Monday, August 15, 2011

Mid-Season Catch-Up, 2x12 Too Soon and Hilly Billy Here We Come!

by Betsy & Gunnar.

The Shogrens last checked in after the Dirty Kanza 200 -
Gunnar's tale of woah
Betsy's tale of inspiration
But have hardly been sitting idle since. In fact, we might benefit from sitting a bit more idle, but there have been too many fun races and we don’t like to sit around getting rusty.

The weekend after the DK200, we jumped right in to do the

Big Bear 2 x 12

This race is not to be missed, at all costs. DO IT!
The Race
The Results

We signed up in the highly-stacked coed-duo category and figured we’d be happy with a top 5, considering our legs/bodies/minds were taking their good old time returning from the dirt roads of Kansas. Well, to make a long story short, we ended up 2nd, which was thrilling. Cassie and Jeremy were not to be beaten on their home court, and we benefited from some bad luck by the Harding Family of Philly and outrode a whole host of others to surpass them all for second!

Gunnar & Betsy about to fill their steins, PeTey hanging out too. Mark handing them out, Julie doing the important part of getting the cheques!

After a rather grim yet understandably poor first lap sitting pretty in 5th we really did get faster and rallied hard for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, Betsy ended up with a souvenir of some bruised/cracked/broken ribs that occurred just 3-4 miles into her last lap.
Here is her tale of woe (woah) -
"I bodyslammed into a nasty rock garden and immediately felt some inner organs being skewered by my ribs like a shish kabob. Ok, I might be slightly exaggerating, but not really. However, Kathleen was hunting me down on this last lap, as I had already witnessed her unhappiness at being in third place and she was fired up to steal this 2nd place from us. There was no time to speculate on whether or not my kidney was stuck on my rib and I hauled my sorry arse off those rocks and whimpered my way through that lap. Despite this memorable incident, my third lap was faster than my 2nd lap! Here it is 2 months later and I still have to sleep with a pillow under my ribs and have some weird lumps over my rib bones."

Betsy looking a little out of it after her bumpy ride. Luckily there's a big bag of chips close at hand...

For Gunnar's part, he got to choose the gear du jour, and it was 33x19. A tad heavy probably, but we really didn't want to concede anything on the fast sections of the course. This meant that we really have to muscle up the grunts, and he's happy to report that he actually was able to make it up all the climbs in that stiff thing. Bunny did not, but just had to scoot her butt up 1 hill.

Gunnar needing some help, and Sally doing her best.

Turns out our closest real competition at the end was from our team mates, though not class mates, ToddL and JamesB, who both rode very well in the high-speed low-drag Open class. ToddL even had a tangle w/ a Cougar out there on the last lap. No lie!

Our Tomac Flint 29er SSs rode smooth, predictable, fast, and steady right from the get go.
Grrrr means go for us!

Shortly after the BB 2x12 race was another of our favorite races

ABRA’s Hilly Billy Roubaix

HBR Reg Page
HBR Results
This is another DO NOT MISS race!
Big decision beyond what gear to use, was the choice of tyres. Go w/ the fast rolling bomb proof tyres, the Kenda Tendrils that we used for the DK200, or go w/ last years choice and a little lighter 700x35c Kenda Small Block 8? With all the climbing, I decided to go w/ the SB8. Either one would have been a good choice I think though!
Here's Betsy's tale of dumbination -
"In a fine showing of CycleDumb Training, I absolutely insisted to gunnar that I would do this race on my singlespeed cross bike, despite the fact that my ribs were obviously having some issues and stabbing pain ensued every time I stood on a bike. His advice that I should probably race my geared bike was spot-on, but we all know it’s better to endure 5 hours of stabbing pain than to admit to your significant other that he/she was right."

Betsy getting through Little Indian Creek Extension in fine style

Betsy and her trusty SS on the top rung again!

Gunnar’s legs had crawled their way out of the Kansas ditch and hitched a ride back to WV, though he was unfortunately thwarted by 3 flat tires. He still grabbed a second in the SS class! W00t!
Are you ready for Gunnar's tepid tale? -
"After my failed attempt at 200+ miles of gravel grandeur, and the ensuing loss of most of the water in my body, I was determined to get rehydrated, and then try and really keep that weight low.
At BB 2x12 I wasn't totally recovered yet, but I was light, by the next week, I was getting there and then by the time HBR rolled around I was really feeling good.
I was feeling well enough that I actually ran a gear 2 teeth larger than last year, 41x19. Started out in fine shape, after going through Little Indian Creek Extension the break was made and I was in it. Crossed 19 w/ nary another group in sight, headed up the first long climb and the old backend of the bike started getting squishy. Poopie pants.
Got the rear tyre off, started fixing my flat, and others came by. Had a little issue w/ reinflating, more came by. Finally got going again, blasted up, blasted down, got on McCurdysville Rd, sheared some others, climbed up McCurdysville Pike, romped past a few more, made my way down the backside and then back onto Hagans Rd., started that mean old climb there and caught some more chaps. My buddy ChrissyM informed me that teammie NateA and 1st SS BernieS were just up the road. Yay!
By the top of Long Drain I had got them both. Then we all went down that road, heading for Route 7. Good boy Nate was trying to help me shake Bernie, but he just kept on coming back, evidently he was riding pretty well too.
Finally we got to Buckeye Rd, went across the bridge and started going up Ripleys Run, to the "un a fish al" Hilly Billy checkpoint. Going up the shallow grade I was starting to get away from both Bernie and Nate. Hooray!
Got to the top, declined the jello-shot, did take in a Raw Rev bar and some water and... for an instant considered putting a little more air in my rear tyre. 'It'll beallright, I want to keep this gap from Bernie.' So I was now back in 1st for the SS and 4th overall.

Gunnar riding in between fixing flats.

But that was not for long, for right before Ripleys dumps onto Little Shannon, I flatted again. Double poopie pants!
So I crawled down to Little Shannon and went about the business again. Said "Hello" to all those folks that passed me back again, Bernie, Nate, Roger, and a host of others until BenjiK came and I was all kinds of ready to get going again.
Benji and I trundled on, him blabbing like he does so well and me trying to figure out where I was in the group. As the roads meandered up towards Hines Ridge I lost Benji and started catching a lot of those folks that had been so kind as to pass me and ask if I needed a tube or something.
Blow through the 2nd Aid Station, up the stiff climb over I79 and up to "Whatever it is" Ridge. Cruising there was nice and at the end Maggie was there with a sign special for me, pointing the way to the Local Line. Oh how sweet.

Maggie showing me the way. Right before my 3rd and final flat.

And down I went from there, bombing the burned up "road", catching a few more folks, crawling my way back up. Right before I came out to Sperm Loop, it happened again. My third flat. Must have bombed too much, or I'm getting fat, or I'm just running low on good fortune.
This time I was getting my wheel off and my friend Doug M came by, asked the usual "do you need anything" and I replied w/ "yes, I need a tube!" for I had run now out.
Got that flat fixed, put an extra 10 pumps in it just for something to do and was off going yet again. Pedal, pedal, pedal.
Got by MarcG and he offered words of encouragement but thought I was 5th SS, and that was not were I wanted to be. So I disposed of him and kept going.
Stopped at the 3rd Aid Station, at Ma and Pa Petsko's house/Goat Farm, filled up the Camelback water bottles, grabbed some Raw Rev bars, thanked the nice folks, then asked RyanP where the next SS fellow was. He thought he was a couple minutes up the road and didn't think that I'd be able to catch him.
Going up Number 8 Hollow I caught that poor sod, saw a few others on 19 and the fire was reignited, now if only my tyres and tubes would cooperate... Got some help going down Cassville Mt. Morris Rd. from a geared fellow that let me sit in as he drug me to Rt 7, and then once heading up that formidible climb I disposed of him. How mean.
Then it was up to the top, then down, speeding all over, chasing whatever ghosts were ahead of me, namely one Roger Masse and Bernie Shiao.
Finally, going up the last climb before being inside the Mylan Park proper I saw him. A single SSer. Not going too fast. 'I must catch him before or shortly after we turn into the park, if I don't it will be over.' And so I did.
'Hi Roger. :) '
I think we went down the hill pretty much together but I was able to get some time and distance on him before the top and then finish.
2nd place in the SS class. With the unhappy footnote of having 3 flats (and just using a good old fashioned hand pump).

One of us doesn't know what to do, one of us is going a bit crazy, one of us has a steady hand on the rudder.

It was a good day, fun and hard racing."

One of my motos also ran lead. Only got dumped once in Little Indian Creek Extension I was told too!

Heck I'm tired again just having written all this...

Doin' what needs to be done at the end of the day.
Hairwolf, Benji and Sequoya helping out.

Since then we’ve been having a great summer participating in the ABRA and WVMBA series and counting our lucky stars to have such great local racing. Every weekend delivers some sort of new adventure and we wouldn’t have it any other way. While only one more ABRA road race remains, the next 7 weekends have some sort of fun MTB race or another, followed by the ABRA CX Series.

More soon to follow. Pinky promise.