This would be the 2nd time I’ve been lucky enough to get into the 40 with the last time in 2007. Devils Lake Retreat would be our headquarters for the weekend. Jshoe and Jvog arrived here in Weston Friday morning to head up Hayward after converting my rigid redline ss into a 69er. A short stop in Trego for subs and we were just about there. The majority of the group had already arrived Luke and Sarah, Paul and Melinda, Nate and Kim and finally us. After a few calls back and forth between Brett and Nate, Jim and the Colorado Crew (Brett, Scott, Marni, and Chris) showed up and ready to head to registration. Surprisingly that whole process went pretty quickly and we were already on our way back. Jim “da chef” Parman cooked us a spectacular dinner consisting of grilled chicken, alfredo sauce and noodles, with brocolli while the rest of worked on bikes. Figured out staging and returning to the cabin after the race and before too much longer we went to bed for an early morning wake up.At the butt crack of dawn or in this case earlier we set out to stage bikes and at the time we arrived it was already 15 or more rows and around 400 bikes back. I wasn’t too dissapointed only because I would get shuffled to the rear after the cannon blew anyway cause of the fact I was riding single speed. The bike of choice for the weekend was the Redline monocog with 33×16 gearing. Anyway, we all met up again at the cabin a few hours prior to the start for breakfast and headed over to Hayward for the start.
The start to the race was uneventful, hell, the cannon didn’t even blow off but we did have pirates yelling pirate like things little did I know it was national talk like a pirate day. The start was very controlled and slower than years past but really what did that matter I was on a friggen singlespeed I got dropped in a fashion comparable to contador during the opening mountain stages on le tour. So I pushed on spinning my nuts off trying to keep pace at 22mph as best as I could pedal, pedal, coast and repeat till rosie’s field. I think I took it way too easy in the beginning because I was thinking ahead to fire tower. Still I came through OO in fair shape. I would try to find a group that was moving pretty fast but after I would catch a group I found it easy to drop them in which I think this was because the type of riders I would normally be with were 10 or more minutes ahead with JShoe and JVog. I would continue to pass swarms of riders on the climbs which I found quite strange. I couldn’t understand the amount of riders that were not using the hills to their advantage on to roll up on them and move quietly along side and ride on by with a ring of the bell or two if I felt saucy. This process would continue till just about fire tower where I pushed it down and tried to carry all the speed I could into it but as luck would have it and I know others have run into this as well where you’re climbing and someone jumps off and it’s a domino effect until you are running along with the herd. The climb consisted of 4 sections all marked with the signs listed to the left not sure on the length but it couldn’t have been too bad. After the end of the fire tower climb it began to go down hill little by little, mile by mile.
I started feeling my calfs twinge a little after we got back on the birkie trail and with 4 or 5 miles left I was in full cramp mode on the climbs only, luckily for me I had john hirsch riding with me back and forth as he would gap me on flats and I would catch him on the climbs it was probably the greatest timing as I was ready to give up and spin it in but he encouraged me to keep pushing hard. He got me in the end but it was worth it and greatly appreciated. So the wrap up for the race goes as a time of 2:48:27.2 So not too bad by my estimation. Afterwards some post race chatter it was back to the cabin and the brew would be flowing like water in a gentle stream. Seriously though we’ve had an extensive collection of beer being represented from coors (yuck) to point oktoberfest, fattire hoptober, etc. see image to the left (disregard the can of jungle joose as that should have come with a surgeon general warning to drink at own risk). From that point on we talked some trash, got drilled by paul on music trivia, and listened to some intriguing stories about the tour divide by Chris Plesko current singlespeed record holder beating the previous record by 4 days!!! some of the stuff he was telling us made nullified my own personal stories of riding a bike for 24 hours. This looks to be my inspiration going into the 2010 season. Something like whenever I feel like stopping in my pit or walking a hill I need to ask myself wwpd – What Would Plesko Do. In all seriousness though it was great to meet the Colorado Crew and visit with Brett again. There would be more war stories shared and people turning in one by one until it was me, shoe, and luke left. It didn’t last too much longer since we were subject to Coors Light after all of the good beer was gone so that was a good time to call it a night. Sunday was pretty much as expected in that we all packed up and departed to home. Shortly after arriving I jumped on the Turner and did about an hour and a half at nine mile and then proceeded to become very ill for the better half of the week, but all in all I’ll be set to go for a ride at underdown this weekend hopefully to pre ride before next weekends 12 hour solo. There isn’t too much left of the racing season but the Stump Farm Off Road Duathalon sounds intriguing.