Leadville silver rush this last weekend...Trapper, Luke, and honorary project racer Wade. Cool race a big field. Not the best luck, as Trapper had a gnarly crash and had to go to doctor to check out his bleeding face/head/lips/legs/back.... He got away pretty lucky but could have been really bad! Flat legs and a couple flat tires later Luke finished in 4:28 and Wade finished in 5:37....we backed it up with a great time at the local distillery tasting some fine moonshine mules and sausage!
Check out Luke's blog here http://lukejay.blogspot.com/ to see his full race report as he racing the full Leadman.
Big race coming up next weekend! We will have Will Kelsay, Hairy Jason, Patrick Valetine,and Jason Hilgers all toeing the line at beaver creek for the XTERRA Mountain Chapionships. Stay tuned.
Monday, July 8, 2013
I was lucky to have two of my brothers crew for me during the race so I didn’t have to worry about stopping at aid stations or bag drops. I have my nutrition dialed in for endurance racing, which consists of a bottle of water, bottle of grape First Endurance EFS, and a flask of First Endurance EFS liquid shot every two hours or so. I would be relying on nothing but liquids for the roughly 7.5 hours of racing and would be getting hand-offs roughly every two hours. I didn’t have high hopes going into the race as the single speed field was relatively stacked. I finished 2nd overall in the single speed category last year in a time of around 7 hours 42 minutes. The previous year’s winner (Jeff) was signed up (who bested me by 10 minutes last year), as well as the Rocky Mountain Endurance series leader in the single speed category (Carlos) and a handful of other strong riders (Dan et al). I also had to deal with old man Ed Oliver who decided to throw his He-Man legs into the single speed category. I had a 3:30 AM wakeup call Saturday morning to get some breakfast in me and make it to Bailey for the 6 AM start. I picked up Ed Oliver on the way and we rolled into Bailey just after 5 AM. After the gun went off (literally) there is about a mile of slightly downhill pavement that puts the single speeders in a bit of a hole. I spent the following 5 miles working my way through the masses to get near the front. I passed last years single speed winner just before the turnoff onto the Colorado Trail and the start of the singletrack. I figured I was somewhere near the top 25 overall at that point. Once on the trail if was difficult to keep the smile off my face. I love riding these trails. I tried to keep is smooth on the flats and downhills and push the hills. I felt pretty good early on and rolled through the first 40 miles with a pretty steady pace. After passing through aid station 3 I saw Carlos up ahead and new I was in relatively good position. Carlos is pretty damn strong (to say the least) and the fact I was near him was encouraging. I lost some time to him on some flat double track and when I stopped to swap bottles and EFS flasks. I rode with some geared riders through a long portion of the Colorado trail and then caught up to Carlos again on a steep climb. I dropped the geared guys to bridge up to Carlos and the made my way past him about 2/3 the way up the climb. I noticed the way he way cranking that he was probably had a bigger gear ratio than me. Once I went by Carlos I got a huge blast of motivation to keep pushing hard. I met my brothers near aid station 4 and they said I was the lead single speeder. This added to the motivation and I just kept pushing. I caught a geared rider at about mile 55 or so who said the next single speeder was less than a minute ahead. I realized that I was not longer running scared at the front but running in2nd. I just kept pushing and got a glimpse of the leader (Dan) on a steep climb. At the top of the climb it was about a 4 mile descent down the Platte River. I kept on it the best I could but the sandy descent was working me over. I hit the Platte River and met my brothers for a quick refuel and I was off on the 12 miles of flat pavement and dirt road into Deckers. I let my brothers know that there was still one single speeder ahead of me. This flat section was brutal on the single speed. Some quick 130+ rpm bursts with a quick coast, then repeat, for an hour. A geared guy caught me, which was a welcomed relief and I drafted him for a while. He throught the lead single speeder was up ahead but we could never see him, even with the long open roads. I was thinking to myself Dan must have one hell of a big gear on his bike. Another couple of geared guys caught us and three geared guys rode off into the distance leaving me all along once again. About 4 miles from Deckers I was caught by another geared rider who said there were two single speeders about a mile behind. Apparently, Dan was getting some nutrition from his drop bag when I passed and was now riding with Carlos. I was the first place single speeder. Shortly thereafter, my brothers came rolling by and said I had a 1.5 mile gap on the two single speeders. I knew Carlos and Dan were riding with a larger gear ratio than me so I kept the cadence as high as I could to keep them from closing the gap. I thought that if I could make it to the Stony Mountain Pass climb in first it would be tough for the two to close the gap. With the help of a geared rider I was able to make it to the base of the Stony Mountain Pass climb with the lead. It was all in my hands (or legs) now. I may not be the best technical rider (especially descender) but I can power up smooth climbs with the best of them. By the way, the Stony Mountain Pass climb is the most difficult part of the race. It starts at about mile 75 and 10 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing later you summit the pass. There are three climbs to get to the summit with a short descent in between each. They get progressively longer and less steep, with the first being a nasty, steep, loose, sandy, kick in the ass. I kept my butt in the saddle and kept pushing only having to stand for a few short segments. Near the end of the first climb it was getting hot and I was hurting pretty bad. My brothers rolled by and said I had a 6 minute lead. I told them it didn’t matter because I couldn’t go any faster if I wanted to. I kept my head down staring at my “Pedal Harder Sissy” stem cap and kept mashing. When I reached the summit I wanted to stop and kiss the ground, which probably would have made me cramp so I kept rolling along. The next 15 or so milers of rollers were a blur of pain, agony, near constant cramping, and absolute joy when I came to a downhill segment and didn’t have to pedal. I rolled through the finish in 7 hours and 13 minutes, 1st single speeder, 12th overall, and 4th amateur overall. I was floored. I took almost 30 minutes off my 2012 time. I stood in shock until by brothers rolled in. We exchanging some high fives and a bunch of hugs. It was probably the best result I have put up in my 6 or so years of racing. It felt pretty damn good. I have to thank by brothers (Justin and Jordan) for all the support and motivation through the day. Without them I never would have been able to put up the time I did. I also have to thank Luke Jay and The Adrenalin Project. All the fast guys have forced me to step up my game. Thanks to Adrenalin Cycles for being the best shop in Denver and knocking out my endless array of bike related issues as fast as they do. Also thanks to all of The Adrenalin Project sponsors whose gear helped power the way including Champion Systems, Giro, LifeProof, Skull Candy, Swiftwick, and Oakley.