Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Growler 2010

The Growler Mountain bike race is a race through Hartman Rock recreation area near Gunnison CO. It was started by Dave Wiens to raise money for his nonprofit, Gunnison Trails. It is about 70 miles once it's said and done and covers a lot of single track and much of it technical. This year the course was similar to the first year 2 yrs ago and just about the reverse of the course last year. The difference this year was that I got a new Gary Fisher Superfly 29er. Nice bike.

So we lined up in town at 7:00 and Ken Coleman the city manager fires a shotgun twice and we role out of town at a neutral clip. My goal this year was to stay towards the front and try to maintain on all the steep little climbs and technical areas and descents. My new bike is much faster on the hard stuff and downhill but probably not so on the climbs. I wanted to get close to 6 hrs. No way I could hang with Travis Brown who won last year.

We got to Kill Hill at the start of Hartman Rock and dirt roads to spread every one out and I felt good and kept a good pace.
Then we hit the single track. On the first harder section, "Top of the World" in dust and low light I smacked a pointy rock with both tires. Stans sealant then begins to fly out of BOTH wheels! Tarnations I'd never had that happen!

I quickly tried to get the Stans to seal the tires but it wouldn't so I put a tube in the back and used my CO2 cartridge to fill it up. Unfortunately I didn't have enough to fill the front! As the multitudes passed me on the single track a guy let me use his pump. I thought I got air into the front tire and got it to seal. But after riding a little ways it appeared that the rim wasn't sealed. Another friend tossed his pump to me but it didn't work! Finally another friend towards the rear of the pack had a large CO2 cylinder that we used to get the tire seated and it stayed inflated! Thanks Matt! And I was off again. Now behind way too many people on tight single track. I passed and passed some more. This took a lot of effort and was kindof dangerous.... I passed Grandpa Bill who was out on the course about 1/4 of the way around the lap with water and tools and grabbed my spare tube and pump and water. I passed tons of people. By the half way point at Skull pass the groups were thinning but I still was stuck a lot of the time going slow. So I came in to the end of lap one around 3:30. Anne and the kids were waiting and gave me some water and energy. And off I went. Other than some odd cramps I started to make up some time. the second lap was about 3:05 for a total of 6:35 and 53rd place. Not as good as last year in the rain.

Here I am at the finish with the Growler given away for finishers.

Smithy's Birthday ride, White rim in a day Nov 2009

So for the past few years local bad boy and very fast person Brian Smith has had a ride the white rim trail in a day birthday ride around the middle of November. Too bad his birthday wasn't closer to September. I had done it two years ago in 2007 and it was a hoot.

Drive out there, ride the trail unsupported that time then tired drive home. This year I decided to leave Friday early, ride some at Fruita and get out to Canyonlands Island in the sky early enough to enjoy the views. The only problem with this was the HUGE rain storm over Fruita so I just kept going. The weather around Moab wasn't great either......

A bunch of Gunnison guys met at the little campground just before you go into Canyonlands while Brian, his wife Jenny and some friends stayed in Moab. We all went to bed ready to go in the morning. We woke up to a nice snow and Brian had rain all night in Moab. We barely got a cel call to Brian and he bailed as he thought it was toooo wet. We got the troops rounded up and decided to give it a go. Ricky G had just gotten a littel truck and wanted to test it out so we had a sag just in case. So off we went. The day started out well and we made good time. The snow fall at the high elevations gave way and the trail was dry and the day was cool. Around mile 80 it started to snow however. I had been riding with everyone but seeing that we were going to be lucky to make it out before the dark and snow I started to go faster. In the end I was the only one to finish as we shuttled everyone else. I also got to ride the last miles in a blinding snowstorm.....