5/19/08

"big boy survival"

is the phrase from the invite that was stuck in my mind all wknd.


first, huuuuuge thanks to everybody.

everyone involved in this wknd rocks. ya'll kick ass, especially the behind the scenes crew; Carri, Julie, Misty, Sarah and evil mastermind Mumbles and the crew that heads out each spring to open up portions of the route.

S-D-S was a hoot.

I'm whupped.
75 with 14k+ on Saturday in 9:15/12:20 elapsed.

Played the role of lone wolf singlespeeder amongst the 20ish strong peleton. Found that tempo climbing pace early, and kept it in check for the most part. Gotta keep those matches dry, knowing that the normal end of the ride is only half way today, just a quarter of the wknd.

Early start.

Views were insane.
Descending Dowell's was a good warmup/introduction to the now coastable Jabber, interesting. Lots of questioning the decision not to swap the Reba over from the Salsa, 20+mph on the trail is a bit different than the 15ish max usually seen with her fixed, and the rear brake is an interesting component. Working the SMT at a smooth conversational pace with Jake was a good groove. Carp's first broken bike, four zip ties got him across the SMT and down ze mountain.More learning for me down Jerkemtight, incurring a front flat. Spotted a beautiful eagle while rolling along the Bullpasture with Sue and a banged up Mathew. Lunchbreak, 6ish hours in. Carp gets a bike change, I get more single solitude either OTF or OTB to mythical Little Mare. Fuck. That. was. tough. The rippin' descent off of Brushy made it all a distant memory though. Finally started to get comfortable with big mtn speed again. Streams were runnin'.With Carp now a singlespeedin' freak like me after tearing up his 2nd bike on the manicured trails of Little Mare, and the clock rolling thru 12 hours, there was no major push to head up Middle Mtn. I didn't like the prospect of possibly another hour plus push a bike, so I opted out with the majority, following a Bo'yes led train for a bit of flowy desert along the fisherman's path. Only 5 threw down for the extra credit, but all rolled into Creasey about an hourish or so after us with big fat grins. Much food and caring for battered bodies ensued. Slept like a rock, then up at 7, kick it into zombie gear up mode, throw down a big breakfast and departing 8:30ish, rolling up thru Douthat Middle Earth to Beards. Poz getting ready for BC. Surprisingly able to ride a couple of those incredible switchbacks, so the legs have rebounded kinda well. Bye Bye Middle Earth. Dropping off of Beards was holy smoking pure benched tight pitchy off camber tackiness puckertude, along with some loamy piney love. Wow. Old Man Freeride gets his carve on. Two hour session of roadiness spinnin' with many a helpful push to keep me in the group at 20+mph, thanks guys. Lunch break at about 4hrs, one final incredible spread along the scenic Calfpasture. Rolling out at 4:20 elapsed, decision time. Elliot's taunts me, I thought I had 'til Deerfield to make the call. Body felt hollow before lunch, and bailing was heavily considered, lots of out loud options debated with those in the know, gathering beta. Feeling kinda better now with a rest and food and travel partner Cheryl is game for whatever. So we make the immediate right hander with the group and bid Jake adieu as he heads off for some Jake time along the valley roads and the long commute home to Joisey.
Plug in the speakers and tempo it to more meaningless KOM points up to the left towards Elliots. Weather has been crisp all wknd. Breezey sun on Saturday, cloudy breeze today, ridgeline temps are feeling like hi 50's. Sunday started out sorta damp with a rolling out shower first thing, then cleared for a bit thru the morning, eventually clouding up as we hit Ramsey Gap. Heading towards Elliots, we learned about the spontaneous nature of mountain weather and were all reminded what it's like to be really fucking miserable while riding your bike. A windy 50ish degree all but downpour pouring rain soaked everybody to the bone. Sam volunteered and was charged with the mission of getting up ahead to build a fire.
Cold, wet and kinda scared, I kicked it into survival mindset, getting up the trail whenever the opportunity presented itself, just in order to keep the motor running. Getting to Elliot's turned into a one foot in front of another shivering cold slumtown slog. But once there we had breaking cloud teaser sunshine and a top secret hot air plume along with Sam's mtn man skillz to get us somewhat warm and dry before cashing in a bit of what we just earned. Haven't been down Elliot's in a few years. Holy wowie zowie! Really getting into sync with the flow and pace of the rigid, the Sun began to pop here and there and the benchy scree was confidence inspiring gravity induced luv. Bouncebouncepoploftdriftbounceloftpowerbrakeoomph and awwwww yeahhhhh! What cold miserable rain? Then the hike a bikes of Crawford and a 30sec too late chance to see a bear up around the fourth one. Harlan and Reubane said it was pretty cool. Clamber up the fifth hike a bike, then bombing down Chimney hollow, holeshot dibs to the 4 for 5 club. Take a Press Pass at the turn and scared Carp a bit setting up the photo shoot. Sam too.More more more how fast do you wanna go singletrack.And then it's back to reality for the final climb up Dowell's. Not as bad as expected. Riding more than hiking, would be plenty ridable if not at hour 23 of 24. Perfect headstart gap as the group catches me at the final stop overlook, then bomb it on down and back to camp, but not before rolling up on a trailside Whipporwill in the fading light. Saw it flutter around a bit once flushed, but things were kinda blurry at that point. Punched out on Sunday with 70 on the odo and another 14K est, 8:55/12:05 elapsed. Dropped off Cheryl at 1ish in the am as the big city gangstas rolled in for the overnight crash and finally stepped thru my door 2am.

Thanks again to everybody involved, you are all special people.

Will get more pics up on the Smug, also saw Harlan, Bo'yes and Mumbles sporting their picture boxes.....

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, that was a special weekend. We'll see if I'm brave enough to photograph my chafe wounds to show y'all, they're beyond special....much fun the whole time!!!

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, that was a special weekend. We'll see if I'm brave enough to photograph my chafe wounds to show y'all, they're beyond special....much fun the whole time!!!

Fxdwhl said...

sounds like it was one hell of a good weekend. funny how coasting feels odd after fixing so long that you don't know how the bike will behave. good pics too.