Friday, October 31, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rowdy Dawg Results

Congrats to all the folks who were at the mtb Oktoberfest in NC last weekend!

I wanted to add results/race report from the Rowdy Dawg mountain bike race that was held on the trails at the Pandapas Pond area/Brush Mountain in Blacksburg, VA. This 20-year old race was hosted this year by Montgomery County Parks and Recreation (in the past has been hosted by East Coasters).

Esther and I went and represented Bike Factory Racing in the Sport Women category (20 mile course). We did really well (we took 1st and 2nd place) and had outstanding conditions for the race, around 50s F to start, warming to around 60s F by the end. Recent rains left the trails tacky and great for riding.

Esther had told me that the course was nice and fun (technically, "easier than O-Hill"... I remember reiterating that phrase in my mind several times during the race with a few expletives added in for good measure). Actually, she was right, this course was fast and twisty and fun... when you weren't trying to make your butt (and hopefully your bike) go up some extended, bumpy rock-ridden climb (kind of like the easier/medium parts of Torrey Ridge). I'm really glad that I went.

Esther rode really strongly for the whole race and had an awesome race. She broke her hand last year on a downhill at this very same race, but said that this year, when she got to that section, she rode down it nearly without her brakes and basically rocked all the downhills, passing people left and right.

For myself, in the first mile, I broke my chain. This was due to some chain replacement error on my part while performing bike maintenance last week. When the chain broke so early, and I remembered that I had forgotten a spare chain, or spare links, or really, much of anything to handle a repair, I started to walk back towards the start/finish. Esther and the rest of the sport pack passed me. I told Esther about my mechanical and wished her luck on the race.

Then, I decided that the weather was too nice not to ride. I'd never ridden these trails before, so why not try to fix my chain and get a ride in, even if I came in last? So, I started working on it. The entire Beginner pack passed me up (started 5 minutes behind the Sport group). Still mucking with fixing the chain...after a couple more minutes, I have the twisted link removed and the chain joined back together. Decided that I'd ride until the chain broke again, then re-evaluate/quit the race. At this point, I was probably 8-10 minutes behind the sport group.

I hopped on my bike and started riding. Eventually caught and passed some of the beginner riders after about 10 minutes, but no sign of any sport riders. By about mile 7, I caught my first sport rider. It was a woman that I knew. She suggested that I try to catch Esther, but then also suggested that Esther was very far ahead (as I expected, since Esther is really strong). I started to wonder if I could catch her, but thought it was highly unlikely. But, maybe I'd see whether I could finish in the middle of the sport pack. I kept riding and occasionally would pass sport riders who were having issues, but no Esther. Good, Esther is kicking butt!!!

At the halfway point (10 miles), there was a water station at the top of some ugly climb. I stop to ask how far into the course we were, have some snacks, decide whether I would keep trying to catch Esther, or keep going for that matter. Decided to see how close to Esther I could finish, but was feeling exhausted. So, got on my bike and tried to keep riding. Damn all this climbing!!!! And, I like climbing... At mile 15, during a road crossing onto singletrack, when I'm about to give up for a while and ride easier, I encounter Esther. We talk and I tell her that I tried to fix my chain and that it hadn't broken again... yet. I decided to pass her and expected that we'd be racing head-to-head at this point, so I started to try to hammer.

I had to fight really hard to stay in front of Esther. Every time I heard bikes behind me I was convinced it was Esther coming to pass. If there had been just half a mile more to the race, Esther would have passed me. We finished very close together, but the official times have not yet been posted.

Overall, we had a great race and put in a good showing for Bike Factory Racing.

P.S. - We also saw Alex Stratmann, formerly of Blue Ridge School, now racing for Pfeiffer College. He had a reasonable race and was in second place (sport men) until he had a wipeout which sent him further back in the pack.

Great Weekend for the Team!!

what a weekend. With members spread out over 2 states it was a lot to follow.
It all started with a Charlottesville 10K race that our guys were on the front of all day, but not in the "leading the race" sense that we think of, rather, they were the bike escorts for the day. Our local sponsor, Charlottesville Running Company, put on a great event and our guys served as the pace bunnies on bikes to chase. Really cool opportunity for all of us.

The second event was the National Mountain Bike Oktoberfest in Davidson North Carolina. We rallied 2 solo racers, Jason as our mechanic, and a duo coed team for this one, packed a trailer and headed south....into the rain. The conditions were questionable at start with lots of slop and slime to contend with, but we made the most of it all. Jason got to clean bikes and swap tires all day but the combination of Jones ACX and Mud X kept the bikes moving forward under mostly rider power. Erin and Jeremiah Bishop were in our pit as well, so that added to the excitement for everyone when Jeremiah and Harlan decided to ride through together on the next to last the End....JB got him 12 seconds!!!
Final for all the BFR riders.
Denelle-2nd in Women's Solo
John and Sheila Scott- "BFR's-Off the Couch" took 3rd in the Coed Duo
Shawn 9th in the Solo Men's field.

Final race for the weekend: Tidewater Challenge on Sunday
We rallied a solid contingent there as well: I don't have all the details, but here are the results as I understand them.
Shannon 2nd place-Beginner women
Christy T. 2nd Place Sport Women
Ken T. 4th Place Sport Vet Men
Dave T. WON!!!! the Enduro cat!!!

Nice job everyone, See ya at the Paranormal this weekend.