Yuri, in my blog again!
Hats off to Yuri for what seemed like a very successful Camp Eckerd Fat Tire Festival. It was an excellent family day with sunshine, rain, food, laughs, a band, prizes, podium girls (not really), pin up girls (not really) and several members of the NUMBA from Camp Carolina - they know who they are and they are probably not any less hairy then in the early 90's.
To win King Of the Mountain (KOM), you must participate in 3 events: the 18 mile cross country race, trials and downhill.
Crazy lemans start. Ouch. I loathe running, even 100 yards. I mustered enough gumption to run through the pain and make it to my well positioned bike. There was single track at the very beginning and i did not want to get behind a huge group and have to pass people continuously before getting my groove on. I figured hard effort at the start would allow me to sit in and groove quicker than if no hard initial effort.
I was up front with local pro/Sycamore/all around good guy Wes Dixon. I knew Wes could drop me like a hot potato but he sat back a little and let me follow for a while. Soon there were about 10 people in our group. Many fast dudes I'd seen before and some i hadn't. As in so many races, our group was BLINDLY jockeying for position and who ever was at the front missed a turn. We ended up two minutes off course. It was like we were re-creating the band scene in Animal House, but on bikes and outfits much gayer than worn by the aforementioned band. We corrected our direction and were once again in hot pursuit "coot coot coot" of the lead. Our group was passed by at least 15 people so there was a lot of time to make up.
As a direct result of my membership in WDNC, I am intimately familiar with Dupont trails. I found my groove, albeit slow, and sat in. I figured there were at least 10 people in front of me so i just kept my nose on the trail and pedaled as hard as i could.
I wanted the KOM award and knew i would have to be on to earn it. I'd have to beat Wes and all the other good riders. Heck, I'd have to be on, and they'd have to be off, and all the stars properly aligned, ducks in a row, etc. etc.
There was a Platypus about 4 spots back in my line of Ducks. Nuff said.
I didn't go for any treasures* and stayed focused on the prize. After much pain and a faster pace than usual, crossed the finish line in second! Wes beat me by 11 minutes. I was off and had to earn every mile. My legs felt like led and my breathing was off, but i stayed the course and was rewarded. I thought my place would be about 10th, because I did not pass too many riders after we were deep into the single track. Evidently many riders missed turns and/or went for the treasures. Thanks guys!
What a cool idea! Yuri the Fury set up a trials course on some uncomfortable large boulders on part of the downhill course. Rules allowed only 5 dabs of the foot. That means you could only touch the ground with your foot 5 times. If you exceed 5 dabs, you were disqualified and received 20th place for the trials event. Well, all but two people earned 20th in trials. Everyone demonstrated regal attempts, but only two prevailed. Both fellows who finished the course ooooed and awd the crowd by riding boulders and tight turns that normal folk dream of riding. The trials event was a good way to engage the crowd, or the vultures. Either way, it was fun. I cleaned (successfully maneuvered) some obstacles that pushed my upper limits and got to practice my superman over the bars dismount once. I was disqualified but continued the course just for fun.
Well, many participants had big hit bikes (bikes set up for downhill or free ride style) and my dainty STEVE POTTS was a nimble formula one machine among baja race trucks. My downhill skills are good and me and STEVE know how to bounce n hover (a technique honed by years of hard tail riding). The course was rooty. Oh yeah, the course was rooty. Did i say the course was rooty? I think we were in the everglades root system equivalent of Dupont State Forest. I was up. Chief David over the intercom system counted down my start "3", "2", "1-go". I hit the rooty trail and started my session of "bounce n hover". Thankfully, had a good clean run and earned 3rd place, four seconds behind Wes and two seconds behind 2nd.
Didn't win KOM, but did have a damn fine day in the woods in my favorite venue...a race. My hat is off to all the participants, race staff, Camp Eckerd and all the young kids who tried something new in the form of mountain biking.
Hats off to Wes at Sycamore Cycles for bringing in his fleet of rental bikes and helmets for kids to use. We need more kids on bikes.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Yuri, in my blog again!
Posted by Beefcake at 10:18 AM