19years ago

Was my first race.Was at school, got a call from Barry, always a hint of mom and dad thinking he was a 'bad influence'.... anyways.

"Hey man, Glen & I did something really cool. We went up to Coburn and did this mtn bike race thing......"

"Yeah, sounds awesome, I think I saw a flyer down at the record store about some sort of race around here, you guys should come down...."So down 81 they drove, Barry bringing along some tires for me to borrow. The center ridge 1.7's on the Peugeot wouldn't cut it, so racin' on borrowed Farmer John's. I remember the start loop being intense hi speed doubletrack. Three wide into the corners, gonna win it in the first 3 miles, what a rush. Then a looooong climb, definitely not at Lake Redman/Williams anymore. Off the bike hiking with everybody else, a winters worth of running in my legs, hoofing up the mtn. Grade relaxes, back on and pedaling on primitive Meeshow-esque singletrack, course marked with survey tape ribbons (sound familiar?).

Then Crunch. Stick thru the deraileur, ripped it clean. Shit, sit and stare, then start pushing. Fellow racer offers the standard greeting as he rolls by, "You ok? need anything?"

"Well, busted a derailleur...."

"Here," and he tosses me a chain tool.What the hell is this thing?

Then the mind goes to work, remembering some article about being able to shorten the chain and singlespeeding it to get out of the wilderness. Look at the odd metal object again, oooooohh, light bulb flickers. Pick the middle cog of 6, learn to use a chain tool on the fly, wrap up the cables and set back out on what was now my first singlespeed mountain bike.

Made it down off of Price Mtn and bailed at the start/finish. First race, first singlespeed ride, first dnf. Barry and Glen made it around the loop, fourish hours for a 40k. Then the day got longer when Glen had to hike back to the top of Patterson to retrieve the fannypack he left up there when he sat/laid down for a breather/nap. Had to go get it, had his headset wrenches in there. And no that's not a euphamism, he actualy raced with those big 32mm Park wrenches in his 'toolkit.' Those were the days...

Hooked forever, 19years ago, half of my life now.
What an interesting trip it's been.


gwadzilla said...

finding a race or a trail was much harder in the world before the internet

I am not sure when my first race was

maybe The Green Ridge Classic
or something at Hidden Valley or Seven Springs

your bug bit you harder and took you farther

but my bite kept me going as well

the farmer john was a favorite of mine

maybe because Tomac was cool!

he was always blowing the race by hot dogging it!

Anonymous said...

Exactly as I remember it, except "bonked and collapsed" would be a less flattering but more accurate description of what happened to me on that ridgetop! Some guy dropped a couple of Tootsie rolls on my chest as he came by and probably saved my life, haha. It would have been helpful at that point to know that the finish was right at the bottom of the mountain! I still own that cut-down headset wrench, although I finally ditched the fanny pack. By coincidence, just last week I was bugging Barry about heading south this coming weekend to ride Douthat, and either the HooHa XXC or S Traverse or the more recent Escape course (I'll bet those creeks are cold about now). Boy had to turn me down just because it's the girl's birthday weekend. Some guys! Yeah, nineteen years on and we're in deeper than ever. The bike has been good to us all.

Zach said...

I really wish more guys posted these kinds of posts. I absolutely love hearing about back in the day.