After TSE I was smoked. Then I thought it was a good idea to add in two days of Motoing, 100+ miles per day. I was right, it was a good idea but the culmination of that 7 day block of activity ground me down to dirt! I spent the 5 days after that trying to recover.
However, that didn’t last long. A fellow LMC alumni Matt, “Buffalo Man” Clements, called me on Monday after TSE and told me about a MTB team relay race in West Virginia. The prize money was $1200 for the winning team, $500 for second, and $250 for 3. It didn’t take much persuasion to get me on board, though I did miss out on an apt to get my motorcycle license, oh well.
I loaded up everything! I was finally able to get my ghetto trailer plated and my orange machine was finally heading south to ultimately roost NC soil.
I made it to Frederick, MD on Friday night and hit the hay. We all woke up early Saturday morning to get the two hr drive over with. To my disappointment Jeremiah Bishop showed up with Cole Oberman in tow to form a team that would take the win. I am a big fan of competition, it’s what drives improvement and put people out of their comfort zone, but I just experienced racing 5 days of high tension, high stress, high anxiety racing at TSE. I was looking forward to a fun race and hopefully a decent check, that’s life though.
The format went like this: Two person team, each does a lap, hands off a baton then the next person completes a lap. This goes on until each team member completed 3 laps. The laps were 12 miles of good flowy single track with a mix of everything. The race was held at the Big Bear Lake Camplands, which I will definitely have to go to again.
Therefore, my sour face didn’t stay for long. After the start we entered some tight single track with small technical rock gardens scattered about, after TSE these things felt like pavement but it was still a little tricky at times. The trails kept you on your toes for the first, and second, lap. Between the rock gardens we were greeted with smooth single track that wove in between straight as arrow pine tree rows, a ripping fast 5min descent, and tight twisty busting tree bark sections. I even had the pleasure of jumping over a black snake, which I could have lived without doing.
After the first 3 miles I couldn’t hang with JB. The last weeks effort was still weighing me down and JB was flying after Marathon nats as well as peaking for marathon world champs. So after the first lap Buffalo man and I knew where we stood. We held off second place for the next lap and rode conservatively to finish the day 2nd, with no mechanicals on lap three.
I was bummed about 2nd but the amount of fun I had on the trails nullified that discontent. The free burrito and beer only help improve the good vibes.
I woke the next morning feeling the 3X1hr laps. However, that didn’t stop Buff and I from hitting an amazing donut shop in the AM. He showed me around downtown Frederick, which was a cool little place nestled in between Appalachian Valleys and bordered by the Appalachian Trail. Who knew western MD was so mountainous… We also passed Francis Scott Key’s grave (star spangled banner poet), pretty bad ass.
As much as I appreciate history I also appreciate a good Donut and the Fractured Prune didn’t disappoint. Buff was talking them up a lot so I had I expectations. They dropped the dough in right in front of you, then while they are still hot they coat them with the topping of your choice! #bombdotcom
Then satisfied and full we cruised home to where I loaded up and continued the journey south to Winston Salem.
I spent the last few days gardening and trying to relax. The upcoming Epic Rides Carson City race is going to be a tough one. 25mile gravel road climb off the start, which climbs from 4000+ feet to over 8000ft. I am hoping to hang on to the front group and let the single track sort things out from there. Regardless, it will be a fun trip. I haven’t seen some of my mountain bike friends in a long time and I am excited to catch up.