Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Summer Epic 8 Hour MTB Race Review

Well holy smokes...everyone and their dog (or should I say cat??) was out for this one!  Except for Unglued.  Apparently Unglued is embarking on a new career of escorting attractive, yet lonely young women on birthday holidays and has dropped all his mountain biking dreams.  SarahF wore zebra striped socks in Unglued's memory though (relax, she was wearing other stuff too...).

Oh, and ApexTed was not there; but he had his bestest padawan fill in for him.  Not quite the Ted ninja skills (but who does?)...but still great pics for everyone!!  (I hope...)

Anyways...I am off track right outta the gate....sorry.  Of course, I'm talking about the Summer 8 Hour Mountain Bike race held at Hardwood Ski & Bike this past Saturday, promoted by Pulse Racing folks.

And yes there were a boat load of people out for this one!

The front of the Start Paddock....can you find Waldo??

Perhaps this is better....
And there is his pink kit on his fatbike...he tag teamed with JennKenn...a FatboyNation team.

And a huge number of Solo very stiff competition...

I waffled between entering solo singlespeed (where I would have had to compete against serious and dskunk), or entering solo male (to compete with Martin, Hal, and IanP).  I ended up entering solo male simply because my bike was already set up geared...

14Stone solo-ed on his fatbike...but he wouldn't be smiling long in this heat on that beast.

So on Saturday morning Lois and I packed into the truck, picked up Fig on the way, and headed to Hardwood.  Fig was also soloing, and Lois was our pit crew for the day.  Blaze was busy pitting for the R&R youth they were guaranteed a podium spot.  Not that they wouldn't anyway...those kids are blazing fast!!

We got the pit set up, great spot on the course....right across from the Pinoy Pedal Pushers tent...who caught me preparing eating some champorado (that stuff is good...and high octane energy food)!!  Pinoy Pedal Pushers are seriously the nicest people on the planet!  They cheered me on throughout the day.  Then it was off to get registered, and to the start paddock.  10am and it was already scorching hot!!

Finally, we are off!  Then not even 200 meters in...a large pile up.  I see KarenG and Alexa picking their bikes out of the pile...luckily everyone is OK...I think.

Well, maybe not this guy...

Anyways!  The first lap went with someone directly behind me, and someone directly in front of me the entire lap...which made it difficult to drink.  Which was a mistake on this very hot, humid day.  I didn't drink enough on the first two laps....and that left me in a deficit for the first 3 hours or so of the day.

I rode most of the second lap with IanP and Hal...we were all in the same category...and then they were gone.  On lap 3 I caught Martin and we rode together for a couple of laps...both in our BicycleWorks kit...looking like a team almost...

Through the transition zone.

Until Martin had to drop me and ruin it all...

Lois did a great job in the pit (no Blaze you are not out of a job!), and kept me fed and watered throughout the day.  She got me back on track drinking properly after the first two laps.  It was great every time through solo pit alley...hearing the cheering from the PinoyPedalPusher tent, the R&R tent, Oakville Cyclepath where Brent Spinner was pit crewing (why was he not racing??), and from the BikeZone tent.

Solo pit lane (Fig and Clarkie going the wrong way...)

Little girl, big chair in the Rock & Road tent...

Once through the finish/transition zone, the course took you through solo pit lane, then back onto the course.  The first 3 kilometers were climbing...including a couple of loose gravel double track climbs.  The middle of the course was relatively flat...but included a couple of kilometers of wide open double track through a grassy field that was hugely bumpy...and out in the blazing hot sun.  I strongly disliked this part of the course...and it eventually tore my hands up.  I am still sporting some nasty blisters....

Can only show the one hand, the right hand is busy (holding the camera!!)...

The last 3 kilometers of the course was very, flowy, swoopy, single track descent...including a fun boulder pile to ride over.  The entire course was tolerated, looking forward to this last few minutes of fun!  Then into the finish/transition zone.

Around the 3 or 4 hour mark...through the solo pits, Blaze calls out as I pass the R&R tent that I am several seconds out of third place.  I thought that was great as I was only out to enjoy the day and race my race.  I didn't really expect to compete with the amount of talented competition that was out on the day.

Me speeding by the pit at Mach 2 (or 2 km/hr...maybe...)

Actually I was hoping to get 13 laps in...I'm not sure I have ever managed 13 laps in an 8 hour race (each lap is about 10 kms).  As the day wound down, and the heat amped was just a challenge to stay properly  hydrated, not to mention maintain a competitive pace.

At lap 10 I knew it was going to be tight, with a couple of hours to go.  I pushed it to try to get 13 in...but the heat was opressively exhausting.  Pushing as hard as possible (at Riot speed) through laps 10, 11, 12....I was managing about 38 minutes per lap.  At the end of lap 12...I had 32 minutes to complete a 13th lap.  It wasn't going to happen.  12 laps...I was done.  12 laps, good enough for 5th place...just 7 minutes behind IanP.

Martin took third...well done sir!  Hal took second.  GordR was in first by a large margin.

I was happy to get this...

And no injuries.  It was a good day!

All the usuals podiumed.  serious took first in solo singlespeed, that is huge sir!!

Alexa took first in Solo Women on a singlespeed....after the first lap crash....very impressive!!  Also impressive, SSSarah crashed on her 4th lap, injured her shoulder and still managed 10 laps for second place!

Talk about impressive...Noriel solo-ed on a singlespeed fatbike!!  Ouch!!

And the friendly PinoyPedalPushers took third in their category!!  Well deserved!

As predicted, the R & R youth team on the podium.  Second place.

Well done, eh!!

I think the Shikaze's are going to start their own Own The Podium program....

Nucking Futs...always first.

And everyone got dirty!!

Fig with the Ernie/Burt unibrow...

Is that Ian or Kate??

So what's next?  Well for now I am off to north of Kingston to visit family for a few days.  (Actually I am heading up there in search of fresh new cat pics...)  I will be taking a gravel bike, but not sure if there is MTB trails up not sure about the mountain bike.

Anyways...not sure I will be able to write a Thursday blog post from there either.  May have to find a way if the Apex folks get the 8 Hour pics up and ready by then!!  If not, then the next post will be Tuesday...

We shall see...till then...

Stay posted!!

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