Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who'd have guessed I'd be forced to demo an Ellsworth AGAIN?

Racing with DCMTB this year, the 24 Hours of Big Bear was a blast. I must admit the stigma that goes aloing with even just being associated with a team like DCMTB is pretty cool, especially at a race like this one. It's cool to be on a well respected and recognized team, even if those things don't necessarily apply to me.

Anyway, enough star/naval gazing. We turned out two teams for thgis year's race which included my 5 person coed team of Leland, Vince, Alex, Ilana and myself and a 4 man expert team consisting of Jonathon W, Mike K, Darren and Kent. All in all an awesome and supremely entertaining group of people to race and hang out with. We all did a preride on Friday which revealed a mucky but mostly ridable final 10 miles or so, though we missed out on riding the rerouted beginning few miles.

A friendly "pat on the back" during the campground lap.

I did the Leman's style start where we racked the bikes, ran a quater mile loop around the camp grounds, jumped on the bikes and rode the same loop then tore down to an entrance to the course. Here things got ridiculous as the freshly made trail was swampy and pretty rough to ride, especially with folks stopping in the line of 20 to 50 riders stacked up in front of me. Things finally opened up and spread out and I settled in to a comfortably hard pace for the 13+ mile loop.

After my lap we were in 5th in our division and Leland took it out for lap number two. Unfortunately a busted chain slowed his lap considerably and we found ourselves fighting back from 9th from there. Alex pulled the fasted DCMTB team lap and the second fastest lap for our dividsion with a 1:23 and Vince and Ilana both rode solid problem free laps as well.

Showing off the pythons(garden snakes) after my first lap. (Cleaning GU off my leg)

My second lap began just as it was getting dark and aside from 2 lost contacts within the first 5 minutes (I had spares in my bag) I was cruising along at a solid pace and passing people as went. I ran the rock garden and got to the big climb out and suddenly I heard a metallic ripping sound coming from the rear of my bike, stopped and saw my derrailluer hanging by the cable and chain. I tried to run it but the derrailluer was bouncing off the wheel so I shouldered it and walked the rocky sections and did my best to run the remaining 2 miles back to the start/finish.

When I finally got in I was ready to lose it from frustration but my teammates calmed me down and got me thinking rationally again (the bike nearly found it's way back into the woods superman style). After I dropped us from 7th back to 9th with that, the team rode solidly through the night and by the time I was mounted up and ready to ride my morning lap on board the Ellsworth Truth we were back fighting for 6th!

Aside from some additional saddle adjustments I didn't have time to make, the Truth rode like a dream. I had wanted to try the Evolve (again) but the Truth was available so that's what I rode and I was glad I did. I took the descents faster then I'd imagined I could and more comfortably and under control then any of my previous laps. Unfortunately the saddle position kept me losing time on the climbs. I did manage to catch a guy that had dropped me within 15 or 20 minutes of the start of my lap during the downhill before he pulled away again up the long fireroad climb after the descent.

Leland followed my lap with a solid mechanical free lap followed by what Alex described as a terrible and slow lap (he still beat the rest of us...) while Ilana brought us home with a solid 7th place out of 16 teams. All in all about what I think we would have expected and really even better considering our troubles. If Leland and I had managed our few laps without mechanicals we'd likely have been racing for 3rd place and pulling out 15 laps total. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Otherwise it was fun chatting with friends and catching up with Greg Cappelle from high school racing with the Proteus squad. Adam was out riding (for only the third time this year...?) and Eric was out offering support to his one person wrecking crew of support from Lodi, Liz.

Again another fun year at a great event. Heres hoping I won't need to demo an Ellsworth come next year's race though. Nothing personal of course!

Last year's Big Bear report...

1 comment:

Darren said...

You guys did well congrads! It was a so so race for myself. I am thinking Next year I will race Vet. and See what happens.