The Nittany Mountain Bike folks, Wheelworks, Kevin Bergman, and Chris Scott put on a groovy singletrack fest covering 50-ish miles of some sweet trails yesterday up in Rothrock State Forest. As with all of Mumbles' races, this one was a high-quality affair, even without the hundred volunteers he's accustomed to having at the Shenandoah 100. This one seemed to be run by a small few, including Chris' parents (who just heard about it for the first time on Thursday), Kathy, and a couple others.
There was some problem with the power when we got to the venue, as in, no electricity because a t-storm the night before took down the distribution line to the camp. And no electric meant, no water pump. Which was a major bummer since this 4-H Camp venue was chosen mainly because it had good water. Darius played hero and re-wired the panel box to a generator to get power and water running, and a few minutes later the power company got the whole line running again (so Darius had to undo what he just done (with a now "hot" panel box).
Stayed up late with Shawn and Buck (why are the old guys always the last ones at the fire?)
Up at 6, three hours before the start,..... what to do?
Eat two breakfasts, have after breakfast sessions, have a sugary breakfast dessert, then have another, and then,...don't touch anything on my bike.
Full stomach, on the line...
Off slow & safe. A very non-SS-friendly start allows anyone with a big ring to get way ahead of me. I had quite a time working my way back into familiar company, and it took to about the first aid station.
Caught up to Darius on the way to AS-2 as he was working on the 3rd of his 4 mechanicals. Waited with him awhile, then we rode off together toward AS-2. On the road, Darius big rings it, stands up, drops me, and passes several others.
Caught Darius and Tiffany Kenny on a singletrack climb. Also caught up to 3 teammates from a team with blue jerseys and shared the most annoying hour-long game of leapfrog I've ever had in a race. Two of them were on SSs, and the guy on gears was acting as 'coach', yelling encouragement to one of the SSers like "get on it, you can do it...". Why in the hell was I leapfrogging single-speeders anyway? What was wrong with them? Or me? Just drop me please, or just stay the hell back when I drop you, or at least give me more than 5 seconds after I pass you for the 10th time....
I've known Tiffany from all the Wild 100s where we've spent some fireroad hours together, and when I caught up to her early on she said, with some polite concern, ".... so did you have a flat, or are you just pacing yourself..?" Just pacing my dear, and a very low gear, no worries...
Behind me, Darius was having his last and worst mechanical, a broken saddle. So he had to stand up for the remaining 15-20 miles. Yea, nice. Since he broke his chain 3 times over the weekend and replaced them with quik-links, he had very little chain to get up onto the large cogs. So he had to hammer too, while he was doing all that standing. Sounds familiar.
Darius gets the tough guy award for that performance, and for the fact that he had to drive home, unpack, re-pack for 2 weeks of work in Charlottesville, and then drive down to Richmond to spend the night. Tough.
I finished in 6:03, about 15 minutes faster than my Michaux time, which seemed to be a common thing. Consensus was that this course was harder, and had more singletrack than Michaux, so, how come our times are faster???