well, some crazy epic awesome stuff went on this weekend. In the end my race was a disqualification as I simply got too lost too many times. Anything else would have been a lie. Didn't matter too much though- did everything (and more) that I had wanted to. Thanks to everyone involved in making the Chequamagon 100 happen and to all the other riders who showed up and gave it their all!
managed to squeeze 80+ miles of singletrack, quite a bit of nasty gravel road and ski trail and 36 holes of golf into the last two days.
Friday- Huge thanks to Ben Witt and Milltown Cycles for hooking me up with a quick overnight order from QBP. They were more than willing to help me when I was in a bind and went far above and beyond what was necessary. The order hadn't gone through in time he sent an employee all the way to Bloomington to pick it up in order to help me out, simply amazing service. Installed my new brake adaptor (post mount fork to is mount disc), 185mm front rotor and thus was able to run the new to me xtr m-975 brakes I just got on my reba. Which was huge because my other options were either Juicy 7s that need the rear lever rebuilt or run rigid for 100+ miles Saturday. It was nice to talk to him and cool to see his shop too. I may be ordering a new frame from him at some point soon, but no time for details on that. Next I went to Red Wing and picked up my mom and we continued on to Hayward. Met my father up there and we all had a great dinner and a couple of beers at the Angry Minnow. Ended the night with some River Monsters and a lot of sleeplessness.
Saturday- Race on! 5:30 wake-up. Left parking lot of Hotel at 6, weird noise, huge chunk of metal in tire, no air in tire... thanking Mini for the run flats. Back to the hotel, ride from Dad to the race, everything was a blur, barely even talked to or saw anyone, sooo early for me and I was trying to focus.
The race started incredibly- tried to pace myself right. Settled into 2nd or 3rd "group" on the long ski trail/gravel style prologue prior to any sustained singletrack. Figured I'd be happy to stay there, was with a some strong people, worried I'd drop back further, didn't know what would happen later. We hit singletrack and I kept up and felt pretty good. The bike was flowing under me and things were smooth. Realized the xtr brakes are amazing. More singletrack and the group split a bit. Was near the front- felt I could ride faster than the group pace without really working harder on the singletrack if I got out front. Came out of the singletrack and caught a glimpse of the group in front of me- split second decision to go for it. Made it across gap, Death Rider came with me as well. Was able to settle in and hang on with that group. More singletrack and I took the lead into it, so much fun, awesome flowy trail. Things were just 'working' at this point. Bike functioned right, I felt good, trail was beautiful and it was just an amazing combination. This 12 or 14 miles goes down in the all-time great memories. That 50 or 60 minutes alone would have made all the 'work' I've been doing worth it. Things got confused, no one was sure where to go, people from behind caught up and still no one was sure about route. Lots of stopping and reading maps. Burped some air and became a group of 1. Missed a turn, got frustrated, pressed on. Found myself almost 8 miles over the expected distance as I rolled into the checkpoint and refreshed my water/food. Found new life there because the other 'chasers' hadn't yet left (made me feel better about the getting lost stuff anyways). Pressed on and felt great about it. Confusion, confusion, confusion... lost. Sorted things out and pressed on, realized I'd skipped a section or two. Pressed on. Disqualified myself. Feel great about all of it.
Quick stretch and a shower and off to the golf course with my parents. Felt surprisingly good, hit some solid shots. Nice to hang out with parents.
Original Famous Dave's for dinner
After the race party at the Angry Minnow. Great to talk to people and hear their experiences. Everyone was happy- this race will be on my calendar for as long as I can get in it and ride a bike... pretty sure most others feel the same way! Huge props to the organizers and to those who built those great trails.
Sunday- Rock Lake at 10am! Made a 2 hr or so lap out of the trail. Two laps of Hildebrand Lake loop, rest of Rock Lake once. Felt pretty good and kept the speed up. Rock Lake is a great opportunity for me to work on my technical skills and can't miss out on that. Sure was easier for me than last spring when I rode the same trails, good to keep some perspective.
Lunch in Hayward at the fisherman's grille? or something close to that. Nice place to sit outside and decent food.
18 more holes of golf! This time at White Eagle north of Hudson. Great weather, beautiful course (albeit a bit 'tight' for my tastes). Hit it a bit better. Didn't score any better. Definitely had a great time.
Looks like tomorrow will be a day of rest as much as possible. Big training week is in the works- xc type rides Tuesday/Wednesday, long road ride Thursday and a whole lot of Blue Mounds over the weekend looks like the plan.
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