Monday, June 23, 2008

Ring It

After skipping it last year due to racing too much, I finally got my cowbell fix this past weekend. In the past, the race has been held at the US whitewater center, but for whatever reason this year's race was held at Fisher Farms in Davidson, NC. The course only had 4 miles of singletrack, but included 3 miles of grass/field sections to increase the mileage. The singletrack was mostly tight, twisty and rooty, with quite a few techie sections of skinnies, rock gardens, bridges, log piles and the like. Overall, it was super flat, with only one short steep climb and 2 or 3 longer uphills. On a side note, this race is the only one in the southeast that has a "King of the Mountains" competition on the first lap. I just find it funny that the flattest course I've raced on crowns a king of the rollers.

Bling Bling... Also, something about this picture reminds me why I'll never be a good roadie.

The race was kind of tight at the start, as it was a mass start on the bikes with a downhill gravel road. It didn't exactly break things up. I had gotten a good spot near the front so traffic wasn't bad. Apparently, Dejay and Fuzzy were not at the race, and were just messing with Rich to psych him out. I couldn't complain. As I was discussing gearing at the start, Rich tells me he is running a 32x20 because the 32x18 was too big after preriding for a couple hours. Great, I was running the 32x18 and didn't even bother bringing additional cogs. As I didn't preride the course, the gear choice decision was running through my head for most of the first lap. My legs felt better than they have in the past weeks, but they still didn't have the top end snap in them. Surprisingly, the heat wasn't bad at all, with highs in the mid 80s or so. It even rained for a few minutes... although it was weird as the sun was still fully out as it rained.

The race itself was pretty uneventful. Just the usual ride in circles, drink some infinit, and stop when people wave their arms at you at the end and tell you you're done. I was in 4th for the first 5 or 6 hours, and then got bumped to 2nd when Rich and the roadie guy with the tree trunk legs slowed and dropped out. I saw Rich riding slowly through one of the field sections and finally passed him as he stopped to chat with the yazoo guys. That was the last shakeup in the placings for me, as I never really saw the soulcraft guy that won. Damn flatlanders. I needed another 500 ft or so of climbing per lap to have a chance. The 32x18 ended up being perfect, as I was never in danger of having to walk any climbs and wasn't too spun out on the rest of the course. Running the 20 would have definitely been a mistake. My legs felt best when climbing, and I was able to drop most of the pro guys with their fancy shifters going uphill. They could then of course resume crushing me on the flats and roots. With lightning and thunderstorms approaching, the race was ended half an hour early. I couldn't complain as I was locked into second and actually got to pack my stuff up in the daylight.

Moments after this shot was taken, I flexed my guns too and put him to shame but the camera missed it.

So overall, not a bad day on the bike to put down 112 miles in 10.5 hours and win not only money, but beer as well (and of course a cowbell also)... It's like they knew I was just going to spend the money on beer anyways. The geared guys were super fast on the day, and Tostado took the win with Nat Ross and Chris J rounding it out.

The golden ale is tasty, although, I'm not 100% sure on the kayaking turtle. I mean, let's be realistic here. If it was a turtle kickboxing or playing croquet or something, I could understand, but kayaking? Com'n...


  1. elizabeth said...
    Beer and dollars!? What could be better? Nice work, Dave.
    Stephen & Rachel said...
    Dave, I wish there was a good pic of you flexing your guns...come on! Next time okay? Way to go! Were there many single speed chicks out there?
    Dave Holmes said...
    I think there were 3 women that did the ss 12 hour... But there were alot of people on singlespeeds in general.
    Derek said...
    How did you manage to drive for 4 hours and not drink any of those beers? Amazing!
    Dave Holmes said...
    I sure was tempted... I mean there's nothing better after riding in 90 degree weather for 10 hours than a 90 degree beer, right?

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