Tuesday, June 7

Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic: Stage One

Pretty sure they saved this bed for me:

I'm gonna go one stage at a time, so as not to test the limits of your attention and allow me to sleep in every day this week much molar longer.  Everything should be wrapped up by early next week.  Expect uninterrupted daily (weekday) posts until it's all out of my head.

Stage One:  Coburn ~ 36.9 miles, 4,015 feet of climbing

What can I really remember from over a week ago?

Before the race, I'm pretty sure the start would be similar to what I've seen in the past.  I'm wrong.  Instead of a nice grind out on gravel from camp, we are slingshot-kapow right into the woods after a neutral start that lasts as less than fifteen seconds.  I still think we are neutral (hard to tell on a single speed), and before I know it... bang.  We're in the woods on tight singletrack with no room to move up.  Gaps start to form as people ahead of me have a hard time in the twisties.  I have no idea where my competition is.  It's a long week.  Stay calm'esque.

BTW:  I picked Montalbano to win the whole she-bang from the get-go. I had no idea who Matt Green (heavy Kona Honzo) and Matt Spohn (rigid) are, but when Montalbano told me to "watch out" for Green... shit.  That means something... even if I don't know what they look like yet.

Matt Spohn... the unknown, who apparently enjoyed some time racing as a Cat 1/Pro roadie.  His proficiency at riding over rocks on a rigid bike didn't exactly scream "roadie" tho.  Worthy turgid  adversary.

Anyways, pop out of those woods and know the real work is in front of me.  No way everyone was caught sleeping like me.  The heat is oppressive.  That will get some people deep into the sads.  My allergies are impressive.  Snot is pouring out of my nose-part like a mountain spring.  Not for nothing, but it's fascinating.

I think the first time I see Dan Giroux, he's coming past me around mile 22.  He's screaming "enduro!" as we tear down Poe Paddy Drive.  Less of a "road" and more of a mine field of buried rocks.   I'm picking my way down in tire-conservation mode.  I hate flats.

Make it down without any bad things, and start trying to claw my way back up the 1,000 ft/9 mile "climb."  I catch Dan.  Put him away, "dammit, Dicky" as I roll by. I find myself working with Aaron Albright and Kaysee Armstrong.  Using the term "working" very loosely.  Our paces only matching up occasionally with all of us surging in different manners.

Finish up with Dan behind me, never seeing the top three riders.  Wonder why?

Probably because it's hard to see 6-13 minutes ahead into the future.

A Dick-less podium... soon to be a very familiar sight at this year's TSE.

Axel Kiermaier (fifth place on day one) is staying at Eagle Lodge, my eternal residence at TSE.  His bike interests me to no end.

I could write an entire post on his machine.

Homemade Pro Core (road tire and road tube inside there).  He says he's never flatted.  Other than that, carbon Rocky Mountain (non-single speed specific) frame, magic gearing, hand-laced leather grips, Gravity Dropper post (with rubber boot removed) actuated by an Avid brake lever under his actual brake lever, untrimmed zip-ties abound, padding under the saddle for extended hike-a-bikes in his home country of Panama... I know I'm forgetting some things.  So impressive and custom to his needs.  He was over-geared on day one, but after he decided to make a swap, I knew he'd be someone to contend with in the days to come.


Anonymous said...

nice! yah got any GPS and elevation maps? curious to know the terrain... as for the snot, I hear yah there. As for the road tire in the mtb tire, genius! was thinking of that last night as I replaced a sht michelin tire with a more suitable panracer tire. Looking at my road bike saying, I should cut up a road bike tire and put it in the mtb tire to protect the tub. I used stans in the tub... friggen hate flats. Lost my dog on the weekend because I flatted with a sht michelen tire...

look forward to the remaining write ups, plan to do this race next year. Too fat this year, working on reduction so I can get moderately fast again :) I hope...

dicky said...

Every bit of the course info is here:

MTBike Jockey said... entire road tire is inflated in there? Does the mtb tire have it's own air?....Yeah, I'm for sure confused as fuck right now.

As a side note, I have considered putting an uninflated tube in a tubeless tire before in hopes that should I cut a sidewall or something like that I could just hit the tube with some Co2 and roll on.