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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry it's taken so long to get this up, I've just been to tired and to busy to get it done. FYI, this is one of the few "real " MTB races we have in N. California. What I mean is you need MTB skills to do this race course!! 28 Miles over 4k of climbing, lots of super steep single-track….I have done this race once before and got 2nd place in sport. This year they moved the race to Whiskeytown and I was doing the long course, in Expert class. FYI, this is non NORBA race, keep this in mind at the end. :confused:
They started all the Expert/Pro's together on a short uphill climb, I guessed their were 20-30 guys in front of me at the top of the climb. I figured not many of these guys were over 45 right? On the first downhill someone passed me so I tried to pick up the pace and lost my line hit some loose rock and…WHAM! Went down on my left side. Ouch, no big deal, minor scrapes, back to racing. At the end of the downhill we hit a flat section of single-track that went on and on for a while. I was trying to make up time and WHAM! I crashed again on my left side, MUCH harder then the first crash. My front wheel must have hit a rock or something. My bike was on top of me and I was really sore on my left side. I checked myself out, no broken bone, minor bleeding, broken shifter, very bruised ego and confidence! I got back on the bike and tried to keep upright and make up some time. Things went well till we started one of the long climbs, I shifted in to the large cog in the rear and *%#@^* chain in the spokes! 5 more people passed as I pulled the chain out. I got back on the bike and head up the climb and started to catch some other racers. As the climb got steeper I tried to shift the front into the small ring…..CHAIN SUCK!! :mad: Now I got no granny gear up front or in the rear and I'm not even half way through with the race. Thank god I spend sometime on my single speed, I'll be doing a lot of standing up for the rest of this race.
After the climb was some really steep and fun downhill, were talking chest on the seat steep here, riders crashing in front of me, me crashing again, dogs and cats living together, total mayhem.
Then some more flat stuff before the long climb. I stop before the climb to down a few Advil and a GU and up I go on the climb. This was a long fire road climb and lucky for me was not to steep since I only had a few gears to choose from. My legs were killing me; I kept standing and sitting to ease the pain. About half way up the climb my legs cramped up …BAD. I have not had this happen since the Downieville race a couple years ago. I knew the finish had to be about a half an hour away and there was no way I was going to stop. The best relief for me was to stay out of the saddle, I did this to the top of the hill and spun my legs out on the downhill.
Next came a stream crossing, once the cold water hit my legs they cramped again and I fell in the stream!! Got back on the bike soaking wet now. I thought it would be a fast flat downhill to the finish but nooooooo. We had another climb! I was actually screaming in pain as I crested the top, the cramping was getting worse. Finally I reached the top, there were lots of people cheering us on, all I wanted to know was how long the f*&ING finish. "Just down the hill and another short climb!" Oh my god not another climb, I had to get off and walk this and someone passed me, but my legs were done! Got to the top and finished!
Between the crashes and mechanicals I lost a good 5- 10 minutes so I my expectations were low for how I placed. I went to the lake to wash off and clean my wounds.
When I came back the results were up. I found my name and time 2;47. Did not see anyone over 45 before me so I thought I won my class!!, :) But noooooooo! Since this was a non NORBA race my age was 44! So I was in 35-44 class, DOH! :mad: I finished 12 out of 48 riders against the 35-44 "kids" class. ;)
Despite the crashes etc it was by far the best MTB course I've done in a while. Looking forward to being 45 for next years race.

Here are the Pic's
1 Whiskeytown
2 Me before my 1st crash
3 riders heading down
4 Amanda , 1st place intermediate course!
5 let the crashing begin
 

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Nice race Merlin. Sorry about the misfortunes, but way to get back up and forge on. Not bad for an old guy. ;) KRob---------> = 44 next month.


Those crash shots are great. Definitely belly-laughing good stuff. I love the clinging-desparately-to-the-tree shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
KRob said:
Nice race Merlin. Sorry about the misfortunes, but way to get back up and forge on. Not bad for an old guy. ;) KRob---------> = 44 next month.

Those crash shots are great. Definitely belly-laughing good stuff. I love the clinging-desparately-to-the-tree shot.
Thanks ! Forgot to thank Ron (lemurianguy) and Jeff for the photos
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Pictures don't do justice to how steep that hill really is. The above crash pics are about half way down the gnarly Couch trail (some of the locals call that rut "The Trench of Terror". Here's what they faced before they got there. Pretty wicked, huh!
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Now that he's negotiated the ruts and the big root, this guy is supposed to release the brakes, and pick up tons of speed so he fly across a Uhaul truck ramp that acts as a bridge across a small ditch, then coast up a steep hill. Fun stuff!!
 

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Occidental Tourist
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Great shots! and nice write up. I wish more races were like this (on difficult terrain not just easy st and jeep roads)
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Results are up!

Finally...sorry for the delay. So far all the best pics I have are on this thread, but I know I'll be getting a disc with a bunch more in a week or so. There should be a batch of start/finish pics and another batch of Couch pics. Also, West World has their pics up from the Ice Box.
 

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i worship Mr T
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LOL merlin!! that has got to be the funniest race report & accompanying pictures i've seen in a long time!!!! so sorry you had such a brutal race. congrats on finishing so strong. i feel your pain with those cramps and crashes.

love the pic of amanda heading straight for the tree. guess she survived it since she managed to win her class, eh.

great stuff.

rt
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
*rt* said:
LOL merlin!! that has got to be the funniest race report & accompanying pictures i've seen in a long time!!!! so sorry you had such a brutal race. congrats on finishing so strong. i feel your pain with those cramps and crashes.

love the pic of amanda heading straight for the tree. guess she survived it since she managed to win her class, eh.

great stuff.

rt
Thanks *rt...Amanda is the wife of Roger_ who posts once in a while. She had a baby about 1.5 years ago! Not a bad comeback.
 

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NedwannaB
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Hey! I resemble that remark!!

merlin said:
Results and pix are up on the site. They took away your third place finish after your blood test results came back ;)
......but good thing I had a fluid change @ a One Stop on the way up to the race!! Hah! You smart azzz...... :D

Did see the results, of the race anyway, but couldn't get the pix to load :confused: Will try later.
 

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Preemptive Revenger
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Merlin, you suggest a new criteria for a "real" MTB race: any race where you carry pain reliever pills in anticipation!

Nice race, nice report!
 
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