Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gimme a Hell Yeah for Desiree White and Christine Edwards!

Dudes in this day and age always get shout outs and write ups and kudos. Well, the ladies need that too I feel so this is my shout out to two gals that kick ass and give me just that little bit more of drive to do what I do. One is my good friend Christine and my acquaintance from Oklahoma Desiree.

Christine has always had the bad ass gene in her. When she was younger she just started running and got to the point where marathons were kinda no big deal. That was shoved to the wayside and as of the last 2 years, maybe?, has got into crossfit.  That may not seem like much of a story, so hold on. A couple years ago she broke her elbow while partying. Really a friend of ours picked her up and she got dropped, but she didn't leave and cry,but continued to hang out and shred. Fast forward to right about the time I broke my hip in Jan 2014, Christine was in Turkey and in a freak accident fell broke her foot majorly and rebroke her elbow. So we kinda got to be in recovery mode together. During this time she had already been doing the cross fit thing and beginning to climb the latter until her accident happened. A couple months later she was finally able to start doing push ups again and started running. She would also sometimes shoot me awesome txts about her beginning to hang with some of the stronger chicas at the gym and out box jump and  burpee them.

Well back in April she sent me this email that I was totally stoked on it read...

I did my first legit crossfit competition yesterday and got 2nd! It was a fun competition for beginners who haven't really done competitions before. There was a novice division and an intermediate division and I got 2nd in the intermediate division. The woman that I lost to has been doing crossfit for a lot longer than me and done a lot of competitions and is way stronger than me....but I killed her on the longer endurance workouts. It was 6 workouts in total.

Anyway, I figured I'd let you know since you are always so supportive ! The guy who put on the competition said it was a lot of work and he was debating even doing it again next year and then he saw me drink beer out of my trophy and said the hassles were all worthwhile, haha! 🏆

 Along with this was podium pics and her beer chugging out of her trophy! Oh, and Christine, you have been the supportive one :).

F-yeah lady, and keep killing it! Its funny what the body can do and recover from in a year. Its not always in the body, but whats in the mind that pushes us.

 So next is Desiree. I first met her at Gravel Worlds last year. She was racing the Ladies Masters Category, but you would have never known she was old enough. She is totally rad in a bunch of ways. As far as her history I don't have much to go on other than I think she may have been a tri-athlete. Desiree don't worry I will forgive you for peeing on your saddle and getting caught up in that malarkey. Anyways, she transitioned to gravel at some point, and at GWs last year she mentioned a SS O.R.B. that she rides. I didn't pry too much but just took it as she may dable in the one speed off road biking. Desiree also has the the most bubbly giggly laugh and the cutest pig tails, along with the best smile!

Months later I run into my friend Brandon from Oklahoma the Friday night before Ouchita Challenge in Oden, AR. And who of all people pedals up, but Desiree White who is buddies with Brandon and rode up there with him! Ends up she doesn't just dable in one geared bikies, but races and crushes souls on them! Again with the exclamation mark!!!!! She ended up killing Ouchita Challenge on her one speed, by the way. She also called me out on my cold chicken skin legs at the start, haha.

When I got back to STL I told Kate my lady friend at the time "If Desiree wasn't spoken for and if we weren't dating, I would so fire on her!" I seem to recall Kate agreeing with me in this sentiment. She didn't slap me anyhow or make me sleep on the couch.
Just as of recently after signing up for GWs I saw Desiree's name on the roster. So I did some internet stalking to see what she was up to. I found nothing really, but some photos. Nothing incriminating, but just to prove she rocks!

One is of her and her man. I feel its what I may look like when I am older. It also gives me ultimate hope that I'm gonna end up with the most righteous babe. Two is of her tearin' it up on a SS CX bike with a great smile. Three, her in SSAT(single speed areo tuck) on her ORB.

 Desiree, I hope you don't find this shout out creepy. I just have mad respect for ya lady and hope you continue to kill it for many a years. Keep the smile, and keep the faith.

Party hardy ladies and have a good one!


Lets just go for a pedal and get some sleep

So first off, last Thursday was Week 3 of the Dirt Crits. I was feeling better than the previous week, but not 100%. The power was there, but come this time of the summer my nerves become shot and need some chill time. So from a outsiders perspective my handling and riding may seem awesome, but I can sense doubt in my skillaz. Example, every lap of the the DCs last Thurs. I was slowing way down on all the turns, and didn't have that flow. I just had a paranoia that I was gonna wash out so I took the turns way slower than usual plus the overshooting of turns that even my friend Sam was heckling me for first lap. Its nothing I'm gonna be hard on myself for. I still won the race on my rigid SS BOCOMO so I'm totally psyched. Its just something I need to understand and be aware of. In the quest for greater speeds its important to understand that handling is just as important as power as to strength(yes, power and strength are two different entities) as to nutrition as to strategy. If your feeling anxious, then its probably time you chill. Nuff said.
Just a BOCOMO pic
Mark "Monk" Sticka  representin'

Sam up front and Ian from Team Noah in pursuit

Bob and I DESTROYING the rest of the field!


Then there was Friday. Work, Team Noah meeting, and then hang out firepit sesh at Coach's place. Which was B.A. cuz I got some Mona time in. Mona is Coach's puppy and she is cuuuute! I gave her some treats and things were good.

Saturday, I met up with some folks and did a small group ride. I knew it would be a bit slower paced so I rode my new/old bike "Deth March". Its the early 90's 26er Raleigh Technium that a customer donated to the shop cuz it was gonna cost too much to repair. I quickly adopted it and converted it to SS with a knee blowingly big gear, and put fat donated hybrid tires on it. I will get a pic up soon of it, since its my new toy that I'm excited about. You see, unlike some folks, I get stoked on how little money something cost me and not how much money something cost me. "Deth March" was absolutely free! And have a incling that this turd may just be my new secret weapon for training. I guess thats not a secret now, well you guys can suck it!

Back to the ride, it started at Spoked down on Cherokee St and rode out to the county and past Babler State Park. Then back through Kirkwood and back to the south side. I got separated from the group because of stopping to chat with the Flannigans at there new shop Trail Head Bikes. I then spent almost the remainder of the ride playing catch up which most would agree sucks, but I found it pretty sick. Turning lemons to lemonade is my way. I'm gonna throw a shout out to Cassie for the play by play txts giving me intersections that I had to go hunt down. At the end i had done roughly 80miles on a soul crusher of a bike.

I was gonna go meet up with friends but rested up for the rest of the night instead. I'll be straight. I was burnt up, but in a good way. Plus, i wanted some recovery for the race Sunday morn.

So Sunday was supposed to be the Rockbridge ORB race in COMO. I was super pumped given everybody that was gonna be there is awesome! But.... it got postponed due to rain that morn. I went back to sleep and slept till 1:30. I didn't sweat it. I figure if your sleeping and dreaming with wreckless abandon, your body probably really needs the rest.

I get up do some stupid house chores, and then hop on the purple Nature Boy. The goal was to do most of the Noah memorial route before dark. Well I got 20 miles out and flatted. Guess what, my spare tube also had a hole in it. I managed to get gorilla tape to hold "kinda" for about 5 miles back to University city where I then rode the remainding mile on the rim. I got to Big Fish just after close, but with all the luck Coach sees me and lets in to get and replace my tube. Thanks dude!

Back on my bike I ride out into Kirkwood area and then back to the southside again. Ending mileage just under 60. Less than planned, but more than expected.

This whole week now is dedicated to chill out mode. Single Speed Kansas City is Saturday and I kinda want to crush it! Or Destroy it! Or maybe even Kill It! Either which way I want to make my competition hurt and I expect them to do the same to me.

Now I'm gonna get outta here and go to a punk show my friends are putting on in a shady part of town down by the river. And with that I will leave you with some punk music to get us all wound up!

Bad Religion "Give You Nothing"


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lets just pour more gas on the fire

The last two weekends and week in between have been hella crazy. It was one of those weeks that I question my own sanity and human physiology. As in  "how can the human body do what it does?" and "how can the human body be so strong sometimes, yet so weak other times?"  I personally don't really know! I know what I have been doing since the beginning of the year such as base mile training and nutrition, and then as of fairly recently tossing in the mix of hi intensity stuff. But still I don't get it?! I constantly ache and feel drained of all mojo, and often times so mentally wrecked out that even simple tasks of doing laundry or eating cereal or just talking coherently proves strangely difficult.  And yet I show up to a race and my body just finds some magic button to push that allows nothing but go go go go go go. That being said, here is a quick recap on the last week and a half

Two weeks ago I was in the Black hills of South Dakota racing Tatanka 100. The course was brutal, at 5,000 ft elevation, and a long drive. All things that in combination will wreck a doood out. Zoll and I drive home after the race, but both of us are so burnt up that it takes 19 hrs to get home opposed to 13/14 hrs.

I drag through work Mon, Tues, Wed, but keep screwing things up due to mental and physical fatigue. Think 1 step forward 4 steps back. Come Thurs I make the executive decision to take the day off and legit sleep in and just chill out until I had to leave for the Dirt Crits at 4:30pm. I show up late, get no pre-ride in and no test ride of the new course chicane that was set up to thin the start of the field down. With the way I was feeling(even though everybody thought I was lying) I really didn't expect the race I had. However, it is worth noting, that even though I did end up laying the smack down I my body felt awful the whole time doing it. Was really a mental fight to override what the legs and lungs were telling me, and then the mental system began to falter and it was then just a fight to stay on the trail and not lose 1st or wreck out.
Was not without repercussion, but secured 1st.,
 Then Friday rolls around, and I make to work and actually don't feel to slothful and surprisingly get stuff done. Fri night my friend Jesse was having her new flower shop opening. There were a bunch of rowdy dirtbags there like me and much beer and whiskey was consumed. 11:30 approaches and I hi-tail it out to get some sleep. I have a big training ride in the morn.

Sat morning alarm blasts pop music at 5:30am. The day is a planned long cx bike sit in the saddle kinda day. Training day for the upcoming Gravel World Aug 22. I rode out from the city to Lost Valley where I met up with Lindsey, Maria, Baby J., and SS Sam to do a bi-fect. Which for anybody that doesn't know a bi-fecta is riding Lost Valley and then connecting over to Matson Hill via the Katy Trail. Its roughly about 30-35miles with 20-25 of those miles being single track mtb trails. I rode all of it on my cx bike. So now that thats been done, I now know I can always throw a bi-fecta in for extra, well, you know....     After the pit stop at Lindsey's apt complex pool in Kirkwood. I ended the day with 120 miles of cx bike fun. I was so smashed, but knew Leadbelt XC was the next day. So I rallied and got my bike and gear together best I could for Sunday, and hit the hay. It was 11pm by the time I got to sleep.

Waking up at 6:30 am Sunday morn was crazy hard. It was the first time in a while that I contemplated bailing on a race. The problem is that it was Mark Grumpke's race and I love that guy. So I had a social obligation to show up and support Mark. Ian my team mate picked me up and we motor down to St Joe State Park. Get ready and race.

 Off the start my legs actually have pop to 'em. I'm 4th going into the woods with a gap on the rest of the field. I manage to hold on to E. Pirtle, Clayton, and Turbo for about 1.5miles. My heart no longer had the elasticity and my legs were quickly overflowing with lactic acid. I knew it was in my best interest to lay off the gas and go into chill mode. The remainder of the 7.5 mile lap was a struggle for recovery. Ian caught up to me and we rode the rest of the race together using each other as motivation. 2nd and 3rd laps my body got warmed up and Ian and I were really lighting up the trail. I ended up 6th and Ian 7th. We were both just out of sight of Matt Twedt and Karl Stover. That made me hella stoked when I saw the finish times and saw where they finished. So even when I'm totally cooked from heavy training/racing I guess I'm still a threat!

6th in Cat 1 on a ss, I'm cool with that.

style is everything, haha.

The way home we got Mex food. The body just inhaled it. I usually never treat myself to dining out, but the body was ravenous and La Pachanga was calling with their chips n salsa and lime water.

Now is Wednesday, it must have been the mexy food, but I feel pretty good. My stair test at the Trek Store proves I'm recovering well. However, my knees feel a little wobbly and loose. So once again we shall see how the Dirt Crits tomorrow night and the Show Me State Game on Sunday go. Its always just a matter of time before total collapse, right. Also, I don't like counting my chicks before they're hatched, so I'm not gonna assume a victory for either race. If I simply make a few others have to scramble and dive in deep into their own personal pain cave then my job will be done.



Friday, July 17, 2015

Party Song of the Day, and Happy Friday. Lets get ready to RAGE!!!!

So I was going through a heavy AC/DC Highway to Hell spurt where I think I listened to that album 50 + times in the last month. Now, I just dug out my DEVO cd and have been burnin it out in the same fashion.

So here's DEVO with a live version of "Uncontrolable Urge" from 1980 i think.

Have a blast this weekend everybody and don't ever fight your urge to get wild.


Dirt Crits week 2

Last night was week 2 of our local series of Dirt Crits. They're bad ass and super fun. I've been doin' them for years now and they have been around in some incarnation for twice that time. For a full reason why I like em so much read this. Otherwise it was just another great night of short track racin' on off road bikes on a beautiful thurs night. Thanks 2Timing Guys, Swim Bike Run, and Trail Net for a great evening.

Last night also got me my second 1st place DC win of the 2015 series. FYI, I race a rigid ss against almost all geared dooods. In 2013 I won the series overall. Lets see if I can continue to smash 'em up.

Me, Ian my team mate, and the infamous Bob Arnold.
Rumor has it I now hold fastest lap time on this course. OOOWEEE!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tatanka 100 2015. A real ball buster.

So Zoll and I make it to Sturgis,SD for Tatanka 100. After a roller coaster of deciding I was going to this race, then not going, and then to going again. It was pleasant to finally hit the runway after all the turbulence and begin to chill. It was also satisfying to know I was trusting my intuition. Something that I have been putting more and more blind faith in as of late.

We didn't leave STL till about 8:30 Thursday night. I insisted that my copilot catch some ZZZZ's for awhile in the back of the van while I cover some ground. With no twisting of arms he gladly accepted and passed out. Middle of the night I get the sleepys and we trade. As long as you trust yer driver there is no other way to travel to a race. A little out from Wall Drug we stop for gas. We see a dino and make good use of it.

Hit the road and make one last crucial stop for donuts at Wall Drug. For those that don't know Wall Drug has some of the best tasting donuts. The variety is slim, and the price is about $.50 more than I usually like to pay, but the flavor is well worth it. As because of volume of customers the donuts are always hella fresh and warm. A must for any donut connoisseur. I also made use of the penny smasher with a Mt Rushmore and Badlands smash.

Back on the road and then back off the road we get to Sturgis. We drive first to the Knuckle Saloon that is hosting packet pick up and rider meeting. Dudes, so as a side note, this place is a monolith biker saloon. The place is huge and ready for wild. With the hopes that packets just maybe ready for pickup we go inside and take a looksee. To our dismay there is nothing, nadda. The dood at the bar says not till 4pm, ugh. We leave and go hunt for the city park. We have trouble finding the city park due to dumb GOOGLE and have to ask for directions. Good deal this motorbike meca is hella small. We drive across town and boom there it is. Get a idea what the finish will be like and where the early morn shuttle service will be. We now commence to go for a pedal. We park over at Ft Meade and get kitted up and hit the trail "for a soft pedal" I tell Zoll. Within a mile of mashing up some rooty rocky punchy climbs I hear "Soft pedal, huh?"  I guess the terrain was already foreshadowing a difficulty level of "difficult" for the next day. We hop on some gravel and then hop back on the last portion of single track that will end the race, and then back to the van.

Now keep in mind our first plan was to get to town early. Take care of business i.e. packets, pre-ride, and dinner all early so we could get to sleep then hella early. Knowing that we had to be at the shuttle to Mt Rushmore at 5am Sat morn. So far we are getting a wrench in the gears, so moving on.

We look at the clock and we still have a bunch of hours to kill. Plus we had a time change so we gain a hour. Damn. We also knew there was a free pasta dinner that we wanted to hold out for but hell we are active doods. We want food! We go back to the Knuckle and check to see if packets are ready? Nope, so we leave to search for food.

Now when I go outta town to a race, its not that I don't want to give the hosting venue/sponsor of the race my business, but I like to know what my options are. Plus in my experience at biker bars the staff sometimes I feel has this air of entitlement which turns me off. And we wanted pizza. Now the Knuckle has 'za, but in both of Zoll and I's experience you can't always expect the best from a biker bar that sells alot of bar food to have good 'za. So we search out our options for pie in Sturgis figuring we have time to kill. As we wander we look through some t-shirts on a sidewalk rack. I pull out a great 2014 Biker week purple tee that has a freakin rad 80s skatepunk vibe to it, but with motorcycle shit on it. I never get souvenirs, cuz i'm always to cheap, but the shirt was $5 so decide to splurge. Moments later Zoll exclaims that I truly did get the best shirt on the rack, and in the city. So I then felt good about my purchase. Back on the hunt for food we come to the conclusion that we are just freaking starving and that we might as well just go back to the Knuckle and try their 'za.

Back to the saloon and we sit down. Prompt service is given to us by cute Kimber. We order our veggie pie and easily get talked into a beer. Oh, the Knuckle is also a brewery. Outta the stout, so I get their porter, thank you. Pie arrives and we scarf it down. Dang that was good! Shoulda just come here in the first place. We are asked if we want another beer? Sure! Hmm, the Knuckle ain't too bad, and through the whole night there was no feeling of entitlement. Good to know!

Time is now packet pickup time. Are they ready? Nope! So we chill for longer, as Todd one of the promoters helps get the girls ready for check in. As we wait, another beer is purchased from cute Kimber. She says "I thought you guys had a race tomorrow?" Uh yeah we do Kimber, but things are taking some time out there buddy. It all really reminded me of back when I was playing in bands. The more time we had to kill before our set the more we would drink. In this case it was bringing back pre show anxiety so I reverted back to old habits. Not always good, but in the end it didn't affect anything.

Finally we get packets, and 30 min later pasta dinner is served. Some cover band was playing and in my early stages of inhibition I talk shit on them covering the song "Breakfast at Tiffiny's" one of the worst 90's songs of all time. Finally around 6 or maybe it was 7(forgot to mention our clocks were all mest up from the time change, so on hindsite time became questionable) the racer meeting gets started. Doods, don't you know we have to get up ass early to be at the shuttle?!?!?!  At some point a fourth beer is actually relieved from our lovely barmaid and consumed. This is usually out of character for pre race hydration, but I couldn't stop. Meeting ends and we go looking for a place to stealth camp.

Seems like it was 10pm by the time we got all situated at Hog Heaven Campground, and 10:30 by the time we actually laid down.  That gave us approximately 6 hrs of sleep if all goes well. Keep in mind our phones were both all screwy(don't ask) so being late to the shuttle was a non option. I set my alarm way early to avoid a oversleep which gave me 5hrs of slumberness.

Beep beep beep beep beep beep, hit snooze. And phone battery dies.

Get up a hour later after doing the time math and looking out to see if any other Tatanka riders were getting up. They are. Hit the bathroom and actually have a pre race hot shower. Now this is livin' man. Get back to camp and pack up and head to the city park for shuttle service to Mt Rushmore.

City park I see the originaly gangstar Ernesto Marenchin and his wife Jenny.  We get a early morning twilight photo of two crazy bearded guys. Its awesome and then we get on the shuttle buses to head to the start.

I don't mind bus rides but early morning bus rides are the pits for me. So about 45mins into the 1hr ride to Mt Rushmore both my bladder and my colon start screaming at me. Its not good cuz when I have to go I have to go. By some stroke of luck I'm actually able to get the goods to stay inside until the we were able to get off the bus. Oh, and I think the driver knew this, cuz he kept driving real slow and when we got to the park he tried to pull through the car and small truck archway when there was another archway to the very right that clearly read "Buses/RVs". What a jerk.

Off load the bus, and offload the colon. Just the way I like it.
We started here!
 Grab our bikes and line up its go time. We ride pavement for a few miles of up and down. On the first of the downs my wheels just want to go so I pass everybody on the left and put a gap on them using my S.S.A.T. and try to hook up to the pace vehicle. I almost get it but they motor on up and drop me. That night Tyler who got 3rd SS made mention of the guy in full aero tuck drafting off the park ranger vehicle. I gladly took credit for it, and he laughed.

So I did not make the hole shot. I kinda wasn't expecting to, but just wanted to stay up front for as long as possible. I had one major thing shutting me down, and I knew it and could feel it. Elevation.
I'm from St Louis,MO which is at about 550ft elev. The start of the race leaving the monument is at 5,600ft elev. Anybody got any extra red blood cells they can hook a brother up with, didn't think so. I get swallowed up by the pack just before the single track. We descend a  slightly tech down hill and get out into some flat with a shallow up and back into tech trail. I know the elev is giving me gut punches cuz I'm watching the lead group walk away from me and there was nothing I could do. I actually had the exact same thing happen at True Grit in March when me and all the SSers road off the front and then I seemingly went backwards as I watched them effortlessly ride away from me, Uhg again.

Now into a 7 mile climb(you mean hike a bike?). This thing was the kinda a climb that was 50% mash 50% push yer freakin bike. This climb was also the widow maker of the race. The Soul crusher, forcing many a weak rider to throw in the towel. Me? I knew it was just par for the course. So now having my elev handicap dictate my race I decided upon the game plan of "Slow is Fast". I cut the engines and put everything on cruise control. Gladly hoofing my bike and keeping the heart rate low low low, or low relatively speaking considering I was still blown outta my gourd from the start!

A good chunk of SSers and Geared riders passed me including the infamous Rogo-a-Gogo. I jumped on his wheel and rode with him all the way to the first aid station. At one point during the long tech back side descent of the 7mile climb I see Rogo do something funny? A moment later I do the same. Later I told him I saw what he did and when I hit the tech rocky drop that I did the same. We had both puckered our ass holes. At the first aid  he stopped to refuel. I boogie on and hit a gnar road down hill that gave me the much needed recovery to tackle the upcoming slow grind of double track into praire land.

Grind grind grind.

So one thing I haven't mentioned yet is that of all of the NUE races Dwayne and I always considered Tatanka to be one of our friend AJ Linnel's races. He always smashed it and in tribute to him I wanted to smash it too. Also, in previous post I've made no reservations in talking about how I felt AJ was riding with me in spirit. Well for Tatanka 100 I made for damn sure I was going to ride in AJ spirit. I also called upon him for strength, safety and guidance. Whether it was that extra drive to keep pushing my bike when I wanted to stop for a second or looking up just as I was about to overshoot a turn. Either way I don't think, but know he was out there with me doing what he could. In a strange way, I kind of wonder if he was the one giving me the push to go do Tatanka in the first place. This last thing that really made me wonder, and will probably make everybody think I'm just going cookoo is that in that prairie portion of the Centennial Trail I swear to god I saw a apparition of AJ cruisin' on his bike 20 ft in ahead. He turned around at me riding one handed and nodded his head forward as in saying "Come on Peat, lets go shred!", and then smiled. I pretty much shredded both the trail and my body the whole rest of the race constantly going from 100% bonk out to 100% power. Never had I had that much clash between ups and downs.

Ok, so I'm now going into Soul crush mode. Rogo catches up and we roll for a while together. Its fun. We then spot a SSer. I've tried to keep tabs on who is in front of me and gather its this doood and  then Tyler who is on a Ti Kona in front of him. He is off on the side of the double track and I give a dig to get up and around him as he is getting back on and starting to pedal. I ask if there is a dood on a Ti ss frame up ahead and says "yeah, about 2 minutes up." Well, a 2min gap ahead if both riders are pretty equally fit can take awhile to close. I think it was like about 45mins before I finally caught Tyler on one of the many brutal four wheeling trails, but will get to that in a min. Rogo and I walk away from this dude as he seemed already in the pain cave sum 25 miles into the race.

We roll into aid 2 and Rogo makes short use of, and hi tails it. I had been battling a noisy chain and knew lube was the ticket. This race along with crazy amounts of rocks and gnar, also had abunch of mud holes and water crossings. So just like a sex fiend in a frenzie, my modo is always lube often, lube plenty. To prevent drivetrain failure of course. I jet in hopes of catching back on to Rogo, but never see him again. Its ok, we're friends.

Finally about 40/50 miles in I make contact with Tyler Huber. For some reason ever since Ouchita Challenge I've been doing this thing where as soon as I confirm a visual on a target I go into chill mode, recover, and then attack.  I always expect to hang back for longer than what I actually do and then am all of a sudden on my preys ass like flies on shit. It was a bunch of technical 4x4 trails that encouraged much hike a bike and little pedaling when I caught him. I was blown up, but he more so. I tried to make simple conversation, and mentioned how I was happy I chose to ride the rigid fork over ol' reba. He really thought I was just being silly, until I mentioned how rad it was with all the bike pushing. We then get to a point were we remount and pedal. I ask how he's doin and says how he's hurtin. I tell 'em "don't blow up to much. you got some fast doods that maybe coming up behind ya." and mention Ernie and to watch out. I found out later that Ernie did infact catch Tyler and was then in 3rd, but unfortunately made a wrong turn going off course and ended up still holding onto 4th.

Just as I said though, I was stoked I used the rigid fork. Because as soon as we were back on our bikes I just walked away from Tyler and never saw him til the finish line. Sorry com padre, nothing personal.

From here on I spent the remainder of the race riding with myself. I was rather ok with it. At one moment when I got to one of the tallest most scenic vistas I took a moment to just enjoy the view. After all, life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around you could miss it. I also wanted to chat with AJ. To tell him I knew he was out there and thanks for hangin with me and being a rad dude. After, making this my last designated breather, it was time to hi tail it to the finish.

The remaining 20 miles was some of the most trying miles I've put myself thru in a long while. I was now going into deth march mode, but for some reason was able to find that magic mental over ride that so many endurance athletes search for.  My muscles have been cramping out alot lately so that was becoming a stark reality at this point of the race. I still have a pain in my right calf from this stage of Tatanka where my cramping calf locked up when I was throwing my leg over my bike to remount. I had to stand there with my foot pointing down and force my toes on the ground until my heel hit unlocking my calf muscle. It was bad, and that one step away from destruction. I also kept getting crazy highs and lows of power, kinda like when yer car is runnin out a gas or the filter is clogged. You go for a little bit, but then no power. Get some gas, and then stall. Just like that. On hindsite, my mind is still blown I made it through the race like I did.

So here's another slightly aggravating thing. At aid 3 one of the volunteers told me I was 1st SS. Also, I had not seen any others at the start, or during the race so I believed this as truth. Then just as I was about 1.5 miles from aid 4 a older geared rider pulled up on me just before the first of the gnar river crossings. He got in front of me and as I rode his wheel I asked if he saw any SSers behind that may be gaining? He responded with a "NO", "but there is a guy on a black ss up ahead" and that he had been in the top 5 and thats how he knew this. I wasn't sure who that could be, but then was reassured that he was crazy when I was exiting the woods and Ryan O'Dell  the NUE series promoter was standing there saying I was 1st SS. Ooops! Honest mistake I know, no harm no foul.

I make quick work of the aid station and boogie on out. 12 miles to go, this is less than my bike commute to work. Doesn't mean that it was easy. I continue to drive thru the cramps, bonks, blow ups, physical shut down. All in all I was really beginning to crack up, and all I could do is fly in low and  tell my self to just keep pedaling or pushing no matter how slow, but just keep moving and don't stop "muther fucker". Yeah I curse to myself  alot during a race.

The course then gets to just a scorching down hill, now my only thought is ride safe don't wreck.The trail then gets back into winding flowing single track where I get my last wind and really somehow shred my ass off. Thinking how are my arms still holding me up after all the pummeling I have put 'em thru. The shred fest continues and I roll with it, finding body english I didn't know I had and mental awareness that I thought was long gone. Funny how the end of a race gives you that last umf of strength.

So now I'm like 5 miles out. Sturgis is actually sometimes in view, but I have some good punchy climbs left along with some grinder with in a field section. Just as I was exiting the woods there was this crazzzzzy long fast field descent that was super mellow. I swore that it was AJ's last push cuz I wasn't pedaling and still holding well over 20mph on this prairie single track, but later was confirmed that everybody had the same experience.

Under the Highway 90 bridge I go and into the grinder field section. I'm like 3.5miles out and the course is directed off of the Centennial trail and onto a connecter trail of sorts and up hill to boot. At the turn there was a saw horse with arrows and signage saying to go left so I go left. About a 1/4 of the way up before the hill crests, the same "crazy" old doood that said there was one SSer ahead of me, come ripping down the trail. He is slowing and saying something about "I don't know why they took us off 89?"  89 is the same as Centennial Trail. This is the funny part and sometimes sad part of ultra endurance racing. So he is almost to a stop as he is coming towards me and catches a deep rut off to my right. He then at a dead stop topples over rolling in front of me due to not being able to unclip. Yes, I watched this doood fall over. I just kept moving and rode around him asking if he was ok. He said "I'm fine" so I didn't stop. Haha. I'm still chuckling at it now just because of how wrecked he was and how I felt and how bad of a deth march I was pushing thru also, plus how he was totally paranoid that he made a wrong turn and lost abunch of time and over all placing because he didn't trust his own judgement. Thats what happens tho in these races. The mind gets funny.

He eventually fades from view and I get on to familiar trail that Zoll and I rode yesterday. I get out to Ft Meade which is within a mile of the finish. I get on the bike path and immediately start getting vicious cramps from my hips down. Almost to the point that it was shutting me down. The only thing I could do was push through and breath deep. I looked at my bike computer and made sure to hold 14mph til the entrance of the stadium. That may not seem fast, but keep in mind I'm on a SS and on flat ground and not even fighting off the cramps anymore, but just hoping that the shear act of leg movement keeps the lock ups from taking hold.

I pull into the fencing and and have only about 50 yards left. One last solid push and I get through the finish line. I can barely even get to a shady spot to lay down, my legs are wrecked and about to give out on me. I find a spot and pull everything out of my pockets and lay down. I was done tho. I deed it! I couldn't move, but mission was accomplished. I was still unsure if I was 1st or 2nd SS, but it kind of didn't matter. My goal leaving STL was to secure a 2nd and icing on the cake would have been a numero uno. Victory was mine. Now at this moment I wasn't thinking any of this. I was more like "holy shit man" "whudge u do?"  To say I was thoroughly wrecked would be a understatement. I was wasted pile of flesh laying on the ground as little kiddos rode their bikes around me. Tatanka 100 wasn't a true hundo, but sometimes if your finishing time and your body feels like you rode a hundo off road than thats all that matters.

I later found out that I was 2nd SS with a time of 8:37, and 9th overall. My time was right in the middle of my predicted finish time of 8:30-45 so that was my realistic goal achieved. Also, Richie Trent who was 1st SS came in at 8:01 which is totally rad. Tyler Huber came in about 13mins after me in 8:50 and secured 3rd. Ernesto, as mentioned earlier, had made a wrong turn after passing Tyler with in the last 12 miles. He still clung to 4th even though he had the miss fortune of the wrong turn and he got heat exhaustion and had a moment of puking. Damn, but nice f-ing work Ernie!

I also found out later that I had the stiffest of ss gears out there on course. I was rockin 38/22, which I didn't think was that bad considering how spun out I was at Lumberjack. On hindsight, I guess it was a big gear for Tatanka. With playing the What If? game, what would have happened with my power and a easier gear? Could I have closed that 36 min gap on Richie? Probably not. I think a lack of red blood cells was the deciding factor on that so really my gear was probably perfect.  

While I was laying in the grass Rogo was able to walk over to me(like a zombie I might add) and  we shared accolades. I later found out that when he went back to his motel room to change out and get his meal ticket, he was still cramping out so bad that he couldn't get his socks off, haha. Dude, I've been there before and thats why I laugh. Rogo also put 10 min on me from the moment we parted ways at aid 2. Nice work dude!

Zoll finally rolled in at 11:29 minutes, about 2hr 47min after me. If I thought I was shelled, he took the cake. But in classic Zoll fashion within minutes of his finish his name was called for the raffle and went up and won a brand new Lauf carbon fork.

In the end the race ended up being a major soul crusher in the best of ways. Putting many people who have dabble in the NUE series in over their head, and then just straight out pushing experienced riders past their threshold and showing them their new found limits. I give Tatanka 100 a bad ass race award and totally recommend it if you think yer tuff enuf to "Ride the Bull".  With the rigid fork and trusty Ergon bar ends I truly felt like I was "Riding the Bull'' the whole day just barely holding on. The 2nd place mug was rad, but a little bit of payout would have been cool too. After all it specifically said 4-10 riders per category, payout 1 deep. And, SS only had 9 in the category so I can't complain. Just saying $50 woulda been nice too, but ain't no thang in the long run.

That being said I want to give a special shout out to a few folk that actually made this happen for me.
-Zoll for making the last minute decision to race and drive to Sturgis with me . Plus 2 nights of 'za!
 -Christine, my sister Sue, and  Super Kate for all chipping in just a little bit to get me to and from Tatanka. And Christine thanks for all the snacks. They came in handy! In my belly.

Thanks ladies and gents. It means more than you know. Also, thanks for trusting in me to go out and crush yet another race. Much love to all of ya's.

Lastly, I have some more photos that should be rollin in soon just to give some more eye candy.





Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Shit or get off the pot. I guess I'm going to Tatanka.

I say it constantly "Life is crazy!", but for some reason it just never gets old. Well I guess some stuff does, but drastic turns of events I mean. When I wrote the crybaby post about going to Tatanka 100 I was seriously being torn between my gut feeling telling me to, but then some other outside force(as in bills, van transmission oil changes, and just paying for travel) screaming NO! It was a tough call. As of  last Friday I had thrown in towel for Tatanka even though my heart was still beating and kicking. 

So I decided I was going to party the weekend away and rage.  Blondie, who just turned 70 freakin' years old, was playing for free in Forest Park for Fair St Louis so that was my first step. Side note, she is still pretty great for a old Blondie! Next was old friends Bassamp n' Dano playing down at the Schlafly Tap room with our other friends in the band TOK. It too was pretty jammin. Not to mention, my boy Tracey M. dang near killed me by buying me a crazy amount of drinks. Next was a house party at T. Hills place. It once again was a allstar group of degenerates with shot gunnings of beer and reprimand for being messy. Things began to rage when I got there and only escalated. I estimate it was about 5 when I got home and don't remember the pedal time. I recon it was about 5am cuz I was told later that T. Hill was kicking folks out about 4:30.

Friday night complete!

I wake Saturday and drag thru doing house stuff and then pass out again. I rally to get my self up and head over to yet another free party. This time its under the soon to be destroyed Kingshighway bridge in south city. A handful of years ago the local skaterboarders built a skate park under the bridge and the city allowed it cuz the bridge was set for demolition in a few years anyway.

So what better to do than throw a going away party for the skate park on 4th of JULY. It was wreckless abandon at its finest and I relished in every moment.  Fireworks, rowdy people, skateboards, bbq, beer, bigger fireworks, punk bands, fire, shred sessions and naked dudes and chicas. Words and pics don't describe it accurately, but lets just say I feel bad for the the folks next to me who got my blown mind splattered all over them. Don't worry I survived! It was also here that my friend Christine who does ok for herself offered me some travel cash to get to Tatanka. She's rad, and always has my back and is one of those peeps in my life that I can't believe I know.

At night fall I boogied my butt on my new old bike DM(deth march), thats a old Raleigh Technium 26er mtb from the early 90's, down to the further south side. While en route I found more friends and fireworks at A&M Bikes on Morgan Ford. I was greeted with loving Carl and Steven giving me strength replenishing food and fireworks. Unfortunately all good things come to a end and I had to move to meet up with more folks just up the street at Lil' Fast Eddies aka Stella Blues. I was given a beer, a chicken wing, and fries were shared with me along with more great company. Time was still of the essence and I still had to make it further south. Brizone my old roomy joined me down to Jeff and Jess' house for a 4th of JULY bbq. This was more of a nightcap. I drank a qt of half melted Haagan Dazs ice cream and mingled. The witching hour came and went and bed was calling. After all I had the Noah Goscinski Memorial ride to be at at 7am.

Out go the lights, on come the lights. Getting up to pop music was a struggle but I knew the fun of riding a hundo on the road with 40+ awesome folk would revive me. It wasn't until I pounded the Mountain Dew Kickstart close to 30 miles in did I get that rev. I don't recommend the lemonade version.

During the ride while talking to Dwayne and him telling me I had to go, did I realize Tatanka was in my destiny for better or for worse. Dwayne was the deciding factor to make the push whether I was alone or not on my quest. Planning was back on the table. The end of the ride had me filled with a strange euphoria. A mix of being ramped up on the Noah ride, going to Tatanka, and just hanging out with rad bike rider folks, not to mention still coming off the high from the skate park bbq/party. All other problems were melting away, and support would just be there if Tatanka was meant to to be.

Monday rolls around and I'm struggling thru repairs with weird write ups, and Zoll comes in. I casually suggest that he goes to Sturgis with me to race a 100 miles off road. He responds with "Gotta run it by the the other half?" ie his ladygal. That night he txted me with a "I'm in for Sturgis".  BOOYA!

I'm still hella nervous though. I just found out that the NUE race Patapsco 100 that was this weekend got postponed to Sept. And guess what, Gordon was signed up for it. So what I can't put beyond the shadow of a doubt is that he may try to make it to South Dakota for Tatanka. I kind of have no way of knowing, but thems the potential cards that were delt. And we can only see what will unfold.

So now is Wed. I dropped my Van off at RPM Automotive to get the transmission fluid flushed and a new filter. I had to leave it and take the bus into work. I brought my bike but it was pouring down rain and wanted to rest my legs, so I spent 12 minutes standing in the rain waiting for the bus. I then got crazy down poured on between the bus stop and Trek Store which is only 2 minutes apart. Once again I'm having one of those just insane weeks of no real rest and abunch of just hassle leading up to a big race. I really don't get it, and just take it as karma.

In the end I really have no idea what to think. I'm super crazy pumped to go to Tatanka and am super appreciated of those who are helping me out. I.E. Christine, Super Kate, and my sister Sue. I still have this lousy too much to do in too little time feeling which is not good to have leading up to a hundo.

I'm going to just leave it at that. Theres nothing I can do but just sally fourth, and take that blind leap of faith. That what my heart was telling me to follow was right.  I also want to close with one of my favorite punk songs of all time "I'm Alive" by the Circle Jerks. Not much for a video, but well you know....