Monday, July 31, 2006

Harbison Wednesday

Hey folks anyone interested in Harbison XC ride wed. afternoon? Let's say 6:30ish, I'll be on the SS29er. So no crazy big ring riding needed.

Has anyone seen gerthmiser? Who you say - hmmmmmmmmmmmm


Saturday, July 29, 2006


Race Report:Started the day at 3:30 from Cola. Got to the check in area around 6:30 and started the pre-race routine. This was my first attempt at ORAMM, so completing it was the goal and my hopes were to be in the top 100 within 8 hours.

The start of the race was a bit intimidating due to the fact that there were 360 riders started at the same time. I knew I did not want to get stuck behind the slows or over exert and blow up 2 hours into the race. I set my pace and rode on. About 3 miles in I caught Laroy and we hung out for about 1 mile and then I was off. He is a little more gravity challenged than I am and we were climbing for what seemed to be 10 miles. Then I hit Kitsuma for the first time. Holy switchbacks!

The line of riders just went up the trail as far as you could see. I understand now why the other riders (Toby, Russ, Jamie, and Damon) took off so quickly from the start. Finally at the top it was time to have some fun. The single track is tight and fast. Unfortunately, going down is a bad time to pass. Made it the bottom with no problem and cruised past the first check station. From there I knew what to expect, Thanks Toby, from the pre-ride weeks earlier.

After the next 150 switchbacks there is another single track descent with some more tight switchbacks and log crossings. Well on the pre-ride I went over the handle bars on one of the logs, and actually lost my water bottle. That is the reason I brought an extra bottle on by pack for the race. This time I considered walking that same log, but instead tried riding it again. And again I went over the handle bars. This time I checked the bottle and it was there. So down the trail I went. Then I looked at my computer, but it was gone. Obviously it was lost in the crash. Now I had no idea of ride time, mileage, or time for nutrition. This was great!

I waited at the bottom for some riders and asked if they picked it up, after #4 I could wait no longer so I got going. I was feeling great and did a lot of passing at this point. Check point #2 stopped for some caffeine and Gatorade and went on. At the road I was greeted by Kristen and Mr. Laroy (Jonathan’s Dad). I asked about the other Harrell’s riders and she laughed at me. She said they went by over an hour ago. I thought “damn this is going to be a long day”.

To the next check point is up THE 9 MILE CLIMB. I knew what to expect and felt great. I was putting the hammer down. I probably passed 15 racers on this climb. At the top I took a break at some food and started to #3 which was up another long climb. I do not know what happened at this point but about 3 miles from the summit I blew up. As I went around every switchback I was looking for the parkway. This was the longest hardest climb of the day for me. All 15 people I passed on 9 MILE + 10 more passed me in the next 3 miles. When I was passed by the woman, I almost asked for a hug. Everyone that passed was burdened by “how much further to the summit?”, “what is the ride time?”. Then Finally there it was.

Check point #4. Ate some food, made some jokes and headed up the Parkway. Once at the top it was time to have some fun. Bombed down Heartbreak and down to #5 in short time. Took another break then started back to Kitsuma. I knew I had ~12 miles left and ride time was around 6:45. I thought I just might make my goal of 8 hours. Jumped on the bike and up to Kitsuma. The switchbacks this time were very lonely. Got to the top and flew down the other side. It was going good until I fell off the side of the mountain. Luckily I did not hit any trees or boulders, climbed back to the trail and rode on. Hit the pavement and off to the finish.

I made it in 8 hours 3 minutes and 111 of 360. I am fairly happy with the results, but plenty of room for improvement. If Damon would have only had 2 more flats I probably could have caught him.Congrats to all that finished. That is a hard race. Results are up on

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jonathon's ORAMM

On the morning of July 23, 2006, my Father, Kristin and I all jumped in the car at approximately 5:40am. Our destination was Old Fort, NC so I could participate in the ORAMM. On the way, Kristin and I chatted while my dad bounced around in the back seat elated to see his son participate in this wonderful event. This was his first time to see me race.

We arrived in plenty of time until I realized that I had to stand in two lines for quite some time. One line to register and one line to use a port let. This took me right up to 7:45 and the race started at 8:00. Slightly rushed, I packed my camel bak and changed clothes. I found myself huddled close to people I know and surrounded by 369 people at the start of the Assault. This race is HUGE and pulls people as far away as Japan to race.

As we were all talking smack in the group, I realized I had already made my first mistake of the day. I forgot to put tubes in my pack. Ohhhh crappage. I knew I had a ton of air pressure in my tires so I just left it and figured I could make it to rest stop two where more tubes, my Father and Kristin would be waiting.

It was time to start riding. ON YOUR LEFT! People deal with stress and nervous energy in many different ways, or so I have read. Apparently, I deal with these things by utilizing humor. So this is how I always handle the start of a mountain bike race, with humor. So “ON YOUR LEFT” is what I started yelling as soon as the cop car sounded “wup whoop” to signal the beginning of the race. Of course I knew I couldn’t get around those 200 some odd people in front of me but I wanted them to know I meant business. So off we went into the backcountry of the Grandfather district.

Things in the beginning were pretty uneventful. Once we made it to the first single track climb Kitsuma, people were pretty stacked and I walked most of the switchbacks. Once on top we were headed for our first downhill. I was following about thirteen people and had about five or six behind me. After descending for about a minute, I heard “Could I get by, thanks, could I get by thanks. . .” After about five of these, I heard a girl behind me requesting to get by. I said “You can get by when I get by.” I think this made everyone nervous because when the trail opened up for a second everyone in front of me parted as though Moses was commanding them and the rider directly in front of me tried to negotiate the passes and ran into a tree. I buzzed by them all and never heard from behind me again.

I had put a new tire on my back wheel and even at high pressure it was gripping nicely. Just please don’t let it go flat. I passed the first rest stop without stopping headed onto number two. Some more ascending and descending and then a long gravel road to rest stop two where I stopped to fill up on water. I took off up the road and saw Kristin and my Dad waiting. My Father had been diligently working for my cause.Yahooo I can get some tubes. I chatted for a second got some tubes and was on my way into the hardest section of the course, the hellacious climb up Curtis Creek road.

Some folks and myself had all climbed this road two weeks prior. Here are some of the warriors. Joe, Russ, Jamie (in back). The climb was what it was. A looooong climb. I made it to the top and then started the next gravel downhill followed by another four mile climb. Once I made it to the top of this climb I rested a little longer and chatted with Eric Wever (Pisgah Adventure Mountain Bike Race promoter) who was volunteering at rest stop four. As I started to take off I saw my dad walking down toward the rest stop and knew they must be parked further up the parkway. I rode a half mile and saw Kristin chilling by the car awaiting my arrival once more. Nice legs eh?I stopped and got the last of my gels and some cold water then headed on up to Hearbreak.

A long downhill awaited me and I was flying down this trail. I never stopped to let any air out of the tires because you don’t fix somethin’ that ain’t broke. So I passed a few people going down, or I should say they let me by. I had a nice groove going when I spotted a Budweiser about 13 feet off the trail down a STEEP slope. So I did what anyone would do, I planted my front wheel into two fallen trees and did a mid-air cartwheel followed by an ass/back rail slide to see if the beer was cold. Once I had blazed a new cave through some foliage I realized that I was just seeing a mirage. I found a slightly easier path going back up and crawled my way back to the trail. I yanked my bike from the thickets and surveyed for damage and on down down down. Once I made it to the bottom of Heartbreak I failed to see a directional arrow and was greeted by a group of boy scouts that were all pointing back the way I came as though they were “Uncle Sam” himself. The boy scouts want “YOU” to go the right way.

Luckily this year when I went back across the railroad tracks I didn’t encounter a 10 minute wait for one of these steel beasts. So I was back to rest stop five and all I needed to do was a relatively easy fire road climb back to Kitsuma and the finish. As I got back to the single track of Kitsuma, I hopped off my bike to walk it up the switchbacks. The trail starts right next to I-40 and there were two truckers working on their rig as I got off. I made eye contact and the one not working said “How many maaaales is your’all’s trail?” I responded “Sixty-Five miles.” He said “HOLY $#!@.”

The climb up was slow and the ride down was fun. Back out onto the asphalt and headed to the finish. It was great fun and an awesome time. I cut 47 minutes off last year’s time for a whopping 9 hours and 3 minutes finish time. The Assault is great and it hurts. I was so glad to have some of the people I love there and for them to see me finish. So thanks to all who volunteered, came out, hung out, took pictures, yelled and all that jazz.

Super awesome kudos to Kristin and Jack LaRoy, YOU GUYS ROCK! Post Race interview below:So in the post interview conducted by Kristin Jean Elliot:Kristin “So Jonathon how did completing the Assault two years in a row make you feel?”Jonathon “UUUrrrrrrrrrrrrrrppppppppp.” Kristin “Would you like to cleanse your stanky butt before answering any more questions?”

Jonathon “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the Harrell's/Garmin team (Jaime, Russ, Damon, Joe, Jonathan & Toby) for their participation in the 7th annual Off-Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell in Old Fort NC this past weekend. Blue Ridge Adventures puts on the 64mi. journey through the hills of Pisgah National Forest. With 11,000+ ft. of mostly off-road climbing, no feat for the weak. On that note Jaime & Russ made it onto the podium in the Vet Men division. The rest of us just survived to tell the stories. So hopefully the team will chime in sometime this week with those stories.

Results are not up yet, but they should appear here soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wednesday Harbison Ride

Anyone up for a mtb ride @ Harbison wednesday afternoon say 6:15pm?


Recon Weekend

This weekends ride was a great trip up to the mountains around Ridgecrest. The fun and climbing seemed to never end. Somewhere in the ball park of 50mi and 8,000' of climbing, just a touch over what you would see at Harbison. So no one took to the dirt and we all kept the rubber side down all day.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Recon On

Okay Folks,

Time is set for Sunday (7/9) 6am @ Harrell's. This should put us at Kitsuma parking lot around 8:30(ish). Plan on a solid 6hr ride, bring food, water, you might even want to bring some type of shell with ya. As far a water source goes - there is a drinkable stream on Curtis creek rd ~ 2hrs in. CCrd will take a solid hour to climb to the BRP. Then we will asses the groups morale and decide what path to take. If we take to longer of the two routes there will be one other water source available. So be prepared to go at least 3hrs between water stops. This will be a loop, so once we leave the car we want be back for a while. We should be able to hit about 3/4 of the loop and we will see most all the big climbs and the hairy descents.

So be ready and bring you s**t talk and lets hit the hill - BIG BOY style.

If you are in for the ride lets go ahead and get a head check. So far Toby, Russ, Joe, LeRoy & Jamie anyone else.