Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tribble Mill 6 Hour

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Today I rode the Dirty Spokes 6 hour race at Tribble Mill Park.


Breakfast at Waffle House was fantastic. For some reason, the Waffle House in Cumming is choice. My eggs are always scrambled properly. Nothing better.

The trail is about an hour from my house. I drove around the park for a while before I figured out where to go. It kind of looks like you're going into a neighborhood when you're going the right way. I actually used the Google Maps app on my iPhone and the photo of that kiosk up there to figure out where I was and where to go.

After registration I ran around looking for friends. Norma was back from BC with a sweet injury.

 Norma's Injury

Mike and Norma.

 Mike and Norma

Russell and Sunny.

 Russell and Sunny



Noah's one of the old school players. He and my brother used to beat each other up in the GAP series 8 years ago or so. He was absent from the race scene for a couple of years, but I've seen him at the last couple of 6-hours.

I got set up, kitted up and warmed up by riding around the park a bit. The park is actually pretty nice. They have bike trails, horse trails, walking trails, a paved jogging trail, a lake for fishing and kayaking and a nice playground.


I'd never been here before. Some guys who'd pre-ridden the course told me to watch the first left hand sweeper. I took a few minutes to ride the first couple of turns. They weren't kidding. The first little bit of the trail has had a bunch of work done to it lately. It's been regraded and covered with pea-gravel. The turn is off-camber and it suddenly gets tight. I'm not usually a fan of this type of trail...


...but there's a little creek right there and the old trail was a fall line trail leading right down to it, so I understand. The whole rest of the trail was tight, twisty singletrack.

Pit row.

 Pit Row

Tim Schroer, of Dirty Spokes Production. Awesome guy.

 Tim Schroer

For Dirty Spokes races, we all wear little RFID tags on our ankles and ride over a mat that detects them at the start/finish line. However, if you ride across it with your foot up, it won't register. Sometimes it won't register even if your foot is down. This has led to scoring problems in the past. Today we had to dismount and walk/run across the mat.


Lap 1 I felt really, really strong, but it seemed to be amateur hour. Riders were crashing left and right. Some guys were really struggling and holding everyone up, but absolutely refused to be passed. I was all amateur too though, and almost crashed passing an Addictive Cycles guy and then later passed a girl on what appeared to be a wide section of trail, but ended up being a gnarly creek crossing. I took the absolute worst possible line through it and got really close to her. It was just luck that the line worked out, it went over a rocky drop that I couldn't see over and through deep water that I'd no idea what was under.

Lap 2 I still felt strong and just crushed it. The group was thinning out and I passed folks left and right.

Lap 3 I almost T-boned a cat. 2 turns into the trail some little cat was walking across the trail when I came around the corner. It got out of the way though. Three-fourths of the way around this lap my left leg started twinging. I had a ton of energy, but apparently I'd overdriven my legs. Ugh. I caught and passed the guy that I'd almost crashed earlier and aplogised, but he didn't even remember that I'd done it :) We sparred for the next couple of laps. His bottom bracket was super-squeaky so I could always tell when he was coming.

Lap 4 was 100% cramp management. Both legs were twinging constantly. I had to lay up and spin and try to let them settle out. They eventually did, but I couldn't push hard anymore. All that energy and nothing to do with it.

Lap 5 my energy level started to match my legs. I could once again push as hard as I wanted, but that just wasn't all that hard. Toward the end of the lap I was fighting cramps again, but I finally dropped Mr. Squeaks. When I came in my brain wasn't working. I thought I was missing a bottle, but I wasn't and Russell was there hanging out waiting for his teammate and probably thought I was going a little crazy.

Lap 6 was hard, hard, hard. My legs were cramping, I puked at least 6 times from the overly sweet syrupy gatorade/clif-block mix but just had to keep pounding down the gatorade to keep hydrated. I got passed by the girl I'd passed badly in the creek and told her I was sorry, but it didn't seem like she was in the mood to accept my apology.

Could I do a lap 7? My instict was to just go for it so I grabbed a new bottle and some blocks, but as I rode out of pit row my brain was adding it all up. The previous lap took me 58 minutes and I had 56 minutes left. If I were feeling good, I might be able to bury myself and make up 2 minutes, but with my legs trashed and cramping, there was no way. I turned around and packed it in.

Norma however, had passed me early in the lap and had enough time to put in a 7th lap. Hard core.

 Norma 7 Laps

It took a phenominal act of will to get me up from my chair to pack up. It felt like it took an hour to get it done. I drank nearly a half-gallon of water. Noah mentioned that he didn't see my name on the results sheet. Turned out I'd signed up for the single-speed class somehow. Got that fixed.

I'd been hanging out all day with a guy named Jerry that I'd ridden a bunch of the Snake Creek Gap TT with earlier this year. Cool guy. He's doing the Trans-Rockies later this year. Good luck man!

Talked to Hodge for a while...


...mostly about the Trans-Georgia. Shey Linder and his hardcoreboys are riding it right now and are set to finish in 3 or 4 days. Hard. Core. It took me 8 rides to do it all, spread a week apart each, and I bonked out hard on 2 of them.

The result...

10th place. Not what I was hoping for, but hey, what are you gonna do? Better luck next time.

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