Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Squeezing in one more MTB event!

AKA "This bike is for a little girl"*

Sunday Gunnar and I decided to head to Pittsburgh, PA to take part in the Month of Mud's North Park Mountain Bike Time Trial. Usually at this point in the year it is NBC (nothing but cross) however from what we heard about the trails up there it was too good to miss.

We left from Morgantown at 7am and sadly it was still dark outside but we were lucky in that the temps were not bad compared to the few days before. Gunnar is well known for showing up for races at the last minute, but luckily for him I was the one who drove us up and we arrived and hour before the start. As Gunnar got suited up and rode off to warm up it was less then a minute before he return.
Houston we have a problem!
Like I said usually we don't do mountain bike races this late in the year. Gunnar had already started to take apart his mtb bikes for the winter and the night before in a late night haze decided to race the geared bike instead of the SS. So after a bit of wheel tweaking and very quick test it was deemed sufficient for a 6 mile TT. Unfortunately both crank arm bolts had been taken off to get a CX bike together and in the haze he had forgotten this. AH HA!

The bolts are specific for those cranks and no one at the race had a set that would work. Gunnar was pretty bummed cause it looked like he was not going to get to race. I think it made it worse that we got up so early to get up there also. After making phone calls and asking everyone there if they had the right bolts it was clear his bike was going to be a no go. After a few minutes we decided to change the pedals on my bike and send Gunnar off on my bike. Yes it is true by being Sponsored by Cannondale, I9 and Ergon much of the bike is set up the same however Gunnar rides a XL frame, I ride a Medium, lol! Problem solved...
But not really cause I run my brakes real close and rear is right while Gunnar being the old school tweaker runs his brakes loose and front is right.

With it being a TT Gunnar went off at 10:30 and I didn't go till Noon. That gave us enough time to change the bike back over for me before my start time. With time on my hands I helped with the start of the race by calling riders to the start line. While doing so I witnessed Gunnar riding around on my bike. He didn't look too big for it however he was sitting straight up in the air like he was riding a cruiser bike due to my smaller frame. Even with the smaller frame Gunnar still put on his game face as he rolled to the start line. We did crack a few jokes but when the word go was sounded he was all business.

Fast forward to the Gunnar's Finish. Even while on someones bike that was set up for a toad he was able to finish 3rd in the vet class. Pretty darn good job Gunnar. Being just a few seconds back I figure on his own bike he may have won the thing. (ed. note- Damn straight skippy, but being how that wasn't what happened, I didn't get than winners $$)

I was at the car now and getting ready for my turn on the course when Gunnar showed up. "Boy you got a fast bike there", he said. I was happy to hear that cause I figured he had a pretty good ride on my bike. As he jumped off the bike we both grabbed my pedals, reset the seat height for me, and adjusted a few other things that he had changed for him to ride the bike. Once the bike was back to my settings I headed out to warm up with 20 minutes before my start time. Perfect. I warmed up by riding some of the roads around the park, it was such a pretty fall day. The sun was out and the temperature was wonderful. Before I knew it, it was five minutes before my start and off to the line I went.

As I started it was a bit rough as the course zig-zagged it's way up the side of the mountain for the first mile. I felt like I was going to blow. My friend Aaron Bennett (Steel City Endurance) was the next rider to start 1 minute behind me and I was just waiting for him to pass me cause I felt terrible. About another mile in I spotted Aaron behind me maybe 30 to 40 seconds back. However by then I started to feel a bit better and was able to get on top of the gear. I knew if I could just get to the road crossing before Aaron got to me I could hold him off (even if his time was better I couldn't let him pass me, lol). In the end I finished in 32:15 good enough for thirty in on the day. Aaron finished in 32:10 for 10th but he never passed me! lol! Nice job Aaron.

The rockstar award went to my bike for the weekend by finishing 3rd in the vet class and 13th in my class out of 40. Great job bike!

What a great race. Thanks to everyone who helped put on such a great event.

* From the movie "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"