heat, beer, more heat. and trying to ride a bike.

So No Mas 100k MTB race recap - the race that was, and wasn't.

you know its gonna be good when you've got two laps of a 30+ mile course with 6000ft of climbing per lap.

seems i wasn't alone in my attempt to ride in a metric century MTB race over the weekend.  tip of the hat to ole kenny.  i didn't have the esteemed pre-race company of Spanky and KB, Joshica and other supporting cast like our very own Kenneth but i did have some beers in the company of a few newly met characters: Carlos, editor/publisher of the BikeMonkey 'zine and promoter of events, Jason Silverek, local norcal photographer and owner of one of the sweetest SS's ever (a custom Retrotec/SyCip/Soulcraft he was given in thanks for shooting the Top Tube Calendar), and a few other select individuals camping out around Lake Sonoma.  also like kenny, i had NO bojangles biscuits for breakfast.

Lake Sonoma.  bigger than i expected.   unlike dicky, who is smaller than anyone expected.

they got some hills 'round these parts.

singletrack and really tall grass.

we all knew saturday (race day) was going to be hot. i had no idea that i'd be contemplating at what point the body might combust or my face might melt off. the highs were predicted near 100 degrees and they topped it.  at one point on the race course i found myself standing near a cooler with chunks of ice in my hands.  just standing there holding ice cubes.  but there i go getting ahead of myself . . .

i suppose there is a lot to be told of the day's events.  i'll let Carlos tell some of it in his own words:

"Even as a race promoter, there was nothing easy about trying to keep people safe and happy in 100+ degree weather this past weekend at Lake Sonoma for the inaugural SoNoMas event.  If you weren’t there the breakdown went like this:

9:10am — Solo 100K racers take off.  We started to scramble to get our radio and aid stations established but the terrain proved formidable.  We were forced to relay messages from three base points, one of which had me running up a hillside periodically to get a message out to station 4.  Riders were off."

even at 9 in the morning it was getting warm.  i entered the woods - after our little campground/climbing 2 lap prologue to spread the masses -  somewhere midpack i thought.  the Pro's were ahead as well as a few SS'ers.  no worries, long day ahead.  the first half of the course had bits where i flashed back to riding in the east.  dense green forest, benched in singletrack and big trees.  i was all smiles (except for the internal cussing on the punchy climbs).  the creek crossings were awesome and the big one with spectators in it ringing cowbells tops the cake.  rode with a pack of quick geared riders and one other SS'er for the first 11-12 miles.  coming through the CamelBak aid station on the tail end of that pain train i scored an ice cold beer while on the roll.  so cold, so delicious - and i don't think i've ever said that about a Bud Light.  

rolling into the CamelBak aid station.  not my photo.

then the climbing came.  and plenty of it.  then the exposed sections of the course, with climbing.  fucking hot, thats about all you can say.  i got into checkpoint number whatever and luckily they had a shade canopy.  these guys were super helpful and had a cooler full of Tecate.  i added one of those to my order (you never know if the water will be cold but you can bet your ass that their beer will be ice cold!)  i was stoked to be headed out of there a bit refreshed.  climbed on until i reached another checkpoint and was directed down a trail towards the lake.  started bombing down and after a bit saw a pack of riders headed back up the trail at me.  what the hell? 

12:15pm — All hell breaks loose.  A pack of 15 riders or so find themselves at the water’s edge after descending a several-hundred foot descent past a hard right that had its arrow physically removed.  In spite of signage that told visitors not to touch anything they saw out there and repeated calls and messages to the rangers station to help them alert visitors of the event, someone decided it would be a great idea to screw with us.  We immediately cut the artery to the “additional” single-track and all riders were now forced to continue on an abbreviated course.  Not too many complaints were raised with the shortening of the course in light of rising temperatures and a looming shortage of water.

the pack that was headed back up at me was the Pro riders and a handful of others who descended all way to the lake only to find that the course markers were missing or gone or something.  they were climbing back out to the checkpoint i had passed few minutes ago to get things sorted.  i turned around and climbed/pushed my way back to meet them up at the CP.  the call came in to contiune on to the start/finish, skipping that section.  bummer.

12:45pm — With the return of the first riders which included Barry Wicks, Glenn Fant, Brian Astell, Shane Bresnyan and other fast riders we received word of the quickly aproaching shortage of fluids on the course.  In spite of 7 aid stations with gallons upon gallons of water we were running low after just one lap.  The high hadn’t been reached yet, and going back out spelled doom for everyone.

"other fast riders."  really?  wow, somehow i managed to get tangled up not too far off the race leaders in a group of 'fast riders'.  not how i'd planned the day but i'll fucking take it!

1:00pm — The race was called. A handful of riders were turned back from station 4 due to the order.  Nobody seemed to terribly burnt, unless it was by the sun.


i was one of those idiots in that handful of riders who were spun around at station 4.  3-4 geared riders and one other SS'er.  i think only 6 or 7 of us went on for the second lap attempt.  i'm not sure how the next 25-30 miles would have turned out, but i came for the full hurt and if they said we could go for it then i was damn well going for it.  probably a good thing they called it though as we would've suffered to the max, especially if they were running out of water out there.  cold beer is a bonus but i doubt i could've survived on that alone in the 100+ degree heat.  still very young at heart (downright juvenile) but i'm not in college anymore.

1:30pm — Kegs were tapped 3 hours early, the grill was fired up and the food and freshly baked cookies started flowing.

post race party was great.  food was plentyful and Bear Rupublic Brewing sponsored with 3 or 4 kegs.  somehow Carlos made sense of the day and awarded some trophies.  in the fall out i came out with a 3rd in Expert Single Speed - behind Keith from the Soulcraft posse and Jason Silverek.  not sure what to make out of the podium finish . . . seeing as how the race was cut short and all.  hard to tell how things would've played out, possibly better possibly worse.

rad trophies

another Hoff podium for 2009.  nice work so far this year, kids.  best of luck to all who are headed up to Tsali this coming weekend for the 6hr and 12hr.  bring the motha f'ing pain.

edit:  blog is screwing with me tonight and the fonts are all out of wack.  might try to fix it later.  too tired to mess with it.

2 comments:

Kelvin Kauliflower said...

I like the different fonts!

So how much did you end up riding?

dwight yoakam said...

the 'bike calculator' (as the B2 calls it) read about 35 miles. so we came up 30 short. but they were some hard earn miles to be sure with all that climbing. when i finally returned to the start/finish after being spun around on lap 2, saddle time was around 4 hours.