Tag Archives: cholla challenge

Cholla Challenge Report

5 Apr

The SoUt trip this weekend started out a little scary with white-out road conditions from Fillmore to New Harmony on the way there and non-stop rain in St. George all day and night before the race.  I can’t believe how nice the weather turned out for Saturday.

I went down early on Friday to  hopefully get some materials dropped off and work done on the deck at Gooseberry.  Brian and Ali were already there getting pounded by the snow and rain.  Glad they called and told me not to come up to the mesa as they ended up leaving Ali’s car stuck in mud up to its axles.

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I somehow managed to lose one of my set screws for my rear drop-out on the trip down but Vassago team mate Dave at OTE saved the day by giving me his off his own bike.  Thanks Dave!

Tasha was having a great race leading the 35+ women’s class for the first half of the race until she flatted out.  Tasha, I take full responsibility and I promise I’ll get Troy from Maine to get you all set up tubeless before the next race.  Congrats to Kendra on the win.

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Check out Whitney lined up with the pro women.  Yes, that is exactly where you belong.  Quit your sandbagging in the expert class, nice job on the win.

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Me mashing up the final hill to the finish.  I was a little worried about the relatively flat desert course on the SS Jabberwocky but somehow managed to pull it all together at the very end.

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KC Holley pulling off an impressive 3rd in the totally stacked women’s pro class.  Nice work!

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Dot, Tasha’s nemesis from last year,  had a great ride also finishing in 3rd in the ultra competitive women’s sport class.  I expect a win at 5-mile, Dot!

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Dan working on his tan after cleaning up, um, er, with his 2nd 1st place of the season.  I refuse to call him a roadie forever more.

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Even with the trash talking Jeremiah Bishop out of contention with a double flat the Monavie-Cannondale boys finished 1,2,3 in the men’s pro class.  I wonder what #1 and #2 were drinking out on the course?

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The pro women’s class was totally stacked (can I say that?) but Lynda Wallenfells was the dominate force Saturday followed closely by Sue Butler in 2nd and KC Holley in 3rd.  Amazing race!

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Perfect weather, great course and lots of competition made for a successful stop #2 on the Intermountain Cup circuit.  See you at 5-Mile.

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Cholla Challenge Roll Call

31 Mar

Last year the Cholla was my first race back in the Expert class after a couple of years racing in the Single Speed class. I had raced in the Expert class for a couple of years before that and always considered myself “pack fodder” never finishing above mid-pack and usually in the bottom 3rd.

It was here at the Intermountain Cup #2 last year that I realized it doesn’t matter what bike you are racing; light weight, full suspension, geared or single it just doesn’t matter.   I managed a 3rd place finish on the Dork Bike and was extremely happy about it.  On second thought it probably was the bike.

Me and the fam are heading down this weekend are you?

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I realize this picture doesn’t have anything to do with the Cholla Challenge and I’m pretty sure Elden isn’t going to make it down this year but Damn! what a nice hat. I want one. And not bad Sunday best either. I’d totally wear that suit to church. Wait, I already do.

Cholla Challenge Race Report

13 Apr

Epic…camping. We arrived at the race site about 8 pm on Friday night to what felt like 100 mph winds and people folding up their tent trailers and heading back to town to find a room. We grilled brats inside the Yotavan on the stove while the wind howled and the dust and sand coated everything. I went upstairs to the tent condo while Tasha and Cassidy slept inside the van. It felt and sounded like I was in a washing machine until about 12:30 am when it died down and I finally got some sleep.

Cassidy was the first to race and stacked it up pretty good on her 3rd lap in the 10-12 category but finished anyway with bloodied knees and elbows. She rocks!

Tasha thinks she finished in 5th but isn’t sure. She is however, sure that she enjoyed grilling brats in the van more than she liked the Cholla course.

I lined up in the Expert 40+ category with the singular goal of beating Bob Saffel zero expectations other than to finish.

Things went how they usually go for me which is to say I went out way too hard and blew up on the 2nd of 3 laps. I had notions of soloing to a win after finishing lap number 1 in first place but that quickly disappeared as I got passed by just about everyone on lap 2. I thought I was done, cooked, baked.

I hung my head and pedaled on feeling like I was completely alone out on the course. No one in sight in either direction. I got off my bike towards the end of lap 2 to pee and stretch out a hamstring that was hurting. Nobody anywhere.

I started feeling better on lap 3 and began catching people which was a great morale boost. Off in the distance towards the bottom of the last climb I thought I spied a Revolution jersey, a carrot, and thought it might be Bob which gave me another boost. I caught up to him and he said if I passed he was getting off to pee. Sensing his discomfort with his bladder I obliged.

36 miles, 2.5+ hours and 3rd place.

Some observatons:

The dork bike rules! Loved everything about it.  It motored on the climbs and felt like a full suspension bike on the downhills. Really.

One porta-potty just doesn’t cut it.

I’m pretty sure everyone was drinking CarboRocket.  It was everywhere.

UtRider Mark in real life is much taller than on his blog.

My nemesis Kenny Jones was MIA and I wasn’t sure how I would cope without that carrot. Turns out I had eight other carrots.