Monday, June 4

TSE... as far as I could get without skipping school

I'm burnt. I'm sore. My mind is a jumbled mess. As a famous female Niner rider once said, "I'm cocked out."

Well, she said something like that.

Let's get right to it.

Stage One: Prologue

The riders were going out in 30 second intervals. I was the last single speeder to hit the trail right behind the nefarious Dejay Birtch.

photo cred: Beth Ann Stauffer

Zac Adams sticking a "Pass on the right" sign on my back for the women who are starting 30 seconds behind me.

Hard to take a 12 mile prologue too seriously in a stage race, but it's just as hard to blow it off. I gave it the effort it deserved right out of the starting house. We rode around the trails in camp before heading down the long road towards the highway. By the time we got to the paved climb, I could see the four other single speeders ahead of me, with Dejay now in front of them all. I closed the gap down to everyone except Dejay, and made my way around the moto enduro course with my competition in sight. I bobbled here and a dabbed there, and the at-one-time State College local boy, Clay Chiles got back around me. I ended up more than two minutes behind Dejay and less than a minute in front of Clay.

Stage Two: Rothrock

Forty-two miles of rocks and impediments to progress in a forward direction. Peter turned the phrase "ill-shaped fuck faced rocks" after this stage two years ago whilst myself and Sideshow Garth Prosser referred to it as "prison rape." It was no easier this year. Still, this is why you come to TSE. I love riding over endless rock fields, and Central PA does not disappoint. It was an awesome day in the woods with semi-predictable results. Dejay put another 13 minutes into me, and the unknown Faster Mustache rider, Clay dropped back a little on the day was well.

photo cred: Luke Sagur

Stage Three: Coburn

Known as the road stage, and also the one that the little-single speeder-that-could won last year, Coburn was still a bitch to get around. Forty seven miles and a shit ton of climbing in the heat wears you down. This year was nothing like 2011 for me. Where I had friends to pull me through the open road sections, I was alone and suffering. I couldn't go fast enough to hop on any of the trains that went by, so the Dejay that I had in my sights for the first fifteen minutes or so of the stage had left me far behind. After a long and lonely 3.5+ hrs in the saddle, I found myself losing another fifteen minutes to Dejay and gently padded my second place spot.

Toasted from too many solo pulls in the wind

photo cred: Colt/Cycling Dirt

An unfortunate theme that emerged on the SS podium

Stage Four: Raystown...


A quick thanks to those of you that voted for Zac in the Sun Valley Remedy contest. We came in third in the popular vote, but I'm sure we won with the electoral college. Now we have until June 10th (this weekend) to make a 90 second video that will be judged for the grand prize. No problem, right? Just gotta get through a week of work, spend all day Saturday shooting footage and stay up all night in the editing room in order to produce a winning video. Fuck me.

This contest is really about the chance to go to Sun Valley, ID with Zac. He and I have come up short on our many adventures, foiled by wooden nickels, torn sidewalls, broken axles... I wanna bring him some positive energy. Sure there are some prizes, but I want a nice vacation of riding bikes in an entirely new place with someone I consider a good friend. I want to go to Nationals and spectate. I wanna hang out, drink beer, meet people, talk about bikes... kinda like I just got done doing for the past week... except in Idaho. Sooooooooooooo wanna win this contest. Soooooooo gonna do what I can to make it happen.

I wonder what Tom Hanks is doing this weekend?

Need more TSE for now?

Check out the Mountain Bike Radio interview I did last week. I talk like I ride (all over the place) and do my usual bang-up job of answering questions with mumbles and slurs.

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