Friday, June 2

'17 Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic: Part Three

Stage #4.  Bald Eagle State Forest.  No real nefarious plan for the day.  Just ride together and have a semblance of funs. 

So from the start, I ride away from my friends.

I actually ate food like I needed to the night before, and I feel slightly more buneo than yesterday.  I want to make the most out of my good (relatively speaking) legs before they give out on me.  I get to the first Enduro™ section of the day ahead of the other four and decide that I will wait at the bottom.

Through the rocks, over the moto course and down to the right turn on Gravel-Something Rd, and then a rider comes by and tells me that one of "my boys back there" had a flat tire.  Meh.

I had left them.

So I run back to the moto course, accept a beer handup from someone, and wait to cheer for my little friends as they came through the moto section.  Eventually they fly by, we get to the gravel, and although Scott had put a plug or two in his tire, we stand there for awhile and address the issue further... I think.  I know I spit on his tire, so that's something.

As we roll out Gravel-Something Rd, the noise that Watts' bike had been making off and on was now just on.  Constant.  Loud.  Annoying.  Deafening.  Ruining everything for everybody... especially Watts.  If there's one thing that single speeders hate, it's noisy bikes.  If there's two things single speeders hate, it's noisy bikes and sobriety.

We get to the check point with a need to address both issues.

I had planned ahead and packed five beers in my drop bag, so I rush ahead on North Sand Mtn Trail to get there first.  I want to greet my fellow ding dongs with a handful of happies.  Watts is more focused on his creaking pile of bike parts.  He goes straight to the guy from Freeze Thaw Cycles.

After some unspeakable acts of horror, it is determined that Watts' very expensive and none-too-old bottom bracket was seized, the crank spindle just turning inside the bearing.  A mallet, some elbow grease, some actual grease and a butter knife later, and he's back up and running in a creak-free manner.

From there, we just cruised at a minimal amount of effort to get back to camp, even tho it wasn't the way we thought we were going but it was a way to get there.

That evening, I eat one supper.  Then two. I feel sleepy, so I crawl into my bunk and pull on my squeezy leg bags... and fall the hell asleep.

That is until I heard Dan and Doug come back from the beer run (we out here), and then I crawl out and invite everyone to an opportunity to be squozen.

It's not what it looks like, unless it looks like five guys in two bunks, in which case, it totally is what it looks like.

Inside our pillow fort, we formulate a plan for Stage #5.  Leave one hour early in the morning, drop beers in the creek at the bottom of Stillhouse Hollow, ride as fast as we could manage to the aid station (where we would all have three beers each stashed), load up, and get to the third Enduro™ section before the fastest riders.  We were pretty sure we only needed an hour head start.  Pretty sure.

Well, the next morning the boys arrive at the right place at the right time and I grab my bike which has been leaning in the same spot for over an hour and...

the end of my rear brake lever is missing.  It looks almost... chewed off?  Hmmmm.

A moment of sleuthing and I find a piece of the shattered remains next to a large rock that my bike would have logically fell on had someone accidentally knocked it over.  Which someone did.

I'm sure they didn't think, "Hey, I bet that innocuous tip-over resulted in some major damage to this bike.  I better look it over."


I consider my options.  Grab the Stickle Meatplow V.6 and my number plate?  Just ride it as is?  Chris M suggests that I wrap some Gorilla tape on it to create a sort of nubbin, so that makes sense and is the easiest solution, so I do that??

I figure that I'm now gonna have to two-finger the lever because of the reduced leverage and chance that my finger might slide of the remaining nubbin.  Meh.

We head out.

We stash our beers in the creek where we think nobody will see them but someone does but it's okay because... race promoter.

From the creek, we "hammer" up and over Stillhouse, I have some exciting moments figuring out my new brake situation, and we make it to the check point to load up.  On the way to where I think we're going (but I'm wrong), I actually split one of my jersey pocket beers with the tip of my saddle.  Dammit.

Anyways, one lost soldier outta fifteen is not so bad.  We find a sweet corner to spectate and settle in.  We had beat the best of the best (with our hour head start).


Anonymous said...

Advocat sez:

Dang, all that and you get lei'd too? Ya'll must'a made those while sharing the bunks.

Why don't you guys just get a haircut (Dicky's will do) and a job?

Sorry, got ... to ... beat... down the ENVY, ENVY, ENVY.......

runninggunner said...

Love your adventures. Gives me so much stoke reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

If I can only do one stage race next year, should it be TSE or Breck Epic? Or is this like picking a favorite child?

dicky said...

Pretty much like picking between children. They both have their benefits, and depending on how you look at it, non-benefits. I've only been doing BE every other year for awhile, but only because it's a west coaster (more travel/logistic intense).