Podium Sweep... Boyah!!

So for those of you who haven't heard/seen/got the telegrams, the Hoffenchard single speeders swept the podium at 12 Hours of Tsali this past weekend. Yours truly taking 3rd, Will the G taking second and the great wise one, Ken Klatte taking top honors with 1st. Joshie also represented well with a 4th place in Open Solo.Much thanks to our awesome support crew! Kelly Lil Boozie Fischer and Eric Spanky Smith held it down all day and into the morning hours in the pits making sure we were all fueled up, equipment was functioning well, and metal stability was at an acceptable level. Pretty impressive since they were enjoying brews and beverages all day. KB also put in some quality time as the team masseuse once she was done with her 6 hour campaign.

yes he was the one responsible for mechanical problems........not many people can do this while sleeping and standing up....dimensia sets in.A long day but a good day!

Kenny's 12 Hours Of Tsali Re-Cap: The Horseshoe Was Crammed Up The Ole Butthole

My original 12 Hours of Tsali write-up was borderline pornographic if not completely incoherent, like a Penthouse letter dictated by Thomas Pynchon, so I figured I’d post my play list that was never used. Gone Riding bans I-Pods with headphones so shit got pretty crucial from a sanity point of view around hour 8.

You can only ding a handlebar bell so long before you start thinking horrible thoughts. On second thought, my play list was too big for a blog post so maybe I’ll just include the first hour or two. Wait, I need to include a race detail. Hmmm, where to start? I guess I’ll start with Friday night’s binge drinking and sausage consuming. After the sausage/binging, it was time for 4 hours of sleep and an early morning run to Bojangles (!) for biscuits and coffee. Fast forward to the start of the race. It was Le Mans which is French for “Kenny don’t run”. But not to be outdone by Kelly Baisley, I jogged so I could beat her to the bikes; send an early message to her: “I will crush you”. The first lap was uneventful.

The second was too. I think I saw Will or was that the third? A loose headset was fixed by Eric after berating him for his slackness. He was already drunk by 1:00 PM. Belligerent by 3:00 and approaching David Lee Roth levels by 5:00. I eventually met up with Kyle and we rode together until I attacked him on a climb to see how he was feeling. He faded like a high top and I was soon getting wind of first. Not sure where I made contact with him, maybe the fifth lap?

Anyhoo, he had a splacknasty Lynskey with splacknasty I-9 wheels that got a bell ding of admiration from me. The next laps were fairly uneventful. I started walking the long fire road climb and “shreddin” the backside swoopiness. Lights went on around 8:10 for me. It was quite a scene. I was totally unprepared. Nothing was ready so I made Eric do everything, berating him, staring at him with disdain, disgust. It felt good. After the 10th lap, I decided to call it a day. I was handed a beer and started to decompress until I realized Will could catch me if he busted out two fast fucking laps. I set my beer down, after Kelly lit sparklers for me and went out for a leisurely 11th lap. I passed 1st on the gravel road climb and thought “This is for Jeremy Edge you SOB!” He then hammered past me 20 seconds later, but it still felt good. Didn't walk the fravel road once! Rolled into through finish line for my real finish at 10:45, 5 minutes too late for lap 12 and called it a day. I’ve never done the champagne thing before on the podium so when I opened the bottle, instead of arching out like a super-charged, virile, firehose blast, it dribbled, flat and impotent onto my feet. I wanted to drink it anyway so that’s what I/we did. Then Kyle vomited uncontrollably behind our tent set-up next to Sycamore Cycles. Now that's punk rock. Pretty sure the only reason I won first was because Will was overgeared, Kyle was undernourished and most of the heavy hitters were racing at Burn 24, but hey, a win is a win!

12 hrs of Tsali

Hoffenchard is going to be well represented this weekend out at Tsali. I'm making my first attempt at a solo race and will be joined by veteran racers Kenny, Joshie, Kyle, Will, and Jeremy. Of course Jeremy is racing for Terrapin, but surely one of the others can snag us a podium spot!! Thanks in advance to our wonderful support crew/cheering section (Spanky, Kelly Fischer, Chandrea, Jim Morrison) that will probably be drinking more than helping. I guess I'm as ready as I can be - car is packed, been riding a lot, and filled up on a Reese's Cup Freezy at Tastee Freez tonight!

Woo hoo, Team Hoffenchard!!

Lab Experiments

new experiment brewing in the west coast lab:

desired results:  a frame that actually fits!  size XL.  and no it won't be red forever.

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.

Sumter Metric Century: Anybody Got Any Biscuits, Cleats?

When life gives you lemonade, you always smell it to make sure it isn't urine... and so began my inaugural Sumter Metric Century race Saturday morning. Actually, the race started Friday night as Eric and Kelly were in town which meant beers and chips at Yo Burrito, and then cruiser bikes to Speakeasy in Five Points. There we lounged with Gabe from Hawley, drinking and cavorting. Then, as always, the clock showed 1:30-1:45 and it was time to ride home. In bed by 2:30 and then up at 5:30. Christ. Three hours of sleep left me feeling pretty crummy and mildly hung over but there was racing to be done. I skipped breakfast knowing I could pick up an assload of biscuits somewhere on the road. Turning off at the exit towards Lick Fork State Park, I didn't see a biscuit vendor in sight. I kept driving and realized I would go biscuit-less. Damn, a biscuit would've hit the spot. I show up to the race in ratty camo shorts, a soiled button up shirt from the night before and my John Deere cap with coffee stains. Looking like a mentally unstable Vietnam vet, I decide to test the waters and ask those around me in the parking lot if they had any spare food. I think I freaked a couple folk out as they thought I was panhandling for a meal, which I guess I was, but it wasn't because I was broke but because Bojangles are snobs and refuse to move into the sticks. Highbrow snobs. Pfffft. So I go register, take a piss and sit in my car trying to figure out what to eat. Then I look at the huge box full of food purchased by Cane Creek through us and say "Fuck it. I'm crackin' open this muthafuckin' box of chocolate chip Clif bars!" I was hesitant because I didn't want FnG at Creek kicking my ass for eating his food, but as luck would have it, they were Eric's and he's a pussy. So I took two bars, stacked them biscuit-style and slamhammered them down. A pointless riders meeting followed and then it was a Le Mans start to our bikes. I don't run, I barely jog and find walking most unsavory. If it had been socially acceptable, I would've centipeded to my bike but this was a race and breakdancing would have to wait. I got into the conga line and hit the singletrack feeling fine and cherry wine. I caught up to Jonathan LaRoy (registered as Jonathan Lardy) and said hi. He was running what looked like a 34X18 or 16 with skinny-ish tires. I dug the set up and wished I had changed my 20 out to an 18 and traded my 2.2 Racing Ralphs to WTB Vulpines or some reasonable facsimile. Anyhoo, I bid J adieu and rode to the first portion of pavement then on to some dirt and gravel rollers. I was rolling along, spinning furiously and as luck would have it, I caught up to Ross Doswell. I hung back but then figured he'd seen me behind him so I rolled up and had a pleasant chat about stuff, you know, girl stuff. We dumped out onto to some more pavement and grabbed a spot in a fucking paceline (!) to the first checkpoint. Ross and I checked in (mandatory), telling the race officials our numbers and hit the singletrack. A brief bobble allowed Ross to gap me by about 20 yards but I was feeling strong and knew I could catch him whenever. Then after about a mile or two, my pedal felt weird. But it wasn't my pedal, it was my cleat. The cleat came loose and on a climb, my foot shot off the pedal in mid stroke. I thought "Uh oh". I pulled over and started frantically searching for the cleat I had just dumped into the woods. I looked and looked, prayed to Allah, kept looking but it was no use. The cleat was nowhere to be seen. A passing rider (who I would later pass) told me, "Hey, your cleat is in your pedal!". I looked down and there it was, wedged in. I grabbed a rock and started banging on it but it was jammed in there tight. This is where I yelled "Are you fuckin' me? Come on!" and decided to quit the race. Then I came to my senses as I heard Toby's voice, Obi Wan style, saying "If you DNF, you'll regret it. And I also think you're a closet case..." So that was that. I decided to bury myself and ride with one working shoe and a slicker than snot carbon platform on the other foot. I popped out onto a dirt road a few miles before checkpoint two and caught some folks. I asked if anybody had some duct tape to give my pedal something a little sticky to grab onto. A nice fellow had a small square from a sign and put it on for me. I think it fell off 20 feet later but I appreciated the effort. He was a warm fellow who was probably a serial killer in regular life, but today, he was a man of compassion and not somebody who made lampshades out of human ass flesh. The second place womens finisher caught me on some pavement and we worked together as we rode some dirt rollers and then into Modoc. Somehow I dropped her in the singletrack as my left foot kept flying off the pedal Rockettes style, banging my ankle against the crank every time. Then it started to rain and it became impossible to keep the shoe on the pedal so I rode down everything with the left foot either off the pedal or "switchfoot" with my right foot forward which is the complete opposite way I ride and felt very bizarro, like trying to relearn bicycle technique in mid-race. I rolled up on a guy smoking a joint at a fork in the trail and asked him which way do I go. He said something unintelligible, I got impatient and just kept going. Christ, was he a race official? I made it out of Modoc soiled and with a throbbing knee, ankle and taint (from my shoe slipping out on a climb throwing me hard into my saddle. The pain was like a lightning bolt into my nether regions). I rolled into checkpoint three, got some duct tape wrapped around my shoe a little too tight, popped a couple endurolytes just in case and rode the last 15 or so miles to the finish. The rest of the race was uneventful. I figured out that by slamming my toe cleats into the pedal and by keeping my foot pointed down at all times, I could pedal without loosing pedal contact. I did this until my ankle started screaming in pain and then switched over to the pedal, slip, pedal, pedal, slip method. Does the fun ever start? Some more dirt roads and then the last portion of singletrack dumped me out in Lick Fork State Park. I passed some troglodytic freakazoids in pop up campers next to the river and that was all the motivation I needed to finish strong. I rolled in at 5 hours and something, maybe 10 minutes? We started late so my watch couldn't be trusted. Could've easily done sub 5 but 40 miles with one shoe is much harder than most folk make it out to be. Sadly, Ross beat me but I figured he would, unless the serial killer at checkpoint two had chloroformed him and taken him back to his trailer in the woods. I finished second and got my pint glass. I also got two plates full of potato salad, beans and a burger. Then I almost shit my shorts on the way home (and before the race too oddly enough). My gastro-intestinal track was in a tizzy! This was a crazy fucking race for me and was terrible prep for 12 Hours of Tsali. My ankle is fucked, my knee is toast and my bike sounds like it's about to fall apart, but I wouldn't trade the experience in for all the "Cat Fancy" magazines in the world! The End.

oozing snot, hacking flem . . .

and a throat as sore as spanky's ass after a 24hr race.  BUT i'm off to Sonoma to mix it up with the expert single speed class in a 100K mtb race.  we shall see if miracles can happen.

they're talking around 12,000 ft of climbing. Bear Republic Brewing is sponsoring . . . so at least there will be beer flowing.

get up on the lowdown HERE

hearts - b



I Took A Huge Stump Dump: Race Report

On a whim, I decided to do the second leg of the State Championships in Spartanburg at the Twelth Annual Stump Jump. It was Mother's Day weekend and I knew I needed to honor my mother according to the Bible: Honor thy mother through athleticness and thou shalt getteth awesome all night long. (Levitcus 14:92)

(Pre-race cleanliness) No ride time all week meant fresh legs but less than stellar fitness. Torrential rain all week meant the trails would be muddy and a warm front would make the humidity unbearable. These were the things that should've weighed on my mind, but they didn't as I have been watching the "Venture Brothers" on DVD all week so the usual pre-race jitters were replaced with obsessive thoughts about an animated duo of clone-brothers, a psychotic bodyguard and their neurotic father. Anyway, I spent the night at my folks' crib and woke up Saturday morning refreshed and a little gassy. I met Josh and Kelly at Southside Trail, warmed up for about 45 seconds, waved hello to my Dad and younger-older sister and got in line to race. Somehow I got muscled off the front row and started on the second row. Oh well. The start went exactly as expected: I was dropped by the main field on the swoopy grass. I railed down the powerlines and entered the singletrack caboose style. The rain seemed like it had left the trail in tact, but as soon as we neared the floodplain and creek, all bets were off. Drifting, sliding and the occasional dab were in store. Luckily, the two creek crossings helped wash off the clay and mud accumulation. By the end of the first lap, I had passed some folk and was feeling pretty good. I saw a squirrel eating some sort of nut next to the trail. I rang my bell at him (which I would break after I wrecked on the second lap) and wished him well. He gave me the squirrel finger. A few miles later, I spied Brad (Low Country Velo) after the start/finish line and thought I could catch him. I slowly started to reel him in when he happened to see me and took off on the flat, muddy stretch by the creek. Fudgeicles! That would be the last I see of Brad until the finish. A little disheartened if not borderline disinterested, I pedaled on passing another rider and enjoying the sound of my lungs filling up with mucous as thoughts of bean burritos and mixtapes filled my head. All that peacefulness and serenity lulled my senses as I wrecked pretty hard on the wettest and most treahcerous of the downhills, landing on some roots, whacking my shin on the Kona and tweaking the groinal area. Guh! I picked myself up after an obscenity-laced inner monologue and mashed on towards the Fern Gully connector. I heard an incessant dinging and lo and behold, there were Joshie and Kelly trailside, shouting words of encouragement and taking photos. I had uttered something about the trail being a "fucking nightmare" on lap one but this time around, I kept my silly thoughts to myself although I did bust out a particularly rancid fart about ten yards past them. They probably didn't notice as a horse had taken a dump near the trail earlier that morning. The rest of the race was uneventful. Roots, some mud, some lovely singletrack, no I-Pod. I eventually crossed the finish line with mud in my ears, creek water in my mouth, potential horse feces in my eyes but with a smile on my face, in addition to the feces. Brad came over and we chatted about the mud, etc. He told me he got second so it looked like I had another third place coming my way (and second overall for the State Championship). I wondered if Brad could smell the horse shit too, or if it was just me? I kept this thought to myself. By the way, a podium ceremony, no matter how small and craptacular it is, can be a very awkward occasion. Please consult Rich Dillen's blog for further misadventures on the podium. This was my second XC race of 2009 and could be my last. They're a lot of fun, but with the steep entry, they're just not worth it. But yeah, I'll be doing more XC with Herb in Charlotte this summer.

Hey Brandon, you're not the only one with gratuitous groin shots. Behold!

My jersey is short and my camos ride low.

Here we are in the woods watching the pro race. Joshie wouldn't stop ringing the cowbell.

Kelly was worried about getting a sunburn so she ran a mile back to the car. This shot was taken from about 300 yards away. And yes, she got burned.

spring training camp continues

saturday brought spring weather and a hunger for some miles.  decided on a route with 3 mountain passes, around 8500 ft of climbing and 100 miles.  it was insanely beautiful.  i dragged roy's punk ass along.  he we cursing my name by the end of the day.  actually well before the end of the day.

the route:
and profile:

and pretty pictures:
he wears orange Oakley's.  i don't know . . . he's Coasta Rican.

descending to Topaz Lake

half way.  turning up into the canyon, headed for Monitor Pass.

11 mile climb.  workin' it.


heading for Markleeville

today's post brought to you by Vicious Cycles, Harrell's and Deez Nuts

west fork of the Carson River

Kenny!  i found your new job.  you're an orphan, right?  (shot in the men's toilet, Markleeville General Store)

heading up Woodford's Canyon

roy stretching out before climbing the last pass of the day

you kids really need to get out this way and ride.  it'll blow your mind.

did i hear something about ole kelvin winning 2nd in the state championship series?

this coming weekend . . .

possibly some of this 100k MTB race above Santa Rosa - 

12 Hrs of Tsali recon

I love Tsali. Period. Words can't express the conditions today, but pictures can.

Chandrea (Chad & Andrea Storck)

2 laps of the Right Loop, 22 miles. Fast, fun, flowy trails (despite the dozens of mini-lake puddles). I forgot how close and how fun Tsali is. Why do people hate on Tsali?! Maybe it's not challenging enough for some, but these trails were made for someone like me. Minimal climbing, maximum flow. Maybe I just haven't been on enough MTB trails in my 2 short years of riding, but today was the most fun I've had on a bike and the best I've ever ridden. Not a lot of action pics, as we were pretty spread out, getting a feel for our own individual race pace in 2 weeks. Chad and Andrea have both been convinced to race 6 hours solo!! Sounds like we are going to have a lot of out of town and local friends there - should be fun for all! Anyone interested in running support for us?