Friday, June 30, 2006

FATS 7/3/06

Hey guys,

I plan to go to FATS on Monday morning to ride about 40-50 miles so if anyone is interested, just let me know. I will be getting there by 8am. This trail system is super sweet so if you have not been, this will be a wonderful opportunity to see the whole thing at least twice.

Later, Russ

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thanks guys for the report. How about some pics from that new camera. It's the only way to really believe this was a reality.


Joe's Report

Joe's Report:
Cowbell 12hr. Challenge

Well it was the first Solo endurance race I had attempted. However, I had great expectations even though I suffered a knee injury 2-3 weeks prior to the race. 1 cortozone shot and a bottle of anti-inflamitories later and I was good to go. The first 4 laps went great. The course was fast, fun, and just my style. There were great jumps, down hills, and plenty of tight single track. I felt like I was getting faster with every passing lap until lap 5. Between the humidity, heat, and lack of proper training I was at a fork in the road. I actually considered quitting. So I went back to the pit, ate, complained and layed down for about 15 minutes. At this point I knew I had 45 minutes on Jonathan, so I wasn't too worried yet. After a small rest I got up and did another lap. This one was just as painful, so I repeated the same thing. I still had 20-30 minutes on Jonathan and I set off again. By this time it was around 5pm and the temp was going down. I think my legs finally got their second wind and I was off. The next two laps felt great. I was enjoying the race again, however due to the long rests I had dropped from 6th to 10th. I figured as long as I get 11 laps I should do reasonably well. So I set out for #10. This was a painful lap full of cramps and climbing. At this point it seemed like the whole trail was up hill. I took one more long rest at the pit knowing I had about 2 hours to finish this last lap. Then set off. At this point I was taking it easy, walking switch backs and crusing through flat single track. THEN I got passed by another solo rider. I asked him what lap he was on and he said 11. He then said he thought he was in 11th place. My original thought was let him go. Who cares about 10th place anyways. But as his light got further away I could not handle it anymore. I turned it on one last time. I caught him and was feeling pretty good. Then he said something that floored me. "If you want to pass, go, I am not racing you for 10th place". My response was, "yes you are". After a few minutes of trailing him I backed off and let him go. After the adrineline wore off I was back to cramps. As I approached the finish line there were 2 minutes until 8:59. I could do another lap or wait until time. I was done. I waited along with about 12 riders for the clock to turn and we all crossed together. Then we returned to the pit for a celebratory beer and time to tell stories. In the end I finished 10th of 33 riders with 11 laps. It was a great race and I will definately do it again next year.

Thank for reading.Joe P.

Jonathans Report:

Jonathans Report:

It was a foggy morning as Kristin and I took off at 6:45am headed for my first solo attempt at a 12 hour endurance race. I was excited to race as Kristin was excited to use her newly purchased Cannon camera. We met up with Joe who was also attempting his first solo, Chris and Barret who were riding in the 2-man division. As we pulled into the venue I noticed that all the wonderful NC red clay had turned to peanut butter from the strong thunderstorms that rolled through on Friday night. Oh boy, a course I have never ridden before and it is going to be slick as snot, sign me up! As Joe and I checked in Barret and Chris set up our pop up tent thanks to Paul and his shop Harrel’s Bicycle World. So we had our electronic timing chips and it was time to race. The race started with a LeMan’s style start. This meant we were running about ¾ of a mile to our bikes and then riding the first lap. Chris who acclaimed to be more of a runner than a biker made a hasty attempt to be the first to the bike since there was a prize for this. He was second, sorry Chris. So off we went on a very crowded first lap. Things were as expected very slick in the beginning. The course was fantastic. Two open fire road climbs and the rest was all beautiful single track through the trees. After passing and being passed quite a few times, I rolled out of the trees with my first lap behind me. I met up with “The Angel” (Kristin has adopted this name from me for providing super-star support) for an extra bottle and off I went. The second lap went by with no problems and I quickly swapped bottles and food out with the Angel again. The third lap brought upon my first mishap of the race. About halfway through my lap, I heard “on your left” and watched as Rich Dillen lapped me. Yes that’s correct I was being lapped in the first 3 hours of the race. Yeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaawww! Shortly after that I made an attempt to “get fancy” bunny hopping a log (haven’t I learned my lesson from the Adventure race?) and pointed my wheel at a willing tree. I pulled of a graceful fall and surveyed my bike for damage. Broke a spoke on the front wheel, oh well, I tucked it into some other spokes and took off watching my front wheel weeble wobble down the trail. The next few laps went off fine and were a ton of fun. The middle of these races is where I have the most fun. The Angel kept me hydrated and cold towels on me as I continued laps. My main goal for this race was to keep a steady pace and not rest in-between laps so my body wouldn’t shut down. Around lap who knows, I started to get a cramp in my inner thigh. It was from throwing my leg over the bike since I was now walking the steep sections. I requested salt from the Angel and on the next lap she and Heather (Joe’s wife) produced a bag of white cheddar popcorn. MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, the Angel shoved popcorn in my mouth and I chewed with all my might. I used my Zen Master skills taught to me by “The Tao of Pooh” to stave off the cramps on the next few laps. It was working and my legs got their second wind. So here I was in the last 3 hours of the race with no idea what place I was in and I didn’t care. I knew I had a respectable amount of mileage for my first attempt and I wanted to do one night lap and have a “victory” beer. So I got my lights from the Angel and headed out for my 10th and final lap. So I thought. . . I passed all the neat trail features I had come to know so well in 10 laps. I paid my respects to the hills bidding them adieu. I said goodbye to the little rock garden that always said clunk-galump as I rode across it. There was a special spot I was waiting to greet on my last lap of happiness. It was a balloon hanging from some caution tape that was marking the trail. I had deemed this the “Elated Balloon of Happiness EBOH” since it was within a half mile of the finish line. The balloon and I had grown very fond of each other throughout the race and I was excited to say goodbye and never see my friend again. There it was! Bye-bye little baaaaaaallooooooooon. I pumped the pedals hard knowing a juicy adult beverage was an Angel’s wing away. Do you remember what your teacher’s in school always said to you before tests? I believe it went something like this. “Make sure you read the ENTIRE question before you start your answer.” Well I apparently was answering the questions without reading the ENTIRE question. I heard the generator from the timing tent and pumped even harder. I crossed the finish line and the timing chip made its beeeeeeep beep noise to confirm my arrival. Woooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo. I looked up and said “I’m done.” The race director looked at me and said “One more to go!” Maybe this moron didn’t understand “I’m done.” I had the wrong answer, here was the question. If you want to “stop” you have to cross the finish line after 9:00 pm and before 10:00 pm for your lap and race to count. It was 8:45. . . If I would have waited with my friend EBOH for 15 minutes I would have been able to stop and my race would have been over. Since I crossed the line, I had to go again or receive a DNF (Did not *&^%$# finish). I WAS BETRAYED! I cussed I was pissed. Seven more miles sounded like 700 more miles. After getting over my rush of emotion, the Angel and I stood at the first hill. The Angel said “You can cry here, or you can cry on your bike.” (A quote from Tinker Juarez during the RAAM) Then the Angel said something very devilish “Now get your ASS up that hill.” The last lap was full of pain and laughter. I was in pain and the trail was laughing. All the features I had said goodbye too were now looking at me with bewilderment as I rolled by. Gu wrappers looked like frogs, roots were Amazon pythons nipping at my ankles. I thought for sure the Earth’s rotation was causing me to go backwards. I longed for my buddy EBOH. I got round to the last bit of trail and I thought I was going blind. Oh no it was just because my light was losing power. I finally saw it. Was it a mirage? No, IT’S MY FRIEND EBOH!!! The generator sound and beeeep beep. I was done with 11 minutes to spare before my last lap didn’t count. I traveled the course 11 times for 77 miles. 12th out of 33 solo riders. A super special thanks to Kristin! Without her support I might have done one lap. Another thanks to Carolyn for providing the cowbells!JONATHN DID THAT LAST LAP HURT?You bet your ASS it did.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Hi Folks,

Plans are in the works for a recon ride for those interested in this years Off-Road Assualt on Mt. Mitchell. Joe is calling Sunday July 9th as the go date for a day trip up to Back Mountain. Contact Toby P. or Joe P. for details. Or just respond to this blog.

Also I'm guessing that their will be multiple groups going up the Tryon for the 4th metric. Call a friend and carpool.

Congrats go out to Joe & LeRoy for their dou at the Cowbell 12hr. Challenge in Charlotte last weekend. Also Damon & Toby S. for hitting the Blood Sweat & Gears Century last weekend for the Harrell's Team. If you guys could share a taste of your races - hit us with it.

Later, Toby