So I had decided to do the Rapture in Misery 6hr solo. Thought it would make a good training ride. Then it was really hot all week and I was wavering on whether to do it or not. Finally decided to go to Trenton and just take it easy and ride 6 hours without making myself miserable.
But when its a race and the pace isnt too high, its hard not to want to be at the front.

Lemans style starts crack me up. Everyone takes off sprinting, I took it easy. If all these guys are going to run as fast as they can for a few hundred yards to get to their bikes, then they should sprint when they get on them as well. I was pretty far back when I got to my bike but there was a lot of double track before the singletrack. It didnt take long at all to ride through the pack, as I assume everyone was gassed from running too fast. I entered the singletrack right behind Jeff Winkler and maybe in 5th. There was a duo team leading the charge but the pace was pretty managable, even for a 6 hour race. The first lap was slippery and muddy which made it interesting. Guys were sliding all over the place which let me by and I sat on the Columbia Duo teams wheel the rest of the lap.

At the start of the second lap I was still on the Columbia teams wheel as they switched off riders. I had to stop for some refreshments, but was able to catch back on. Essentially followed the entire lap and Mark Savery closed back on me at the end of the lap. Lap 3 was a bit of a disaster. I had lost the wheel of the Duo team so pace making was up to me. I passed Savery, who was doing something to his singlespeed and commenced to get a bee stuck in my helmet. It was not very happy about this, and I quickly stopped and got the helmet off. I was trying to eat my lunch on this lap so I wasnt going very fast and I wasnt really concentrating either. A slippery root took my front wheel out and I was on the ground pretty fast. At first I thought I might have done some collarbone damage, but the pain was temporary and I was back on the bike. Luckily I didnt choke on any of the pretzels I was enjoying.

Lap 4 went much better. Just cruising along at a nice pace, still sitting in 2nd overall and first solo rider. On lap 5 I pass Savery on the dam where the course doubles back on itself, this means Ive got about 15 minutes of lead. My motivation to keep pushing starts to fade. At the end of the lap Katie tells me that Winkler dropped out, I had it in the back of my mind that he would be coming up at some point, motivation fades a little more. I come up a a lady towards the end of the lap, ask to get by but I can tell she thinks she is going fast enough I dont need to pass. I ask again, She moves over a little and then starts scolding me, "if your going to pass me, hurry up and do it." If I was in the mood I would have explained to her that I was lapping her and after 5 hours of passing people like herself my passing gear has faded a bit. But I just laughed and continued on my way.

By lap 6 im still feeling pretty good but dont feel like pushing too hard. I see Travis Donn on the same dam as Savery the lap before, Travis says he is in 2nd now. I start to do the math...15 minute lead, 50 minute laps....dont want to go out for an 8th. As the 7th lap starts I see Winkler and Savery enjoying themselves in the venue, all cleaned up. I decide that Ill just back it off and make sure this is my last lap. I see Travis again on the dam, he has made up a little ground, but I still have 12 minutes or so. At about 5:55 I figure Im safe and wont have to go out again so I pick up the pace a little as I see Craig Stoeltzing a switchback behind and I want to finish my 6 hours as the 2nd overall, 1st solo.

Katie womanned the pits again and did a great job. She filled my pockets with tasty snacks and had bottles ready every lap. Plus she was able to make a good dent in her new book as she had 6 hours of reading time. Definitley couldnt do it without her.


The Count

This year ive gone to the starting line 18 times. Of those 18 races, 11 have been on the hardtail and 7 on the dually. There was one race that I think I made the wrong decision and should have been on the hardtail instead of the dually. So the count should be 12-6. Basically I pick the hardtail twice for everytime im out on the dually. Looking back on the season I would have thought that I didnt race the dually even that many times. If you would have asked me my plan before the season, I would have said that it was going to be the other way around. I had the Top Fuel all set up as my primary bike with XX and the Elite 9,9 is built up with last years parts running 2x9.

The Top Fuel is an awesome bike, but I still love the effeciency and weight of the hardtail. I typically go to races thinking Ill ride the hardtail and change to the dually if its too rough. Its definitely nice to have options. Of course, 90% of all my off road riding is done on a 29er...hmmm.

also...I love checking schottler's flat count. 15. thats awesome. Ive had 3 flats in two years on the offroad bike (two in perry couple weekends ago, one in Windham due to a nail) and im thinking maybe 2 more on the roadbike.


Local Bike Shops

This has nothing to do with HighGear in Emporia. Matt and Stephanie are great and seem to treat everyone that comes into their shop they way you would think a small business owner should. I really cant say enough about how impressed I am with them and their new bike shop.

edit: I posted this once and decided I didnt like it. In a nutshell I find that a lot of local shops have pretty substandard service and today I figure I spent an extra $15 on a $50 purchase on some odds and ends for the weekend than what I would have spent online.

I dont know how some of these local shops make it. High prices and bad service. No wonder so many people are turning to the interwebs for their bike parts.

Makes me appreciate HighGear even more.



My favorite movie of all time. Rad. Cru always seems to pull it off at HellTrack. Plus lots of great cameos. I used to watch Rad a couple times a week and then go out and ride down to the bmx track and do lap after lap. I wonder what guys like Travis Chipres are doing these days. He came to Topeka for a camp one time and hung out with us at my grandma's pool afterwards. He might of even stayed there, or that might have been Billy Harrison. Its all a little fuzzy. Charles Townsend might have been along as well...hmmm. Anyways, Chipres was Bart Connors stunt double when he was racing, such as in this picture.

Kick Ass was not quite to the same level, we lasted about 20 minutes and took it back to the redbox.


heat solution

Katie suprised me with a present this week. I think it was her way to get me to stop complaining about the heat. StaCool vest. It works perfectly. Its gonna be great for the hot racing action and hot working action. Wore it today at work to give it a test run and was noticeably cooler.


little warm out

Crocodile rock

When its not your day, its not your day. Or maybe its not even your weekend.

Woke up Saturday morning, ate some breakfast and packed up the car to head to Perry for the latest mtb racing action. Get there, realize its only saturday, and the race is on sunday. Commence to ride a few laps since im there. Ride em on the hardtail and decided that the new, "smooth and faster" course is still typical "rocky and rooty" perry and the dually will be needed for this adventure. The main problem with that being it still has the superlight tires on it from Sol Vista. Its too hot out and im too lazy to switch em even though I know i need to.

Repeat on Sunday and get to the course to find a pretty small field, but some of the Nebraska crew has ventured down so I am thinking its going to be a little tougher pace than I had been preparing for.

We are lined up behind the 29under grouppo so its a second row start for me, which is fine as I want to ease into it anyways being I did absolutely no warmup. So on the second turn we enter the singletrack and Im on Kent McNeils wheel and he is sliding all over the place, I watch and do the same. When I slide out I save it, but put someone into the trees, sorry. Two turns later, more gravel, and im instantly on the ground. Luckily nobody runs me over, but im dead last as I gather myself up, make sure no injuries and the bike still works. Commence the chase. Maybe 2/3 of the way through the first lap I catch Limpach and Steinmetz cruising in second and third. Kent seems to be up the trial a bit, so I go by and start chasing. I start to see Kent every now and again so I relax and keep pedaling away.

About that time I come around a corner to find Kent flipping his bike upside down with a flat. That sucks for him, but he will never close what I figure is at least a 2 minute gap im about to have. Two corners later, and my front tire goes flat in a hurry. Jump off, put some air in it, watch the sealant spray everywhere from two spots. Start trying to remove the valve stem, but its stuck with dried sealant thats acting like locktite. Kent McNeil comes up on me, flats for the second time right where I must have flatted. He is done for the day already. I eventually get the valve stem out and make the change. Back on the gas and im feeling pretty great. Ive been passed by about everyone, as I have to get by the ladies first. Its always fun blowing by guys and working through traffic. I put in a good second and third lap which has me up to 4th place on the trail and as we start the last lap I begin to see 3rd. Sweet. And the rear goes flat. I put any air ive got left into it but it wont hold, so I ride/walk the rest of the way.

Did I mention that everyone in the 30-39 field was on a Top Fuel.

And so goes the mtb season. Im thinking i might give this Cyclocross thing a real shot as its too hot to ride in August much anyways. Ive got motorcycle riding to get caught up on.