Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dirty Dozen-WVU represented on the Podium

What started out as a whimsical idea by Bob Carey to go to Pittsburgh and do the Dirty Dozen led to a very painfully pleasing day for me. A bunch of the team members were excited about the idea of climbing hills like this

But when push came to shove, everyone had excuses and this cheese went alone.

I left early, knowing that I always get lost in Pittsburgh, but I did have my semi-trusty GPS. It got me into Pittsburgh just dandy, but then a parade blocked every route that poor little TomTom could imagine. After 20minutes of trying to figure out how to get around the rather large parade, or foot race or whatever it was, I finally got back on course and arrived 20minutes before the start. Luckily my previous WVU training kicked in and I was able to be ready in under 10minutes, and got registered. Although they had run out of t-shirts, but cut the cost from $15 to $5...shucks...

It was chilly, but I had my Cannondale super warm, and comfy bibs. I didn't want to wear half a kit, so I put my team shorts over top. That may have been a mistake, as the first hill 1)killed my lungs because it was cold 2)killed my legs because of too much compression (or not being warmed up) 3)sucked more because I couldn't stand because I had knocked my dearillure out of adjustment while hauling my bike. Got to the top of the hill, and chatted with Betsy (last name not needed) and nearly considered quitting, due to feeling so bad. Luckily I didn't because I warmed up and the air did too, and the rest of the ride was perfect for painful pleasures.

The hills were everything people exclaimed them to be. Some really steep, others really really steep. Some had cobbles, some light gravel, some with holes, some very smooth. People found any reason to fall over, boosting my ego and aiding me through the pain.

2009 Dirty Dozen on EveryTrail

At the top of all the hills we waited until everyone had summited and regained thier wind before lazily rolling on to the next hill. It was usually a 10min wait, but was fine once I knew what to expect.

Gunnar decided to race me, and told me before the 4th climb that was 3 to 1, his favor. Shortly it was 4 to 4, but then my legs ran out of steam and he took it 5 to 7.


Betsy won the womens class, taking first on every hill except 1. And I beat Betsy on 4 hills, so thats makes me pretty good right?

JR Petsko broke the fattest to ever complete the ride, he did every hill.

Montana Miller is a badass (first Fixie to do the ride). I've never seen a 160cadence on a bike before...

A 13year old did the ride. Apparently had a badass sprint on one of the early hills.

Gunnar is old, and I beat him on 5 of the 12 hills. Forget the part about him having broken ribs..I smoked him royally on 2 of them.

If you take out the last few miles riding home after the last climb, it was 6100' in 42.1miles. Thats 2.6% average grade!. Total distance was right at 50miles, with 15 climbs.

Top (left to right) 3 women and Top 4 men with Danny Chew, the promoter in background.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Phat Weekend!

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Phat Weekend: (Ph-At We-ek-end): [Fat Wee-kin-d] - noun : An event which occurs in the Valley of the great land of Cannan traditionally in the fall season. It is a WVU cycling tradition. The event entails days filled with the riding and enjoyment of bicycluar machinery (most prominently of the fat tire variety) and evenings laced in debaucherous activity of questionable legality.

Phat weekend began for most on Friday night with a trip down to Canaan to stay with Ian and his friends. They can fill the details in on that. I was under a car.

Saturday brought beautiful skies and great racing for the first annual running of the Davis Cyclocross race. WVU had a solid presence at the race. Duncan Oliver brought home the Men's B race, with Ryan post chasing close behind. Emily Moy put up a solid performance in the womens race, and I decided to hop on and chase the Men's B race and A race just for fun. James Braswell and Robby Loehr rode strong in the singlespeed race with Robby bringing home the victory and then they both toughed it out to each do another race, with James in the Men's B and Roberto in the Men's A. The Men's A race turned into a drinking, chatting, and bike stealing party for most of the race, save 3 or 4 serious racers. Jake, Liew, Bala, Amber, and Ian brought home solid victories in the days bench race too! Way to go TEAM!

Once the race had concluded and some Hellbender's Burritos had been consumed we headed to Mountain State Brewing to fill the growlers and begin the evenings festivities. After being greeted by L.B. and Chris from the WV Nightclub in the form of fireworks being shot at our vehicles, we knew the evening could only head in the direction of awesome from there on out. Everyone Re-assembled at Sirianni's in Davis for some delicious dinner and then headed back to the Nightclub cabin for more festivities.

From this point on details of the weekend (specifically the hours of 7PM, Saturday, November 15th, the year of our lord, 2009, and 10AM Sunday, November 17th, still the year of our lord, 2009) cannot be discussed due to legalities and perhaps extreme intoxication with. I think there may have been some fire, explosions, and 80's ski jackets involved though. Them Nightclub boys aint' right.

Sunday greeted us with Mike Miller and LB cooking up a delicious morning feast to fuel us up for the days long ride we had planned. Mike and the Nightclubbers were awesome for letting us crash at their place and we owe them a huge thanks! So.. THANKS!!! You guys were awesome hosts!

We rolled out to Davis where our ride would start on Davis Trail to Canaan Loop Rd, Then to Pointy Knob trail, back to Canaan Loop, then Plantation Rd. back to Davis.

During a fast dirt road section we were using to connect between trails Liew found himself coming up on a large mudhole the width of the entire road with nowhere to go but straight through it. Unfortunately that didn't work out well for our good friend Liew and he ended up head on into a rock on the other side of the mudhole. After some recovery time on the ground and a fix of his glasses, Liew was just fine and back on the bike. He then proceeded to ride like a champ the rest of the day. Way to go Larry!!

Point Knob trail was unlike anything I had ever ridden. Non stop technical for about 6 miles or so. Everyone really showed their skills and ability working their way through the tough terrain. Super props to James for being on a singlespeed rigid for the whole ride. You wanted you recognition for being a badass, well here it is! On the way down from the 4200ft peak of the Pointy Knob trail, I found a muddy crossing that looked like it was so much fun that I wanted to play in it... face first. So I did. My form and grace used to go over the handlebars was of Olypmic proportions, and I'm quite sad nobody witnessed it first hand.

A few creek crossings and we were back on Canaan Loop. I headed back to the cabin to clean up and warm back up with Ian's buddy Peter while the others trucked on through Plantation and back to Davis. About 25 miles or so total... perhaps the slowest and toughest continuous miles I'd ever done.

Phat Weekend: Complete Success.