Tuesday, September 05, 2006

SM 100 report

Another uneventful Shenandoah Mountain 100 for me.
My favorite kind.

I don't like "events" like crashes, broken chains, flat tires, broken derailleurs, stomach problems, or the myriad other things that can go wrong at this 100-mile mountain bike epic.

I started slow (intentionally), finished strong, rode with many many friends all day, and had a blast as always. This was my 4th year doing it on a single-speed, and first doing it with a rigid fork. The fork had been a concern of mine, as I wondered if it would take the fun out of all the downhills, and add a new level of fatigue to the body. I didn't really enjoy the descent on Tea Creek Mountain Trail a few weeks ago at the Wild 100 because of the rigid fork. Well, the descents at the SM must be a hell of a lot smoother, because I had no problems at all. I felt just as confident as with a shock almost everywhere on the course. Particular highlights were the descent into CP-4 with Albert on my wheel, and the descent into CP-6 with MattyD and Mark Wigfield (2 guys that I seem to spend a lot of time with at the end of this race every year). Another highlight was pulling into 5 and seeing JoeP break into a big "I'm gonna beat Camp" grin. He left as soon as I got there, as I began searching for some chamois lube. One of the biggest highlights for me is having enough gas left to climb the Hankey > Lookout fire road the second time, and passing lots of geared riders. It was here that I passed Matt and Mark for the last time, and briefly passed my friend Frankie Maguire from Mt. Nittany. We chatted for a while on the Lookout trail until it dropped downhill, and I pulled off to let him fly it.

[insert some poached pics here when I find 'em]

I finished in about my usual time, with the same group of riders that I usually finish with. And this year, I also came close to another goal I always have: that of drinking one beer for every hour I spent on the course. I'm not sure if I made it to 10, but I tried. That's my incentive to do it in 7 hours. I know I can easily drink 7 beers, especially with all that extra time.

I was most impressed with many of my friends: JoeP climbing like a goat on testosterone; Andy Neal (pic) rocking on a fixed gear and being the talk of the SingleSpeed brethren; Steve who finally had a mechanical-free 100 and beat the 10-hour mark, and Brian from Bike Lane (aka 'BLS') who shows up on a borrowed bike 5 days after getting back in the country from Afghanistan.

Lookin' forward to the next one already!


Vecsus said...

Great report and well done on the race.. I'm especially glad to hear about the performance of the rigid fork on the course. My plan for the winter/spring is to build up a steel 29er hardtail with a matching steel fork. If all goes well I will keep the bike rigid for the season.

kevin said...

Very nice Blog report on the SM100! I love the beer per hour formula. I would need a 12pack!!!

gwadzilla said...

good thing I do not drink beer
as that fits right in with my DID NOT SHOW on the results

Dicky said...

I am answering your question on my blog on your blog.
My Trans Rockies story from 06:

Trans Rockies 05:

Hope there is enough reading for you there.