It was decided, in the grand tradition of the 2010 TSE, that we, the single speed class of 2012, would ride together as a rolling party'esque unit.
Back in 2010, TSE SS Champ Grig Martin (who along with SS'er Original Big Ring stopped blogging forever this week... WTF?) carried something like 30 beers in a pack. There were no packs available of such capacity, so the load was distributed semi-evenly amongst 1st, 2nd, and 5th. I filled a new Dakine pack that Dirt Rag was testing with banquet beer and an ice pack... because warm beer sucks.
We were warned that we had three hours to get to the first checkpoint halfway through the less than 26 mile stage. We started out at 9:30AM, and that did not seem like it would be a problem. Then we got into the woods...
And drank a beer.
And got a flat, which prompted more beer.
And then got to the bottom of Panther Run, where Dracula was waiting with more beer.
And then we climbed a little bit to a scenic overlook...
And we drank more beer.
And then Eric McKeegan, who had went back up the course looking for his lost camera, came along...
So we drank a beer.
And then a few miles later, we came to a nice quiet spot in the woods...
and joined by a few lagging geared riders...
we managed to drink some beer...
and pretty much clean out every bottle of liquor that was present and accounted for.
It was like Rome without togas and vomit.
Things might have fallen apart after that.
Using the built in whistle on the pack, I rallied the troops, and we headed out of the "aid station" at 12:30.
We were mostly all present and accounted for, laughing and having a good time with less than 13 miles to the finish line. Perhaps a bit of hazy chaos ensued, and as the top 4/5ths of the single speed field arrived at a gated road, we noticed the absence of the last 1/5th. After waiting awhile, I headed back into the woods and was shortly joined by another mother goose type.
We yelled, whistled, and searched until we found our missing classmate up in the woods meeting trees. Together, we walked him and his bike back to the others. From that point there was some sketchy riding, a bit of falling, and some more concerned looks shared. Once we got to Sand Flats Road (and after watching the 1/5th lay down in it), we headed towards camp. Fortunately, before we hit the long gravel descent back towards camp, uber-promoter Mike Kuhn arrived in his van. Apparently there was a bit of concern for our safety, and we took advantage of the opportunity to pour the 1/5th into the front seat. Mike asked the rest of us to please just finish down the road and cut off the last portions of trail, but we weren't having it. We came to finish the TSE.
So we rolled in around 3:05PM, about five minutes late for dinner. Everyone else had finished hours ago, and they were all cleaned up and eating in the dining hall. We arrived dirty, disheveled, and helmeted.
And that would be why there are no results listed for the SS class(less) for stage seven. As Mike went through the classes for the day, he only muttered something about the single speed class and "I'm not really sure what happened out there." We would have no podium for the day, but we did get to do the whole overall podium thing later.
I don't think there will be a margarita bar in the woods at the 2013 TSE. Leave it to the SS'ers to ruin a good thing for everybody else.
That's it for the "racing" portion. Of course there was the 3 Beer Race and an after-party.
I'll get to that tomorrow.
*photos provided by those that will remain nameless so as not to be associated with the pure evil that was stage 7