Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doing the Double - Part 1

This was going to be a great weekend. I wanted to declare to the world that 40 years of age is NOTHING! So I signed up to do a 6 Hour Mountain Bike Race with my team mate David Shabat on Saturday and then ride the 105 mile, 11,000 feet of climbing, Six Gap Century on Sunday. I've completed them both and so did my friend David. The story of this weekend is packed with greatness so I'm forced to report it in two parts. As with all things I write we'll begin in chronological order starting with...

Welcome to Hayesville!

Hayesville! That's right...my town. OK not really but it was fun to walk around in downtown Hayesville on Friday evening. I took Friday off work so my wife Lisa and I could take our time getting there and setting up. We went by the trail and left our canopy tent, I pre-rode the course, and we talked to the guy who puts on the race named Kenny. He's a great guy. I told him we had reservations at a swanky restaurant downtown named The Copper Door. As we parted ways Kenny's words were, "You kids have fun!"    I like him.

We stayed in a house on the lake offered to us by my daughter's principle Mr. Moody. It was perfect. Nice and quiet. I slept like a baby and since the trail was only 5 minutes away and the race didn't start until 10am I was very relaxed...right up until Kenny began counting down to start the race. After pre-riding the course I knew the start would be super fast. He started us about a quarter mile up a paved road and then we took a hard right into the trail. For the next 2 miles the trail was mostly flat along the ridge line beside the lake. What that means is, as usual, getting out front at the start was key.       WATCH THE RACE START
Wild Bill
As I waited at the starting line I was joined by our arch nemesis Bill from Team Gutbuster's (1st Place Overall) who was calling out a friend for riding a... CYCLOCROSS BIKE! I looked around and noticed at least two more of them. This was bad. You see cyclocross bikes are faster than all of us on pavement and even in a field. But once they get in the trails it's lights out. They are slower than the top 20% of the mountain bikers racing. Which is actually saying a lot. Those guys are good. I am truly impressed with the skill it takes to navigate a trail system on what is essentially a road bike. But not today. The goal must be to beat them into the woods. Otherwise who ever does will have a considerable advantage over the rest of us because we'd have to wait our turn to pass the CX guys on a single track trail. When the horn sounded we all found ourselves going as hard as we could and watching the CX guys ride away. They made it to the trail head and some folks got around them early. Not me. I spent the next 2 miles waiting in line. But that's racing I guess.

I had no idea where my competition was so I just went as hard as I could. David rode like a mad man too. When we finally got time to check we found out we were in 3rd. Only 1 minute down on 2nd. But the Gutbuster's were busting a gut and beating us by 2 minutes. As the day wore on we realized that our lap times were going to give us a decision to make. Usually we go fast enough that we get in 7 laps within the 6 hour time frame. Our times today were going to make it possible to get 8 laps...if David wanted to try it. As I powered through what I knew would be my last lap I thought about what I would do. If it were me...I wouldn't go for it. Only one reason: Six Gap the next day. But then what if the 2nd place guy cramps up, what if 1st place busts a gut? When I got back David was there ready to go for it. I should have known.

The minutes ticked by. Time was counting down. If you finish the lap even 1 second past 6 hours the lap does not count. 5 minutes to go. David's son Ben was pacing around the tent. 3 minutes. His wife Lenka asked me what I think. I say he can do it. 1 minute left. Oh well...he tried...what a great effort...it's been a long day. 40 seconds left... and here comes David flying around the corner of the road. He had 40 seconds to finish coming down the road, turn into the field and ride up through the finish line. It looked like a long way. David looked tired. Kenny was on the PA system counting down. We were all screaming at David to hurry. His son was trying to get the video started. I started asking Kenny if I could push him since I'm his team mate. David was slamming his weight down on the bike to get it up the hill through the field. When he got to me I ran behind him clapping and yelling "Go David Go!" I stopped running so I could watch as he passed over the finish line and see the clock.

David enjoys the moment.


We finished in 3rd Place. One of only 3 teams to get 8 laps. WHO'S... YOUR... DADDY!
That's probably not appropriate to say. My wife will not like it but I'm gonna leave it there. What a great way to finish a race! I was so proud of David. As we sat in our chairs waiting on the podium presentation I'm sure the same thought was going through each of our minds... Six Gap. But we didn't care. We'll just figure out how to get through it. Today we gave everything. No regrets...until tomorrow.

Chainbuster Jackrabbit 6 Hr Team Relay
So that's how we finished up. But there are other stories being told out there. Our newbie friend Trent Smith was on a 9 Hour 3 Person Male Relay Team and they took 1st Place!! I'm happy for you Trent!! I do however feel sorry for his wife. There will be no living with him now.

And Dustin Mealor entered the 9 Hour Solo Expert division again. This time finishing in 5th Place! Nice!

Stan White sporting the Habersham Bicycles kit and raced 6 Hr Solo Masters 50+ taking 6th Place!

One thing I especially enjoy about team racing is looking at the team names. If you're not promoting a business then you just make up a name for your team. Here's some of the better ones:

Team Trio of Woe                         Team Pot Roast
Team Wander Women                   Team Bob
Team Slow Spokes                        Team Flying Dirty Chickens
Bill Mashburn
Team Poncho & Lefty                    Team Biscuits
                                                          &    Gravy

Our good friends Bill Mashburn and Jon Frame raced together for the first time too. The wiley veteran and another young punk pulled off an 8th place finish by completing 7 laps.  Bill tells a great story of how he had completely shut down after what he thought was his last lap. "No way the Kid can get around the course in time for us to get another lap in!" Oops! Jon drilled it and caught Bill unprepared. And despite a bent chain ring Bill completed their last lap and bumped them up several places in the standings. Great job guys!

Jon Frame
The full results are on Kenny's site at Chainbuster Racing. There are also great pictures from Outdoor Event Photos.

Now let me tell you about the greatest gift ever given to a man on earth. I could write all day about my fantastic wife but since this is a cycling blog I'll just keep it to the facts from this past "cycle fest" weekend I shared with her. All you married cyclists listen up. It's my 15th Wedding Anniversary and I planned a long weekend getaway that included me racing a 6 hour mountain bike race and a 7.5 hour road ride in the mountains of North Georgia. Pretty stupid huh? Well guess who had a blast? Guess who got to relax and enjoy a little reading, a little competition, some sunshine, good friends, good food, and romance too? That would be me AND my wife, Lisa. How can this be you ask? What kind of bribery did it take? What kind of moaning and complaining did you put up with? How many times did she roll her eyes?... None! I have the most supportive, fun loving, and even competitive wife in the world. She was there for every cool thing that happened all weekend. Smiling and hugging and taking pictures. I'm sure you can all imagine how much greater the weekend was with her there genuinely having a great time with me. How blessed am I!? Lisa would probably say she was just being herself but I know the truth. The truth is it's my reward for keeping my priorities in order. It's my reward for always putting her first and making sure she believes that. I suffered a lot physically this weekend and will be stronger for it later. Lisa and I had some precious moments together that will help keep our marriage strong. I work harder on my relationship with my wife than I do at being a good cyclist. How about you?

In marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer.

And by the way MEN... Romance is like playing Hide and Seek. Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose, but you should never quit searching for ways to romance your wife.

This is only Part 1 of my great weekend adventure. Stay tuned for more this week!

Thanks for reading!


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