Friday, January 2, 2009

Year in Review - Part 1

Since apparently no one else is motivated to post, I guess I'll try to put together a 2008 Year in Review post.

This was our first year fielding both mountain bike and cyclocross teams.

Boggs III - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Murphy carving a turn en route to second place

The season started out on a high point, with Murphy, Joshua, and Jared pulling out a second in Men's 3-person team at the Boggs III 8-hour race. We fielded five teams over all at this event. Possibly most important of all, however, we further established ourselves as the most fun team around. After the race, our camp site rapidly filled up with other racers wanting to get in on the fire, food and beer.

Post-race revelry

The season continued to pick up steam with the Coolest 24-hour race against cancer, where we fielded two teams, and the Napa Valley Dirt Classic, which saw Arena Reed make her first (but by no means her last) podium of the year.

A social (if not results) highlight of the season was the exceptionally brutal Shasta Lemurian race. We fielded something like a half dozen riders, and while no one had a spectacular placing, we again provided plenty of post-race socializing. Our friends from the Roaring Mouse, Hunter/Freewheel and Sexual Camel teams joined us for a post-race keg and barbeque, and we stretched our tired muscles with a four hour "recovery ride" the next day, led by a member of a local cycling club.

Posing the next day

Next up was the 12 Hours of Weaverville. This race was marked primarily by rain. It started the night before the race, and continued all day long. The trails around Weaverville, which look to be stunningly fun when the conditions are right, ended up a gluey, soggy mess. The poor conditions, though, didn't prevent Murphy and me from winning the two-man expert race or Emily, Ted, and Morgan from coming in second in three-person co-ed. The fields were pretty small, though, so this sounds more impressive than it actually was. We did get singled out by the race organizers, though, for our spectacular pit setup, which included a full tent, hot soup all day long, and a variety of other snacks.

After this race, though, we hit one of the low points of the season, with team organizer Murphy Mack suffering a brutally separated shoulder that would sideline him for the rest of the year.

We continued the mountain bike season with two big races. The Napa Skyline Park race, which featured some brutal but highly fun climbs and descents, saw Arena take another medal.

Arena shows off another medal

Next was the Downieville Classic, which saw us again show up a half-dozen strong. No one podiumed, but this race is certainly a classic of Northern California racing.

Even in late July, many of us were starting to look forward to cyclocross season, and to maybe whet our appetites (or maybe just 'cause he's cruel), Murphy put together a 100 mile off-road festival of brutality. Thirty-something racers started, and only 8 finished! I had the sense to volunteer to run a checkpoint, and although I missed the opportunity to test myself against such a challenge, I also gained the opportunity to make exhausted racers put on a pith helmet and shoot blowdarts at a picture of Murphy.

We made the racers wear a pith helmet and goggles while they shot the blow gun

You can read reports on the ride here, here, and here.

The last mountain bike race of the year I took part in was the Howell Mountain Classic, on much of the same course as the Napa Valley Dirt Classic. It was not the way I wanted to end the season. Murphy got some decent video, though.

The mountain bike season finished up with Singlespeed worlds. By all accounts a fantastic event. I was sorry to miss it.

I'll continue next post with the cyclocross season wrapup.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

I hope you do the Enduro again. I'll race it.