Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Summer Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay Race Review...and other stuff...

Sorry about the lateness of this post.  I know you have both been waiting to read it...
So lets's get at it....

Participants of note (aka the only people I have been fortunate enough to learn their identity...)

Me (Riot) and Fig participating in Open Tag Team Combined ages over 70
Giant - Solo over age 40
Martin - Solo over age 40
Spinner - Solo over age 40 (What??  He looks 25!!)
EnglishJim - Solo over age 40 (Way, way over...)
misconceptionz - Solo under age 40 (and under 100 a sandwich man!!)
Blaze - Solo under age 40
Serious - Solo Singlespeed
Unglued - Solo Singlespeed
Ross and BobOfSwords - 4 Person Team Combined ages over 200
NewfieSteve, Jamie, PowerPaul - 4 Person Team ages 160-199
JC part of a 4 Person Team ages 160-199
Oggie...absent??  (someone said he is getting domestically whipped....not really sure what that means...)
CptSydor and VVagabond...absent...they figured recovering from a 6 day stage race with 40,000 ish feet of climbing in Colorado was more important...(which probably they brought me beer!)

Whew!!  That is a few people...I must be getting good at this stalking thing... is how it played out...

Actually, Giant, NewfieSteve and myself went to Hardwood during the week before the race in order to pre-ride the race course.  Our first impression was that it was tough...there were new loose sections of trail...and the entire course seemed to have little flow... a steady grind of a climb in order to finish in the hugely fun BMX style (with jumps, bridges, and tall steep berms) descent to the finish.

However, on race day the trail had become more packed and allowing for more flow.  Although, it was a very damp, humid day and the abundance of roots, and occasional small rock garden had become slick to add to the challenge.  In fact, in a moment of inattentiveness I washed out off the edge of the trail and laid down on my first lap...allowing a number (5) riders to pass me, including Giant and Jamie.  Up I got to catch, pass and regain my spot...except for Giant...I couldn't quite catch him...he was on fire on this day!!

Anyways...let's start at the start...
Fig volunteered to take our first lap; and NewfieSteve chose to take the first lap for his team.  They managed to start near the front of the paddock along with miscoceptionz, Blaze, and Giant...which was a great move.  They all kicked butt, and flew through the course with great first lap times!!  (As I said, Giant was on fire this day!!)

And so the day went...Fig had great lap times, consistently at least a minute faster than mine.  When Fig is on, he is on...and he was on, to my good fortune.  But we were in an extremely competitive category...there were some very fast racers we were up against.  We started in 6th place (out of 14 teams in our cat), fell to 7th...struggled to hold on...fell to 8th for a couple of laps...then climbed back to 7th during the last two laps...and that is where we finished.

In fact I had over 50 minutes in which to finish my last lap, so I was rather leisurely riding along when Giant came up behind me and said, "Riot, do I have to pass you?"  I said to relax we had plenty of time to finish...he said "No, I just passed Martin for 5th place and I want to stay in front of him!".  I said, "OK, I will let 'er rip...hang on!"  So we fact I dropped Giant (I may never get to say that I gotta get it in!...Of course, he was on his 13th lap...I was on my 7th)...but he finished in front of Martin...taking 5th place in his category...Martin finished 6th...Spinner followed in 8th spot all with 13 laps.  Well done solo's over age 40!!

Spinner being chased by miscoceptionz on their final lap!!

EnglishJim got in 7 laps...with a two hour mid-race nap.  Seriously!  Who naps during a race???  EnglishJim is most definitely his own man!  I think he was probably dreaming of the young goddess of the culvert!!  (You really had to be there!!)

Fig and I finished in 7th with 14 laps...mid pack in a very tough category this time...considering, we did relatively well.  Thank you Fig!!  By days end this was me...

Other teams...
Steve, Jamie, Paul came in 4th in their category...with 14 laps...4th to JC's team (who came in 3rd).  The sticker here??  They were 4th by a measly 14 seconds!!!  Off the podium by 14 seconds....having gotten passed near the end of their final lap!  So close!!  Next time??

The Trail Bullies podiumed in 2nd place with 14 laps.  Well done Ross and Bob!!

misconceptionz came in 5th with 13 laps.  Blaze was 8th with 12 laps.

But wait....Blaze won a bike....really!!  In the post race draw!!  Nice!!

Serious kicked butt with 13 laps taking first place!!  Well done, sir!!
He took it to Unglued, who came in 2nd with 11 laps.

I may also need to apologize to Ted of Apex Photography...I may have scared the crap out of him as I screamed on my way through the culvert on my final lap...this is a link to the pic...

Riot's Culvert Pic

So another Epic 8 HR in the books....the Fall 8 HR due for the end of September.  In the meantime my focus is on continuing training for the Crank The Shield in mid September.

On a complete side note...while on a recent training ride (yesterday) with CptSydor (did I mention he brought me beer from Colorado...most delicious!) ...I ran into this happy family...

a trumpeter swan with a couple of young (and a couple of mallard ducks).  Sorry about the grainy photo, but I kept my distance, these parents can be vicious...kind of like this guy...

Anyways...I am also considering doing the Kingston Cup ... a Substance Projects race (part of the XC Marathon Series) ... this coming weekend.  Which reminds me...

This is a promotional video for Substance Projects by BigRing Entertainment.  It highlights the Eager Beaver 100 mile MTB race...and I was fortunate enough that it features significant footage of myself (plate 22), and Giant (plate 19).

Enjoy the video....

Yes...I cat pics!!!  Next time???

Stay posted!!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Eager Beaver 100 Mile MTB Race Review

It has come and gone....well not really gone, cuz I can still feel it.

The Eager Beaver 100 Miler last Saturday, promoted by DanOfSubstance; that would be Substance Projects, took place at Mansfield.  So Giant, EnglishJim, Fig, and I set out on Friday to camp out and take part; along with about 500 other racers...OK, maybe not quite that many, but there should have been!

We had some camping friends...seriously..

 Arriving at Mansfield we registered, then set up camp, the skies clouded over and sure enough the rain started in the evening and lasted into the night.  Because of the rain we hit the hay early, which I knew would be trouble for me.  Sure enough, by 1am I was least it had quit raining.  So up I got, made some coffee in the dark, pulled my gravity chair out into the field, sat back and watched the stars and satellites...yeah, weird I know...I'm like that, but some women dig it...OK, just one...I think, unless she is lying...

Anyways, getting off 5am the crew started getting up, and the 700 other racers who weren't camping started pulling in.  Oggie pulled in, he was racing the shorter 100km version of the race...but had forgotten food, so I shared my extra with him; then he forgot his CO2 canister, and a spare tube...but what he really needed was a compass (foreshadowing???).

Not this kind of foreshadowing...

Let's move on.  Then, misconceptionz and Blaze showed up, not to race, but to work on behalf of BigRing Entertainment to make a video documentary of the event...stay tuned for that masterpiece!  How did I know that they had showed up??  Well, I was in what I thought was a private position between my truck doors, getting geared up....applying liberal amounts of chamois cream (hence mostly unclothed, and moving in what might appear a peculiar fashion)...when I hear a voice say, "Riot, look up" I looked up, into the lens of a video camera being held over the truck door by misconceptionz.  Yeah, I know you don't need that image ingrained in your memory...but I need to put it out there in case I need to explain the video evidence to a judge...or a wife.  And I really dislike explaining things to wives...especially questions like 'What are you doing in my house?' and stuff like that...

Anyways, got myself, and the bike ready to go...

And, finally the race was ready to start; it was cold and wet, but the wet would be very welcome in the normally very sandy and dusty moraine based trails.  We piled into the start paddock with the 1000 other racers, and bang we were off.  Giant, Fig, and myself pulled to the front of the group, as we climbed the long doubletrack start hill....EnglishJim trailed off to the back.  Fig, called out to Giant and me "I ain't letting you two out of my sight"...and that was the last I heard from him for the remainder of the race, as he dropped off the back somewhere with EnglishJim.

The first 50km or so of the race included hugely fun and flowy singletrack...with a number of challenging climbs, and log overs, broken up by bits of energy sucking sandy doubletrack.  Within the first couple of kms, I was riding the singletrack alongside Giant when he went hard over the bars on a descending switchback drop...he was OK but it put him behind me.  I pulled ahead and caught a small group including serious (who was racing the 100km route), and Sarah (who had recently completed and finished 2nd in the Tour of the toughest MTB races on the planet!!) who was racing the 100miler on her singlespeed!

I managed to pass this group then continued alone for the longest time (did stop once for a 'natural break').  At about the 45km mark Giant caught back up to me and we continued together.  Then we hit a long road section...about 32km to be exact.  The route came off the road, through a tree farm, then into what seemed like the middle of a farmers field...we were getting a little bit of everything in this race; which was awesome!!  Then the route dumped us into some rougher singletrack, with less flow, where I picked up a stick in my rear derailleur.  Luckily it didn't damage anything, but it was jammed in tight and took some time to pry it out....enough time for Giant to put significant distance between us.

The singletrack then came back out onto the road, and put us back where we were but now in reverse direction...which was very cool, meeting riders that were still on their way in.  I could barely see Giant ahead of me in the distance, at least a full km ahead.  I hammered in an attempt to catch him...I made some headway but did not catch him in the 32kms of road...he was still well ahead when the route turned back into the singletrack.  But Giant thought I was farther behind, he stopped to grab a bit of food, and I caught him.  We rode together from there, but it was about this time when my stomach started to fight against the energy foods I was eating, plus the effort I was outputting.  I knew I had to eat to keep up the energy expenditure...but any thought of food had me fighting off severe nausea feelings.

So no food went in.  Eventually we made it to and stopped at the feed station at km112 to refill hydration enough to finish the race...and off we went.

Then with about 10km to go I started to feel the lack of food input...and my energy started to run out.  Giant caught a burst of energy and surged ahead...I couldn't hold on;  and at about the 2km to go mark, Sarah caught and passed me as I cried out in despair like a wounded Wookie.  Then finally, mercifully, I crossed the finish 8hrs20mins.  That put me 4th overall, and 1st for my category Masters Men (That is age 50+).

Waiting for me at the finish line was EnglishJim.  Unfortunately he missed a turn on the course and DNF' of these days Jim, you are going to finish one of the damn things!!  Also waiting at the finish line was misconceptionz and Blaze...still filming, asking me again how I felt....I answered "I am wrecked!!"  And I was...

This is kind of how I felt...

But I barely had the words out of my mouth, I wasn't even off of my bike; when MamaSubstance (Dan's mom...really), had a Race Finisher's mug, full of cold golden goodness in my hand.

That started the cascade of brew into the evening as we waited for the 2000 other racers to finish (like Fig, who several hours later came into view...then Figged out), then shared of few with Alexa and Chris (the Queen and King of Westfalia).

This is Alexa and Chris, with EnglishJim (who is surprisingly fully clothed), and Fig (who takes every opportunity to take his shirt off and display his body of Adonis).

Then the podium and prizes...

First there was Giant who came in 1st in his category (Men's Open...basically under age 50).  Way to go Giant!!  And yes that is Fig...who came in 3 phases of the moon behind Giant, but still claimed second place.  Fig you are getting comfortable with being on the podium!

Then yours truly...(that means me)...

A different angle??

Or two???

OK, I guess that is enough.  Can you tell I don't get on the podium very often??  Gotta make the most of these rare occasions!!

And the 'medals' were very cool!!  Actually made from downed forest on the trail...

As a side note (cuz this post isn't already long enough) Blaze and misconceptionz showed up at various points along the race route to film...either pulling up alongside in the truck on the road sections, or hiding in the vegetation along the trail.  At one point Blaze was crouched on the doubletrack, with his back to the racers, with the camera held low as he caught the racers as they zipped by...but we were fairly spread out by that as I passed by I screamed "BLAZE!!!"  Well he just about dropped a horse load right there (there really were a couple of horse loads deposited along the trail...).  Luckily the camera did not hit the ground.  Sorry Blaze....kinda.   :)

This is kinda what Blaze looked like...

As a second side note (cuz this post isn't already long enough); at the finish, Oggie's car was already gone...remember the foreshadowing above???  Yes...Oggie missed a turn with Fritz (Fritz a very, very fast Masters Men contender!!)...and ended up going almost 30km off course...resulting in a DNF.  Thanks Oggie for taking Fritz out of contention...we will square up later...

Hard to tell in the distance but this is Oggie drafting Fritz...

Finally, thank you to DanofSubstance for another great race.  A fun race course, friendly Marshals and prizes...can't say enough about the quality of the event.  Putting a pic of the race course on the t-shirt was a touch of genius, giving a point of reference for discussions and race reviews into the evening!  We need to get more racers out to Dan's events...they are a challenge, which makes for that much more fun when you finish!!

Sooo....what's next?  Some recovery....then perhaps the Tour de Caffeine??
Stay posted!!