Monday, July 20, 2009

WhitesHELL Enduro Report

A long'n, but a good'n. Interesting mix of gnarly singletrack, sweet, flowing doubletrack, and rolling paved roads. In the end, it added up to 105 kms. Ingolf was wet. Very wet. There was at least as much water as we had on the inaugural Spring Ride--the one where Luke almost drowned in the rock garden. Maybe more. Falcon was in good shape. But unfortunately, those of us who rode it were pretty well cooked by then. We would be even more cooked by the finish. But everyone managed a smile when they reached the finish at picnic shelter race HQ. The general consensus was that it was awesome. Which is, of course, what the FGBC is all about: spreading awesomeness around the world, one bike ride at a time.

13 riders took to the start. 8 finished. Newcomers Tyler M and Curtis W failed to make the 3.5 hour cut-off at the halfway mark and missed out on the second half of the race. I don't think they were terribly disappointed. They managed to achieved their goal of riding Ingolf for the first time. So it was mission accomplished. I hope it was fun. Bill, Paul, and Johnny S all did modified versions of the course. For a variety of reasons, they skipped the Ingolf loop. The Lemans start and nasty hike-a-bike start loop managed to string everybody out right from the start. Dan, Marty, and I were the first group to hit Ingolf. Cam wasn't too far behind. Marty stayed glued to my wheel for most of the loop, while Dan faded at the start. Somewhere around the beaver dam I noticed that Marty was gone. I'm not sure why. But I didn't see him again until the finish. Riding the remaining 80 kms alone wasn't necessarily fun. It made it especially difficult to satisfy the talking component of OperaciĆ³n MUERTO. But the prospect of Marty or Dan reappearing was enough motivation to keep going. I managed to grind it out to finish ahead of the rest. Good times. As it turns out, Dan suffered some significant mechanical problems toward the end of the Ingolf loop. KK and Jonny G were kind enough to stop and help him get going again. And get going he did. He finished just 2 minutes behind Marty despite being 15 minutes behind at the half-way mark. Bummer.


Chris H - 5:20
Marty H - 5:33
Dan L - 5:35
Kevin K - 5:46
Jonny G - 6:17
Cam M - 6:26
Craig P - 6:28
Brad E - 6:38
Tyler M - DNF
Curtis W - DNF
Bill A - Modified course
Paul V - Modified course
Johnny S - Modified course

Now I know you are all wondering how all of this impacted the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. With three riders the FGBC fielded a larger squad than RRR for the first time in a month. Fortunately we all survived to the finish and managed to cash in to take back the lead from the breakfast cereal boys. Once the double MUERTO points were tallied, it added up to a 120-71 victory for the dark side. The scoreboard now looks like this.

This was also the third assignment of OperaciĆ³n MUERTO. With a number of the previous leaders electing to skip out on this round, the overall standings have been reshuffled. After three rounds, it now looks like this. There is one more assignment to go. Eight Hours of Birch on August 15. We're still waiting on details on that one.

How about some photos?

The view from the finish line:

The excitement wasn't just restricted to the race itself. Saturday's mission to mark the Ingolf course also provided plenty of excitement. Tegan was awesome. Nine years old and, despite having to traverse water that almost entirely submerged him at times, he rode that course better than most Spring Ride veterans. Of course, that might say more about the Spring Ride than it does about Tegan. But Tegan was an inspiration nonetheless. That kid will be making us all suffer some time in the not-so-distant future.

Johnny S also supplied some inspiration. Inspiration to keep your bike in working order. The Softride suffered a monumental mechanical episode. At first, he reported some wobbly brakes. Then, when we were about as far away from the parking lot as it gets, he asked "so this is about as far away as it gets, right?" Our first assumption was that the bungee cord holding the carbon seat shaft in place had failed. It didn't. What happened instead was this:

Which quickly turned into this:

Which meant Johnny had to find another way back to the parking lot:

Interestingly, he managed to keep up with the rest of us until the last few kms where the pace really picks up.

All things considered, a delightful weekend. Too bad it wasn't enjoyed by more.


cory smith said...

Sorry i didn't make it .I never rode in that area before and was concerned about the lack of markings.I am famous for getting lost.

The Dark Lord said...

Well, some got a little lost. But nobody disappeared altogether.

Too bad you didn't show up. Maybe next year. And if you show up to help mark the course, your chances of getting lost go way down.

Coach Dave said...

Looks like you guys had a whole whack of fun playing in the mud. It seems the points race will come down to who can suffer the most at the 8-Hours of Birch. A perfect ending.