Sumter Metric Century

The Sumter Metric Century is hands down one of the strangest races of the year. It's got 3 loops of single track, long portions of paved road and dirt road connectors. Combined with super-hot temperatures and angry dogs and you've got the recipe for a wonderful and strange journey not unlike the second time I ever ate mushrooms during my freshman year at Boston University. Eric rode his cross bike while I stuck with my single speed Kona 29er. In hindsight, the cross option would've been better but such is life. My hindsight is just as poor as my foresight. Anyhoo, the race got cracking after a neutral roll-out and I was instantly gapped by most of the faster folk as I tried to fiddle with my I-Pod. I had a quaint little rap mix that I'd made and goddamn it, I was going to use it. I saw first place single speed ride away but I knew it was going to be hot and terrible so I bid him adieu and settled in for the first portion of dirt road. A mile or so of that and it was into the well known Turkey Creek trail. The trail was lovely and other than a few down logs had a good flow to it.

I eventually rolled up on two cross racers and knew Eric must be doing well to have gapped them this early. After a few more miles, I rolled up on first place SS and we rode together. I couldn't tell what gear he was running but we seemed to be around the same speed. As we approached SAG #1, he stopped while I continued on but was temporarily confused. Where is the trail? Where am I going? I rode in circles and then saw an angry trio of three riders coming up a dirt road. One of them was Eric. He said they lost a couple minutes going the wrong way. We re-grouped and headed into the Wine Creek trail portion of the race. To be honest, Eric was riding like a man possessed. Borderline reckless for a man on a cross bike gapping the two other guys in his group on several occasions. I rode last so I could watch Eric bunny hop logs at speed and avoid eating shit every other turn. Eventually, the guy in front endo'd on a log and as he flailed, Eric tried to go around him, T-boning the guy and his bike in the process. Eric mumbled an apology as the guy screamed and complained to Eric. It was hilarious. I guess Eric was pissed as he literally sprinted down the trail with the three of us in close pursuit. I hung behind the other two riders (both on 29ers) and watched them flail around on the rockier sections of Wine Creek. They didn't flail all that much to be honest but their handling skills seemed lacking, and thats coming from somebody who has zero handling skills. Eventually, I tired of their antics and rode around them and bridged up to Eric somehow. Eric and I chatted and tried to figure out who was ahead of us. The pavement section was pretty long so I tried to tuck in and spin as much as possible. The other two riders eventually bridged up to us and we rode into the longest and hilliest dirt road section of the race. After a little while, their pace was too much for my single speed so I had to wave goodbye and ride solo.

I passed a guy who told me he did some of the first Shenandoah 100s back in the day. Very cool, in addition to his vintage IF. After a few more miles of shadeless dirt road, I popped out onto some pavement and aimlessly spun to Lick Fork State Park. I waved hello to Chad at SAG #2 and turned into the Horn Creek loop. Jesus, by now it was really hot and I was starting to drink more Heed. Horn Creek was covered in pine straw and was eroded like a bastard. Luckily there was little climbing so I just rolled along, enjoying the hardwoods and the remnants of controlled burning and what looked to be a few acres of harvested trees. Upon rolling back into SAG#3, which was also #2 due to the fact that it's at the start and end of a loop, I was informed that they were out of water. I could stick around or I could continue. A woman offered me a cup of ice. That was kind of her. I decided to split and as I was leaving, the lady said "Well, we have Powerade but no water" Jesus, any liquid would do so I slurped down a cup, told Chad I loved him and how proud I was of his career as an accountant, and rode away down a long, exposed dirt road. By now it was over 90 degrees and I was low on water. Then I turned onto the longest portion of pavement and my morale instantly nosedived. I have never wanted gears so bad in my life. It was maddening. I kept thinking of Eric, probably big ringing it in his drops with those two other riders, sharing the work as I rode by myself into a very stiff headwind. I hated Eric so much. After riding past some angry dogs and a church that appeared to be having a wedding of some sort, I finally reached SAG #4. Chad informed me Eric and his riding partner were several minutes ahead. Shit. There would be no catching them. The third member of their group sat in a chair suffering from the heat crazies. I drank a few cups of Powerade as I was now extremely dehydrated and was a little weirded put by the heat suffering fellow slumped over in the chair.

On a mechanical note, during Wine Creek, I dropped my chain several times and I now noticed my tension bolts had slipped a little. Huh, how odd. I took out the multitool and re-tightened everything for Modoc, the last portion of single track. I said bye bye to Chad and rode into the woods with 15 more miles of racing left. Modoc was tons of fun but the 34X19 gearing started to hurt on the handful of steep climbs. I ended up riding with a guy who informed me his wife was also riding in the race. I'm always amazed at the married couples who do races together. I don't get it but maybe you have to be married to understand it. Oh well, I rode away from him on a climb and hit the last 5 mile portion of dirt road. It sucked the life out of me but as I hit the last portion of pavement, a small shower of rain opened up and cooled the temperatures off and buoyed my spirits for the finish. I crossed the finish and vowed I would never do this race again on a single speed. Then I ate a hamburger and watched Chad talk to a woman 40 years his senior about transcontinental motorcycle touring. Hoffenchard category sweep bitches! 1st place cyclocross, 1st place singlespeed!

"Kenny, what the fuuuuuck man?"

Colorado CX Numero Dos

SO attempt #2 at CO cross racin went slightly better than the week before. Mo Diggity was in town to visit and I surprised her with her first cross race experience. I was lucky to have her to help me out with hand ups which proved to be crucial since the race was much like last week, dry, dusty and hot. I had a great start, sitting maybe 10-12ish and kept it up for the first two laps. I made two big dismount mistakes that proved to hurt me pretty bad. There was a fast straight section leading into 3 down telephone poles. I went it hot, seeing that I was a bit faster than the guys in front of me through that section. Unfortunately, my left foot did not want to come out of the pedal and I ended eating shit quite hard. My bike took a pretty significant hit, resulting in my from brake permanently rubbing HARD. I decided to pedal on until I reached the paved finishing section. I hit the pavement dismounted and gave the brake a good smack which seemed to do the trick although by that point 10-12 dudes must have passed by me. The legs and lungs definitely felt better this time around and I was able to make it back a bit and passed a few guys. I ended up 24th out of about 40 which I'm still some what disappointed with but I suppose it's a step in the right direction and I'm learning with every race. Hopefully I'll only be moving up from now on. Knock on wood.
Mo was kind enough to snap some pics and provide much needed hydration. (no it's not blurry, it was that dusty)
Although she didn't have to snap this one....As a thank you we took a trip into Denver to check out the Denver Zoo. Check out some pics of the animals here
We also took a drive up to see the remains of the Fourmile Canyon Fire. This photo really doesn't do the fire justice...
Crazy picture, diesel fuel tank=miss, house=hit, church=miss...
Definitely a fairly decent weekend. I missed my mother dearest....

F'n Rad

had some buddies who went down to yosemite to work on this project last week (filming, film support). just amazing.

intro vid:

Wall from brian kimmel on Vimeo.

- a little more about steve and his super rad foundation: HERE

- his youtube page about the climb: GREAT VIDEOS HERE

and a parting vid of him finishing this past saturday:

inspiring man. inspiring life.

Race #1 down, well sort of...

So today I went out for GSMV #1 Lookout Cross down in Golden to pop my CO cross race cherry.
Crossin in the Front RangeOpen Woman's field.
Meredith Miller = fastRad ass little staging area. Didn't see much of this back east.

So my race went off at 3:45 (last race of the day). Pretty much anyone who wasn't racing had already left. The course was super rocky/bumpy, super loose, super dry and dusty. It was also pushing the upper 90s and the course was based at a soccer field settled in between a golf course so there wasn't any shade. As a precaution race directors decided hand ups were allowed and encouraged and they also used the bike cleaning station's pressure washer to spray racers as they crossed by. So little ole no crew me I had to attempt no water. BAD IDEA! It reminded me of trying to ride during the middle of the day back in Cola except mixed in the steaming hot air was tons of dust and dirt. So imagine gasping for air but getting super hot dust in your lungs instead. I mean I'm still hacking up tons of shit and my eyes look like I just smoked a huge j.

Now some know I have a bit of an issue with saddle sores and I'm currently nursing a pretty significant one so the roughness of the course fucking killed! I'm prob taking several days off to heal up. My legs felt pretty decent but my lungs, oh my poor lungs, were destroyed! So I decided to call it a day. DNF. Yes I do hate those three letters and yes most people there were able to deal, but not this east coaster. I thought the altitude was the only thing I'd have to get use to. Better add kidney jarring rocky bumpy dusty cross courses to the list.

I did however catch this little tid bit.... HA.
Rough day, I feel like shit, FUCK!

Fourmile Fire

In case you hadn't heard. My new home of Boulder has and is still suffering from one of the worst wild fires in Boulder County's history. Its crazy to think the area I just learned to ride is now chard and covered in ash. We've been watching the helicopters fill up at Wonderland Lake which is literal right across the street. Hopefully today's rain will help.

Check out this map of the affected area.I'm at the corner of Norwood Ave and Broadway. A little to close for comfort.