I'm pretty pumped after yesterday. Did a long 50 miles in Rothrock yesterday in the Stoopid 50 MTB Marathon. First off, the boys at Mt Nittany Wheelworks and Shenandoah Mtn Touring did another bang up job on a cool event. Them bubsers rawk. Plus it was pretty sweet to 120+ riders give this thing a go as its a new avenue for the MASS and having the riders come out and support it was beautiful. I'm hopeful we'll see similar if not larger turnouts at the rest of the MASS single lap marathons. Yes, the events are a little remotely located, but they sure are worth the drive. Thanks Chris, Frank, Jim, Harry and all the rest!!
It was a butt-kicking 50 miles with lots of beautifully made, but pain inducing singletrack -- the entire NMBA crew does a heck of a job with new trails and even the stuff that was cut recently rode pretty well. The best part of the day was catching up with a bunch of great people I'm not getting to see nearly often enough these days.
Of course my VisitPA.com teammates were there and Wes and Ray put on a great show to finish 3rd and 4th overall (taking home 1st and 2nd in the SS class at the same time). And before I go any further - congrats to Brandon and Aaron for smokin' it today! Ry would have put in a solid ride too as he was tuned up for this race, but a little house moving incident has Bubser suffering from a bad back now. Chip K was putting in some miles before taking on TransRockies and is worried that he'll now have to drag Ry's carcass all over the Canadian mountains for the week. Some of the boys from Gettysburg came up to spy on the marathon goings on in Rothrock to make sure that Michaux is still king of killing riders and Keefer ended up with a nice top 10 spot. Good to catch up a bit with Buck, Tom, and Shawn while my slave work crew at Marysville - Andy and Craig - had sweet rides too. Well, Andy did anyway with a 6th overall while Craig musta just been drinking beer. Taylord was riding great and its good to know that he's not suffering from the Freshman 15 and I'm glad to see (no-longer-quite-as) Young Nick P out riding, though with his impending departure for Boulder I guess we won't see him too much more. Of course Marc and Buddy represented and it was great to catch up with them after the goings-on. I even ran into the Henry Clan sporting some vintage Team Harrisburg gear out poaching the well marked course. I miss seeing these guys week in and week out and while I coulda hung out and run on at the mouth for hours I did ride a bit...
That part went fine. I started with a plan to not ride too hard as 100 last weekend plus 100 next weekend had me a bit concerned and I just wanted to have fun on this one. I was riding very comfortably in 6th or 7th about 2 hours in when things started to deflate. My Watch Them Blow tires and tubes let me down for the last time with a slow leak. I rode it for a bit while chatting with Keefer and then stopped to change it. The brand new tube went in and promptly came right back out as it already had a hole in it. Back in goes the original and I pump 'er up as hard as I can get it. Another 5 minutes on the bike finds Scott, Dave, and Linda Henry hanging out at their truck and so I stopped to see if they had a floor pump. We chatted a bit while I re-inflated. I rolled out and not two minutes later was in aid station 2 (DOH!). I then probably looked pretty stoopid as I completely deflated what appeared to be a perfectly good tube and changed it AGAIN.
By this time I've moved entirely into fun mode and ride the next couple hours with a few hard efforts here and there, but also hanging a bit with Taylor and Topher and a few other folks. I took some breaks here and there and in general reveled in a gorgeous day in the woods. Don't get me wrong, more than one time I came around a corner to see more and more rocks stretching to the horizon and mumbled unseemly things about the Stoopid course and its designers as I was certainly lacking flow and mo' on the rocks. But, I don't think I over exerted for next weekend which was the main goal. I'll put in a couple efforts on Monday and Tuesday and then taper into the weekend...we'll see I guess. Next up -- more HSC event news!