Monday, March 03, 2008

Once Bitten . . .

Late Edition: I had as much luck pulling this tree out on Sunday as I did with the race on Saturday. Thanks for the picture Brad!!
OUCH, is the main word that comes in mind from this past weekend’s Snake Creek Gap Time Trial. I would say that I could have used a “spinier” gear on the back but in all reality I would have taken a motor had someone handed me one 25 miles into the course.

First and foremost I must say that the organization of 297 racers, with no lines anywhere, an early leave time for the shuttle was organized to a “T.” I will be back for more pain in the future. Nice work to everyone involved.

The single track is amazing. Really good smile inducing ridgeline riding, the last ten or there about miles were insane. Imagine taking a Stegosaurus and implanting another thousand or so rocks in his back. I would imagine that if you power washed the granite on the ridge during these miles you would have a spectacle of rock.

On the way to the race venue, David George and I were speaking the “bike speak.” One of the things I commented on was how important looking ahead and eyesight is to riding.

Eight miles into the race I had to ditch a contact that I couldn’t get back in my eye. Drunk vision commenced at that point as I was riding minimalist style and didn’t have a spare. The mud in the first few miles was pretty tough and when you would gather speed back up all the caked mud and pea gravel would fly in your face. I thought maybe I would lose an eye on this day as I have sworn off wearing glasses while I ride.

After the halfway checkpoint it really didn’t matter that I couldn’t see perfectly, I was ecstatic when I had the bike moving greater than five miles per hour. Miles 17 – 25 were still “ok” for me and I still felt like I was semi-pushing the pace. However on the last few miles I wondered if I would make it back before dark. When you see the city of Dalton from the ridge, don’t get your hopes up that you might be having a beer anytime soon.

Reflecting on the race really doesn’t do much for me, reflecting on the smack talk, church bus talk, music, festival atmosphere, sic trials move I saw from the top of a trailer to the bed of a truck, Yazoo friendliness, sweet singletrack, fast racers (not me), Kentucky Waterfall mullet and a general good time leaves a sweet honey nectar taste in my mouth.

Yazoo beer is good, thanks for the sixer Thad. I also acquired a nice new piece of wool but that is deserving of another post for another time.

Trail Karma is reaching a new all time high as I was somehow able to drag my butt and Buddy’s up to Paris yesterday for the second trail work day in two weeks. Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday!!


Pictures courtesy of David George.


1SpeedBrian said...

Glad you had a good time. If you’re ever interested in coming over to ride the Snake for fun give me a shout. Its really allot better ride in the opposite direction as the race goes.

Robert said...

interesting post above, i've always wondered how it rode backwards. I thought about suggesting a few of us crazies make it an out and back affair, but i was afraid jonathan would smack talk his way to victory in that effort. good ride J, its a tough one.

1SpeedBrian said...

In the opposite direction you lose a thousand feet overall instead of gaining a thousand feet making the climbs more manageable and the descent allot more fun. Also in the other direction you ride the most technical portions of the trail in the beginning when you are fresh and then things get mellower as the day goes on. Its pretty easy to run the shuttle and drop some water and food in the middle with 2 cars.
The race organization is fantastic but it could only work the way they run the event if everyone rides back to their car thus the direction of the race. Before this event started taking off they alternated direction of the race.

-d said...

Great to meet you and glad you enjoyed the ride/beer/fun. snake is a SOB, whether it is the first of fifth. Good job.

The Goat in a Turtle Shell said...

We're gonna have to get you some superglue for those contacts. Seems every other ride with you, you are losing one. After out last ride together and mud hitting me in the eye at 25 mph going down Cat Gap I've started using glasses again. What up?

jpelton said...

Sounds like a good ride.
I can not wait to get back to racing!
Check out blog. Injury report.

Stephen said...

Are you licking something off of your handlebars?

ExtrmTao said...


No, I was hoping I would hit a speed bump so my stem would knock me out. It would have been the only way to kill the pain.