Monday, April 21, 2008
The race was, as you probably already know, a mud fest. 3 inches of mud was standard. After an hour, you got to the point where you welcomed "land of lakes" because it was easier to push through puddles with a firm bottom than the areas were there appeared to be no bottom. Even riding up the stream beds seemed easier after the deep mud section. Kevin summed up the conditions well: "Imagine the worst conditions you can. They're worse than that."
However, the team did an excellent job of coping with the most extreme racing conditions I've ever witnessed. I've got to give props to the Trek EX8 for eating up large roots/holes that couldn't be seen because they were completely submersed. I have to give major props to the XT/XTR drivetrain for shifting consistently and smoothly through the worst of it, never missing a gear shift. However, the make or break thing for almost everyone at the race was brake pads. Kevin blew through two complete sets trying to finish 5 hours in the mud. Shawn perhaps had the best setup with multiple bikes. Shawn, Denelle, Christy, Ken and Jeremy all managed to keep their rigs rolling to the finish line racking up lots of first place finishes. BFR also managed to pick up the team trophy for the event, and further their lead in the Virginia Offroad Series.
Good job all!
Friday, April 18, 2008
This was the most unique Crit I have ever been a part of.
We have had Super D,
we have done Pseudo D,
we have done TT,
we have done lots of Mass start.....but never have I been a part of a course with multiple ability level routes and shortcuts on it for the differing categories....a form of a handicapped event....as a mass start.......
We managed to set up a course where it was a common loop with off shoots (or shortcuts) to change the length and technical aspects of the course...
The loops were approx.
Beginner 1.5 miles
Sport 2.0 miles
Expert 2.5 Miles.
The Beginner loop had a few small technical sections, a solid climb, and a smoother descent.
Sport had a couple of technical descents and rock gardens on it.
The Expert loop had an additional climb and a loose downhill that was not on the other courses.
What made this super cool was that as you left the main course onto your own "ability level course" you would be riding with certain beginner or sport riders, and when you came back onto the main course again, the same Sport and Beginner riders that you were riding with before would be with you again. It made for passing the same racers 4 or more times in a 3 lap event.
Placings were as follows....I think.
Some of these may be way off....In fact Alec may have won.....or maybe Esther.....who knows really.
Good thing there was no money on this one.
(s)= sport course
(b)= beginner course
1st- Shawn (e)
2nd Kyle (e)
3rd Cyrus (s)
4th Dan (s)
5th Dave T. (e)
6th Alec (s)
7th Jason (s)
8th Kevin (e)
9th Carrey (b)
10th Denelle (s)
11th Jesse (s)
12th Nolan (s)
13th Michele (s)
14th John (e)
15th Dave W. (e)
DNF Jeremy (e) Flatted twice.
Somehow I did not get a placing for Esther....but I think she did like 6 laps instead of 3.....not sure.
Awesome time everyone, Look forward to running this course again in the future.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
We came, we saw, we threw down. F.O.R.D 1 was a big success for the team. Shawn put on a muscle memory demonstration by putting in some great times in both runs (not sure when he ran last…maybe back in the 80s). Shawn, myself (k29r) and Dave sealed the deal on positions 1, 2 and 3 during the bike leg. Denelle had a solid performance in the Advanced Female cat taking home another 1st place ribbon, with Kristy Tankersly following her in 3rd.
All in all, it was a great race. The bike course was perfect…lots of twists and a plethora of log hops which we ate right up. We’ll be back.
Overall Advanced Male Cat
Shawn Tevendale - 1st 1:27:21
Kevin Murray - 2nd 1:28:41
Dave Tevendale - 3rd 1:30:18
Overall Advanced Female Cat
Denelle Grant - 1st 1:42:58
Kristy Tankersly - 3rd 1:56:12
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
This weekend will be the second event in the Virginia Off Road Series (VORS). We are currently leading this series, but it has only been one event. This weekends race is a Duathlon with a 2.5 mile run, 12 mile bike, and 2.5 mile run. It should be really fun. In the VORS, Multi-Sport events have a lot of points attributed to them, so we are gonna try to bring a solid team to this weekends race. Kevin and Dave have been training for this pretty solidly. Christy is an all around athlete, and Denelle is a super strong X-terra racer. Me.....I don't really run, but we will see.
Monday, April 7, 2008
The Dragon's Back Race proved to be an epic undertaking this year for many of us. Multiple days of rain and overcast conditions following high winds in the previous week left a normally rocky and rough course covered with wet, wet leaves, mud, and other debris. Lining up on the start I remember the announcer telling the HUGE Enduro XXC field that the course would diverge from the main cross country course and we would notice it was "ungroomed" from that point on. That was an understatement. At points we were literally riding or scrambling through the woods and over rocks trying to find age old swatches of paint on the trees to guide the right direction that the trail was supposed to go. This was not single track riding for a lot of this time.....we were just in the woods. I made a lot of wrong turns in this area, luckily, I was moving slow enough through here to figure out quickly that I was off course, and usually by no more than 200-300 yards. The Main Cross Country Course was rough, but this XXC course was a disaster, forestry signs from years before were rotted to unreadable stubs, and there were enough blowdown re-routes to make the challenge on the ridge that much more. Multiple Hike-a-bike sections were created by rock piles, leaf piles, and down trees.
After we came down off the ridge we were onto a "road" This had recently had some attention in the form of new Gravel....the size of softballs in some areas.....some states would call this a rock garden, but here in Virginia....it is a road....awesome. I was glad to have a Trek Fuel to rock this section on. The Rock Shox Reba and Monarch armed suspension system made smooth work of it for me. This section was fast and furious with multiple 10-15 foot wide river crossings made swollen from days of fresh, cold rain. I managed to miss a turn part way through this area, a bunch of the signs were blown down and all that was up were a few strands of orange ribbon in the tree branches on the side. Squinting through mud and sweat streaked safety glasses, I missed these. I ended up swimming across a river that was almost to my chest at one point.....this was after my bike floated out from under me while trying to ride through. I followed this road though all the way to pavement......and we were not supposed to find any pavement. After turning around and swimming again, I got back on course and managed to rally pretty solid at the end. Pulled back a couple groups of about 3 riders each, mostly single speeders. All in All, I put in 45 miles for a 37 mile course. Finishing a solid 14th place in a HUGE men's field. It took me almost 5 hours, but what a trip it was. I guess it comes down to that statement of it is not about the start or the finish, but the journey in between that really matters. I saw a lot of broken bikes and protesting bodies today on the XXC. The normal dérailleur and chain issues....that and cramps for all I think as well.
Our Team did Fabulous.
Denelle Grant 1st place Women's Sport (she also beat all the expert/pro women as well)
Michele Co 1st place Womens Enduro 6 hours 10 minutes....
Jeremy Senn 1st place single speed.
Christy Tankersley 2nd Place Sport
Ken Tankersley 4th Place Sport (I think)
Chris Cunningham 7th place Masters Sport
Shawn Tevendale 14th Place XXC race
Nolan and Jason both took DNF's....and I kinda wish I had as well....ouch.