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, February 21, 2012

2012 Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB at Tribble Mill

Holy uphill all the way Batman! Tribble Mill trail raced backwards is a tough one! I'm sitting here on the couch after eating a really bad for me Philly Cheeseburger at Cheeseburger Bobby's and thinking about those poor 9 hour riders who ended up finishing in the rain. It was a hurtful race for me so I can't imagine racing that long and then having to deal with being cold and wet. Blah!

For the Chainbuster 6 Hour racers it was however a great weather day. When I arrived at the park it was 8:00am and 49 degrees. No wind. No rain. Even the clouds gave way to some morning sun for a while. During the race it warmed up to 58 degrees which is a perfect racing temperature. For me anyway. Not long after I got my canopy tent set up Bill, Jill and Parker (age 7) Mashburn arrived. Parker was all set for the Kids Race. He was decked out in his BPBC Cycling Jersey and even had a name for his team of one... "Team Make It Happen". Cool.
Kid's Race
The Kids Race (sponsored by Hayes Automotive) started promptly at 8:30am with 9 kids. They gathered at the starting line and quickly began making friends... OK not really. They all looked very nervous. Accept Parker who was trying to decide how he should interact with a little blond girl on a Barbie bike talking to him like they were best friends.

Here the Kid's Race Video!

I lead the kids race which is the highlight of my day. They are making memories and it's fun to watch. The course we selected had some tough little hills in it. I was pretty sure the single gear WalMart bikes would not last past the first hill but I underestimated a child's ability to adapt. Right away on the first hill one of them jumped off the bike and started running and pushing it. The rest followed her lead. Since I only knew Parker, I always kept an eye on how he was doing. He never got off his bike. He just kept a steady pace and after the hills were done and all the other kids began wondering why their parents thought this was fun, he passed everyone and finished first. Team Make It Happen brings it home!

Parker Mashburn displays his winnings.
Every kid got a cool water bottle filled with stuff and a memory. Whether good or bad. But I'm sure the memories were all good for their parents.
And then it was time to race. I went out to pre-ride the first few miles and learned a little about how bad I would be feeling this evening. The trail itself was in great shape. It had rained two days earlier so the dirt was packed and fast. The morning dew was heavy on the pine straw which made it good and sticky. But what good is all that if you're climbing and hopping roots the whole time? Trust me...it isn't.

I got back for the pre-race meeting and learned we'd be starting at the bottom of a hill just down from the Start/Finish line. Great.
The Start at Tribble Mill
 So I immediately rode down and placed my bike at the front. As the start got closer I have to tell you I was nervous. First race of the season jitters. I looked around and saw only super fast riders talking smack. Even though I know you can't tell a thing about a guys fitness by the way he looks I started feeling like I was starting my first race ever.
But the nervous energy helped me get a good start. As Kenny counted down 10 seconds to start, the guy next to me actually clipped both feet in and started bouncing. Now that won't distract you at all! But he did it. The gun went off and he started. But he must have been in the wrong gear because I thankfully clipped right in and took off. I went into the woods in second. With the world on my tail. I let one rider past me only to watch him catch his handle bar on a tree and wipe out just before we dipped down into the famous "Taco Stand". It wasn't long after the first set of hills that my body said "You must slow down!" I knew if I kept up the pace I was on I'd be useless in six hours so I slowed down just a little. I was soon caught and passed by three or more riders. I was at my limit so I couldn't do a thing about it. They were flying and out of sight in no time.

About half way around the course there was a turn to the left where we were met immediately by a creek crossing. At the speed I was going it was impossible to "Go Left" as instructed by the volunteers standing near the crossing. The reason they didn't want me to Go Right is because there's a deep hole under the water on that side. It took me out. An under water endo. A first for me.
Once I got my chain back on I angrily began the climb that follows the creek crossing. Nothing like zig zagging up a mountain to get your focus back. I didn't count how many riders passed me while I worked on my bike but I only passed two of them back before the finish. I thought I'd lost us some serious places in the standings.

In the transition area I told Trace what happened and he just said, "Don't worry, it's a long race." He was right because three laps later we were in 3rd Place but only by around 1 minute to Team# 177. On my third lap I dropped my chain. It bounced off on a downhill and I pedaled through so it got twisted. I had to dismount and lay the bike down to fix it. Once I got going again I had a rider on my wheel. You guessed it...# 177.

I finished the lap with him so basically his partner and mine started the sixth lap together. Just to be clear, 3rd and 4rd places were racing head to head. (Sorry, Trace)
I loaded up with a double caffeine gel, 3 Endurolytes, drank some Hammer Perpetuem and waited for Trace. I started my usual mental pep talk and told myself that the only reason #177 caught me was because I had a mechanical. If Trace could give me a lead...I could hold it. So I waited.
The first place team of Hammond/Chen came through. I new it wouldn't be long.
Then I saw #177 come riding up and make the exchange. The rider then came over to me and told me that Trace was three miles back with a busted rear derailleur. He had dropped the guy on the first climb and was putting together his best lap of the day when it happened. I consulted with the timing folks and then headed down the trail to help him.
The Damage
We made it back and he gave me the timing chip for what would be our last lap because of time. We fell from 2nd to who knows where after loosing 18 mins. So I went as hard as I could to make up as much of it as I could.

Trace Nabors and Chad Hayes
We managed a respectable 5th Place on the day. It was a great result considering all the trouble we had. Trace and I smiled at each other. We've been pretty successful the past few years and were due for some trouble. When you combine my successes with team mate David Shabat last year...well...I'm just hoping we got all our misfortune out of the way early this season.
Bill Mashburn and Trent Smith
Bill Mashburn and Trent Smith had a great day and finished 8th Place out of 20 teams in our category. The old man and the young punk deliver for the Habersham Bicycles Team. Nicely done gentlemen!

Also noteworthy is the effort put out by Team Engine. That would be the unbeatable team of Matt Hammond and Dave Chin. It's hard to tell if they even like each other much but boy do they make a great team. Lite and fast. I like them because I think Matt is as old as I am. They took 2nd Place on the day. Beaten by youth. Great job guys!
Dave Chin
So we packed up and headed home. Trace morned the loss of his derailleur. Bill and Trent took the families to eat at Cracker Barrel. And I took the road home. Where my family waited for me to take them to dinner.

Now I'm here watching The Bodyguard and blogging. How millennial of me. And thinking of next weekend and the Hincapie Training Series. My brain can't wait but my legs are not so sure about it.
I'm driving up on Saturday morning to race the Master's 9:00AM race. Weather says it'll be in the 30's. But they said it would rain today too. I'll be hanging out with good friends Stephen Sisk, David Shabat, Star Bridges, Robert Loomis and many others. If you want to race or even just hang out give me a call. We've got rooms in Greenville for Saturday night and will be racing again Sunday morning. I need to hurry back on Sunday for the best part of my weekend and that's Daddy/Daughter Night at Blackshear Place. They are so excited about it. And so am I.

That's all for this episode folks! Have a blessed week!

Chad Hayes

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