Thursday, October 3, 2013

ChainBuster 6 Hour Race Report

Last weekend I was treated to perfect trail conditions for the JackRabbit 6 Hour Race in Hayesville, NC.  I was racing coed with the fast and furious Tyler Murch.  The whole SuperSport team, save for Mark Dee, was there.

Hanging out with the team.

Tyler elected to go first ... so thankfully I did not have to race down that looooong stretch of pavement on my SS, carrying a cadence of 160+!  Tyler said that he was gonna take it easy on the first lap and "feel out" the trail and competition.  Good idea, as he had never ridden these trails.

Tyler came out of the woods first, but it was not MY Tyler.  Our team had another duo racing, Tyler and Mary.  So as Mary went out on her first lap, I anxiously awaited my Tyler.  What a nail biter!  After several anxious minutes, Tyler arrived.  I had so much energy balled up, I fumbled around with the timing chip, losing precious seconds.

My first lap I was the greyhound chasing the rabbits.  Even though I went with a harder gear (32/18) this year as opposed to last year (32/19) when I raced solo, I still felt undergeared.  I also had not ridden JackRabbit since back in the winter, so I was pretty squirrelly in the turns.  I caught up to the 3rd place coed team about a 1/3 of the way through and the 2nd place coed team about 2/3 of the way through my lap.  I was really wanting to see Mary before I hit the pavement that would carry me back to the transition area, but Mary is one heck of an athlete (only 2nd year racing MTB's) and as I was spinning furiously on the pavement, I saw the other Tyler coming the other way.  I figured I had cut into their lead by at least 2 minutes.

The timing chip exchange went smoother this lap.  Tyler looked determined to amp it up this lap.  While he was racing, I headed over to the pits to do a little fueling.  As I grabbed my bottle to refill it, I realized I had not drank a drop.  So right then I decided that all further laps would be "bottle-less."  No need to carry an extra 2 pounds!  After a handful of dates and the bottle of Heed I had drug around on lap 1, I was ready to get back to business.

Tyler roared back in after his second lap.  I took off knowing Mary was just 2 minutes ahead.  Having got the flow of the course in my mind and legs, this lap was much smoother and more efficient than the first.  My Cysco, with its custom geometry and my Industry 9 wheels, with their instant engagement, allowed me carve the turns and hammer the short climbs, like a cheetah after a gazelle.  I finished the lap, yet again bringing the gap down to 30 seconds.

Tyler smelled blood and took off after Tyler like mad.  I knew that it was gonna be tight this lap, but when I saw both Tylers hammering down the pavement back to us, I could not believe it.  My Tyler had turned himself inside out and caught Mary's Tyler!  Game on!  As they rolled in to the transition, Tyler yelled out to Mary and I, "No pressure!"

I led Mary out.  I expected her to come around since she had gears, but she was content to let me lead.  She later told me that she wanted to learn my lines.  I was honored by this statement.  We were on fire and passing racer after racer after racer.  After a couple miles, Mary dropped off my wheel.  I later learned that a dude from behind ran into her and crashed.  She stopped to see if he was alright as he was screaming.  He was.  She was frustrated as his ineptitude cost her precious moments.  

I rolled into the transition with another hot lap:  funny, my lap times were within 25 seconds of each other.  I told Tyler to keep the rubber side down and don't get squirrelly.  His 4th and final lap was his fastest!  Talk about negative splits!  He smashed it!  So proud of him.  We ended up coming from behind to take the win.

Tyler and Mary finished second.  The rest of the SuperSport team had great finishes as well.

Proud to be a member.

Next up is the ChainBuster 6 Hour at Oak Mountain in a few weeks.  Once again, Tyler and I will have our work cut out for us.  Besides our teammates Mary and Tyler, we will also be up against Lisa Randall and her "secret weapon."  Let's just say this "beardy" fellow has a National Championship under his belt  and races for Jamis.  But I have confidence in Tyler and my abilities ... this will be an epic race!

Gotta love Randall!  He is the "Si" of the team!

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