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.

No comments: