Monday, September 1, 2014

Epic Weekend…. Sponsored By Epic Cycles

And more video to come….. Friday's crit race….. Friday's Klunker Krit…... Saturdays 40 mile photos….Free concert by Jamestown Revival…. Sunday's Men & Women Pro's….. And my own bike/trail run/bike race

And what a weekend it was!!! Saturday morning, up & out the door by 5:30am, Shadow loves this new  early morning breakfast routine, caught the sunrise driving up Little Park RD, found my spot where I directed racers onto Twist -n-Shout Trail Head. Pleased to be a course marshal, as for the race last year, I was one of many volunteers at aid station #1. This year was an absolute blast and so many locals raced the 30 and 40 mile amateur race. One racer in particular rode by and said something like," Yo Trav, You are always smiling." Its funny because I didn't recognize to many of them as they had helmets, glasses, & flew on by me. I gave a lot of "mid" 5's because racers would stick their hand out so it wasn't technically a high 5. From the video above, at the 2:11min mark, my arms are up, the most wonderful woman in the world showed up. Jen Taylor Muhr was racing for Mountain Khakis and placed 3rd overall in the Women's Open category. She SO Rocks!!!

The day was cool and a very welcoming breeze accompanied racers from our normal August climate. We had racers from the east coast, AZ, and BC and some of them were struggling along. I cheered them on as much as I could and my standard fall back saying was, " Thanx 4 being here!!" The first few riders ( I was on a loop. Twist-n-Shout > Butter-knife > Third Flats RD ) coming up on Third Flats, my encouraging words were," You are looking strong!" The mid pack heard," Enjoy the downhill from here." and then I would thank the tail-end of racers. The last few racers I kinda got in their way and stopped them ( or they stopped on their own ) and asked them a few very basic questions to assess their condition. Only one racer I held up for awhile because I didn't feel comfortable sending them on their way. I explained that they could ride down Little Park RD and NOT turn onto Andy's Loop but they would connect back up w/Monument RD and still finish the race. Hope he took my advice!!! You have to understand something here. I would say an easy 80% of the riders had dried bloody elbows, knees, or a very dusty backside from how BLACK DIAMOND this trail becomes before heading back up to my location on Third Flats Road.

Sunday was a whole new animal!! The Pro Men started at 7:30am in front of a pretty good size crowd and the Women's Pro Race took off at 7:45am. I then rode my bike to the Lunch Loop system and locked it up. I started my warm up walk towards Andy's Loop ( backwards from the racers ) and wow was everything green and lush. NOAA claims that we received 3.86 inches of rain in August, which just so happens to be the 2nd most ever, going back to 1868 of recorded weather data. The single track was bone dry and ready to be rolled over by 37 Pro Athletes. I hit about 4.1 miles into the trail when I crossed paths w/the 1st place ( and winner ) on a very technical climb. He was being chased by 2nd place and a distant 3rd place racers. I shot some sweet GoPro video of them and continued along the trail.

I stopped along the wash and waited for a few more racers to fly on by me. My location was awesome as I had shade from a taller juniper tree and the trail was hard packed sandwiched by sandy washouts loaded w/cobblestones. I hung out there for about 3 different racers and then moved up along the trail. This brought me to one of the most technically challenging sections of the whole race. I expected a few more spectators but most of them were up on Little Park RD looking down at my location. Only the few hard core fans were lining the course like the Tour de France. Watching the Pro Men tackle this beast was awesome!! Them boys can finesse these trails as if it were a simple water crossing for us amateur weekend riders. I made my way up to the pavement of Little Park before the 1st female Pro came screaming down the road. Chloe Woodruff from Prescott AZ and eventual winner, beautiful woman, bradded blond hair, very fluid throughout the technical section, and full gas along the wash. And she had a dominating lead over the rest of the gals and received a huge cheer from the fans near and above.

I started back down the trail and shouted words of encouragement to the racers as they hammered on by. I stayed pretty close to Amy Beisel as she climbed up a sweet as rock crawl. She was amazing to follow and I feel as if I learned from her. She knew when to stand and hop up and over the flagstone ramps and her cadences was quick and powerful. At the top of the ridge line she was out of my sight!!! The decent of this section isn't very fast because of the rock drop off's and switchbacks and the single track is easily viewed from the ridge. And again, the Pro's were awesome!!! Just as I started up the last climb, the last female called "rider back". Her face showed pure devastation!!! Later, I heard she flatted 3 times, maybe she was looking at podium finish but not today.

I finished up on Andy's Loop, narrowly missing the local riders crash and burn on the decent toward the parking lot. You could totally hear that distinct bike bouncing off rocks sound and I would turn back only to see the dust of a fallen rider. Nobody got hurt but more than half crashed. I then rode my bike back into town to see the Pro Women LEAVING the podium. I was so bummed I missed it. Oh Well. I will be posting more videos and photos soon!!!

My own numbers: Sunday totaled 8.81 miles on the bike and 9 miles of trail running on Andy's Loop. I was on my feet all day Saturday but I didn't have my Garmin on for the miles I walked. I didn't log my biking miles for my volunteering shift that started at 6am Friday morning or the Klunker race. And I didn't add my time or miles from walking the Boy Dog. And am I ready for this???? Its only 13 days away until the LEAD KING 25K!!!! Holy Smokes!!!

How was your Labor Day Weekend?? How Many Miles For You??? Any Racing??? Any Volunteering??

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