Fools Gold

I have posted my 2017 Fools Gold race report on my old Blogger page. I am moving back to that in place of this wordpress page because I don’t like where my older posts loose their images. You can check out the post here.

If you are following this page, you might want to follow the blogger page as I plan on trying to do more posts there than what I have been.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Tri-State 6 hour – England Idlewild

I had a blast at the first 6 hour race that I did. I could not attend the second of the season because of some other obligations. It seemed like everyone was backing out of going to this race and I really didn’t feel like making the trip all by myself. So, thinking that I was not going to race I was easily talked in to a long ride the weekend before. We rode down to Tell City to ride the Schweitzer fest ride and then ride home. It was a 125 mile ride with over 7000′ of elevation gain. It sounded horrible so of course I was easily talked in to it. Shortly after the ride started I was informed that E2 was probably going to attend the 6 hour race. Crap, here I am out doing a really silly race the weekend before a 6 hour race. Oh well I guess we will see how it all goes.

So, going along with making a lot of “bad” decisions, while I was still at work and only a couple hours from leaving town, there was some silly talk about me racing the SS class and my mind started to think it was a good idea. This made me rush home and see if my SS was even rolling good enough. I think I had only been on it one or two other times this year. I have been really missing it, but it was just not getting any love. After thinking that I didn’t make the second race so the overall was not really in play, why not try the SS. I am getting a lot of peer pressure to race the SS class for the Fools Gold race and what better way to either talk me in to it or convince me it really is as bad of an idea as it probably is.

We loaded up and headed east. With the race being Saturday we really could not get there early enough to do any pre-riding. This is not all bad, but it would have been nice to see a little of the trail. But, I had 6 hours to try and figure it out. While getting my stuff ready I figured out that somehow none of the water bottles I brought would fit in the seat tube bottle cage. Humm… I know just the other week I had a bottle in there. I guess it was not any of the ones I brought. Oh well, the lap was not that big so I should be able to stop and change bottles as often as I needed. Normally if I was really worried about “racing” I would not want to stop as often, but I would have to make due.

We started off down the road a little bit for a neutral roll out. The SS does not do so well on flat roads but I did what I could to not fall back too far and also not kill myself. There is plenty of time for that later. I am not exactly sure where I was when we went in to the woods, but there was a long line of riders in front of me. There were a couple sections were some had issues and it would hold everyone up, but I just stayed relaxed and moving forward when it worked. I was rolling behind two Dan’s comp riders Frank and Bob for part of the first lap until Bob had a little mishap on a section. I followed Frank around for the rest of the first lap. Since I have not been riding this bike much I guess I error on the safe side on how much air to put in the tires. The wheels were bouncing off of everything so as I came around the first lap I stopped to let some air out of both tires. Frank was gone.

Stopping was kind of nice. This became my standard for every lap. It let me swap bottles out when I needed, grab or eat food, take some swigs of Coke or anything else that I needed to help keep me going. This was also a nice little break from riding with out stopping too long and having a lot of time go by. I’m just glad I never thought about opening a beer or my number of laps would have gone way down.

After the first lap the traffic was a lot more spread out. I would have people come up on me or I would catch them from here on out, but the passes were very friendly. I was having a great time out there. The trail was a lot of fun to ride and a lot of different views to keep me interested. The roots and rocks were more than the last time I had been there. The lack of riding a rigid fork was really adding up. I was also in a bigger gear than what I used to run. But, I was happy with how I was riding.

I rode everything for the first 5 laps before having to walk a hill or two in the 6th lap. Before I got there, I really thought riding 6 laps should be where I finished but was not sure I would have the legs. I was thinking 6 for most of the time I was out there. Then somewhere on the 6th lap I was looking at the time and thought that I would need to go out for another lap. When I came by the pits I was hoping to see some people sitting around and then I would not feel bad about not going out for another lap. But unfortunately no one was there. So, after another quick stop I headed out for lap number 7.

I was pretty wore out but some how it felt like I rode lap 7 better than I rode lap 6. Probably because I thought I was done after 6. I was still in survival mode, but riding much better than I thought I would be. The rigid fork was really adding up on my hands, arms and shoulders. It had been too long since I had really spent any time on the rigid fork and I was paying for it. I was really regretting not changing it over to a suspension fork after the last ride I did. I will not make that mistake again.

This lap was really odd. At times I felt like I was the only one out there. I kept moving the best that I could but kept looking over my shoulder for some reason. I really had no idea where I was in the standings, but didn’t want to get passed after being out there this long. I had passed a SSer on the 5th lap and hoped he was not hunting me down. I ended up walking the really steep hill again this lap. At the top I took a second to get a drink and eat another gel to try and finish strong. I guess I was staying hydrated enough since I was stopped I figured I might as well get rid of some pressure that I had since the first lap. LOL

I could tell I was all in when I could not remember where I was on the trail or how far I had to go. You would think by now I would know the lap a little better. Actually, I did know it better earlier in the day but now it was all burring together. When I hit the last section of switch backs I knew I was finally getting close to the end. The last climb up to the field where the cross country race was, hurt like hell and made my legs start to cramp but I was not going to walk it on my last lap. When I rolled around the corner toward the finish line I had to pull as hard as I could to get the weak wheelie in the picture above. Not my best work, but I felt I rode well enough that it deserved a wheelie. I’m glad that Kent was quick enough to catch it.

After a little bit of time I could get back to functioning and socializing. I didn’t really have the energy to go check out the live results to see how I did, but as some of the other people were talking about their results it was said that I was 4th. WHAT?!? really?? That made the day even better. As the awards started and the podiums were going it kind of hit me. I may be on the podium. They were announcing finishers deeper than the top 3. Sweet!! This would be my second podium for the year. That is like 2 more than I have had in, well……since some time in the 90’s before I took my break from riding.

So I ended up 4th over all in SS and 27th overall including the duo teams. 9th overall with just the solo riders. I am very happy with that. All my laps were with in the 40 minute mark other than the last one that took 53 minutes. The negative side of me had to come up with something so in the back of my head I was thinking I only finished that well because my class was smaller or something. After the finalized results came out it turns out that I would have been in 4th in open too!! So much for that thought. I guess I have nothing to be negative about. This race also helped get my arm twisted the rest of the way to sign up for the Fools Gold 60 in the SS class. I know I am far from being fast enough to compete against the top of the class, but there is just something about my SS that just gets me. It is a love/hate relationship that we have. I love it, but I swear it hates me. Somehow it tends to bring out the best in me more times than not. I guess I just like the abuse. Yea, I’m not very bright and I have mental issues….

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Tri-State 6 hr East Fork

***Sorry this never got finished or posted. I had wanted to add a lot more to the text, but just never got around to it. Now it is too far gone to fix.

The first race of the 6 hour series was last weekend. Actually it was supposed to be the second, but the first was rained out. I have been wanting to do this series since it started but things just have not worked out. The race was on Sunday so we headed out on Saturday to check out the trails. The trail system had a pretty good amount of rain the two days before this. That morning the trails were still listed as red, but I saw where a crew was going to do some trail work to get it ready. By the time we made it to the park, the trails were changed to a yellow status. We tried to figure out how the race was going to go since we had not been there before and headed out for a lap to check it out.

I was worried about how muddy we would get, but overall the trails were not that bad and our bikes were spared being covered in mud. I really didn’t want to mess up the trails or my bike the day before a race. Not really knowing where we were going we had to stop a couple times and look at a map to try and figure out what turns to make. The trails were overall pretty fun. They had a little bit of everything. Tight, rooty, rocky, flowy, technical sections and a couple climbs. The climbing was not as bad as I thought it would be, but there were a lot of other things that would wear a person out over 6 hours.

Having a good group of people to hang out with and ride with always makes things more fun. It would not have been nearly as fun if I was by myself. We also didn’t guess too bad on the route. There were only a few spots that we did something different than what the race did, but it was good to see everything that we did see. After the ride we changed and headed out for some food. We decided to check out 50 West Brewing. There was a big party going on across the street. The food was good and the beer was even better.

Morning came around pretty quickly. I tried to hurry up and eat and get ready then we headed to the venue. We were pretty early so we ended up with a great pit area. I tried to start out slow since it was going to be a long day. I felt like I did just that, but my times were a lot faster on the early laps. I was riding pretty well and consistent for the first few laps. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th lap I hit bottom. I was pretty empty when I finished my 4th lap and took a break. I debated on not going out for my 5th lap, but after eating and drinking a few things I felt good enough again that I would mad at myself for not going. Off I went to complete just one more lap. That lap hurt, but I was sure glad I did it. I know I would have been disappointed if I didn’t go.

I didn’t finish at the top or anything, but overall was pretty happy with my first 6 hour race. I did 5 laps and finished 13th in the Men’s open and 41st overall. I’ll take that.




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Griffin Park Dino XC

I am foraging new areas with this race report and not really sure what to think about it. Let me start with the week leading up to this race. I was being asked if I was going to attend this race or not. I really didn’t have anything on the calendar that I could not miss that should keep me from racing this race. I typically am not really in to XC racing that much, so I did not have a huge desire to attend. I was leaning toward just staying home and putting in a long ride here. The week leading up to the race I was starting my 3rd week in a row of feeling sick. I was still riding, but coughing and over all just feeling run down.

My arm continued to get twisted about attending. It turns out that several team members were going to be able to make it to this race. We have not really had that many people be able to make it to the same place very often over the last couple years, so I agreed to go along. I didn’t expect to do very well and I was really good with that. It was going to be more about hanging out with friends and riding my bike. This mentality had me doing some things that I normally would not have done before a race. There was supposed to be a soccer tournament the two days before. There was a lot of rain that came in and they had to post pone the tournament to the next week. This allowed me to join a couple other friends on a ride Saturday morning.

This ride was not typically what I think I should do the day before a race. We did a 43 mile gravel ride that had a fair amount of climbing. I knew it was going to be a pretty big ride, but like I said above I was not overly concerned about finishing well at the race. We had a great ride! I tried to not go too hard on the climbs just so I didn’t completely destroy myself. After the ride I tried to do a few things to make sure and recover and re-hydrate, but did allow myself to have a couple beers too. Later that night my legs were hurting and borderline cramping while I was sitting on the couch. It was not looking very promising that I would have much for Sunday.

Sunday morning came much earlier than I wanted it to. I got ready and headed over to the meeting place and we loaded up the team trailer. Down the road we went to Griffin Bike Park. We made it there with plenty of time left before the race. It was not as early as we wanted, but it was just fine. We all signed up and got ready to go warm up. I had never been there before. I figured that the one person who did know the trail would lead us in the right direction of a sample of the trail to warm up on.

After a few miles I realized that me and Kade were all alone. Neither one of us had any idea where we were or where to take any short cuts to head back. The trail was not that long and I knew we should have enough time to finish the lap, but that was not my plan at all. When we finished the lap we rolled up to the car with about 12 min before the start of the race. I grabbed what I wanted for the race and tried to eat and drink a little then headed to the start.

I really am in there somewhere

I didn’t really plan it, but when we rolled up to the line from the dashed line, I found myself in the second row. I was not too worried about it as I was not really sure how the legs would be. There was also a long road section before we turned in to the woods. We took off fairly fast. At first it was not bad, but then the road was getting longer than I wanted it to be. I backed off my pace a little so I didn’t completely blow myself up before we even hit the woods. I noticed that there seemed to be a little gap behind me so it was all good.

I went in to the woods somewhere a little above the top 10 I think. It was hard to tell and I didn’t want to slide out on the 180 degree turn in to the woods. I was a little worried about this first section since it had some tight corners and some short up and downs. I figured if the group was all bunched up and everyone slowed a little at the top of the hills, it could turn in to a bad pile up on the face of the hill. That would not be good at all. Luckily it was not too bad and I tried to keep enough room in front of me where I thought the issue would be worse.

I made a few passes here and there where it worked out. I could also make some moves on the open gravel section that went by the finish line. Somewhere in this lap I came up on Tristin and followed him for a while. At some point he dropped me. I kept going as best that I could. I was happy with how the legs were working. Somewhere late in the first lap I found myself behind JJ. I figured that I probably was not doing too bad as I had noticed him toward the top of the finishers lists on some of the other Dino races. I was content being where I was and just stayed with that group. At some point it ended up just being the two of us as we started the second lap.

I felt like we were not rolling along too bad. I expected to be working harder than I was, but was happy with where I was and stayed there. Next thing I knew Barry came up on us pretty quick and on one of the more technical little climbs he went flying by us on the other side of the trail. We both followed him for a little while. This is the point that my day changed a little. Barry had asked if he was holding us up and if we wanted by. JJ declined and said we were good. It was then when Barry asked where we were sitting. When the reply was 2nd and 3rd I just about crapped myself. I knew I had passed a few people, but I never expected to be that far up. It gets a little confusing on where you are after the different age groups get mixed up. It had been a very long time since I had been in this situation. It was back in the 90’s when I frequently found myself near the front of the Sport class. Every since getting back in to racing I had just been pack filler.

At this point I could not have been any happier. My legs were feeling a lot better than I could have ever expected after what I did the day before and with my warm up ride. I figured all I needed to do was try to hang on and maybe be able to make a run for the position at the finish. I was not sure if Barry was in our class or not, but he dropped us anyway. Now I was potentially going to have to sprint it out for a 3rd place finish. I was hoping that he was in the 50+ class, but I was not sure. I just wanted to keep an eye out behind me to make sure no one was catching us and possibly loose another position. Somewhere in there we caught back up with Tristin and rode with him.

We had moments where we were really moving out. Overall the legs were feeling pretty good, but had moments where it felt like they might be working on cramping soon. I downed a Honey Stinger gel and took in some big drinks. In no time those feelings went away. I am not sure where it happened, but JJ was taking a turn at the front and I ended up passing Tristin. Not sure where he fell off, but it was back to just the two of us.

Somewhere in the third lap another rider came up on us before I knew it. He asked to pass, but right then there was not really a good place. In just a little bit I knew we would be hitting one of the double track sections and there was no need to move over in a dangerous spot. I knew as soon as we hit the double track he would be making his move. I didn’t want to risk loosing any more positions so when he went, I jumped on his wheel. We flew down that section and back in to the woods. I kept on his wheel the best that I could. There were not too many spots that I really felt like he was going too slow.

We crossed the parking lot section where the start turned in and where we were parked. I was wearing down and getting worried I would run out of gas. So, I finally asked the question, what class are you in? He said 50+, how about you? I said 40 and he replied, oh thank god. That means we won’t have to sprint it out at the line. LOL we were both hoping that. I am not sure if it was the release of the stress or what, but right after that I started to feel a little stronger. He had just asked if I needed by and I didn’t think I wanted to at that point. A corner later I was kind of thinking I should have passed, but at that point it was all good. I just didn’t want JJ to catch back up to us and kept looking back as the trails crisscrossed. We went hard when we hit the gravel, but I didn’t have enough to pass him and I was ok with that.

Well it turned out that I ended up in 2nd and was able to stand on the podium. It felt awesome to be able to have such a great ride and then have the best MTB result that I have had in probably 20 years or more. It is great to finally feel like all the work I had been putting actually making a difference. I know I have not done everything that I need to or even had planned, but I have been doing more than previous years and it may just be starting to add up. Now I just hope to keep moving forward.

Now for the what if’s that I just can’t keep out of my head. It is really hard to talk myself in to some things when I really didn’t expect to be somewhere to begin with. There are a lot of things leading up to this race that had me thinking I would not do very well, even for my normal finishes. I had been sick for 3 weeks and just barely getting over it. I had rode some in that time, but had some days that I really struggled and was really run down and wore out. Then I look at the ride I did the day before. This was not what I would call a good idea the day before a race. Not enough sleep the two nights leading up to the race and then that much longer warm up ride than I had planned. Any and all of those things should have kept me from having a good race. So, how did it go so right?

The other side of the second guessing myself is what would have happened if I would have pushed forward and made a couple passes that I didn’t make? The guy who won the race was only 1 minute ahead of me. Could I have made up that time? Would I have blown up and fell apart? I will never know. Part of me thinks I did so well because I didn’t make a couple passes. When I was on someones wheel and I was able to rest a little, it could be the whole reason I was as strong. After being stick and everything else, I am not going to beat myself up much wondering about the what if’s. I am just very happy to finally have a good result. I just need to keep doing what I have been doing and working on improving. Maybe someday I will feel good enough about myself to go back to Cat 1 or even race Sport Open. My real goal is to be able to do better at the longer races. I feel like I am getting closer, so maybe one day I’ll be “there”.

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2017 Big Frog 65

I had some time to write this after I returned home from the race, but I was trying to not get in too much of a hurry. I was really not sure what I wanted to write and I wanted to give myself some time to let everything sink in and what it really means to me. I’m still not clear on how or what I feel about this years race. I know, I know. I keep getting told this or that and that I’m too hard on myself. Who else can be my worst critic but me?

A fun group to ride with at any time. Spirits were still high for me at the pre-ride

We made it to the whitewater center fairly early Friday. Took care of getting checked in and dropping off our drop bags. Some of the group we were expecting showed up and next thing I knew several people were ready to ride. I thought we were waiting on the rest, but the ants in the pants could not sit still long enough. We did the same ride that we did last year. Head up the road and do the first part of the race to the bridge. It was long enough to get a fair ride in and get the legs moving.

We then headed to our home for the weekend. We stayed in a really nice cabin that was not much more than 10 minutes from the start. We cleaned our bikes up and got them ready. Then we headed out to meet up with some others for dinner. We had a lot of laughs and the food was good enough. I way trying to minimize the amount of beers I drank and to make sure and drink plenty of water. I feel like I did fairly well on the water, but hard telling if I really did good enough.

Bikes all ready to race. Hanging out on our awesome deck.

After getting back to the cabin, most of us were busy getting things ready for the next morning and hanging out a little before going to bed early. We had to leave earlier than everyone else since we had a 100 miler in the group. As usual morning came pretty quick and I set to getting ready. I ate what I had planned and was ready to go in time and we headed to the start. I went and watched the 100 milers take off before getting the rest of the way ready to go. Before I knew it time came come to get up to the start line. I was really hoping I remembered to pack everything I had planned

After a few words and a prayer, the race was off. Up the long road to warm up. I tried to not go too hard and to really keep an eye on my heart rate. I figured I could easily blow myself up in the first 3 miles. I felt like I was going too easy, but convinced myself to not go too much harder. The top of the hill came up and we turned in to the woods. I felt like I did a good job with my pacing. I made a few passes on some riders that seemed to be going slower than I wanted. I was then stuck behind a few riders that had moments we were going too slow. There was starting to be a few people behind me and I heard some grumbling. I found a good place to pass and moved up to find the next group.

I kept looking at my heart rate and it was staying in the range that I wanted it to be. I was feeling pretty good and pretty happy about my game plan so far. As I rolled in to the first aid station I had to pee. Took care of business and topped off my one water bottle. I knew it was going to be a hot day and didn’t want to run out of water. I saw Lovins come in to the rest stop and keep going. I took off right after and soon enough I made my way up to him. Shortly after joining him we both joined Cooper. The three of us rolled together to the 3/4 aid station skipping the 2nd stop.

At this point I tried to eat, drink and take care of myself. I was feeling pretty good at this point. I was ready to take off, but not everyone was done so I waited a little bit so we could all start together. As we did this loop section I started to feel my legs some on the first climb. It was 3+ hours in to the ride, so it was not a complete shock. I backed off a little and tried to find a pace that worked for me. Cooper was riding really strong and was pulling off the front. Lovins was not dropping too far behind him, but the both of them were leaving me pretty easily. In hind sight, I could have done either of these two things. I could have left when I was ready and they would have caught me or I really should have taken more stuff in at that point so I would not have faded as much. It is really hard to say what would have been better.

The second climb in this section was very tough for me. It is a pretty good climb and it seemed like the trees were not blocking any of the sun. I felt like I was in a convection oven. I was really feeling cooked. I tried to keep eating and drinking, but I am pretty sure it was too late. I already let too much of a gap in the cycle somewhere and now I was going to pay for it. I kept moving, but at a slower pace than I wanted. This section really seems to drag on and even worse when you start feeling bad. I was very hot and could not cool down.

Eventually I rolled back in to the 3/4 aid station. Feeling more tired than I wanted to and starting to feel like my legs wanted to cramp. I saw Cooper here, but he was getting ready to take off. He said I would catch him, but I knew better. I took a little more time here and tried to take in stuff that would help me snap back. My brain was not doing too good at this point. I was already feeling defeated as I knew I was going slower than I wanted. I was already disappointed that I was not going to make the finishing time I had hoped.

I really don’t know what was wrong with my brain, but I sure didn’t do several things that I should have done. Example, I didn’t even get in my drop bag. I had several things in there that might have made a difference, but decided against it. I didn’t really look at what was on the table to eat either. I had already put failure in to motion and I was doing everything I could to make sure it was going to happen.

The climb back out of 3/4 is always tough. I had moments where I could jump on a wheel and pick the pace up. I felt pretty good at those points, but I could never hang on long enough. Eventually I would get dropped on one of the inclines. This section drug on for a long time. It is hard to tell what was before or after the rest stop at the bottom since I have never stopped there. You are rolling along too good to worry about stopping. I eventually saw a few landmarks that were familiar and knew I was going to be at the last aid station soon.

I rolled in to there and topped off my bottle. I looked around at what I could take in. I really don’t remember if I ate much or not. I had already lost my crap pills out of my pocket and should have picked something up that would have helped. At this point I had no idea where my brain was. I know what I needed to do, but I just kind of looked around and stuff and didn’t eat what I needed to. I was just ready to get done and thought this was the home stretch. I didn’t want to stand around too long so I took off. There was a lady who was rolling pretty good that went in to the woods a little before me. Not too far down the trail she was coming back. She thought she was going the wrong way. I assured her that this was the correct way and yes we were on this part before. She turned back around and followed me a little bit. I was hurting so I eventually let her pass. There was a couple other riders around me that I felt like needed around but at times they wanted behind me. A little farther down the trail I saw that same lady sitting on the side of the trail looking at a map. I guess she didn’t believe me or all the other people that were riding by her.

This section went on forever!! I was doing pretty good when the trail was flat or doing down hill, but the inclines were hurting. There were times I could put enough power down to flow through the rollers and other times I was just creeping along. I made a friend in this section, but not sure he knew it. We never really spoke much. He was a singlespeeder and we had different points that we were fast at. I knew what boat he was in and let him by when I thought it would help him. He returned the favor when I was going faster. It was really nice to run in to a familiar face so often. I have no idea who he is, but he made this section a little better. Every time I thought we were far enough apart that we would not see each other, they we were. Eventually the rubber band broke and I pulled away for the last time.

I kept thinking I could hear the road and it should be right around the corner, but then the sounds would disappear and more trail was to be had. I did not remember much of this section because last year I was in the same situation and just going along in survival mode. My legs were really cramping at this point. I was drinking often, but it didn’t seem to help. The only good thing was that most of the time when they were cramping, I could still turn the pedals over and keep moving. I have not had that happen as much to be before. I have done it for a short time, but there was a lot of time in this section that my legs were locking up, but kept moving. Eventually I heard the road again and came out on to the gravel section. I knew this was finally the section that I wanted. I crossed the bridge and headed down the high way toward the finish line. I was getting there, but I was still going pretty slow and felt like I could have fell over at any point.

I finished with a time of 7:35 and in 72nd place in open male. 114th place over all out of all Big Frog racers. After picking up my mug I rolled back to the van. I tried to sit down to take my shoes off, but as soon as I did that, both legs completely locked up tighter than I could ever remember. I jumped up and tried to find a position that was less painful. It was not easy and took me a little bit before I could move again. Of course I could hear all the peanut gallery making fun of me, but I was not in a joking mood right then. I have to say that at that moment, that was the most painful cramps that I could ever remember. It was not just one part of my leg, but both legs were full on. I had lots of funny shapes sticking out of different parts of my legs and they were moving.

It took me a long time before I could get most of my gear off and actually be able to sit there. I still kept having cramps just about any time I tried to move. I took a drink of water and really thought I was going to throw up. I eventually could make my way over to the creek and put my legs in the water. I remember that water always being so cold. This time I felt nothing. It felt like it was just warm water. I really don’t know if the water was warm or it was that my core was so hot and my legs were in so much pain I just could not tell. I then slowly made it back to the van. Everyone else was ready to go since they had all been done a while. We went back to the cabin, took a shower and headed out to eat. I was the entertainment for the evening with all the moans and groans and me jumping up with out warning trying to work out a cramp. This went on for the rest of the night. I had a hard time eating a lot even though I was hungry. My body was just not wanting anything to do with anything.

So, now for me to be Eore and my negative thinking. No matter what anyone has said to me, I can not walk away from this race with out thinking it was a complete failure. Yes I finished. Yes my body gave everything it had, but it is still a failure. I have thought a lot about this and tried to look at different angles to try and make myself think differently. Out of everything I can only find a couple things that are on the positive side. First of all I finished and did not end up in the hospital like another person in the cabin did. My finishing places of 72nd/114th is a lot better than last years 111th in class and 182nd overall. Other than that I failed at everything else. Yes that may be a bit harsh, but I feel it is the truth.

I trained a lot harder this year than last year. I am currently in the best shape that I can ever remember being in. I went in to this racing thinking that a finishing time of 6 hours should be doable. Even with the winning time being a half hour slower that would only put me at 6:30 and not 7:35. The kicker for me is that not only did I not make the time that I had hoped for, but I actually finished slower than last year and just to say I finished, is not good enough to me. I have proved several times before that cramping or exhausted I somehow keep moving and will finish if at all possible.

So as I said before, I completely failed on this one. I failed at being hydrated enough before the race. I failed at eating and drinking enough early in the race. I failed at doing things that should have helped me even after I already made several mistakes. I have done enough races wrong that by now I should not be making some of these same mistakes. Even not being as fast as a lot of other people, I know a lot of things that I need to do to make me as fast as I can. I am not doing enough of those things. I am doing a lot of things better than I did in the past, but that is really just a waste if I don’t do the rest of it. I have proven to myself that I can currently ride fairly good for 3.5-4 hours no matter how much I try to sabotage myself. I need to quit letting myself down in those 3.5 hours so I can help myself get through the rest of the race stronger.

So, yes I can be pretty hard on myself, but I feel like I should be. It is all my fault that I do as bad as I do. I have no one else to blame but myself. I have a really good support crew that tries hard to help put me in the position to do well. I feel like not only do I let myself down, but I also let them down too. It is bad enough to be self destructive, but it hurts even more when I let everyone else down.

I want to thank all the volunteers that spent all day out there helping all the racers. There are lots of thankless hours that go in to making a race like this happen. I want to thank everyone that is part of my cycling world. There are a lot of people that I share the road or trail with that play a big part of me pushing myself to be stronger and faster. I want to thank my core group of friends that share all these adventures with me and help me laugh all the time. You make all of this worth it. I have to thank Phil @ Adventure’s for everything you do for me. You go way above and beyond anything I could have ever expected. Last but not least I have to thank Becky my lovely wife. With out your support I would not be able to ride as much as I do and travel to these races. Thank you all!

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