Greetings!! Once again I headed south for a race in Mountain View, Arkansas known as Syllamos Revenge. This is a race that will test you as a mountain biker. The course will eat you alive if you show up unprepared or unaware of what you will find on the trail. Rocks and roots of all shapes and sizes and when wet, like it was this year, will show no you mercy. Leave your light tires at home kids!
I decided to race single speed this year for pretty much everything mountain bike because A: It's fun and B: should make me stronger for cx this coming fall. Win win!!
300 + lined up for the start. I spun my 32/19 gearing like crazy trying not loose spots before we get to the 1 mile climb that starts the race. The climb always spreads things out quick and I was able to get to the top of the climb with only 20 or 30 in front of me.
Now into the woods I quickly realized it was wetter than I had originally thought it was going to be. The rocks and roots were unbelievably slick. Several riders go down around me over the next few hundred yards. Because of this, things spread out really quick. I sat in my position for about 10 minutes before decided to starting moving up. I still wasn't feeling warmed up yet and wanted to go hard to get the stiffness out of my legs. By mile 5 I felt like I was starting to move and felt pretty good. As we approached one of the first super technical descents there were 3 guys in front of me. Since I was not sure if they were going to ride it I gave them 10 extra feet in front of me in case they slammed there brakes on at the last second. The first 2 guys drop in with out any issues. The 3rd guy, directly in front of me, his front tire slid out and he went off the trail grabbing a tree branch. I slid past him while he was still hanging from the tree branch. I noticed the 2 guys in front of me had dismounted for the next technical drop and they were now running with their bikes. Thinking I am a better bike rider than them I decided to ride this section too. Which I did, all the way to the scene of the crash...
I am not really sure what happend. What I do know is I crashed and it sucked. Got up and got moving quickly checking my bike over for damage and made sure I hadn't lost anything out of my jersey pockets. All seemed ok. The crash it self didn't really cost me any time. But the next hour I rode very timid, tight, and much slower over the technical sections. The wind was out of the sails...
After a while I seemed to be rolling pretty good again. I kept the calories going in and made sure to finish off each bottle before grabbing new ones at the check points to make sure my calorie intake was where it needed to be. I went back and forth with a couple of guys during the last couple hours of the race and was actually straight up sprinting with another SS rider on the final loop for about 5 miles trying to get him to crack. He won that race though as I had burnt my last few matches.
I crossed the line in 5 hours 28 minutes for 8th in SS and 23rd overall. Not a bad result but I know I can do better.
Up next is the Lumberjack 100 in northern Michigan. Then the ICC 9 hour the very next weekend.
I still need to do a write up for Cedarcross and Greensfelder too. Where is the humor in this post? If you get shot in the stomach, drink stans.
Eli finally gets a proper haircut, psuedo Mohawk
2 hours ago