Scott (Bear) at the start.
Kevin, at the start. Really paying attention!
Looking back at the start. Lisa on the far right in the green/black outfit. Her friend to her right with the same colors. Both from Des Moines. We met them on the trail and ended up riding with them after the 35 mile marker.
Looking to the front at the start.
Chris and Mike 15 miles in or so.
Chris at the 2nd checkpoint. Mile 35 or so. No water available.
Same checkpoint. Started comparing notes. Many people we discovered were getting lost. By this time we had lost 25-30 minutes ourselves from a wrong turn.X-Gon or Para-Cal (combo of Gary Fisher x-cal '07 and Paragaon '09) with cue sheets and holder. Ergon grips, never had any wrist issues. I have a little Carpal Tunnel syndrome issue at times.
Mile 75 or so. The Keen sandals were fantastic. Never noticed my feet. The back of my neck and shoulders, now that's a different story. (Oh, and my nether regions seem to need some soothing attention today, more than any where else on my body...)The winners won in 9.5 hrs. or something, 105 miles, I belief. Jed from Des Moines, and Mike, from Milwaukee. Jed was part of a group that we got to know and we talked the morning after as we were in the same motel and Mike was with a few guys I know from Madison and actually had dinner with him the night before. They did a great job of not rushing and making poor choices on the course. Reading the map 3-4 stops ahead seemed to really help them understand the flow and avoid bad or missing signage and other issues that seemed to affect most of us other racers.
I guess they never really got lost. Chris and I got turned around a few times and toward the end I started taking some short cuts as I knew I'd end up with over 100 miles, while Chris really did the whole thing. I was getting too tired and although I could keep up in the singletrack, the roads with some dandy uphills were not good to me. Also, it was going to get dark and even though I had a camping type light, didn't want to have a breakdown and be fighting to get in.
Details: 106 miles
Time: 12 hr:32 minutes of actual riding/14 hrs. on the course
ave: 9.1 mph
Elev: 10,000 ft
Single track: 80% or so??
Chris probably had 115 miles and 15 hrs. or so on the course, his bike computer wasn't working. I finished with a couple of guys that Chris knew, Bob and Ryan and he finished the race riding with Lisa from Des Moines.
Obviously, we all ended up riding in the dark back to
Had to use cue cards/directions on what trails to take and where to turn off and such. Water at miles 20 and 55 only. Temps were in the 70's luckily and the not 80's they were forecasting.
One guy crashed and got knocked out, I saw the ambulance come in for him, he was ok when I saw him at the trailhead, though.
250 signed up for it, 120 showed up and my prediction was that 1/2 would finish...based on info after the race, my prediction maybe pretty accurate, we'll see.
Chris' friend, Mike helped me out on the very first climb as I had a case of chain suck, where the chain gets stuck between the front gears (chainring) and the frame. We thought we might have to break the chain, re-thread it and put a master link in, but at the last second, by giggling it around some, it popped back where it should be. We lost about 10 minutes. Figured the race would take us 12 hrs. so not too excited, yet. I had one more chain suck episode and Chris helped me free it again. Only took a few minutes for that one.
- I ignored Chris at an intersection because the sign pointed in the right direction...well, the sign was wrong and we rode an extra 25-30 minutes on the wrong trail. Lesson #1 learned
- At the 50 mile mark, we, along with the a few other folks, lost the trail again. One more time before the day was over, when I was riding alone trying to make connections on a seldom ridden snowmobile trail, I lost my way deep in the woods, but came out and figured out how to get back on track. Took an ATV trail and not a Snowmobile trail as was instructed. Lession #2 learned.
- Made sure I raced at my pace. Chris can smoke me anytime he wants to, but I didn't try to do anything different riding with him than I'd normally do riding alone. Had 2 slight cramp issues, stopped and popped a few electrolytes and no issues after that.
- I knew the Birkie trail can lull a guy into making pace mistakes from xc-sking that race. And the forest roads were sandy and had very tough climbs. I'd let Chris and the group take off
I then met up with Ryan and Bob on the last singletrack section. They had taken a wrong turn and were searching for a way out. By now it was pushing 8PM.
As we were talking I heard bikes coming from where I had just come and it was Larry and Dave, 2 guys I was riding with before I took a cut-off and lost the group we were all part of. But, they had just lost Chris and Lisa somewhere before the singletrack section started.
Us 4 decided to head down the singletrack for another mile or so and hit a dirt road to get out, we still had 10/15 miles or so to do. Bob and I were beat and everyone wanted to just get out. We all had our 100 miles in.
After we popped out on the rode, Larry and Dave went north and Ryan, Bob and I went south. That wasn't the plan originally, but adjustments seemed to have been made on the fly all day so why stop now?
We rode for 1/2 a mile or so and came up on Chris and Lisa reading a trail sign on the dirt road we were on. They had gotten turned around a little and popped out to read the signage. After a brief talk, Chris and Lisa went back in to finish the singletrack and stay on course and Ryan, Bob and I stuck to our original plan and took off on the dirt road towards Seely.
We 3 pulled in around 9 AM with Mike, Chris's friend waiting in the dark for us at the finish. Mike had bailed somewhere around the 50 mile mark and went in.
Chris and Lisa got in about 10....after a quick change of clothes Mike, Chris and I went to Hayward to try to catch some of the after party at the Angry Mminnow but nobody from the race was there.
As they weren't serving food, we downed a quick beer and went to the local hangout, the Moccasin Bar. A must see for any tourist.
As I had eaten with Ryan and Bob before Chris got in and Mike hadn't eaten since 3PM, they ordered 2 pizzas. Mike and I also shared a pickled egg and pickled turkey gizzard as appetizers. No place like a WI bar at midnight!
Back to the motel by 1PM for a quick nap before the 6:20 alarm so Chris and Mike could head back to the Cities to play some baseball.
Chris pitched the first game and caught the 2nd. Went 3-4 with a hit-by-pitch and a walk.
Humm......maybe 15 hr. bike rides the day before are good for his game?