Thursday, January 21

The sound of the "season"

Enough about the bikes already. It's getting close to the time on Sprockets when we dance. The "season" is upon us, and plans need to be made. The first order of business is Hoffencross on February 6th. WTF is a Hoffencross?

"There will be 5 mandatory checkpoints, 5 or so extra credit checkpoints, and a special skillz time trial to determine starting positions (i would start practicing riding elevated platforms, teeter totters, and skinnies if i were you). This is not a race, is not sanctioned by the UCI, has no entry, no payout, no insurance, and no credibility. It is a friendly ride amongst friends to test navigational skills and intestinal fortitude."

What is the course like?

If you look closely at that map you'll see that one trail is only .21 miles while most of them hover around 1.something miles. That means to the DuPont ignorant folks we'll be pulling out our maps every 1.7 minutes or so (on average). I figure that I will be spending more time trying to figure out where I am than I will getting there. At least there is a promise of beer afterward and a place to lay my weary head.

The breakdown on Hoffencross:

Fun Level: 9
Challenge Level: 6

Competitive Level: 4

Next up on the schedule for the season is Pisgah 36 on February 19-21. This race, formally known as The Most Horrible Thing Ever, has been on my mind for the last two years, yet I've had only a slight desire to join in on the shenanigans. What's it all about?

"It starts at midnight Fri/Sat and runs until noon Sunday. There will be six separate stages, each starting and finishing at Lower Cove Creek Campground - Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. Each stage will have it's own unique format.

Teams 'in the running' should expect up to 70 +miles of riding with 12,000-15,000 feet of climbing EACH DAY."

We're talking about Pisgah, in February, for 36 hours straight. I'll be honest, I'm watching the weather very closely on this one as that weekend approaches. If this shit we've been calling "Winter 09/10" keeps up at this rate I'll be sleeping SOUNDLY in my bed that weekend. I will not be running around in the dark, in the snow, in Pisgah, in 15° temperatures. No freaking way. Even if the weather works out I'll be showing up for the race after a full day at work and heading to the starting line after being up for 18 hours (the race starts at midnight). The first time I see my tent after the start I WILL go to bed. When I wake up I will have to decide whether or not I stay and race or go home and crawl under the covers. I will not take this race seriously UNLESS by some odd chance Mother Nature makes it tolerable IN MY OPINION.

The breakdown on Pisgah 36:

Fun Level: TBD
Challenge Level: 10.5

Competitive Level: .015

I don't have anything planned for March, aside from thawing out and maybe getting some more time on the bike. Once we get into April I start racing for racing's sake with the Six Hours of Warrior Creek. I did this race last year, and it was one of those races that I knew just a couple hours in I'd be back next year. The course was one of the funnest I've ever raced on with banked turns, fast rollers, punchy climbs, nice technical sections, and it was basically one of the best built trail systems I've ever raced on. Winning the single speed class last year has definitely made this race one to try and win in 2010, but that always depends on how everybody else feels about me winning.

The breakdown on The Six Hours of Warrior Creek:

Fun Level: 10
Challenge Level: 10 (due to my desire to win)
Competitive Level: 10

Once I put that behind me I'm not sure what's next. I may try to hop in the truck with Niner rep Mike Stanley as he rips his way past my house on Route 77 on his way to Singlespeed-a-polooza in New Windsor, NY on Sunday April 25th. This is a big maybe, but something I've definitely got on the brain. I've never done it before, and it would be nice to see something new.

The next solid thing on the schedule is PMBAR. I've done this race for six years in a row, and I'm not quitting now. It is by far one of my favorite events of all time. Since I've placed second with my teammate the last two years in a row (2008 with Elk and 2009 with Thad) I have no other goal than to win this year. I still don't have a teammate 100% lined up, but I assure you I'll have a ringer, or at least I'll ask Thad to come back and suffer at my hands again. Oh yeah, what is PMBAR (to the uninformed)?

"Teams of two riders will race to reach 4 of 5 checkpoints (in the Pisgah National Forest), in any order, and return to the start/finish. Checkpoint locations will remain secret until start-time and there is no suggested route. Routes will vary between 50-70 miles, will include 9,000-15,000 feet of climbing, and should take 6-12 hours to complete."

The breakdown on PMBAR:

Fun Level: 10
Challenge Level: 10 (due to my desire to win)
Competitive Level: 10

OK, that's enough for now. Tomorrow I'll cover the remainder of my plans and options for 2010 with lots of links to great events you should be doing if for no other reason than to rub shoulders with yours truly... once you cross the finish line and clean your dirty shoulders.

Think I should look into some other events? Lemme know, but realize I'm not traveling to the middle of Nebraska to do a 4.5 hour race.


Blur said...

This year's farmer's almanac forecasted that January was going to be colder than normal and that February is going to be warmer than normal. They were right about January and I hope they're right about February.

Sign up already.

dicky said...

I'm already signed up and very prepared to forfeit my $30 in the name of wussery and all things wussy.

drew said...

Only a jerk would opportunisticly race something formerly known as the most horrible thing ever... Clearly this race isn't for you (or me for that matter)

duotone said...

Head to the mitt, I have a place to lay your head, my wife said we could use a baby sitter.

Enter the lumberjack, Yankee springs time trial, ore to shore.... Free craft beer and pizza at my place after the race.

Dan Ennis said...

word on the street is bergmark and the KOP are teaming up for PMBAR this year.

Anonymous said...

The word is true. I'll do my best not to slow Wes down. -geoff