Category Archives: Comments about Cycling

Joe Martin Memorial Stage Race – Stage 3

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Today was a 93 mile road race. 3 laps of a rolling 23 mile circuit plus 12 miles out to the course and back. No rain. A little windy at the start, but it calmed down during the race.

The race was going pretty good right from the gun. But, it didn’t split until we hit the feed climb about 14 miles into the race. A lot of different teams wanted to put some pressure on Ouch and a big break of 10 guys or so got away. It was definitely very hard up the climb when it split. I had no ability to cover the move. But, I wasn’t too interested in the move either.

The Ouch team got pretty organized at the top of the climb. They were rolling along pretty good. Around 30mph. Then the Bissell Team lined up behind them. The the V Australia Team behind them. So, the first 24 spots were taken. (Just like it Europe is the only explanation I’ve heard so far.) It stayed that way until the 2nd time up the climb and everything fell apart again. Everyone attacking, Ouch drifting back. But, it all came back together a few km up the road. Ouch got sort of reorganized for the next and final lap, but when we hit the climb, Kelly Benefits put in a pretty hard attack a km from the bottom of the climb and that was all she wrote for the Ouch Team chase. By the time it all calmed down and everyone was sort of back together, I think there were only 3 or so guys left for Rory Sutherland. The break still had a minute and a half. So, V Australia and the Land Rover guys started helping out. They were rolling along good.

We got the break in sight about 10 miles out and caught them with around 5 miles to go. The sprint was a little messy as usual. Downhill to a narrow coned section and then uphill the last 300 meters or so. I couldn’t really tell if anyone was doing a very good leadout. I was just trying to rest and stay out of trouble and in the main blob not too far back. Anyway, I was in great position with 300 meters to go, but right when I started sprinting, I hit a big stick in the road and it threw me off balance and I had to stutter coast. By the time I got going again, I wasn’t going fast and ended up 12th. I probably wasn’t going to win, but I was going to finish much better. I wasn’t 3 bike lengths out in 12th, so I have no idea where I would of been. Haedo won for a 2nd day straight. He is fast. Results below.

I was told that there is a special first cyclo-x racer prize here. Overall GC I guess. Pretty heavy hitters with Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers, Troy Wells, Andy Jaques-Mayne, Frattini, Tyler Wren, etc. I don’t think it’s looking too good for the home team unless it is a torrentiall downpout during the criterium tomorrow. And who wants that?

Side note, Trudi got the van stuck at the feed zone. All the other teams tried to help her out, but it took the land owner and a bunch other smart mountain guys 2 hours to get her unstuck. Photo below.

Tomorrow is a 90 minute criterium on a hill. Hard course if they are tempoing hard at the front. Once again, it is supposed to rain, so life will be real interesting if it finally occurs.

High sided.

High sided.

Way better than AAA.

Way better than AAA.

Stage 3 – 93 miles. 28mph average

1 22 HAEDO, Lucas Sebasti Colavita Sutter Hm/Cooking Lt 3:17:34 15 @ 0
2 26 CANTWELL, Jonathan Fly V Australia ” 10 ”
3 81 SANDERSON, Nic Rock Racing ” 5 ”
4 163 MILNE, Shawn Team Type 1 ” ”
5 139 MAZICH, Sean Team Waste Management ” ”
6 58 ELKEN, Evan Land Rover-Orbea ” ”
7 36 HUFF, Brad Jelly Belly ” ”
8 60 VAN UDEN, Roman Land Rover-Orbea ” ”
9 89 SCHILDGE, Eric Bikereg.Com/Cannondale ” ”
10 3 MURPHY, John Ouch Presented By Maxxis ” ”
11 140 STEWART, Scott Team Waste Management ” ”
12 147 TILFORD, Steve Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores ” ”
13 71 GILBERT, Martin Planet Energy ” ”
14 167 ALDAPE, Moises Team Type 1 ” ”
15 46 SHIRLEY, Neil Kelly Benefit Strategies ” ”
16 126 STEMPER, James Team Geargrinder ” ”
17 38 POWERS, Jeremy Jelly Belly ” ”
18 43 ERKER, Jacob Kelly Benefit Strategies ” ”
19 164 CALABRIA, Fabio Team Type 1 ” ”
20 12 OBEE, Kirk Bissell Pro Cycling ” ”
21 64 SOLADAY, Thomas Mountain Khakis ” ”
22 29 GEORGE, Steve Fly V Australia ” ”
23 9 JACQUES-MAYNES, Ben Bissell Pro Cycling ” ”
24 135 GAREY, Logan Team Rio Grande ” ”
25 100 HAGMAN, Alex Ciclismo Racing ” ”
26 65 HOFFARTH, Will Mountain Khakis ” ”
27 106 MINTURN, John CRCA/Empire Cycling Northwave ” ”
28 21 FRATTINI, Davide Colavita Sutter Hm/Cooking Lt ” ”
29 24 WREN, Tyler Colavita Sutter Hm/Cooking Lt ” ”
30 107 ZMOLIK, Daniel CRCA/Empire Cycling Northwave ” ”
31 86 DILLON, Josh Bikereg.Com/Cannondale ” ”
32 144 ROTHE, Stefan Texas Tough ” ”
33 63 NORTHEY, Mike Land Rover-Orbea ” ”
34 151 MCVEY, Bryan Vision Quest ” ”
35 121 CHRISTIAN, Gregory Panther/RGF pb Felt Bicycles ” ”
36 94 FALCON, Yosvany Champion Porsche P/B Race Edge ” ”
37 113 HAZZARD, Kevin Jet Fuel Coffee ” ”
38 105 MATHIS, Michael CRCA/Empire Cycling Northwave ” ”
39 93 TRAVIESO, Frank Champion Porsche P/B Race Edge ” ”
40 32 SULZBERGER, Bernard Fly V Australia ” ”

Joe Martin Criterium Final Day

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling, Race stories, Racing, Uncategorized on by .

Today was actually a race. The course is hard. Over a mile with 8 corners, a 45 mph descent and a pretty hard drag up to the finish. Ouch was going to have it’s hands full controlling the field for Rory Sutherland.

It got going right from the gun. Ouch got organized, but attacks kept them kind of buried the early laps. Eventually a large group of 11 riders established themselves after about half the race. Things got interesting. The break got up to nearly 40 seconds with 5 laps to go. But, they kind of blew it and started attacking each other becoming pretty disorganized. Floyd had already burned off the front, along with a couple of his Ouch team mates. But, only two riders of the break were left. Chris Jone, Type 1 and a Colivita rider. They barely made it to the finish 3 seconds ahead of a charging field, with Chris Jones winning. Rory Sutherland and his team did a great job of controlling the race and let the time bonus’s go up the road.

I was pretty OK all day. Not stellar, but acceptable. I was hoovering around 20th or so most of the time. Just far enough up not to feel the slinky effect too badly. But, with 3 laps to go, I screwed up and got stuck on the outside of a guy who was having some problems and got passed by a bunch of guys. Little did I know the field was so small. I kind of paniced and sprinted up the hill alittle too hard. I dangled with 2 to go and on the 2nd to final time up the climb I got popped. I didn’t loose too much time and finished 30 seconds or so back. The field was pretty shattered by this point. I can’t think of another race I’ve ever done that I was dropped in the last two laps. Kind of depressing really.

Anyway, when I checked the results driving home, they had left myself and a Nick Coil out of the results. Had us down as DNF’s. I don’t care, but I do have an issue with bad officiating. Nature Valley two years ago they said I DNF’d and I was in the top 20 overall. On a hilly criterium. I had a photo of the finish with me in it and the finish time. Then Cyclo-X Nationals in Kansas City last year there were officiating screw ups in lots of catagories. Including the Elite men. Now again. I think that in events of this caliber, the best officials should be there and the errors shouldn’t occur. It is more common than not. These stage races cost around $200 to enter. This money is to pay for a service. The service is to provide the venue and infrastructure to compete in a bicycle race. But this service hasn’t been performed with they don’t have correct results. Even worse, when they say you didn’t finish the race when you obviously did. Maybe a good remedy would be for the race to have to refund the entry fee of the riders that haven’t been given the results they paid for. For most of the Pro riders, hardly matters. But, for the weekend warrior, it is very important and something that needs to be addressed. That’s my 2 cents worth.

Discussing "Cyclo-X" GC contenders with J. Powers.

Having fun finish photo.

Having fun finish photo.

Banner Bromont saw.  Explains how I've try to show him to live!

Banner Bromont saw. Explains how I've try to show him to live!

Pro Cycling has become a job?

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I’ve always seen racing bicycles as a privilege. Something that I love to do. I stayed with Jeff Bradley during the Quad Cities weekend. He used to ride for 7-11 back in the 80’s. He rode the Tour. The Giro. A lot of other European one day and stage races too. I was asking him how many times in his career that he set tempo on the front for his team. He said zero. The answer didn’t surprise me. I never set tempo. Ever. Up until the maybe Telekom in the Tour, the teams didn’t ride tempo all day. Riders raced. If you go back to the 1986 Tour when Lemond was having his issues with Hinault, Andy and Steve Bauer etc. didn’t ride at the front all day to set tempo. La Vie Claire riders finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the 1986 Tour de France. That doesn’t leave many to ride at the front. I feel bad for these guys that never get to race their bikes for themselves. It seems like a lot of domestic Pros are watching way too much Tour de France TV and want to race like that. What fun is that? Rotating at the front with 6 other guys for day after day. Plus, it is as boring as hell sitting behind these guys day after day.

I bring this up because Nature Valley Gran Prix starts next Wednesday. And the TT is the very first race, Wednesday morning. This is going to make the next three days into non bike racing. That’s too bad. On Saturday, the Mankato race finishes on a circuit that is too hard for any domestic Pro team to control. So, we’ll ride tempo up to the circuit for the first three hours and then race for an hour. Then back to the tempo thing on Sunday for the Stillwater Criterium. Stillwater has a course that climbs up from the St. Croix River. It is super hard. I’ve always said if you can tempo that criterium, you can tempo any race. And that has been the case the last few years. It should be carnage with a climb that hard. But, it’s just carnage for the back of the field because of the slinky effect for the tempo riding. I’ve suggested a few time to USAC that they need to limit the number of riders at a NRC event to 6 per team. That would alleviate many of the problems that are happening now in US racing. US stage races are normally 2-5 days long. They aren’t Pro Tour events with a crazy amount of climbing and/or days. Limiting the number of riders to 6 would make the racing more aggressive. It would even out the playing field (I’d guess that less than half of the teams at Nature Valley have 8 riders registered). And it would be much less expensive for teams to field at team at a NRC event. The bigger PRO teams, if the had the budget, could be racing at two events the same weekends. It doubles up their chances of results. Everyone is still racing their bikes. But, under this new structure they actually have to be racing their bikes everyday instead of letting their teams race for them.

Sorry for the rant, but I’m just having a hard time getting enthused about riding in line for most of next week. Maybe something will happen to surprise me.

Talk about a job. Contador is going to race again at the Dauphine’ Libere’. Velonews said he hasn’t raced since April. That sounds about right. Now that is a job. Training hard enough to win Pro Tour events without racing for month periods during the season. I don’t get it. I have never been able to train hard enough to race fast. I need to race to race fast. Wonder how many race days he’ll actually get this year? Bet I have more. Something is wrong with that.

Shitty Jobs

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Did you used to take those aptitude tests in elementary school that would predict what job you would be happiest with? Those tests perplexed me. I would answer yes to about every question. And a very positive yes. Would you like to dig ditches? Yes. Would you like to be the head of a corporation? Yes. Would you like to discover a new species of mammal in Africa? Yes. Would you like to shine shoes? Yes.

What they left out at the end of those questions was, “for the rest of your life”. That changes up the question enormously. I do like to do just about anything. Making pizzas, delivering newspapers, roofing houses, digging ditches. But, I don’t like doing these things for a long duration. They don’t keep me captive intellectually.

I’ve done a bunch of different shitty jobs this winter. And I have a bunch more to complete. Jobs I don’t want to repeat. At least for the duration involved. All of them are interesting for awhile.

Cycling is different. Much different. The more you do it, the more intellectually interesting it becomes. I have said it a million times and I’ll state it here again. I have never raced a race that I didn’t learn something in. And most of the time I learned a lot. Even now. I’ve probably raced something like 2000+ races in my life. That is not an exaggeration. That is a crazy big number. Just looking at it amazes me. That would be like racing everyday of the year for nearly 6 years straight. You’d think that after doing something everyday of the week and every week of the year for 6 years, it would become pretty boring. Not hardly. The key is that it is constantly changing up. And, it never has the same results. It is very similar to chaos theory. Very minute changes occur so the outcome never seems predictable. Like the chaos theory suggests, it can be difficult to tell from observations whether the results are random or chaotic. Many races’ outcomes seem to be predestined. But, that is only after the fact. That is what I love about the sport.

Cycling in the US has been evolving recently. Probably because of the influence of foreign riders. And television. A lot of times, after I observe someone or some team make a bonehead move or rides silly, I’ll comment that they’ve been watching too much Tour de France TV. Many of the “tactics” that the US “PRO” teams seem to have adopted does not make any racing sense here. But, they don’t seem to get it because they’ve never known different. That is okay, it just makes guys like me look better than we really are. It is one of those amusing things that keeps me intellectually young in the sport.

Cycling is hardly ever a job. And when it is, it could never be classified as a shitty one.

Even redistributing debris in a dumpster has its moments, as Michael can attest to.

Floyd is in trouble

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I saw this in the New York Times. When it rains, it pours, huh?

Arrest Warrant Issued for Cyclist Floyd Landis
Published: February 14, 2010
Filed at 12:19 p.m. ET
PARIS (Reuters) – A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant against American rider Floyd Landis for suspected hacking into an anti-doping laboratory computer, French anti-doping agency head Pierre Bordry told Reuters on Monday.
In an interview, Bordy said the judge Thomas Cassuto believed Landis, whose 2006 Tour de France title was stripped after he failed a dope test, wanted to prove the laboratory where his samples were tested was wrong.
“French judge Cassuto from the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre informed us that he had issued an international arrest warrant on January 28 against Floyd Landis, who tested positive for banned testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France, after our laboratory computer system was hacked,” Bordry said.
“He was summoned by the judge, he didn’t come so he’s now under an international arrest warrant.”
The French anti-doping agency launched legal action against unnamed persons after they found their laboratory computer system had been hacked into in September 2006.
Landis, the first rider to be stripped of a Tour victory, has continually denied any wrongdoing but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected his assertion that his positive test was due to procedural mistakes by the laboratory.
Landis, 34, said last year after his two-year ban ended that he was trying to decide whether to follow fellow-American Lance Armstrong’s example and ride again in the Tour de France.
“It seems that (Landis) made all he could to enter into our computer system to try to prove the laboratory was wrong. He showed many documents he got by hacking to numerous sporting instances,” Bordry said. “The judge traced a network of hackers back to the ringleader.”

Are cyclists nuts?

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Ben Day (Fly V Australia, NRC points leader) is either unaffected by grossness or doesn’t care about his health or something I don’t understand. You should read this Velonews article about his tapeworm experience. Let me tell you. If I pull a 3-4 foot worm out of my butt, I call 911. I don’t casually go out on a training ride and act as nothing has happened. And I don’t wait until I spend a night with a fever and chills on the toilet before calling my “team doctor” asking him what to do. I’m at the emergency room with the thing in a zip lock bag.

It kind of reminds me of watching Lance on Letterman or Leno talking about his testicular cancer discovery from way back. I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something like he said that when he woke, one of his testicles was the size of a grapefruit. And he waited a while and eventually called his neighbor, who was a doctor, to ask about it. Letterman, or whoever, said something like, “wow, if I wake up in the morning with a testicle the size of a grapefruit, I call an ambulance.” Then he asked Lance what he was thinking. And Lance’s answer was that no one likes going to the doctor.

I don’t get it. Especially in Ben Day’s case. I’ve had some pretty weird medical stuff happen to me over the years. In a lot of different countries. And I avoid hospitals and doctors for as long as possible when these medical problems occur. But, this is pretty cut and dry. 4 foot worm out of butt. Go to the hospital. Or better yet, the Center for Disease Control. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Now. And don’t train first.

P.S. You can check out Ben’s personal perspective in comments below. Glad he feels “human” again. Hopefully he’s going full speed by next week in Joe Martin. It is hard to believe he could be riding as fast as he has been this year. It could be ugly for the rest of us the remainder of the season.

P.P.S. You can sign up for the tapeworm/hookworm therapy here. Pretty creepy.

The Berryman Epic – Just trying to Maintain Is Enough Sometimes

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I’ve been thinking about this for the last 24 hours and still don’t quite understand all the factors involved for me to win the Berryman Epic on Saturday. It was a perfect storm of factors as far as I’m concerned.

I guess I should start from the beginning. I was shit. And that would be an optimistic description of my pre-race feelings. I just wasn’t there. I warmed up a bit, in the cool 30 degree temperatures, and realized that I didn’t have it. But, I knew that would only be part of the equation for the day and should put in my best effort.

The short description of the race is this. Around 250-300 riders started. It’s somewhere between 56-60 miles long, depending on whose Garmin you believe. It is around 45 miles of technical singletrack and 15 miles of gravel road. This year the singletrack was covered densely with leaves. Like inches and inches. I’d bet there wasn’t a total of 3 miles of the course that wasn’t leaf covered. That changed the race up a ton. The race starts straight up a hard gravel climb, probably a little less than a mile long. Then a couple more miles of gradual uphill and gravel before turning into the singletrack.

I didn’t really talk to the guys that finished 2nd, 3rd, or 4th afterwards, so I don’t have the information to help me understand why I won. I only know what I did and how I rode. It happens that I won.

The race started super slow compared to past years. We crawled up the hill, in my opinion. That being said, there were only a few guys left at the top. It levels out and we still stayed slow. There was $100 prime for the first rider into the woods. I won the prime, but not without making a little sketchy move to Garet Steinmetz’s inside. I thought that maybe it was going to be all my prize money for the day.

I rode the next hour and a half with just three others, Dwayne Goscinski, Garet Steinmetz, and Drew Edsall. I was firing all wrong. From square one I was bad. It was much like the last day in Tulsas last weekend, but worse. I’d have to compare it to the Apollo 13 space mission. But, it wasn’t like I launched with all systems go. Like Apollo 13, I was without enough oxygen from the get go, along with a ton of other issues.

Drew took over the lead pretty early on the singletrack when I flailed on a short climb. Dwayne and Garet were on me, never more than a few seconds back. On all the climbs, Drew would disappear up the trail, only to come back again a little while later. I was going so badly, I truly was wishing that he’d just get out of sight, so he would be out of mind. Instead, he was this carrot just hanging there.

I can’t explain it still, but Drew just kept coming back to us. My only explanation is that he was thinking that it was going to be a long day on the bike and it might be better riding with a group. Or, because of all the leaves, that were covering lots and lots of rocks, he was having issues leading and thought that riding behind someone would be better for a while. Whatever the case, Drew was with us when we got to the 2nd checkpoint at the Berryman Campground 1:40 into the race. I got a bottle, some thinner gloves and a flask of espresso there. I nearly missed a turn into a singletrack, but Dwayne yelled to me and got me back on track.

Here is where the race got weird, at least for me. I coasted down the next short section of singletrack pretty clean. It is probably my favorite part of the course. Right afterwards you go over Highway 8 and start the second of 3 sections. I rode over 8 and glanced back and saw I was a few seconds ahead. There is a race constructed bridge over a small stream, then some sand and finally a couple hard climbs that are short, but steep. My left hamstring was already ready to cramp, it was pretty much done. I thought that if I sat on the climb, my hamstring would have seized up, so I made a decision to lock out my fork and climb off my seat. Normally climbing off your seat on leaves and loose rock isn’t the best idea, but I was hurting for choices.

I stood and rode up the first climb as hard as I could, which was pretty much as slow as I could go and stay on my bike. It flattens out a bit and then climbs again. I descended off these climbs and looked back again. There was no one. I couldn’t understand it. All three of the guys I was with were going better than me uphill. Especially Drew.

So, then it started, the mental challenge. The rest of the race, which was close to 3 more hours, was just trying to maintain. Trying to cope with small fires.

Here’s what I did. I convinced myself that I was good enough to win the race, even in my pitiful state. The night before, I’d looked at the results from last year and saw that 3rd was nearly 20 minutes back on me. So, I figured that I could ride over 4 minutes an hour slower and still be competitive. The conflicting side to this rational was that I didn’t know Drew Edsall and Evan Plews. As far as I know, I’ve never raced against them. On paper, they were both guys not to take lightly. But, Even wasn’t riding with us the first section and Drew was now behind me too.

Anyway, I did a complete systems check and realized that I wasn’t going to get any better physically. If anything worse. I decided that I should do the best with what I had. So, I decided to just try to make it up the climbs as best as I could, without cramping and then ride all the descents super clean. The leaves made the descents very tricky and it was super easy to miss a corner or lean too much and lose time over and over. I didn’t make many mistakes after that point. I finished the race without a drop of blood, which is very unusual for me. I never fell once.

I had to regroup at least 50 times, no actually more, lots more. I broke the rest of the course into small segments and then just tried to ride to the end of each segment and then start again. I usually don’t have to make up these little games to race my bike, but this was a special situation.

There is a 6 or 7 mile road section connecting the end of the second section back to the last and final section. I ate a ton on this road. Two full bags of cubes, two gels, and the flask of coffee. I had been feeling like I was bonking for the past couple hours, nearly from the start.

I rode back up to the entrance to the Berryman Campground, which is a long road climb. I felt like hell. I got a Coke and another bottle and started out of the checkpoint in the wrong direction. If I wouldn’t have heard Trudi tell me to go a different direction, I would have been lost once again. I drop the can of Coke and it burst open. I picked it up and drank the remaining bit out of the shredded can.

This started a high point of my race. I rode the next 5 miles pretty good. I was in my big ring and riding nearly normal. Granted, there wasn’t much climbing here, but I was optimistic that maybe I was coming around. But, in my whole time of racing MTB bikes, this had never happened, so I don’t know what I was thinking. When the trail started going uphill again, I wasn’t good again. But, something else happened during this time too.

It started getting very hard to follow the trail. The leaves seemed thicker and there wasn’t so much elevation change, so it all looked like a blanket of snow, only leaves. I had to stop at least 5 or 6 times and just stare into the woods. A couple times I had to walk back 50 meters or so and try to figure out where to go. Most of the time, the course had cut back on itself and was heading a different direction.

I forgot to mention, that I was having some serious vision problems with my right eye. Somewhere very early in the race, I thought I got something on my glasses, so I put the glasses in my pocket and it was better, I thought. But, later on, I couldn’t see very well. I closed one and then the other, and realized my right eye was having issues. I sprayed water into it a few times, but it didn’t help. So, seeing the trail wasn’t that easy. (I’m going to the eye doctor today hopefully.)

Anyway, I didn’t get lost and rode the last of the singletrack up to the final 6 mile road section alright. I was so done that I ate two more caffeinated gels the last 6 miles. I was crawling, but I didn’t look back more than a couple times. I was going through the whole day in my mind and didn’t understand it at all. I still don’t understand it much, even now.

I know I’ve dragged this out. I guess I was trying to figure it out some still. I’m not surprised much in bike racing, especially MTB racing when it is mainly you against the course. I know that I have a ton of experience in lots of different conditions. All I can think is that the leaves covering the rocks made the conditions uncomfortable for some of the others. It’s the only thing that explains the big time differences behind me.

Anyway, I have to admit the day didn’t go as I had thought. That is one of the things I love about the sport so much. It is a continuing learning process. I know this is going to sound kind of weird, but winning the race wasn’t such a big deal. Of course, I like winning bike races. It is a confirmation of what you’ve been doing in life to prepare. But, I’m not that big on winning racing while not riding well and I wasn’t really prepared. Maybe that isn’t exactly right. I just wished I would have been a little better physically, so I could have enjoyed the 4 and 1/2 hours in the woods just a bit.

Scott, Jake and his helpers put on a very, very good bike race. They all have so much enthusiasm for the sport. The awards banquet was awesome. Lots of fun, good stories, camaraderie. I forgot how much I miss MTB racing. I need to do it much more.

Okay, that was a long one.

This pretty much sums it up. I was pretty destroyed. Lucky, the beer was flowing as soon as I crossed the line.

The T-shirts are a results sheet from the previous year.

There were computer printer results, but I thought these initial results were more appropriate. Click to enlarge and try to decode.

This is how it looked most of the way, minus the hills.

Every rider gets a free meal. I usually don’t eat food like this, but this food was great.

Any race that has a bon fire at the finish is a race I’d like to attend. Plus, lots of dogs running free.

Brad Huff with his pre-race breakfast.