Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Friday, 29 September 2017

Fall Epic 8 Hour MTB Race - The Review...really

So, when we last left our hero...OK...likely more quasi-villian...

Anyways...I eventually got registered for the Fall 8...solo single speed.  Packed the truck, and Saturday headed up to Hardwood Hills north of Barrie.  Fig joined me for the ride...helped to keep me awake (especially for the drive home later in the day!!).

We get to Hardwood Ski & Bike, and pull up next to Team Colin's pit.  Colin had been questioning me all week about soloing an 8 hour.  Yup...this was his first 8 hour solo.  He was a tad concerned...but had no need to be.  Just go ride your bike for 8 hours.  Fun!!

I am sure he will soon write a blog about it.  (By the time you get to read this his blog post will be up...)  You will be able to find it at TeamColinBlog.  Don't worry it won't be small...it will be as Epic as the race...at least a kazillion words.  (Yes, kazillion is a thing...it is double a bazookillion...)  Colin's blogs are just like him...fun and full of larger than life personality!  In fact, here is a pic of him working on it...



  



Anyways...we go get registered...while talking to as many friends as possible along the way.

I get the bike ready...




I get the tent and pit set up...





Fig helped...





I did a super-heavy tape job on the thumb to give it the best chance to handle the next 8 hours on the bike....without bending in the wrong direction.

Then we headed down to the start paddock...where I tried to find a nicely shaded spot.  I did...trouble was, it was closer to the front than where I planned to start from.  I did not plan to really push the limits this race.  I was not in top form, and I was intent on not re-injuring the thumb...or ribs.  So, as I looked around at all the young, lean racers surrounding me, I kind of felt like this guy...






There were about 8000 racers all lined up behind me...ya...they'd all be passing me.

Anyways....at 10am sharp...we were off.  Into the heat (it was already near plus 40 with the humidity factor), the hills, the roots, rocks, double track and twisty single track....for the next 8 hours.

Easing into the first lap...and somewhere in the singletrack, there was Ted!  Ted of ApexRacePhotography, out there capturing pics of all the action.  I don't think I had seen Ted since the 24 hour race in June.  Ted and his crew got some great pics...as they always do.  If they can make me look good...they got some serious photo mojo goin' on!!

Here are a few of Apex's pics of moi...







For more pics of the race from Apex, click on the magic logo...




Actually...if you click on the magic logo, and hit plate number 79, you will see some great action shots of one of the nicest guys, and best mountain bikers I know surviving a grand fail.  Sorry Keith...  Lesson....never trust a photographer, other than to get all the action shots possible.

Some other highlights of the race for me...

JennKenn of Fatboy Nation cheering every lap.  Seriously, every lap!  Super motivational!  Thank you Jenn!  (As much motivation as possible required in the Saharan heat wave!)

Passed a couple of times by a specific team rider...the first time coming up behind me announcing, "Hey Solo....good to see you back at it!!" with a friendly pat on the back.  It was our own Sean Ruppel of SuperflyRacing!  Thank you Sean for the acknowledgement!

Passed by a team rider who announced his approach, very loudly, with, "Thumbs!!  Is that you, Thumbs!!??  About time you get back at it!!  Have a great race Riot!!"  It was the GreatCanadianSagle finishing off a very successful season (Having destroyed the O'Cups and Leadville! )  Thanks for the encouragement Ian!!

Playing tag out there with Raf, as we passed each other back and forth during the day...I was so groggy at one point I almost didn't notice...

Serious.  Ya that guy, Serious.  Also racing Solo Singlespeed...passed me.  One of the Solo Singlespeeders who would actually be in my age category, I tried to hang with him for the lap...and I did, for a while, even passed him on that long, double track hill in the middle of the course.  But I think he was rope-a-doping me...he eventually passed me back, and dropped me like a hot tomahawk.  He would beat my by one lap.  Great racing, Tom!

PinoyPedalPushers.  A group with such passion for this sport!!  They had at least 6 teams in this race...maybe more!!  A some of the friendliest people you will meet.  (Missed you there Robert!)  Their cheers at the start line were a encouraging push on every lap.  They even got a couple of pics for me...




One of the PPP team members came up behind me on a bit of tight, twisty singletrack, announcing he was there ready to pass when possible.  He soon asked again, "Can I get in, please?!"  I responded, "Yes, yes, as soon as I can!"  But, it must have come out much more aggressive than I intended...as he started apologizing immediately, so I apologized back.  As the course opened up enough for me to let him through we were still apologizing to each other.  It must have sounded like a rather Canadian debate...  Very sorry sir...I hope you had a great race!!  Always look forward to saying 'Hi' to the PinoyPedalPushers!!

I enjoyed the 'tech features' interspersed throughout the race.

The fast zippiness flowing through Coffee Run.

The fun of the Joyride section, would have been a good place for a photog.  However, I wish they had left the little jump in, leading into the section.

Hollering coming through the tunnel...alerting the nobody manning my solo pit that I was coming.  (Lois was absent, she was home taking care of sick cats...missed sharing the experience with her, although I am not sure she missed it so much.)

The sand of the Lookout corner...saw a few folks dump it there into the beach.




The energy suckage of the hill out of the solo pits...a nasty bit on the single speed...
There was a similarly nasty hill mid course...the one where I passed serious...(Sorry Tom, I had to mention that again...)

The fun of the BMX downhill loop to the finish ... where NeilTheIrish found the ideal spot for pic taking for Apex...




The watermelon through the transition zone...helped to beat the heat...

Missed Oggie, SingleSpeedSarah, dskunk, and NewfieSteve at this one.
Also...missed seeing Giant in the Solo cat...he was racing on a team!

I'm glad I had my pump on me...ended up loaning it out to two different people out on the course.  It may have even resulted in saving a podium spot for one team.  At least my pump made it on the podium.

Positive thoughts out to the young girl who was downed in the rooty section, being tended to by a group of folks including Spak, and (I think it was Todd??).  Great to see fellow MTBers looking out for each other.

In the end I got 12 laps in.  Not bad for the conditions, I guess.  That put me in 7th for Solo Singlespeed...




Solo Singlespeed is so competetive, given that there is no age category.  With the same effort on the same bike, I would have come in 4th in my age category, just behind Hal...who is a machine on any bike!  However, I enjoy the competition, and love riding the singlespeed for many reasons...so I will likely stay to the SS cat in the future.

And then there is AdamKingOfTheHill...16 laps...solo!!!  How is that even a thing??  Amazing!!  He beat most of the teams out there...alone!!  That is some impressive athletics, man!!

Me...I will shoot for 13 next time...OK...maybe even 14.  Maybe reach to keep up to serious, dskunk, or Sarah...worthy stretch goals to shoot for.

So...another excellent event promoted by PulseRacing....well done Glenn and team!!  Congrats to all competitors...especially podium finishers!

What will be next for me...I'm not even sure...just ride a bike...

Stay posted!


Yes...relax...it's over!!