Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bone Bender 3/6: Race Report

I'm trying to catch up with my race reports for this weekend. There was a lot of racing. Kind of.

So I wake up on Saturday morning to rain but I got everything ready and went to pick up my mechanic friend Paul and start the 3 hour drive to race the Bone Bender 3/6. As we drove down we were in rain most of the way and I was starting to get a little nervous wether we would have the race or not. When we got to the race location we again it was raining. I was surprised that evrything was still ago but they told me the trails should be rideable and the race was still a go.

By the time the race started it had pretty much stopped raining. They started us off with a traditional le mans style start and I got to my bike and got going in a good position with the leaders. I tried not to push to much at the beginning though cause most of the racers were only doing the 3 hour and I was doing the six. I didn't want to run out of gas to early. This might have been my undoing. When we got into the singletrack it was a sloppy mess and I was having a rough time keeping going since I had my dry pack fast rolling xc race tires on and I just couldn't get much grip. The farther we went on the track the worse the conditions got and soon the mud turned to clay and I started having problems with my wheels getting clogged up with the mud and my drive train was pretty much caked in mud and I had to stop to get my bike clean enough to ride. And that is pretty much what I did the rest of the time. I was just on and off my bike trying to clean it to try and ride which when I did I made it about 100 ft and then was off again. I ended up dragging my the rest of the time cause the mud was so bad I couldn't even push the thing with out it getting all clogged up and the wheels wouldn't roll.

About 2 hours into my first lap (yeah my 1st) I met up with some guys on some pavement and they said we were only 1/2 way through. At this point I had to call it and head back to the pits and stop. I had already seen several torn apart ders and hangers and destroyed bikes and mine wasn't even able to shift and it was stuck in to heavy a gear to ride even when I thought I could. So I got my bike cleaned off enough to roll and rolled back. I have never quit a race but what I was doing wasn't a race and I figured I had already wasted enough of my limited race money on this so called race I didn't need to be spending extra money replacing parts on my bike. I felt horrible pulling the plug but this wasn't what I do.

Paul was able to hang on and finish a lap. He had a much better tire selection than I did along with the mechanical abilities to figure out how to quickly get his not shifting anymore bike into a rideable gear and how to clean in enough to ride. In his 3 hour race that he did he was able to finish 1 lap.

In the end I was just pretty pissed that they even sent us out in those type of conditions. The course would have been awesome if it was rideable but we did so much damage to it that it is going to take probably all year plus to get it back into any thing resembling what it was. This race had been post poned once already so I'm sure they were didn't want to do it again but again this wasn't a race and just pissed a lot of people off and screwed up a lot of bikes. The problem is know I'm going to be very weary to pre-pay for a race and think twice about racing if I wake up to rain or there is a chance of racing in conditions like this cause I figure after I pre-paid the $45 for the race plus $3.5o for some fee and then I tack on gas and food I spent well over a $100 dollars not to mention the time I spent away from my family prepping for the race and then being gone all day for nothing.

I'm done bitching now. Here are a few pics I took:
The pit area before the "race"

My bike after half a lap



Bruce Brown said...

Nice shot of your mud laden bike. My shoulders are sore from carrying my mud covered bike most of the way. And something is wrong with my fork which is going to require me to take it apart, clean it and see if that fixes everything. Mud must have gotten inside of it.

I think we both would have won if we strapped a small child's bike on our back with some comfy back pack straps and just ran the entire course. Less weight to carry, no pushing or riding involved and we would have had a bike with us to make it "official".

Bluenoser said...

Holy crap Harp. I don't blame you a bit for bailing. Sleep easy pal. There is a reason why cyclocross races are only one hour. It's all anyone can take of those conditions let alone call it a MTB race.

Good try. You deserve an attaboy.


Anonymous said...