It was nice to race locally and for shorter duration. Ponca State Park is my favorite if the trails are dry you can carve some sweet lines. Alas that was not the case this year. During my pre ride lap it dumped and I got soaked. The trail was mess. Roxy pushed the start time to noon. The course w as still wet but not un ridable. The climbs were tractor pull and descent for first 2 laps were a test in patience and balance. But after that the trail started to get dry and good. As far as the race was concerned it was pretty boring. I rode with Jonathan Waitt for 2 laps then by myself for 4. Didn’t get passed by any one passed couple of Cat ones… Got 4th. Realized that I will have to re-cable my bike after this.. 2nd time this year (supper wet races thus far). It was pretty good day everything was working well.. I was able to keep the HR pretty high for 3 hours so that’s good…. One more race to close out the Spring Campaign then it’s vacation followed by cx build ( both bikes and the body).
Start of June, means only one thing on my calendar. Dirty Kanza… if there is race that has gotten the better of me for the last 3 years it is Dirty Kanza. This ultra is one of toughest one day race in U.S. Combination of heat/wind and just though terrain make it a difficult day on bike. This year I once again opted for single speed bike and once again my lovely wife MK and her side kick Miko volunteered to be my support. The drive down to Emporia was not too bad. The packet pickup was a bit hectic, a lot of familiar faces and a lot of people in general. After quick spin it was time for dinner and early bed time. Spike TV was playing Star War Episode IV so that was good sign. Race Day
That’s a lot of people
The 4 am wake-up call came early, I ate some rice porridge drank some coffee and headed out the door. With a lot of people this year you want to get a good spot, especially for single speed you need to suck as many wheels as humanly possible. I didn’t realize how many people were lined up on the street but it was a lot. I only realized after I looked at the pictures later. The start was no so smooth, the roll-out was slow but each corner we took, there as giant slinky effect. Everyone would sprint out of the corner only to slam the brakes and screw the people behind you. I was pretty nervous with amount of people who might not be comfy riding in double pace line at 25 mph. Then I happened someone spilled 4 bikes ahead of me, Stephen (chaos) Thompson, tried to bunny hop the guy and the bike and superman across the carnage that was very close call. As the hills came the pack split up. I got stuck in typical SS mode. Climb better on hills only to be passed by bunch of people on downhill or tailwind section. Then the best part of the day happened. Peat with lower gearing caught up with me and we spend most of the day riding together. It was match made in heaven we quickly made game plan of sticking together if possible. If you never rode with Peat, you are missing out it’s really a great experience not only is he supper talented Mountain bike he’s also super nice guy. We talked about music, tires bricks, food, awesomeness that is bacon… It wasn’t really racing it was more like just riding around. My favorite part of the race happened in only muddy part of the race. Peat and I rode the MMR section and bypassed about 30 people walking their bikes in ditch… (take that ditch walkers) It was pretty sweet I must say. After first Checkpoint Peat fell back, he later told me his support car wasn’t even there, and I rode by myself I took some pulls with chamois butter guys and Girl named Kristen. It was pretty slow going climbing at 8 mph into stiff headwind. But we kept on making progress. The 100 mile checkpoint came and I stopped and ate one of my home-made sandwiches and pounded some coconut water. Got new bottles and some rice cakes and took off. Peat got back to me, and we rode together again. We might of weirded Kristen out a bit as we were making jokes. The wind was still a factor and there was plenty of oil fields when we were going pretty slowly. I was running low on water and stopped at farmhouse. Peat went ahead of me but they weren’t more than ½ mile head as matter of fact a group of about 20 people taken wrong turn so they all caught me and Peat and I were like peas and carrots again. Sometimes during that time Peat got a flat and I broke a spoke. It was during that time that Peter the other SS guy whom we thought be being ahead of us, pulled behind us and to our great surprise. So here we were 140 miles into this 1/2/3 sitting and riding together. While closing on the last checkpoint Peat and I formulated a plan. We have let Peter go ahead of us alone around mile 40 to see if the wind can soften his resolve. On the last section we were going to take turn attacking him and see what would happen. This was great plan. However it never happened. My car wasn’t next to theirs I didn’t see them leave. I left pretty quickly but I had no idea what the gap was and what they were doing ahead. I rode by myself for first time during the race. I was getting tired but was still trying to get some speed out on tailwind section. I would get passed by the geared guys in the pace line but 19mph was my only top speed I could maintain. I caught Todd Greer at mile 195 gave him some motivational talk and congratulated him on job well done. I crossed the finish line at 14:20 time 3rd in Single Speed. I was a bit bummed I didn’t see those guys leave I would have like to be there at the end. That’s part of endurance racing though. I’m super stoked for Peat, we always talk about riding together and we finally had good 7 hour session. I couldn’t pick a better riding buddy than Him. So that is that the demons for this year we conquered. It was nice to finish in the day time. On the side note these races are getting super fast….
Feeling like million $… okay not really
Both Megan and I made a lot of sacrifices for this race. I was gone for some long rides to get ready for this, it was her ability to put up with this schedule that paid benefits. I would also like to thank Mark Savery, his coaching plan he put me on in March paid huge benefits. If you like to talk to him about his services do so, he’s know what he is talking about. Minus missing the guys at the last checkpoint everything went really well. Thanks for inspiration, Corey Godfrey when I was chubby dude I read his blog and was awed by his progress you are inspiration for me.
Lastly I would like to thank our little Midtown Cycling crew. You guys are great, I can’t ask for better group of people to push each other. Thank you my sponsors Midwest Cycling Community/ Twin Six. I got two more races and then it’s off for summer vacation to Spain. They should be shorter in time/nature
Peat and I color matching at the podium
P.S. I might be editing this post to add some pictures
Well this weekend I went to Mount View, AR to give Syllamos 125k a shot. I felt pretty good heading to the weekend and I knew the trail would be pretty technical in spots. I figured it would be last long ride before DK. Little did I know it was going to be a pretty long/stressful day on bike filled with me sitting on the ground. The drive and pre-ride were not eventful the cabin we got was pretty sweet. The only bummer about the drive was Todd Wixon going all Shrek on my cinnamon roll, what a brute.
It looked tasty never know…
Early morning we got everything ready got to the start. Got ready … the number of 125k riders was not that big maybe 70 total. The course starts up with 1 mile climb to the single i was right behind the contenders right where I want to be. Sitting about 15-17th. I also saw my buddy the ditch guy. Talk about some who has worse luck then me I saw him trying to fix a flat early then he ripped my derailluer clean off right in front of me… Bummer Ditch Guy.
The early morning dew made some of the technical sections pretty much unridable . The yellow section is pretty good i negotiated it really well got to the check point about 1:20. Topped off the bottle and was good to go … 1 mile from there I cut my sidewall … groovy this would be a major bummer. 5 miles later I would get another flat. I got slime tube from neutral support van and changed it. Getting the pressure right would be tricky it was so freaking wet you wanted to run lower pressure but not to low to pinch flat.
Now the blue section of the course is pretty technical, most of it would be ridable if it wasn’t supper slick but that day it was as slip sliding away for sure. There was creek crossings and infaumous stairway to heaven slick rocks for you to kiss with your face.. It’s all there .. Pretty techy stuff. Regardless, at some point I went the wrong way. I went down the connector trail that is used later in the race. It had course marking but when i rode down to the bottom there was a course block. I rode back and forth trying to figure things out. Finally i rode back to the t intersection and went the other way. From there it was only about 15 min to checkpoint. Got some water and headed out for red trail which was pretty sweet and flowy. Then I got another flat. Changed it and made it back to the aid station and descended down to start of the single track. Yellow section was dry and 95% ridable I was feeling good. Rode to the checkpoint changed gloves and headed out to ride red section got another flat i was all out of tube then. I started to patch my tube some gave me a an extra one I changed it rode to the checkpoint and headed to the finish line where I got another flat. That would be number 5. I changed that as well and headed to the finish trying not to flat again.
I kind of checkout at flat no 3. I was so far back from everyone i passed the same people multiple times only to flat again. About 2 hours of stopped time in MTB race that’s a lot. Fixing flats, patching tubes and getting lost is just not that speedy when it’s 83 % with 90% humidity. It was probably my worst performance on bike for quite sometime. I was feeling really good until getting lost/flats started happening. I should have just quit but I hate quitting. I might need to get back to that place with my solid rubber tires or something. The course is demanding and the views are stunning, truly beautiful down there. I’m on fence about doing it again (mainly because it’s always the same weekend as almanzo/royal)
Meanwhile on home front MIKO is 21 lbs, she loves beer and water so I guess she picked up love of beer from me and water from MK TTFN. Time to go a get a new mower this week as mine broke week earlier.
So it’s not that much of secret or maybe it is .. Mark has told me what to do… for some time now ( okay so really riding my training plans). When I looked at May 11th I was like oh sweet Race Platte, I failed to see the and then ride for 5-6 hours afterword… That’s a long day in saddle. So Friday I dropped my stuff at Ryan and Roxy’s and went to bed somewhat early. I got up super early did the MIKO the dog thing and was out the door at 7:15 am. I figured it takes usually less than 2 hours on cx bike to ride to Platte so it shouldn’t be a big deal. Get there take off some morning clothes. Mix my Skratch Lab stuff and maybe ride the first climb a bit.
The start is le mans style it was kind of fast. I didn’t have problems finding my bike and somehow ended it up being first one on to the climb. I didn’t really want that place but my slowing down a bit didn’t really invite anyone coming around… Okay. I guess I will lead in to single track. After about 1/2 lap we had 4 person gap with me still leading with Gersib/Pinkleman and some skinny bloke from IA. And then I his something and started to loose air. Stopped tried pumping it up, tubeless wasn’t sealing. I figured it would be faster to ride on almost flat tire to the bottom and change it at the transition area. Sure enough i had so little pressure in the tire I was rolling the corners super badly. Got to the transition area. Grabbed a tube… Change it and then i couldn’t get any air in the tube. It’s been so long since I had that tube it just went bad. Changed the tube again. After this turn of the events it just turned to training ride. It took me some time to get going. But I knew my chances of doing anything are pretty much gone. So for remaining 3 hours or so I just rode in circles and enjoyed the day. I opted out of going for 7th lap as I still had to ride home and the wind was pretty stiff.
Riding home was not so much fun. It was pretty windy…At some point i really questioned the sense of this. It was either the wind or the This American Life episode i was listening to was not cutting it. I stopped changed it to Pandora and rolled toward Pflug rd. I knew after that It would be mostly cross wind after that. It took a while but I got home in just under 3 hours and 3 miles short of 100 on MTB. That night MK got gyro platters from Greek Islands which is ate and promptly passed out.
I honestly think it doesn’t get any better than Platte for MTB racing around here. Even though I always have horrible race results there I enjoy that place tremendously. It was great to see and hang out with everyone. Congrats to Dale Pinkleman, Carly Thomsen and Mark on their state championships. Job well done by all of you .
Syllamo’s revenge is next hopefully sans flats.
Picture is by one and only Matt Wills thanks buddy
Last week while riding to work on my SS i heard a pop then there was some banging… I though this might be loose rear hub. Nope it was the frame it cracked. My Nature boy was broken.
Clean break as they say… I rode the shit out of this bike. Couple of Gravel Worlds, Dirty Kanza the first Royal…and 2 years of SSCX… The fine folks at all-city sending me a new frame… so that’s super cool. Should have it build up for DK for sure in case my other Single speed wont get here… I guess the power meter is paying off.. Too much power… just kidding. I need to write about that sometimes.