Tuesday, April 28

More Moors in more places

My preparations for the PMBAR started a coupla months ago. I saw the vending machine man putting his food-not-food into the machine that turns pocket change into hydrogenated enriched semi-edible products. I watched him outta the corner of my eye, and to my shock, dismay, and extreme pleasure I saw him toss some of the "old" food-not-food into the trash can next to the magic machine. I came back to the scene of the sorta-food crime awhile later and dove into the waste basket to find this:

Honestly that's not a fair representation of the haul I made. There were some other food-not-foods in the can, but being that they were less than hydration pack friendly they have since been consumed. HMO potato chips and Lance sorta peanut butter crackers would just end up destroyed if I shoved them in my pack with all my mandatory PMBAR gear.

I realized the other day I'm talking to some new folks in the crowd who have no idea what PMBAR is. Since I don't wanna leave yinz behind I'll give you a short explanation. Back in 2003 my friend Eric Wever came up with an idea. Set up five checkpoints in the Pisgah National Forest and have teams of two riders go out and race to get 'em. I told him he was nuts and stayed home that weekend (I had never done an endurance race that wasn't the "12/24 hours of..." at that point). Then all the stories spread like wildfire over Eric's "Pisgah Death March", and a legend of east coast endurance racing began. Since then the name of the race has been changed to the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race to appease the Forest Service which didn't like the idea of a permitted event with the word "death" in it. Eric has also messed with the format here and there adding bonuses for more checkpoints and allowing riders to finish with as few as four. This event has sold out since 2004 or 2005 (I can't remember), and the field has grown from 25 teams to last year's 75 teams with people still on the waiting list wanting a piece of the action. (Eric, correct me if I'm wrong on any of this).

I have been there every year since 2004. I've had results as varied as my partners. I've ridden with strangers, acquaintances, and good friends. I've had a partner break his frame and I ended up solo'ing on for an unofficial finish, and I've started the race with a partner who Lock-Tite'd his brake lever(rendering it ineffective) the night before the race. I've gone for the minimum amount of checkpoints in order to get back to the free beer as fast as possible, and I've hung it out (with Elk) to snag all seven check points in the name of glory and honor to end up in second place. It seems like I've done everything except win PMBAR, and even if I did I'd still be back the next year. It's just that good..

Like a Moor who shows up unexpectedly to brighten your day.


ridn29s said...

much better food choice than those dry Joe Joes you took out a few weeks back, but that's only about 250 carbs you got there

Blur said...

My spidey senses are tingling......
I believe I sense a thrown gauntlet.
Could this be the year of the Kee/Koerber upset?

I'm so excited.

Peter Keiller said...

Amazing thing this partner system.
Clearly an attempt by Eric to tie your hands, to sabotage your cakeride to the red ribbon...lesser men might be questioning themselves after repeated losses with multiple partners, not you...not this Dicky.

Either way, take care out there.
We need you in tip-top shape for DSG...where you won't be weighed down by a partner.

That is if you can get up after our Friday night in Fayetteville...glug.

Anonymous said...

So Rich, one of these days you're going to have to tell the story of the Long Cane Mass a Cree. I've got the condensed story intro down: You and I were headed to a 100 mile race/ride that was split into two days 60/40. On the way my trusty Volvo's alternator was dying and out of the 11PM bumfuckegypt South Carolina mist, like an oasis of life and electricity, I saw a gas station and pulled over. The car (packed to the gills with camping gear) would not restart after the stop and, at first, the little girl in the store wouldn't let us in even though her highschool football player boyfriend (twice our size together) was in there with her. We pleaded our way in, looked at a $5.95 gas station map and went back outside to ponder our situation. We had just found out we were still 45 miles from our 100 mile race/ride destination. A deaf drunk homeless bumfuckegypt south carolina man was suddenly on the scene yelling at us and a decision was made.... and because of that decision to ride through the night.... you started endurance racing.... and I stated endurance races.....