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2nd and 3rd Dirt

4 May

Sunday was my 1st mountain bike race of 2011 but my 3rd dirt race of the year.

Leland-Kermesse was dirt race #2 and stands as the toughest of the 3; 65 miles of dirt, mud, gravel and pavement.  Oh, and completely flat.  Racing on the flats is tougher than racing in the mountains, there are no downhill sections to recover it’s pedal, pedal, pedal.  I tried to debut the new CarboRocket jersey and the stylie  Bonebell / X-Men combo  arm warmers.

Sunday I hit Oglesby, IL for stop #2 of the Illinois Homegrown Series the Matthiassen Mountain Madness and my 1st mountain bike race of the year. I also debuted the new Rhodamine Red 333 jersey.  I think it goes really well with the orange CR bibs, no?

The thing about racing in the woods is that you never know if anyone is ahead of or behind you until you find yourself right on top of them or they on top of you.  The idea of having a carrot is non-existent.  I finished 8th but 5th, 6th and 7th place were all within 60 seconds of me yet I never saw them on course.  Damn trees!

Next up – May 14th, WEMS Stump Farm (stumps=carrots?) 100!

Palos Meltdown Race Report

24 Aug

Saturday was race #2 for me in the Midwest and I’ve learned a couple things. First, don’t pre-ride the course by yourself because you will get lost.  Second, if you forget #1 remember to take everything with you on the pre-ride that you’ll need during the race.

With 45 minutes to start I thought I’d get in a nice warm up then come back to camp and get my bottles and instruct my crew on hand-ups etc.  While I had actually pre-ridden most of the course the week before the organizers hadn’t quite got the start finish area dialed in at that time so I needed to go scope that out.

I kept thinking the trail I was on would double back on itself and take me right back tot the start, nope. I started to get nervous that I was going to miss the start when I passed a spectator out on course and asked directions.  He said its a couple miles away and the race starts in 5 minutes, Doh!

I came out of the woods about 50 yards behind the start just in time to hear, “5,4,3,2,1”  I was already gassed from the effort of trying to make the start but somehow managed to still roll out with the group. Oh yeah, no bottles on the bike. Have I mentioned it’s really hot?

The course at Palos was non-stop single track, really tight and twisty with the just the right amount of technical.  It was about 8.5 miles long with some grassy hill sections near the start-finish to break things up.

From what I’ve heard hey had a record turnout of 500+ racers across all classes.  The classes were pretty big which led to a lot of congestion and multiple pile ups on the first lap.  By lap 2 and aided by the dense single track it seemed like there were only 5 or 6 people on course.

In spite of my botched start and lack of bottles on the first lap I felt pretty good all day mostly just passing racers and thought I had finished a lot better than I actually did.  Got 4th Expert 40+ and 24th overall.

pic by Brian Coggin

Some of my deep thoughts after the race:

  • I’ve  fallen off the racing bandwagon harder than I thought.
  • The dudes in Chicago are faster than the dudes in Utah.
  • Maybe I’m just getting old and slow.
  • I am so going to suffer at PCP2P.
  • 2:30 hour xc races are too much for me.
  • Rolling single track is more fun to race than monster climbs followed by monster DH.
  • Rolling single track is harder to race than monster climbs followed by monster DH.
  • Am I really craving a duck sausage and foie gras dog?

Deep thoughts aside it was a great day at the races. Thanks CAMBR for putting on a 1st class race at an incredible venue, I’ll be back for sure.

Diabolical And Sadistic

6 Sep

Those two words describe not only the course but the race organizers of the PCPP to a “T”. But first the first of the story.

I don’t know if Kenny is more excited for the race or because Natalie let him wear her daisy dukes.


Racing the PCPP for Team Fatcyclist required that we smile. We really have no idea what we are in for. The last time you’ll see us smile for over 8 hours.


I had a goal of finishing under 9 hours and beating Kenny. My plan was simple, start easy for the first few hours and then burn it to the finish. It worked out reasonably well until it came time to light the matches and they were all wet.

At hour 4 I was done, all the climbing was taking its toll. I had nothing left and had to stop and take off my shoes and walk around for a few minutes just to ground myself back in reality. For what lasted an hour but seemed more like days whenever the pitch was steeper than flat I was forced to get off my bike and walk. That course was never flat, ALL uphill. No descending, none, just climbing.

You know how you get so tired sometimes that you can’t clip in or out of your pedals? That’s where I was. So tired that you start crashing into everything and don’t care at all? At one point I fell over between 2 trees and got my rear wheel jammed between them so bad that I couldn’t get it out. A couple racers had to hike it around me.

What do you do? Keep moving forward no matter how slow. After an hour of despair and darkness the heavens opened up and light shined down on me and lit me on fire. For the next 3 hours I was superman and did nothing but pass racers, I was on fire! I was sure I was going to catch back up to Kenny.

Here’s my pre-darkness look at aid station #1 after a nice hard rain, just enough to soak my gloves and shoes clean through.


As if the race wasn’t hard enough at about mile 73 you end up close enough to the finish to hear the announcer and music blaring and you think the suffering is over. Of course it just has to be over because you can’t pedal another revolution, it’s all downhill. Wrong! Those sadistic diabolical race organizer bastardos make you climb another 1,000 feet right before the finish just to make sure it was hard enough. Thanks a lot. I really appreciated that.

I never did gain back all the ground that I lost but finally, a smile again. Judging how clean Bart and Kenny are you can probably guess they both beat my sorry ass.


The fast guys porch. This is as close as they’d let me get.


Just like I predicted Friday night and even the right order, your top 4 finishers overall. Alex, Bart, Chris and Kevin. Congratulations!


Here’s Sonya Looney having had better days and just moments before she gave me the bird, too bad I missed that shot. She did awesome and came in 4th overall in the Women’s Pro class just behind my favorite CarboRocket addict KC Holley, better get on the CR Sonya!


The overall women’s winner and 5th place overall, Pua Sawicki posing with Race organizer Jay Burke. Huge applause for the efforts Jay and Shannon and their army of volunteers for putting together a 1st class awesome event that will be around for a long time. Thanks!


The SS class proved to be one of the tightest (and best looking) races of the day with the top 3 all finishing within 7 minutes of each other. Next year Kenny, next year.


Snowbird Hill Climb And A 100 Mile Hangover

23 Aug

Here come the excuses. Its been 3 weeks since the Butte 100 race and I still have a 100 mile hangover. I’m eating anything and everything in sight. I have no self control whatsoever, unbridled gluttony. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained 10 pounds and the hair of the dog has become my daily breakfast.

I’ve decided that riding bikes isn’t any fun anymore. The few times I’ve been out I’ve felt like shit. To add insult to injury I’ve been battling a cold for the last week.

How should one cope with such a situation? Race the Snowbird hill climb of course.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that as long as I have been riding and racing bicycles here in Utah I have never done the Snowbird hill climb. I’m not sure why because there isn’t anything I enjoy more than riding up really steep hills on my road bike. Not so much on Saturday.

It hurt from the get go and I was barely able to keep it spinning in the granny gear. I knew my race was over when I got passed by the dude in Nike basketball shorts, t-shirt and skate helmet.

Where to from here? I don’t know but I think I’ll have another slice of pizza and another cookie.

My Death

17 Jul

The reports of my death won’t be greatly exagerrated tomorrow.

I pre-rode Solitude today and barely finished one lap.  I don’t know what was harder the climb or the descent.  Tomorrow I am supposed to do nearly 4 laps.  Seriously,  I was baked.  Done.  I predict it will be my undoing as a rigid SS’er.

Does anyone have a full suspension geared bike size 20″ or XL they won’t be using tomorrow? I’m serious.

On a positive note, there will be a cooler full of ice cold recovery beverage waiting for me in the parking lot to look forward to .  Stop by and have one after the race as well as fill your bottles with the new LemonLime CarboRocket before the race.

Snowbird ICUP #9

13 Jul

I showed up with the CarboRocket tent and beverages including recovery drinks and I even had a booth babe with me. Too bad it rained and was windy. The booth babe got really bored and swore never to return again. That being said, I now have LOTS of recovery beverages for the Solitude State Championships next Saturday although no booth babe.

I had one goal Saturday: finish before Chris Bingham. I think he got me by about 30 seconds at Deer Valley so I now have little red targets painted on the insides of my Oakley’s.

The Jabberwocky matches the new kit a little too well. Although, for being a non-matchy kinda person I have to admit I like it. A lot. Both the Jabber and the new kit.


Sam Moore took the hole shot with Bob in 2nd and then myself. The last few races Chris has jumped in front from the get go and ended up beating me  so I was feeling pretty good about how things were shaping up, especially, after opening a slight gap on him after the first and second lap.

Now all I had to do is reel in Sam which I’ve been able to do every race. He always starts out in front and then fades. I don’t think anyone can out sprint him or beat him on the downhill (freaking demon downhiller, if you’ve been passed by him you know what I’m talking about) but he hasn’t been able to hold it all together yet this year for a win. At least in the ICUP, I believe he won the State Super D Championships.

I guess he was the only one I forgot to tell that it was my birthday because he never let up and by the time I’d start to see him on the climbs every lap he’d hit the downhill and be gone. I faded so hard on lap 4 I not only knew Sam would win but thought for sure I’d be caught by every one else. Luckily everyone but Sam was also suffering.

You know what sucks? When your target has a mechanical. When I started lap 3 I saw Chris on the sidelines working on his bike. Bummer for everyone.

Sam won, I got 2nd and Bob avoided the tweety chair. Karl, welcome to the tweety chair.

Lyna takes some great race photos. I’m pretty sure if you were racing Snowbird she got a picture of you. Check them out here.


Snowbird Course Preview

10 Jul

Love it!  No more spank my Dick Bass Highway, yeah!  The climb that replaces it is absolutely perfect for a single speed.  I’ll go one step further and say the new course is taylor made for a single speed.  You hear that Rick?  34×20 will be the ticket.

Here’s Tasha just finishing the new section.


Stop by the CarboRocket tent to say hi and sample the new Tropical Orange.  See you all there.