Wednesday, July 22

Going back to the One-oh-One

I have not done the Wilderness 101 since 2006.  Let me put that into some kinda frame of reference.

That was the first year of the National Ultra Endurance Series (despite the fact that the guy in charge of the NUE, Ryan O'dell, still thinks it started in 2009).

It was also the year that I started this blog, ended up third single speed in the NUE Series (mostly by being one of three guys to finish enough races to qualify), won my "World Championship" (mostly by being the guy who was running behind Cameron Chambers when he DNF'ed), and also the year I turned *erp*... 37 years old (mostly by just breathing for 13,505 days).

It was the only time I skipped ORAMM to do something else from 2004 until 2013. 

2006 was the last year that I was on 26" wheels, and I was one of the last guys in the single speed class to make the leap to big wheels.  The fine line between stubborn and dumb.

the rocks just above Three Bridges... just some of the pleasant rocks from the day
It was the last year that I put Band-aids on my nipples because I insisted on wearing my altered Fox casual jersey made out of sandpaper.

photo cred: Karin Abramo Randall
Fanny Pack of Doom, Shirtless Club for Men in its first year, drawstring chamois, stack of Pringles shoved in my mouth thus ushering the era of the Lonely Pringlespeeder.... need I say more?

I finished the 101 that year in 14th place in the single speed with an unimpressive time of 9:53:06.  This was back when I thought carrying an ultra-lite tube made total sense, even if I was running a high volume 2.5 front tire.

It made total sense until I ripped my Continental Diesel UST 2.5, booted it with a gel wrapper, inserted the fragile, paper-thin tube, and then flatted on the very next descent.  I ended up running down a single track trail, hopping out of the way of passing riders, and feeling many sads until I obtained more toobage.  Then there were just more sads.

BTW:  I didn't learn from this experience and repeated every aspect of that debacle almost a month later at the now defunct E100 in Park City, Utah (lovely place for a downhill run).

AMAZING SIDE NOTE: I recently discovered while prepping my drop bags for this year's 101 that all my light'ish spare tubes only have 38m long valve stems which are too short to go all the way through my Farlow rims.

I ordered new 48mm valve stem tubes from Maxxis, and boom they showed up yesterday... and, of course, I ordered the wrong ones.

The same exact .60mm thickness as the tube I ripped nine years ago.  Brilliant. As.  Shit.

Re-reading my blog post from my day at the 101 (I'd link it, but you would never want to wait for the old to load... I almost crashed the servers at work looking for it), I was in a very dark place from the 4th aid station all the way to the finish.  Makes sense because I remember so little of anything aside from flat tires, passing a tandem, and beer.

I have little if any goals or expectations going into this.  The 101 will be my first "real" race since I dropped out of the Trans-Sylvania Epic because... rocks and bones don't play nice.  Obviously, I would love to set a PR, not really a lofty goal though.

What I really want is to enjoy myself and have a pleasant day riding bikes in the woods with friends for a hundred (and one) miles.  Two weeks until I leave for Breck Epic, so it would be nice to have a positive experience with a number plate on the front of my bike.  A little redemption on the State College trails that took me out of the fun times for four weeks... would just be icing on the Swiss Cake Roll.

I should mention that I wasn't gonna drink beer or eat Peanut M&M's the week before this race, but it works for me at least 5% of the time, and I don't wanna mess with that kinda success.

Race report... I dunno, Monday, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Not so unnerved by the fanny pack but those fly ass "mom shorts" take the cake. You got'em pulled up higher than a motherfucker!!

Anonymous said...

wish I could go this year... too fat from pizza pockets... not enough climbing times in the saddle... too much beer and beach time.

I miss doing the W101 and S101... fantastic races put on by some great fellas.
Loved those races.

drink beer, race... drink more beer and eat shit loads. Get the T shirt.

Anonymous said...

ORAMM is this weekend. We will miss you up here and glad you finished it in style in 2013.