Ah September, summer comes to a close and the H2H race series kicks back into action. team darkhorse and many other brave souls crossed the hudson river on sunday for the latest race in the h2h series. august was basicly an off month for the series so the WMBA chainstretcher had everybody itching to get back into action.
they must put something special in the water over there, or maybe its the proximity to the nuclear plant but those boys seem to look at course design a little different then some of us! now dont get me wrong, i love blue mountain, ride there lots and think it is some of the best terrain around bar none. but these guys set about to make a it a day of pain and they accomplished it in spades. we all knew what we were in for from the course map. lots of singletrack, lots of climbing, lots of technical terrain, lots of rocks, lots of logs, and of course a big steaming plate of hurt!
i had done a roll call to the shop during the week and gotten a fairly reluctant head count. the usual suspects were in, but they also knew what they were in for. i had a hectic weekend ahead and let it be known that i may not be quite on form. word on the street had the smart money on me making it a no show! well fiddledy foo on you. sunday morning i was up early and out the door headed to westchester. i paid my due and spent a bit catching up with all the usual suspects.
then sent us foolish enough to take on the mountain with only one gear out with the 19-29 year olds. great, not only will i get run over by the guys in my class but also by a bunch of younger fitter guys on geared bikes! sweet! it seemed that most of us had the same idea and poked or way thru the chaos for the first couple miles. i managed to crash in the depew singletrack and basicly give myself a charlie horse in my right ass cheek. sweet! love that. so that made the first trot up neds all the better. i had been fearings neds. not sure why but that old bastard had me a little intimidated but after the first time up it wasnt as bad as i remembered. i was glad to hit the upper singletrack but thats where the course really grabbed you by the short ones and didnt let go its grip. stinger lived up to its name but i knew that i had tougher terrain to come. MFT, "my favorite trail", kicked my ass. i can only imagine the MFT stood for something a bit less friendly then "my favorite trail, or at least it did to me on sunday! first lap done i come up the road to see mr rave standing on the side of the trail. now this is a bad sign, mr rave is very fast so either he has lapped me and finished or something has gone terribly wrong. i give him a "what up?" and he lifts his decapitated reba from the ground. hmmmmm, he broke his fork off clean at the head tube, thats not good. day over for mike. major bummer. i hear a few hoots and hollars from the gallery and off i go for round 2. the depew singletrack is much better this time around with less traffic. able to make some time in there and feel reasonable but am definately on the edge. i catch up to tom rossi on neds and we share a moment of suffering as we push our bikes over the top. from then on out we rode with each other on lap 2. thanks go out to tom for pushing me along and sharing his water, of which i had run out. i had about a 1/5th of a bottle of sports drink but it seemed to only make my mouth more pasty. thanks also go out to whoever the spectator was who shared his water with me and the crazy sick dude on the cross bike who rode a bit of the 2nd lap with tom and i! big props go out to him! MFT proceded to kick my ass again and i was happy to turn down the road and head back toward the finish. about a mile or so from the finish on what is one of my favorite pieces of singletrack, 2 live crew, the bike started to get a little squirrelly and feel a bit off. now i was at this point completely blown and had cramped and was hovering in the danger zone. so at first i thought maybe i was just lossing it but oh no, my rear tire went flat! damn it! oh well. too blown to do anything about it and of course wasnt carrying anything to fix it with. rode it for a bit, ran thru the rocks, made it to the road to the finish, rode for a little and then said ah hell and ran it in to the finish! sweet sweet finish!
have no idea how long i was out there, 2 hours and something. collapsed on the ground for a bit, got some water in me and talked to some of the guys about there experience. i then saw the familiar colors of the horse coming up the road. georgie boy pulling thru to finish up. i gave him my best lisa woo howl to which he replied with the 1 finger salute! georgie had a fun time! he looked like i felt and i'm sure i looked worse!
well the chainstretcher is in the books. i didnt stick around to see the experts and pros. rumor has it that harlan came out and smoked it. that dude is from another planet.
next up in the h2h series is the town cycle race at jungle habitat.
next weekend is overlook bikes race at wilson state park in woodstock. if you can go up there and support those guys. a good bunch all of them!
if you havent gotten your "less epo more ipa " shirts yet email us! they are going fast! get in on the first run. 15.00 american dollars is all it takes!