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12 Hours of Weaverville

May 24th, 2010
Reported by Paul Lennon:
 
My friend Shawn Raley and I did the Weaverville 12 hr that turned into a 8 hr race due to snow, hail, rain, and a high of 39 that day. We won the 2 man race with the Dillards taking second.
 
Animation Report by Adam Pressman:

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May 24th, 2010 13:14:38

Ashland Spring Thaw Race

May 17th, 2010

Had to make a game-time decision about which bike to race once I heard Simpson and Dodds were going to go single speed. I always think riding single is a blast. But I also know Ashland’s course, and with 8 or so miles up, 5 or so miles levelish and 100 miles downhill (or whatever) I was hesitant about the prospect of riding that top level section spun out like teenager in a 1984 Monte Carlo doing brodies on a frozen Minnesota lake (I’m speaking from experience).

 

After hemming and hawing about it all the way up during the drive from Redding, I rationalized that if Simpdog and Doddsdog can do it, well then so can I.  Plus, the SSers were going to all start in their own category and it might be a lot of fun going up against a bunch of other fools. We’d all look like idiots spinning our legs off together. 

 

So we toe the line 10 minutes after the pros start and there looks to be a big field – I’d guess 30 or so SSers (turns out there were exactly 21 if the results are correct). We started with the Sport and Women’s categories.  The gun goes off and Dodds shoots to the front with the geared bike leaders. He sits basically third wheel or so and disappears from my view as he and the other leaders slowly pull away from me.

 

[Sidebar: I had the chance to test ride Dodd’s Salsa 29er SS rig last week which is set up almost exactly like Simpson’s – that thing is sweet – unsuspended and lighter than air. I’m guessing it weighs like half a pound or something (maybe a little heavier, but it can’t be much).]

 

He’s got something bigger than a 2:1 ratio so it’s perfect for this uphill and from what I can tell, he looks comfy at the pace he’s going. Me, not so much. At mile 2 I’m starting to cramp up already. The Kona is sweet but 29 lbs. of dual suspension (locked out but still being sucked into the bowels of the earth by gravity) I’m lugging up that hill is starting to get to me. Like Dodds I’m also riding a 2:1 gearing ratio, but unlike Dodds, I’m constantly standing, then sitting, then standing, then sitting. Just never feeling comfortable. Normally I have enough oomph to push that thing up hill, but for some reason, it was not easy this day. I can tell this race is not going to go well for me.

 

About 3 miles into the race, I see a red Salsa off the side of the road, with it’s rider nowhere to be found. Was Dodds abducted by aliens? Did a Bey-Bear get him? Did a Sport Fred throw him an elbow and he’s over a cliff? Worried, I ride over there and look over the embankment and see Dodds watering the poison oak. Apparently too much coffee. I think about waiting for him, but there’s no point, he’d just pull away from me again as soon as he got back on it.  Sure enough not long afterwards there he is again, all smiley, easy-pedaling, jovial, and annoyingly fresh. I pretend not to be suffering and try to hang on his wheel.

 

 

When we hit the one section of uphill singletrack near the top of the climb Dodds is just in front of me, (Simpson must be somewhere behind us in his own private SS hell), but just in front of both of us are a whole bunch of geared bikers who have shifted into their grannies and are barely generating enough gyroscopic motion to keep their bikes upright. They are going soooooooooooooo sloooooooooooow. You just can’t go that slow on a SS rig or you’ll fall over. Dodds and I both make some sketchy passes. Some of the riders are cool about letting us by. Others, not so cool. We pass one, two, three, groups. Dodds goes first, then I get stuck behind and pass later. Eventually, Todd gets away from me again as I get stuck for a long time behind a train of granny-spinners. I’m forced to dismount and walk.

 

I’m never going to see Dodds again in this race. He’s going to peg it at the top and then rip in down the hill. At this point, I think Todd was running 3rd in the SS race. (There was this one dude on a pink Bianchi SS who was the real deal – he passed me at about mile 2 like I was superglued to a tree.  I heard he caught up to most of the pro field that started 10 minutes ahead of us. Whoa).  Across the flats on top Dodds did in fact peg it and caught #2, then let it fly down the superfun singletrack.  But he flatted and the Stan’s wasn’t sealing it. This was the second time I passed him off his bike in this race.  I didn’t wait or offer any useful assistance this time either, except to say ‘you OK?’.   The downhill was of course in great shape. Even I can handle that downhill – I only got passed by 2 guys, not bad for a roadie.  In the end I wound up 4th, Dodds 5th (should have been 2nd), and Simpson was 7th.

 

Full results:

Lennon 1:53 19th, 1st 45+

Zeis, 1:58 1st Cat. 2 18 and under

Reuss, 2:00, 50th, 12th 35-44

Norine, 2:01, 59th, 4th SS

Dodds, 2:02, 64th, 5th SS

Friesen, 2:03, 66th, 17th 35-44

Simpson, 2:10, 92nd, 7th SS

Pressman, 2:11, 96th, 5th 45+

Blaser, 2:26, 154th, 9th 45+

Rena, 2:42, 191st, 5th Cat 2 35+


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May 17th, 2010 13:03:50