kelly's was great.

Finally it seems like Missoula's finest photographer has been rather busy these past weeks between getting photos of the ZooTown Throwdown, and the Rapha Continental Crew. Check out the photos, you wont regret it.