Monday, September 7, 2009

Mountain bike racers- maybe the most polite athletes around

Yesterday was the shenandoah 100, my fifth and final 100 mile effort for the season. I was pleased with my four previous results which already put me in sixth (or maybe even 5th depending on the last 100 out west finishes up) for the series. i never got a chance at this hundred in previous years, usually due to a 24hr conflict so i was excited to do something new. not to mention, events that chris scott puts on never disappoint. Probably why this event was sold out. The camping was awesome, along with all the other logistics that go into a 100 mile event. Chris also keeps in mind that not all want to finish a race and eat a hamburger, so he even has boca burger options upon your finish. I'm sold.
So the race was a gradual start but within 20 minutes it turned into a normal XC pace race. The lead 7 dudes(JB, Christian, Jeffery, Sam K, Jesse, Brandon, and Chris B) were out in front quite a bit . I settled in for a lovely day spent with Gerry P, Greg Kuhn, Blair, and one more tall dude which i unfortunately forget his name. Somewhere along the way Greg got ahead and we caught up to Beck who was recovering from a nasty headache. I told him to get on the train and i started feeling real strong. We dropped Blair and his buddy. Gerry , the animal that he is, gave some monster pulls and worked with me nicely. It was great having him around for most of the day. We eventually caught Greg K and i was still feeling great. Shortly after that (about the same time Gerry shouted out that we only had one more XC race left for the day, which i had some choice words for that comment) I started cramping a bit and the grade of the 15mile climb (called the soul crusher)was getting steeper. Gerry , Beck , and Greg started pulling ahead . They were about 30-40yrds ahead and i really wanted to stay with them so i rang by bell. Now, what other sport has people like this?? They actually waited. Only in mountain biking can you find racers fighting for the top 10 in the biggest , and the most highly contested series around actually look back and pause a bit so the slacker can catch up. The cramps kept coming so i backed of eventually anyway and road my own pace for the rest of the day.
At the end , i finished 10th place feeling great with a time of 7;40. My equipment was flawless from my Cannondale Caffeine(actually of top 10, 6 riders were on Cannondale), To my ever so comfortable Deuter hydration pack. Thanks to all our team sponsors. Hope we made you proud


Gerry and Andy said...

Rob, It was great riding with you at the SM100. And, my pulls were nothing compared to yours. There were times when it was hard just staying on your wheel. If it was your Cannondale that made you so strong, maybe I should buy one...

Alton said...

Great Blog about mountain Bike riders. I am one among them. I use to go Biking often. That Time i carry all my needed stuff in a Camelbak Backpack, which I bought through online shopping from Hydrapak.