Tuesday, May 27, 2008

long memorial weekend

The weekend is finally over and I'm back to work. This is my first blog posting from my phone...I guess people call it moblogging or mlogging. that all sounds weak.... I'm working a session and have time to kill but can't use my laptop....this seems like a good alternative.

I was in Paducah this weekend selling jewelry with Freshie & Zero. The weather was perfect but the show attendence wasn't what it was last year. Lots of possible reasons but it's hard to not think gas prices and less disposable income aren't big reasons. This show draws a lot of out of towners to Paducah and $d a gallon probably kept many away.

I enjoyed a lot of quality time with Beth and we got to stay in a 100 year old house in a railroad style apt. We got back to Nashville just in time to head over to Mannondale's pre-Memorial bash. He threw a great party with some fresbee 500, large and long dogs, beers and good friends. Gonna miss Mannondale when he officially leaves town.

Hawt Mike mentioned a group from Wood N Wave was going to ride Hammy Monday morning and I was psyched to join in. I hadn't ridden Hammy since like Nov so I was overdue. The weather was threatening in the morning but I felt optimistic and left for the trail anyways. quick call to Mike comfirmed the ride was gonna happen. We waited a bit for the WoodnWave crew but thought they would bail due to the rain. (turns out we just had the start time wrong).

The sky cleared up and the temperature rose quickly. Mike and I rode a leasurely pace and previewed the race loop in the correct clockwise direction. ahhh sweet Hammy, oh how I'd missed you. I really enjoyed the trail and my legs were feeling great on the SS, even after a week off the bike.

I was looking for a few more miles and Mike was all in until he noticed he had a flat. This was after a front tube ejecting out of his tire, a pedal clip face plant and a stem condition check so he was not in the tube changing mod.

I rolled another short loop alone and then added a few more miles looking for my multitool. I really need to come up with a new method of carrying stuff on the bike, sans camelback. This is two riders where my saddlebag has opened mid ride.

(so I found out the limit of blogging by phone. I have a text maximum... guess I need to be less longwinded when using my phone.)

So ride at Hammy=good. Trail was in great shape and Mike was great company. You could read all about his take on the ride if he updated his blog. He seems to think his life isn't exciting enough to blog.... yea, well, I'd say most people who have a blog feel that way.

Looking forward to heading to Asheville this weekend to celebrate with JutRut. Beth is heading to Disney World tomorrow so I'm bachin' it the rest of the week. What better weekend than riding in Pisgah?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Montgomery, Monty, Monkey

So this past Sunday was the TBRA series race held at Montgomery Bell State Park. I didn't have plans in advance to race, but kept the decision a late one. I just kept it in the back of my mind as something to do if my schedule allowed. I still have memories of the race last year and how hot everyone said it was,

photo credit: James Weeks
people being dehydrated and having cramping issues and suffering through the tough course. Monty Bell is challenging for me to ride so racing it has always seemed daunting.

After riding all day in the Tour De Chamois (Nash) with the Yazoo boys I was actually feeling pretty pepped to race. Some would say taking 7 days off then riding 55 miles Sat and racing Sunday isn't a good idea. Well people say many things and I'll admit I had the fleeting thought that it was dumb. But hey, my schedule allowed it and I wanted to do it. It also gave me a great ready-to-use excuse for a poor race....."Did you ride 50 miles yesterday?"

So up early once again (sleep is for sissys) and got the truck loaded and out the door with coffee. Carb loading at the tap room crossed the line into hangover territory so I wasn't feeling so fresh. It was nice to get to the trailhead with ample time to socialize and get my gear together and my food/hydration sorted out. Finally remembered to take the Sport Legs before the legs started pushing hard. This will turn out to be my saving grace. SSers were set to start the day of racing so we line up and they sent us off shortly after 9am.

They cut a new entrance to avoid the hard turn so we're into singletrack almost immediately and getting settled in. For once I feel ok where I am and am not falling back immediately. I actually passed someone after about 2 miles. Course I was passed by everyone and their moms in the geared sport classes behind us. Starting early is great for the fast SSers, us slow guys get passed a lot.

I tried my best to push the pace where I could and recover whenever possible. My legs felt tired, but not spent. I felt pretty good for most of the first lap though I was sweating like it was 100 degrees. Really it was more like 75 with about 90 percent humidity.... you could tell the rain was coming. I tried my best to stay hydrated and I was feeling great on the fuel standpoint. This was my first race with only water bottles and it was proving a bit difficult for me to get enough fluid without slowing down to drink.

After pushing hard up the long pine needle climb I took some time to recover and drink. I suffered through some of the climbs in the Yellow section and really started wondering how I was going to bust out a second lap. After climbing back out towards the finish line area to start my second lap I gained some momentum. One of my DSG teammate's son was at the finish line and called out to me, "Way to go Mr. Greg!" wow... what a boost! I mean first off, I always try to look like I'm not suffering too bad when riding by the crowd, but when Jacob cheered me on (who's around 12) I go a new pep in my step and rolling right into my second lap. Took the opportunity for a gel and fluids during the next 1/4 mile and then tried to push the pace back up.

Second lap kinda went by as a blur as it generally does. I'm new to racing but I'm starting to see a trend for me in these two lap races. I push hard the first lap, and always have the worry of blowing up too early. Then I start worrying about if I can even ride a second lap when I am really suffering. Then the second lap comes and goes and all the sudden I'm a few miles from the finish and thinking that I don't want to leave anything on the trail and I push it til the end. TBRA racing in a nutshell for me. I do remember it cooling down and then starting to rain in the 2nd lap. That also raised my spirits... I had the thought "yea, this is real mountain biking pushing hard, riding in the woods and the surprise rain storm."

I had a clean race with no mechanical issues and no crashes. I did pivot around a left turn while leaning on a tree and gotta bruise from that but no lasting damage. The race was run very well and went off very smooth. Swag bags were filled with gel and a t shirt and they provided free food for everyone! Top notch! The course was labeled beautifully and allowed you to really ride 'dumb' and worry only about what's coming right up and not where to go. I did almost go off course in a moment of weakness at the top of Tommy's Revenge. Since I've ridden this trail a lot, but didn't do a preride of the course, my bike kinda went on autopilot at the top of the climb and I turned the corner and rode right under the red tape. I immediately had a "what the ..." moment and got off and turned around. It made me laugh...the bike was on autopilot.

But back on the race organizers. Bravo guys! Great job and thanks for the quick posting of results! Thanks for finding my lost saddlebag contents too.

I didn't take any pictures during the day and very few have been posted thus far. You can view a few here: NMB Pic Thread

Edit: Late picture additions....

James Weeks was on hand during the race shooting awesome pictures of all the racers. You can view the lot of them on his photography website: James Weeks Photography

photo credit: James Weeks

Jeff Scott pushing through the finish line

photo credit: James Weeks

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another weekend full of riding

Monday morning came early after this weekend, but thankfully I'm working from home so I can avoid actually having to be a truly functioning member of society just yet. blog time....

Saturday morning the alarm went off early again. This time an hour later than my departure for bike to work day but still early at 5:15am. Thad and Scott M were on their way to my house by bike to meet up and continue on riding to Titan stadium for the annual Tour De Nash. After a brief stop at Troy's, we downed some coffee, tried to get his Eno freewheel removed and then headed on towards downtown. The day was shaping up to be beautiful and already warming up quickly. There were already a ton of people at the start/finish area and the DJ was spinning the tunes. We socialized for a while and tried to figure out the plan for leading the rides. Team Yazoo was set to lead the 50, 27 and 12 mile routes so we needed que sheets and instructions. I was in charge of the 27 and Thad the 12 and John E the 50.

They announced where each ride would line up and people were getting organized. It was apparent this was a HUGE ride and a ton of people came out! (estimated 1800) I snapped some quick photos of everyone lined up. Eddie George gave a great pep talk and told the riders to think about possible bike routes they could take to work while riding the Tour. With gas prices so high he was the only one to tie in the ride with a more continual commitment to bike riding and less driving. They sent the 50 milers off after the speeches and sent each lower mileage group right after the other.

After about 500 yards it was clear that I wasn't leading anything and didn't really serve much of the purpose I thought I would. I was riding a decent, steady pace but was still slowly overtaking some of the riders at the back of the 50 mile group and some of the 27 milers were riding by me wanting to go faster. All the riders intermingled immediately and I just settled in and enjoyed the ride. I kept an eye out for riders with flats or mechanicals and tried to help them. I had to stop and direct traffic for a bit right before the route went into the greenway system. There was one last left turn that was marked on the pavement, but was easy to miss. I almost missed it and many riders in front of me missed it and had to double back so I just decided to hang at the turn and show the way.

After riding alone through most of the greenway, Thad called to say they were done with the ride and would wait for me before heading to see Sharpie at the rest stop he was sponsoring. They had passed me when I was directing traffic and I never caught back up. I met up with a friend from NMB pulling his son and riding with his wife whom I hadn't talked to in ages. I ended up riding the rest of the way back to the stadium with them. It was a lot of fun and there was some great scenery on the route. After rejoining with Thad, Scott and Troy, we rode to Metro Center to visit Sharpie. He had all his Swiftwick gear out and was sponsoring a rest stop on the 50 mile route. He had a smörgåsbords (gotta love spell check) of food and drinks and was passing on the good word about his magic socks.

After hanging for a while we decided to ride back to Green Hills to get Scott home in time to visit his family and Troy wanted to go pick up some garage sale specials he'd purchased during the tour. Yea, Troy's lucky! He spotted three 5 gallon brewing kettles (carboys) during the ride and immediately veered off and purchased them for $5 each. When he drove back to the east side to pick them up, he spotted two panniers for sale for $5 also and snatched them up too! I still don't know how he saw this garage sale while riding. I rode right by it... clearly I wasn't paying much attention.

We hit the brewery store and also got some great Greek food and then headed back to Troy's place to get back on our bikes. We had plans to ride to the Yazoo tap room but it didn't open until 2pm so we had to run errands and kill a few hours first. Now it was after 2pm so we suited back up and rode back downtown. The usual tap room experience was had until Troy said he was going to try to get on the brewery tour that was about to start. I quickly jumped in also and Thad and Dan followed suit. This was one of the highlights of the day. We learned all about how they make beer, saw how small of a room they make all the Yazoo in, realized how hot it gets in there and enjoyed free 1/2 pints of Pale, Dos Peros and Hef. It was grand! Troy was googley-eyed the whole tour, soaking it all in and getting tips on making better home brew.

After the tour we all really wanted some Yazoo ESB. Brian at Yazoo accidentally teased us into thinking they were putting it on tap again but we misunderstood him. We thought about what places in town might have it on tap and decided the Brewhouse on 21st probably had it. We were on a mission now so we set off in search of ESB. Got to the Brewhouse and all ordered it and heard the bad news from our waitress...no Yazoo ESB. hmmm well 2 Sierra Nevada ESBs, and a Redhook ESB were ordered as well as dinner..... hot wings, hot red beans and rice and two big piles of tortilla, chicken, cheese and more liquid cheese on top. We were all pretty buzzed at this point so laughs abounded and tears flowed. Troy and Thad learned they eat 'too hard' and had to get new forks and I killed everyone with Mojo wings.

Somehow we managed to stay out til 7:30pm before we started to ride back to Troy's. I didn't have front lights and had actually turned them down from Troy before we left his place for the brewery thinking "There's no way we'll be out past dark, it's 2:30pm". Well Thad and I rolled through the back roads of Green Hills at dusk and I pulled into Georgetown condos right as it was really getting dark. Thad had a lonely ride back to the farm but made it in record time... sorry buddy! At least you were well hydrated!

All in all it was a fantastic day outside, riding bikes, hanging with friends and meeting new folks. Props to everyone who helped organize the Tour De Nash. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Props to Sharpie for sponsoring a slamming rest stop and killing everyone with his witty humor. Props to the Yazoo boys who helped lead rides and who rode with us all day, and to Scott M (sorry for your long ride home!)

Here are some more pics for your enjoyment. I know some peeps don't like to read and just look at the colorful images. (All of my photos can be viewed here: Tour De Nash/Yazoo photos

My buddy Ron on the Greenway, pulling his son

There are hidden growlers at the Brewery

Someone forgot their Walz cap, and someone is happy about it.

The fleet of bikes of people drinking responsibly

The Therminator.... not sure what it does, but Wort goes in and Water comes out..... hmmmm

Saturday, May 10, 2008

week of riding in review

I didn't have a lot of engineering work this week so I tried to pedal as much as I could. I wanted to take advantage of the free days so when it's nice out and I'm at work, the sting of not riding isn't so hard.

I took sunday off as I could barely walk with some calve cramps from DSG. I ran errands by bike on monday and got in about 15 miles. It was fun to hit up Kroger for groceries with the chrome bag and then head into town to drop off a hard drive and microphone at a studio, all by bike.

Tuesday came around and Reed and Ricky D were planning a night lap out at Lock4. This was Ricky's 'vacation' from Hawaii and he was trying to fit in as much riding as he could. He'd never ridden at night and I hadn't ridden Lock4 in a while so I was excited. I left a bit early to get a lap in before the other guys showed up. I had a new Chris King rear wheel to try out on the Soma and I just wanted to ride as much dirt as I could fit in. This first lap was awesome! I felt great, I had some tunes going, the King wheel was working flawlessly and I was wiping through the woods. I was running my usual 32x17 but it felt easier than usual. I guess I had some strength built up from DSG to let out. Once Reed and Ricky showed up we donned our lights and went back out. Night riding is always fun and makes the same ole trail a new experience. This lap was more relaxed than my first and my gearing was feeling more like 32x17 usually does. I didn't have the same spark I started with, but I enjoyed another great lap and Reed and Ricky were great riding partners. Reed was riding his brand new autographed Gary Fisher Rig he recent purchased from a DSG raffle winner. After the loop Ricky decided he wanted to save some legs for the next days excursion to Raccoon Mtn so we went off to dinner at the crack(er barrell).

I decided last minute to jump on the bandwagon for the Raccoon Mtn trip and I met up with the NMB crew down in Murfreesboro at 7:30. Reed convinced me to bring my 'big bike' Ventana with gears since he was bringing his Moment and Tim was riding his Uzzi. I toyed with bringing the Soma, but finally I decided... "sure, no problem I thought. I wouldn't want to be the only one on my SS anyways...." Wrong decision number 1. I had it all justified in my head. The Ventana was running well post DSG mud. It was somewhat clean with a clean drivetrain. This would be a fun leasurely ride around Raccoon Mtn. Well after a few miles of playing around the rocks, we were making headway on the 16 mile loop. We were all enjoying ourselves. Sessioning sections over and over and taking lots of pictures. Then I start getting some gear jumping. crap! I check out my hanger (the only thing I ever have trouble with gear wise) and it looks tweaked a little. I bend it back out and it works fine for another mile. Crisis averted (I thought). The mis shifts come back and worse than before. I get off, fix hanger, ride a bit, get off, fix hanger. This is getting old FAST! Carl, from Sun and Ski, is riding with us and helps me with my derailleur. It's beyond fixing I tell him. My hanger is tweaked and one of the two screws that holds it in is stripped so it's not really that it's bent a little, it's that it won't stay in one place and is moving as I ride. Luckily after this last stare at the drivetrain and will it to work, I find a gear that gives me the straightest chainline. I ride without shifting for the next mile with no issues at all. Ok, I'm good... I'll just ride this singlespeed for the rest of the trail. It wasn't that bad, even with the added weight and squishy platform. I had a few hills to grunt up but I made them all without dismounting. I finally come the realization that this is the 3rd (maybe 4th) time I've gone on a bike trip somewhere, brought my Ventana, and either had issues, or just wanted to be riding my singlespeed instead. I decided change was in order. My mind churned the entire ride home and is still whirling with ideas. Pretty sure I'll be selling my Ventana, keeping the select parts I want and (hopefully) buying a new single speed frame. Not sure if I'll keep the Soma. We'll have to see what my budget ends up like and what I can get for the Ventana. Prepare for a few posts about frame options, builders, materials and the like. The bug is deeply set and the research has begun.

Yesterday was Walk/Bike Nashville's Bike to Work day. Thad was organizing a delivery of donuts and coffee to Harpeth Bikes in Franklin and I offered to help with the delivery. Delivery by bike that is. Sure we could drive the lot over to the bike shop, but where is the fun in that, and it IS Bike to Work day. I rolled out early, real early like 5am, to the farm. It was awesome to be out when it is so serene and the sun wasn't up yet. After leaving a bit late and misjudging the commute a bit, I show up at the farm about 15 minutes later than expected. The sky is ominous and they are calling for storms later so plans change a bit. Thad's concerned he over ordered at Dunken Donuts and that we won't fit the cargo in the bob trailer and rack he has. We decide to drive to Dunken and then leave the truck at work and ride from there if we can. We ended up having no trouble at all getting all the donuts and coffee packed between our two bikes. The bob trailer hooked up the crosscheck nicely and Thad mounted a 10 cup coffee box to his rear rack and we were off towards the bike shop. After getting everything setup and hanging with Henry for a half hour we started to realize that people weren't coming by. We ended up with 2 guys biking to work and H came by to visit. At least the 2 guys who did come were truly biking to work, as they do everyday, and just happened to come by, not knowing anything about the 'event'.

It was fun hanging at the shop for a few hours though. Thad spent forever working on custom paint jobs for a Serotta he'll never get. I did some new frame drooling online, and we both watched Henry start a custom fitting for a customer, all the while eating donuts and drinking coffee. (someone had to eat them!) As 10am came, Thad needed to head to work so we loaded up a pack of donuts and rode back to his job. I dropped in and got to see his little work world and his boss appreciated the free donuts. I took off the trailer and started my ride home. I decided to take the longer, safer route as I had until 3pm to be home.

I rode Thad's usual commute back towards the farm, then went on down Old Natchez the way i usually ride to the farm from home. The weather turned out to be perfect with temps in the 70s and clear blue skies. I love riding on the south side of town, through all of the farms and huge yards. I decided to riding in and through Percy Warner park on the way home to add some mileage and fun. They were setting up for Steeple Chase so there was activity everywhere. I think technically the route I was on was closed, but no one said anything to me. I rode the rest of the loop back to the Belle Meade Blvd entrance and hit Harding Rd back to the house. My legs felt great all day and it was fun to get some new riding experiences in. I'd never ridden with a bob trailer, let alone one filled with 3 12-packs of donuts, 1 pack of donut holes and 20 cups of coffee! I ended up with 53 miles for the day and was home before 12pm.

I'm working a vocal session today and have a lot of Mother's Day plans tomorrow so I may not fit in another ride this week. I need to try to squeeze one in tomorrow if I can since my work schedule next week looks packed. Spring is in full force here in Mid Tn and thankfully the weather has been super cooperative to my riding schedule.

Next up.... single speed frame options and ideas.... I'm working on my short list of companies/builders and may start sending out some emails/calls.

More Bike To Work Photos HERE

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dirt Sweat and Gears, and mud, food, and beers

I'm still slowly settling down after such a great weekend down at Dirt Sweat and Gears in Fayetteville, TN. Clay and Grant put on an amazing weekend of fun. I had to miss the SSUSA festivities on friday due to work but headed down early saturday morning. My alarm blarred at 4:20am and I could hear it pouring rain outside. I was thinking how great it would feel to just stay in bed for another 3o minutes before heading to the race. Was there really any reason to go early when it was raining so hard? I was excited to get there so I got up and made some coffee. I finally got going and got the truck packed when the rain would let up. After an one and half hour drive in the rain, I made to the Cotton Mill preserve. Everything was already bumpin' when I got there at 7am. I was amazing at how many people already had their stuff setup and also how many riders I knew who came to race. It was clear everyone was excited and anxious.

After some yummy breakfast I met up with my other team members, John, Phil and Eric (all from NMB) and we started discussing who was going to be the poor sap to ride the first lap. Thankfully it had stopped raining by 8-8:30ish but it was wet, very wet. I was very anxious to ride and couldn't think of a good reason to postpone riding, even if I had to ride in the mud so I volunteered to start the race. Off to the starting line I went with all the crazies. I barely made to my bike in one piece after the lemans start, avoiding tackles from Hawt Mike and Xtanker! I really enjoyed being apart of the start. Some people were running hard and sprinting off the line, but it seemed most of the people around me realized there was no real rush given it was a 12 hr race and since the conditions were less than ideal.

Now, I am getting pretty good at riding in the mud this year. Out of 5 races, 4 of them have been muddy. This was not merely mud though. It was mud, on top of clay. I rode through the field and tried to stay in the grass as much as I could, but once I got into the single track my drive train locked up pretty quickly. After I dismounted to check out what was up I realized what I was in for. Mud was caked in my seatstays and chainstays and my derailleur had all types of vegetation in it. This was my first dismount to clean my bike, one of about 20 I'd estimate. Overall my drivetrain performed great in this mud fest. I passed a few riders with broken chains, broken derailleurs and heard of more carnage after my lap was over. My big problem was my lack of mud clearance. I was running 2.1 Nevegals but the clay would cake up all around the tires and not come off. My tires got so wide it looked like I was making some pottery as the mud was carved into neat, smooth layers on the sidewalls of my tires. It got so bad I couldn't even push my bike, the wheels just totally siezed. I had to stop about 10 times and carve off the clay with my hands. After having to stop 2 or 3 times on the same hill, I realized even pushing my bike was futile. I found it was easier to clean it once at the bottom of a hill, then throw the bike on my back and just hoof it up the hill on foot.

This lap was taking forever! Our team was betting on 1:15 min laps on average. I was around mile 6 or 10.5 probably at 1:15 in. I started feeling guilty that my next teammate was waiting on me and wondering what the heck was taking me so long. I thought that everyone must be suffering also, but starting thinking I'd be lapped soon. Looking at the times, the pros didn't seem to have any issue with the mud. Tinker's first lap was only like 5-10 minutes slower than the rest of his laps....that's it!! My first lap was 1:55, way off from our 1:15 average we were thinking!! This lap wore me out but I still enjoyed it! It was humid and I was sweating buckets and was totally soaked after the lap. In the excitement of getting ready I forgot to take my Sportlegs pills and wasn't drinking enough water. I had a few small cramps in my calves during the lap, mainly from trying to walk up the slick hills in my poorly treaded riding shoes.

( Team 'Not Gonna Win' after the race. left to right: John, me, Eric and Phil)

I was happy to know I could stop after this lap and someone else would pick up the riding. I figured I had 3.5 hours or so before I had to ride again so I cleaned up and got a beer. There were a ton of food vendors and booths setup so I chilled and walked around and visited with other riders. This was my first 12 hr event and it was awesome to see so much activity. It was like mtn biking heaven, surrounded by like minded people and everyone enjoying themselves. I hung out in the Swiftwick tent for a while and watched the Yazoo riders come in and go out. Sharpie had a killer spot right next to the finish line.

By now the sky had completely cleared up and the temperature was climbing. The trail was drying out fast from the sun and wind but also from the volume of riders. Every lap was getting faster and faster. Phil, John and Eric all rode great 1st laps and finished with big grins. The start/finish area was setup so you did not have to dismount and pass anything off to the next rider. Solo riders could take a different path and just keep right on riding their next lap.

After relaxing for a few hours, I went to the bike wash and cleared all the clay off my bike and relubed my drivetrain. By the time I was ready for my second lap, the trail looked to be super fast and almost completely dry. It was a totally different experience out there. I really had fun on this lap. I struggled with the hills but I could tell my time was a lot better. I was starting to feel a bit over heated. I didn't do a good job with my hydration and forgot to put sun block on in the morning so I wasn't feeling great in the middle of my lap. I rode almost the entire lap alone, seeing very few riders. I had trouble keeping a fast pace and pushing myself. A fast rider came up and passed me around mile 6 and I caught his wheel and tried to keep up as long as I could. This was great and just the motivation I needed. I stayed with him for a couple miles and then fell off. I got another burst of energy a mile later and was loving the single track I was in. I heard a rider behind me for a bit and then I started feeling like I couldn't keep this pace up so I asked if they wanted around. I just heard a calm "sure" and then Tinker rode by and thanked me. I was feeling rough, on my second lap and I bet he was on his 6th or 7th lap at this point and still seemed fresh.

After hitting Lucy Loop towards the end of my lap, I was pretty sure I was done with the climbing and pushed the pace up. This section is fast, and was packed down well by this time. The last mile and a half are really fun. I rode hard back to the starting line and ended up with a decent lap time this go around. 1:14... way faster than my first lap which was 1:55! crazy how different the course was just a few hours later.

After my second lap I talked to Eric and we did the math to try to figure it if we would be get in 8 laps or 9. 9 laps would mean someone had to do a 3rd lap so I wanted to figure out if I would do another one or not. Even with the faster lap times we were getting now, there wasn't any way we could get in a 9th lap. No worries, we were there to have fun and ride. For my first 12 hr race, I had a blast, rode hard and was pretty sore and tired. Our team did well and we finished 11th out of 25 teams. Not bad at all and about where we wanted to be, mid pack. I was jealous of the solo and duo riders who were riding more than me. Next race I'll have to give a go at solo or duo. I don't regret doing DSG on a team as I do not think this race would of been the best introduction to 12 hr racing for me. I really enjoyed having time to visit with people and just hang out between riding my laps.

I chose to ride my full suspension bike for the race. Given the mud of the first lap, it may of been better to have my single speed, but really my bike performed well in the mud. I don't think my single speed would of given me that much more mud clearance. My Ventana did get heavy with all the clay but I enjoyed the suspension. I was wishing for a more narrow rear tire. The 2.1 with the mud was just too much. The nevegal tire would not let go of the mud and it just got wider and wider. The tubeless setup was perfect, no flats and great traction and my shifting was great and never needed any adjustments.

I think everyone really enjoyed the trail and had a blast riding all day. Scott McConnell won the amatuer Solo Singlespeed category!! That is awesome and he really rode hard and deserved the win! He won a new bike and if anyone deserved it, it was Scott. I can't wait to see him race on this new bike, he is gonna smoke it!!

Big thanks to Clay and Grant for organizing such an awesome event!! Thanks for all the volunteers, vendors, bike shops and everyone who helped with the weekend. It appeared to go off without any issues, which is the goal. I'm sure there were little fires that Clay and Grant had to put out, but I never saw any of them. It was the smoothest race I've every witnessed and having the on-going results posted was awesome! I can't wait until next years DSG 3.0 and am seeking some more 12hr races to enter into.

Here is a link to my Flickr set for the weekend photos: DSG 2008

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