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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2013 Chainbuster Tribble Mill (Taco Stand Classic)

And so it begins. Another season of mountain bike racing in North Georgia.
So many great races to do and I can't wait to do them with friends. Not to mention the atmosphere that most mountain bikers bring to the races. I say most riders because unfortunately there were some out there that don't know how to pass a slower rider and still be courteous. Some were even rude to the women! So before I tell you about the great things that happened at this race I thought I'd start with a little lesson in mountain bike racing etiquette. The topic for today is "How to pass a slower rider in single track trail."

David Shabat is Smooth and Fast!
It's pretty simple. If you are gaining on a rider, then you must be faster, so logic dictates that you will eventually catch this person and need to pass them. You should assume the rider doesn't know this because God only put eyes in the front of our skulls and your heavy breathing may not be as loud as their own. For these reasons you should call out to the rider as you approach. I like to yell "Rider Back!" It let's them know you are there and wish to pass. I personally like to add the words "When you can!" because it takes the pressure off the slower rider and they make fewer mistakes. But you can say what you want... it's your race to loose. Now what normally happens next is the slower rider finds a nice wide part of the trail and moves over to let you pass. I always say "Thank You!" And that is how to safely pass a slower rider.
I will admit that some riders don't work with you on this because they've been slighted at some point during the race and are trying to prove a point... no matter how courteous you are. Ultimately though the courtesy is contagious and there should be no reason to channel your inner Rodney King.

I usually don't care to belabor this issue because it will always exist in a race with hundreds of people on the trails. I guess when the ladies start thanking me for not being a jerk I decided to bring it up.

The kids race was fun to watch.
The kids always work too hard at the start and puke at the end. It's funny to watch their faces immediately after completing the race. Everyone stands around cheering and congratulating them but all they want is oxygen. The medal they get is meaningless at that time but as you can see they quickly recover and love life once more. A scenario that never changes no matter how old you get.

Then it was time to start. I've started a lot. It's intense and exciting and I like it! But this time I wanted to film it so I asked Trace to start. He doesn't like it. And David refused to do it. But to Trace's credit he made it happen. 

Trace Nabors leaps from the Taco Stand!
We watched as a hundred riders vied for the entrance to the single track first. They had to race across the small field and then down another rolling field into the trail. The course was different than any other time we've raced at Tribble Mill. The Chainbuster crew did a great job of mixing it up so that we could shoot from the Taco Stand once more! Based on the pictures Trace evidently lept better than any of us did all day. He came through and put us out front from the start. 

I took the timing chip and headed out for my first lap in the cold, windy weather. If I didn't mention it before the temperature started out in the 30's and stayed there while the wind picked up. Gusts up to 40 MPH. One such gust ripped our neighbors tent right up like a parachute and scattered their stuff all over the place. It was a crazy scene as the race went on.
I tried to stay smooth and fast through the pine straw ladden single track. The evidence of bad decisions was in every corner. Piles of straw followed by a long thin trench leading off the trail. The red ribbon put up to keep us on course was too high and confused me. I assume it was that high for a reason but the only one I could think of was to keep wayward riders from slicing through it. Or maybe it was so it could be seen long before you reached the intersection.
I finally worked my way to the best part of the day... The Taco Stand! This is probably not any different than any other large ditch but it's the only one at Tribble Mill and it's at the end of the loop. Jumping out of it fills you will some needed adrenaline for the last two miles.

My Taco Stand face leaves something to be desired.
So I celebrated in the only way I could think of... I made a stupid face at the camera.
I handed off to David and felt really good. And warm. But after about 10 minutes it all changed. I was chilled to my bones by the wind. So I headed up to the Start/Finish to check out where we were in the race and try to warm up. It was then that I learned that for the first time in the series there were two 3 Person Male Categories. We had signed up for the Just Having Fun one instead of the new competitive 3 man category. After consulting with Kenny, the race director, he decided we should stay put because the race was half over and it's not fair for the other category to not know who they are racing against. So that's what we did.
I stood around and watched David finish and hand off to Trace.

As fate would have it (and some expert planning) I only had to do two laps. There simply wasn't enough time for me to do a third. Darn it all! So I took the tent down before the wind did it for me and sat in the car with David. Man was it cold!
 Trace made it back and completed our 7th lap. Securing our victory no matter which category we had been in.
He looked beat. The crazy ever changing weather made clothing choice a tricky thing. Trace was drinking his usual concoction of Hammer Nutritional; 1 bottle (1 scoop Perpetuem, 1 scoop Heed), and two electrolytes per hour.

The Nabors Family are happy as can be!

We all have awesome and highly supportive families. They must be to brave the cold and wind in support of Daddy. 

Our efforts were not in vain. We and many others were winners at the end of the 6 hours race. The day was really fun and we didn't receive any injuries we couldn't deal with. And even if we did injure ourselves badly it's ok because... Scars are Tatoos with better Stories.

Our friends Dustin Mealor and Todd Fisher won the 2 Person Male Category thanks to Dustin's highly melodramatic sufferfest show. I'm telling you that nobody looks to be suffering as much as Dustin. 100% maximum effort all the time. I like him.

My first race of the season was in the books. Not my usual killer effort but it'll do to get me going again. The next Chainbuster race will be at the Georgia Intl Horse Park in Conyers. In fact I'll be there this Saturday at the Southeast Bike EXPO. It will be raining but who cares right?

Till next time...

Chad Hayes    

1 comment:

  1. I love that you mentioned passing etiquette!! As I was FORCED off a single, uphill, rooty portion of the trail by a rider... Everyone else was very nice and gave me a chance to get over a little... overall, a great first race for me and John! We got 4th in coed.
    See you at GIHP!
    Farrah Galley