Sweet Sweet Castlewood

Friday about mid-day I found myself in the parking lot of the local grocery store, with a quarter in my hand. Heads I'd go, tails I'd stay. There was a good size storm threatening St.Louis and it wasn't looking good for race day. Luckily for me, the flip came up heads. Off to the Lou it was.

Travis, Steve, and I left about 1, and by 4:30 we were engulfed in a small rain shower. Just enough to slick everything up. It stopped, and then got entirely too humid and hot. No biggie though, we had fun popping our Cwood cherries and ripping down Rollercoaster with giant grins. It was the perfect course to hold the Missouri State Mountain Bike Championships.

The opening climb was bonkers, and I ended up changing my gears based on it, and the two main hills on the course. Basically you climbed the first climb, then bombed down the backside and started what was either 3 laps for sport and SS, or 4 four experts. On the course you quickly hit the Grop hill, then railed Rollercoaster, to the bottoms, up Lonewolf, and then back down to the staging area. I really like how the course was laid out.

We got super lucky and dodged the rain bullet leaving perfect conditions for Saturday.

The results, I took 2nd of 14 in the SS class, Travis took 6th in the 30-39, and 7th overall showing how stacked his class was in the Experts, and Steve dominated two laps but decided three wasn't the best idea. It was hot, and lots of racers pulled early. It was so hot that three of us singlespeeders whooped up on a national champ Pro, Deejay Birch, who was passing through on his way to Colorado. That made my day.

Jon Schottler took the overall Expert win handidly, and Dan Miller took my class, showing us again that he's racing super strong this year.

The quarter was true, but either way I should have known. Grab a couple friends, travel across the state to go ride bikes, and your bound to find fun no matter how much mother natures wants to piss on your parade.

Here's the link to a video of the narly downhill right after we started. My back wheel fell off so you'll see DJ come through with Dan M, Dan F, and Nico right on his wheel followed by me 12 or so seconds later. That's about 1:15. Travis was before that in the Expert group, and Steve later in the video as the sport riders go by. Notice JP hit the tree about mid way down and topple over. Classic.

This weekend we'll hopefully find ourselves at Perry Lake. The forcast looks iffy, but should be good. Think dry thoughts.

Also, just a heads up, I just found out the Warsaw 3/6 Hour race for the following weekend has been postponed. It was scheduled for the 26th. Bummer but I'm sure Mac has good reasons.

More riding bikes...



Dirty and Down

Well to say the Warsaw race was Down and Dirty would be an understatement. It was my most epic race yet, not neccassarily because of condition or length but because of what happened. This was a race where being the strongest racer didn’t mean you were going to win, you had to have luck on your side. A few of us didn’t….

First off, hats off to Mac. This guy knows how to put on a race. Not matter how low key his races are, he always goes above and beyond. Live music, great courses, food, drinks, you name it he has it. He’s really put a lot of sweat and hard work into that riding scene, and it was awesome to see so many people come out to support him and his crew. He was a proud man, because this was his biggest race yet. We had 16 expert racers! The most I’ve seen down there is 3-4. The sport and beginner crowd was stacked as well.

Here you see the few remaining seconds before the start. Trav and I
have the look of the tiger in our eyes, the breathing technique down as evident by our puckered lips, and legs ready to crush pedals. Little did I know just moments later, I would wreck harder than ever. It was not a pretty moment.

And we’re off! See that? Huh? Huh? Ya that’s right, my turbo diesel engine was able to take the holeshot with my SS again. Trav took over then Justin, then I got the short end of the stick when a racer tried a last ditch effort to pass causing me to wipe out at 20mph+ into a cedar tree. My adrenaline took over, but only after the whole sport class passed me.

It took a half lap, but I passed all the sport field. That’s never an easy task…

Sometime in the second lap I passed Travis, who suffered a flat. Up to that point Justin and him were leading the race at what he called a “comfortable” pace. That would be uncomfortable to the rest of us. That was his bad luck for the day. I keep on, and managed to pass Justin who flatted half way through the last lap. From last to second with first just outta sight and I was raging ready for the comeback of the day. Then that wonderful sound… Psssttttt…. Yup, I flatted and it wouldn’t seal.

Thanks a million to Richy Rich who threw me a big air as my canister weren’t doing it. I did a pretty slow fix as I watch 6 or 7 guys passed before I realized we were still racing and I had to pick it up. My only real break came when I passed Justin again, (the only other 19-29er and my nemisis of the last couple of races), with his second flat. He was out as he didn’t have any other tubes. Bummer.

I made a few last passes, and was finished. That was a true race, down to the wire. Travis made his way back to 2nd overall and 2nd in his age group to the winner, Rock Wamsley. I was 5th or 6th overall and first in my age group.

Podium Pics!

Steve rocked the sweet singletrack goodness too, and finished strong in his sport class. I only wish I’ll be that strong when I’m that old. I’m pretty sure he’s got double my age plus some. Badass.

On another note, Kevin rocked gravel like a pro after only starting real training this year. He managed 100 miles of the 200+ miles of the Dirty Kanza. Maybe he’ll post up his thoughts on it later, but either way that’s impressive for a new rider. He’s continually getting stronger, and as long as he still wants to ride his bike after Saturday, will be rocking strong this year. I also saw this pic of Dave rocking it SS style, and I'm pretty sure Tim tried his had at the DK too.

State's only a few days away! That’s right, Cwood goodness, and stiff competition. Be there or be a square…