Monday, September 24, 2012

Pack it in before winter hits

Lets start with the West Branch race update. 4 hours of suffering, 4th place, misery is over for yet another year. Now onto the fun stuff, Raystown! We packed the van FULL for a weekend of the best singletrack I have ever ridden. On the way out we got to meet Bill Grove from Grove Innovations to deliver some goods to him from Rody by the roadside. Once we dropped off his stuff I could actually see out the back window again as we made a beeline to the campground.
I had a fresh paint job from Rody that was hardly even dry as I built the bike back up the night before the trip. And with Andrea, Zac, and the Brat along we had three Groovys amongst our group. Prior to leaving though I did put the deposit down with Rody for Andrea's future Groovy frame so someday we can make it four.
As always I pushed the bike and myself to the limit and I have to say I came as close to crashing as I could possibly have gone without going over the edge of the mountain on the Sleek Dog Trail. I can't explain it but I feel the absolute need to ride down that trail as if there was no tomorrow, and this time there almost wasn't. Not sure how it happened but I ended up with my back wheel in Zac's face doing what I call a 'Chinese wheelie' down the side of the mountain at a ridiculous speed. Man that was fun, can't wait till next time.
All in all I got around 88 miles of pure singletrack with Saturday being just over 50. This place is so much fun that even 50 doesn't seem all that hard, and I'm trying to figure out when I'm going back again.
One more race left for the season, The Knob. The last race is always a good time with a huge bonfire afterwards. But this coming weekend on Sunday Sept. 30th is a Knob maintenance day at 1:00 pm. Please consider coming out to work on the trail, ride some, and socialize with the good folks that have kept this place going for all of us to enjoy. See you there!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Racing can be fun!

Well it's another double race update today, first on the list is the Reagan TT....2nd place as usual. I am happy about this because I felt good and raced hard, which is the whole point I guess. This is the kind of course were the Groovy really shines, and with the dry conditions I set some PR's and kept it upright in the process.
Now onto the most fun race of this year, Manitoc. No, don't get me wrong, I really am not a big fan of this course, there are  just way too many open road/field sections to suit my style of riding. (read weak, old legs).
The Chief is the reason it was so much fun. It seemed like he was gonna bail the morning of the race due to the recent rains, but I told him we would could have a nice leisurely ride together if he showed up.
There was a prime for the holeshot and Chief took off like a raped ape but Suppan got the prize. I however took off slow, so much so that I was dead last into the woods. The fast dudes quickly rode out of site and I could see that Indian up the trail. Apparently that hard effort off the line cost him a great deal. When I caught up to him I got in front since I knew the trail better then he did. We ended up riding the entire race together and I don't think we have ever done that before. The spectacular part was when the Chief went over the bars at the start/finish area while trying to get a new bottle. I had to circle back to heckle him properly. Rody had to be perplexed by this and was yelling at me to not wait for him, but this was way too good not to savor.
After that I think the Chief would have been more pleased for me to just leave him, but I knew he would suffer more dearly if I just kept the pace as high as he could maintain. Oh, how many times I have suffered by his had on those cheese rides of the past, finally my chance to return the favor. When we got to the finish line we both hit our brakes in an effort not to cross first, but he is a crafty racer and I crossed the line before him taking 4th and 5th respectively.
These were probably not the kind of racing  tactics that my sponsor Groovy Cycles would have encouraged. But I have to say that I owe every bit of my past racing successes to the Chief. We started riding together in 1984, and without him making me suffer like mad I doubt I would have ever seen a podium finish in my lifetime. Hail to the Chief!

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