Friday, June 26, 2009

Various goings-on

Although we'll not be out in force for a race until the Downieville Classic on July 11th, many of our team members are racing, mucking about, and generally riding bikes.

Carrie starts the BC Bike Race on Sunday.


A few of us took part in what has been called "America's hooptiest race series" this week, and our participation was highlighted by Arena outsprinting Roaring Mouse's Mo for the women's victory. Arena was awarded with serious podium boy action:

DSC_0244 by Bici Girl.

Finally, a half-dozen of us are headed to Downieville to spend a weekend preriding the course. Since I have the week off, I am heading into Tahoe Forest for a little bike camping. I hope to have a report when I return.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Coolest 24 Hour MTB at Boggs (OK, the Coolest 8 in our case...)

Undeterred by what may have been one of the most punishing and brutal weather-induced debacles in 24 hour racing history last month, the good folks at Global Biorhythm events found redemption this weekend by putting on a fantastic race at everyone's favorite demonstration forest tucked away in Cobb, CA: Boggs. Moonies present included myself, Mark and Joe, Carrie and Murphy, Evan and Tristan, and Jeremy and Jenn (for moral and massage support).

Compared to the rather large turnout at Cool, the field for this race was surprisingly small at around 150 people; I suspected most people may have still had lingering trauma from the previous race, but Jim the race director acknowledged the lower turnaround and said he preferred it, as it allowed people to really get out there and race without the fear of riding all over one another - which proved to be true. Luckily, the conditions on Saturday were near perfect for a mountain bike race, despite being slightly dry and dusty starting off; a bit cloudy and overcast early on, and then clearing up by the mid-afternoon.

The course differed substantially from the BikeMonkey Boggs series - on the one hand, there was a technical rocky section at the very start that forced more than a few people to get off the bike (including myself), which Mark illustrates here:


Murphy and Evan, on the other hand, managed a little better - at least for the Kodak moment:



Secondly, there was considerably more climbing on this course - 1400 ft. to be exact, nearly all of which was concentrated about 2/3 of the way into the course... a veritable "trail of tears," at least for myself. On my last lap, I would have to spin up this at a tortoise-like pace in order to keep the leg cramps at bay. Beyond that, there were some other routing changes but a lot of the fun singletrack was left intact. On my first lap though, I missed a right turn (that I would later see others miss as well) and ended up dropping about 300 feet down a fire road before realizing the tire tracks had all disappeared.

At one point, Carrie blew by me in a pack of about 4 or 5 with Tinker in the mix; however, I would later catch up to her as she was dealing with a flat on one of the narrow singletrack sections. She would duly fly by me minutes later.


Joe Taylor made a fashionably late appearance and arrived after Mark had finished two of his laps already, jumping on his Cannondale and giving his raging hangover the finger:


All in all, a pretty successful and fun race for team Sheila Moon: Evan and Tristan placed 3rd in the open 2-person category, and I placed 3rd in the 18-29 yr old 8-hour bracket (albeit, out of a field of 3) on my first solo attempt. I think over the course of 8 hours, I consumed over 15 gels, 1 PBJ, half a Clif bar, and over two full Camelbaks of water. Big ups to Jeremy for pushing me to do a 5th lap when I rolled into our campsite shortly after the 6-hour mark, whining about my hands being too tired to pull the brakes. When someone with a busted shoulder who wants nothing else but to get out there and ride tells you to man the f&%# up, it carries that much more weight.

The rest of the night digressed into a blur of pork tacos, Firestone ale, an epically raging campfire, heckling 24 hour racers at midnight, and an unsuccessful visit to the Team Vanderkitten campsite. Hope I didn't leave anything out, see you guys at Downieville!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The annual race at Napa's Skyline Park is a real mountain bike race. Tough climbs, butt-puckering descents, and enough carnage that I can claim I was being cautious, not slow.

I am always surprised how low the turnout is for this race. Fewer than 150 people for some of the best technical racing this side of the Sierras. Still, the riding and racing are great, and we turned out in force (flowery force!).

The results sheet was highlighted by Krishna Dole's second place in Expert Men.

The field was pretty skewed toward the more experienced, wiht very light turnout in the beginner classes. Chris Kohlhardt took second in beginner men. May Woo was the class of the beginner women's field.

Carrie Edwards had an uncharacteristically undistinguished race, ending up mid-pack in Expert women.

Davin and I also competed for the most mediocre prize, finishing mid-pack in Sport 19-34 and 35-44 respectively. Morgan and Mike didn't have great races either, although Mike, at least, was funny about it.

I crashed pretty thoroughly when we prerode the course (and managed to top it off with a dose of poison oak), and managed to have myself pretty psyched out for this race. It took me something like a lap and a half (out of two) to really get my racing head in gear. Which is not a recipe for success. I did manage not to crash, though, and once I got past a guy I'd been dicing with for the last 4 miles at the top of the last climb, I finally let it all hang out, and managed to hold him off.

This is still one of my favorite courses we do, even though I was pretty mediocre this time.

(photos from George Denison McNamara)