Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dawn 'til Dusk Race Review: Just a Day on the Trails

What a day of racing and weather! The race started under IDEAL conditions. Warm, sunny, zero wind. Paradise! Then the wind picked up around 10:30 am. THEN the rain rolled in around 1PM. Then the blizzard hit around 3PM. Then the race was called at 5PM. And the blizzard continued. And then the party started. 8 kegs provided by La Cumbre Brewing Co. made the party another classic Gallup experience. Need I say more?

Ok. I will.

It’s safe to say that The Judd continues to DOMINATE the Back of the Pack ranks and the Back of the Pack Championship Series. Remember. The Back of the Pack Racers really don’t race - race the field that is. It’s all for fun - at least that’s what we say. But once the gun goes off there is a raging race within the Back of the Pack crew. We're all out for blood. Man against man. Dude against Dude.

There is no sympathy, there are no high 5’s, there are is no such thing as support for your fellow Back of the Pack racer. All of us B.P.R. dudes find great enjoyment in watching the others suffer. We really want to see a few tears. And we never ever utter words of encouragement. It’s more like ‘Oh really, your legs are cramping? Good. I’ll put more miles down and get a few laughs while you cry in pain.’ Or it’s ‘Oh Lt Col, last lap you puked up two pieces of pizza on the 1st major climb. Bummer. Eat some of my pizza and see if you can hold it down on this next lap.’

So, back to the race.

After lap 4, around 12:25 pm, I decided to chill out and let The Lt Col catch up. My domination was evident during the 1st few miles of lap 1. I had this thing wrapped up, so I wanted to wait for The Lt Col and see how bad he was suffering. The Lt Col rolled in 40 minutes later. I had my rain jacket on and was ready to roll, ready to be the punisher. I asked The Lt Col, ‘You going out for another lap’. His reply, as we watched the rain roll in and turn to snow, ‘nope’. 5 minutes later The Lt Col said, ‘I’m calling it. It’s over’.

THANK YOU Lt Col. The race was over for us at the Back of the Pack and the party started. No need to race in the blizzard. No need to battle the 50+ mph gusts. No need to ruin a good start to the spring / summer race season.

Then the guilt set in. Then the mind started to wander. The idea of quitting was killing me. Then I checked Facebook and saw posts from our Colorado friends, TR and El Freako. They packed it in around the same time, one lap ahead of us - because they are super cool super freaks. So if TR and El Freako called it a day, then I could smile, drink beer and feel good about The LT Col’s decision to call the race. It’s good to live guilt free. It really is.

The B.P.R. Championship series. The Awards, The Points:
  • The Judd: ‘I’m not afraid to ride the hills that The Lt Col walks’ Award. 4 Laps / 49 miles in B.P.R. record time. 100 pts
  • The Lt Col: ‘I’m not afraid to keep my cadence at 10 revolutions per minute’ Award. 4 laps / 49 miles in the classic Lt Col pace. 99 pts. Yes. 99 pts. Anyone that suffered in the weather deserves a little bit of credit.
  • The Morale Chairman: ‘I’m not going, but I still want my t-shirt’ Award. 0 Laps / 0 miles, just a t-shirt. Playing soccer mom prior to a big bike packing trip. +10 pts, just because
  • Prob-eee: ‘I really do have a fun factor quotient’ Award. 0 laps / 0 miles & a lot of cuddling at home. -50 pts. And I'm being gracious. 
  • Mad Rhino: ‘The B.P.R. Tour Guide’ Award. Hanging at home and planning the Big B.P.R. adventure - a 250 mile bike packing trip. +25 pts

Lessons Learned:
  1. The Lt Col's Texas chili is awesome. Yes, awesome. Until the morning after. No more Lt Col's Texas chili for The Judd prior to a big race in the B.P.R. Championship Series. No I wasn't 'sick'. Just major heartburn while I was cranking up the hills, the hills that The Lt Col was walking.
  2. 32 x 18 works. But 32 x 19 would make it more 'enjoyable'. I think.
  3. No need to dress for the 1PM snow storm at 6AM. 
The Video:

Remember. 29 Inches, Single, Rigid. Yes. The video is rough but the music is awesome.
Just a Video, Just some Singletrack, Just some Highlights


The Course & Some Data:
A View

One Lap


Quote of the Race:

The Lt Col: "If I was a probationary member. I’d be out there in the crap, trying to earn points and move up in the team rankings." (Prob-eee, are you listening?) "But because I am a Founding Father, I’ve really got nothing to prove. Nothing!"

The Lt Col’s Delimma:

The Lt Col had a spirited conversation with El Freako about the single speed setup. El Freako was rolling with a 32 x 20. The Lt Col always rolls with a 34 x 19, basically his mandate for 2:1, converted to rolling inches on a 29er. Anyway. El Freako explained the strategy, the strategy to race, not just suffer and ride. The Lt Col was educated and will continue to ponder this issue for some time to come. The real problem, the Lt Col is worried about the snowball effect. If he goes for a 20T, there is a slight chance that he would migrate to a 21T, 22T or EVEN a 23T. Ok. Let's not get crazy.

A Huge Thanks:

Big Bad Joe Fortin (1st place, solo 45 to 49) invited us to his RV for an awesome pre race dinner. Ever wonder why we go to all these races? To ride bikes? Maybe. To hang out with awesome dudes and dudettes like Joe Fortin & Family? Of course.

Donna James: Donna is the responsible one. Donna gave us irresponsible dudes a ride to packet pickup. Thanks Donna! We owe you. And yes, I haven’t forgotten about the 20 beers I owe you.

A Few Final Thoughts:

The Other Brothers:
We met some killer brothers from Fruita, Tyler and Ryan. These dudes rode the Colorado Trail last year - single speeds & fully rigid. (Rode the trail in July, not the race in August.) Tyler and Ryan gave me some great advice, advice about everything. Probably the best piece of advice - don’t tow a 40lb bike trailer behind the SS. No joke, jokester. Tyler had the bike packs, Ryan towed a trailer. Whatever works. The dudes did the entire trail. Awesome.

Not a Good Idea:
Dawn ‘til Dusk and La Cumbre Brewing Co. provided 8 kegs for the post race party. Yep, the party started at high noon. It’s not a good idea to have 8 kegs with no adult supervision. Just saying.

Just When:
Just when I was convinced that the big freight trains were off on Sundays, I heard a long blast of a horn. And then the trains kept coming, one after another.

Career Change:
For some reason I’m enthralled with the idea of being at the controls of a big freight train. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s the thrill of blasting that horn at 4AM. Yeah, I don’t know why. But it would be a fun job.... for a day or two.

Prob-eee’s Train Wreck:
Since we’re on the subject of trains. Let me discuss the new set of issues with Prob-eee. It’s well documented that Prob-eee enjoys his leg warmers and his Zone 2 training. It’s also a fact that Prob-eee signs up for races and then tries to back out of each and every race. One way or the other Back of the Pack peer pressure has kept Prob-eee ‘in the game’... until this race. And we are all stupified that Prob-eee backed out of Dawn ‘til Dusk. Sure the weather forecast was less than desireable. BUT there were 3 MAJOR reasons why Prob-eee should’ve been at the race: a) His new Black Sheep arrived Friday PM. A new bike and he’s not racing? Weird. b) He paid his entry fee. Nothing like signing up and not showing up. c) He lives 2 1/2 hours from the race. Yep. The race is right next door and he can’t make the drive.

So the Lt Col is wondering why Prob-eee really skipped out. We can only think of 3 things: 1) His leg warmers were in the washing machine. 2) His Zone 2 training on the stairs at work didn’t really prepare him for ANYTHING single speed related. 3) He had tickets to a White Zinfandel wine tasking & cheese nibbling extravaganza.

What’s up Next:
Bike packing - The Coconino Loop next weekend and then something. Maybe the 12 Hours in the Wild West. I need to get this 12 Hour Monkey off of my back. Maybe I’ll hit up the 18 Hours of Fruita. Maybe. Then again, I may just get on my fixie Black Sheep and ride and ride and ride - around the neighborhood, of course.

A Few Pictures:

The Wild Wild West

this is how I roll - KoRn Style

the early morning wakeup call

the sunrise

The Judd is ready to Dominate the Back of the Pack ranks

the start - from the Back of the Pack

The Lt Col - at the Back of the Pack

the snow, the snow

still snowing

a break in the snow, before it starts snowing... again

the morning after

Beautiful Blue Sky in Gallup

I wonder why I gained 5 lbs this last weekend

my favorite restaurant in Gallup - on the famous Route 66

when The Lt Col talks - I shut up

6 comments:

  1. I would like to apply for the B.P.R. Prob-eee Race Sponsorship. Prob-eee pays for the races and I show and race. He can keep the t-shirt.

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  2. Awesome time to hang with you guys at the post race party. Things went south for me with all of the beer later on ( I do not recall walking back up to my van) and TR started puking later and shivering like a dog dying form hypothermia. Next race is Mesa Verde 12 hour. I hope it doesnt snow.

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  3. Hey El Freako. Yeah. What a race. What a Party! It was crazy. Definitely a blast hanging out with all you Colorado dudes. The Lt Col and I were laughing in the AM. We remember having 100% of the conversations, but only 50% of what was being said. (I think us B.P.R. dudes were mumbling a bit.) If that makes sense. My night ended when Lindsay said something like 'blah blah blah, you better go to bed'. Because I am SOOO mature, I agreed. I simply walked back to the camper and gave up. I didn't sign up for Mesa Verde. I may head down to 12 Hours in the Wild West.

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  4. Hey Rhino. Guess what Prob-eee said this morning at work. "Dude, where's my T-Shirt?" I think Prob-eee will make a deal with you.

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  5. Congrats on surviving the weather! But it sounds like the drinking was harder than the racing....so congrats for surviving both! LOL

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  6. Hi Matt. Yeah it was a crazy weekend. One of these days I'm going to put on the blinders and ride through the bad weather. But once the party started we all rationalized the early termination as 'it's early in the spring - there is always another race'. Oh well, it's all in fun.

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