wilderness 101

or should i say, mechanical 101?


race day saw a pretty stacked field for the 2011 version of the wilderness 101, which saw a couple of ex-pro roadies along with the normal super fast riders.

going up the first climb it was all out, we were flying and there was not many with us, but by the top i was maxing out. not really knowing how much further it was until the end of the climb, i backed off and got into a little group.

we were about 8 strong, and were in a pace line - somewhat. i don't think the majority of them had ever ridden a pace line and it was breaking up with every rotation, but somehow we were closing the pack on the main pack that had slowed. as we neared them, some of the guys surged and then 4 of them popped off the back. 4 or 5 of us made it to the main pack around mile 20'ish and then they decided to up the pace again. damn. popped off again.

a few miles later and into the first real single track and some hellacious rock sections. i hit the section pretty hard, i think the chain jumped off a little and then i cranked down hard. not good. the chain had twisted around somehow and when i pedaled down, it bent the chain.

it was skipping bad, no way would i make it another 70'ish miles like this. so i jumped off, looked at it and the bent link was right before the master link. sweet - out with the chain tool, a quick fix and back on the bike.

10 feet later - snap! don't know what happened, but it snapped for good this time, and bent the master link too. somehow, i got it to bend back - but i had lost considerable time fixing it and damn near lost my cool a few times.

back on, i made it to the next station and had the mechanics bend the master link as best they could. more lost time.

now, the chain was cut short and i was not able to make it into the biggest two cogs when in my big ring. i would have to remember this or i would probably damage the rear derailleur. something very hard to do when your heart rate is averaging about 150 and you have 60+ miles to go.

up and down, up a climb and then down, and then - a sliced front tire and stans all over me. cut was so bad, there was no way sealant would fix it. and chris beck was right next to me, having the same issue.

so i gave him one tube that i had, i used the other. and off we went.

he would drop me on a climb, i continued on and flatted 3 more times on the same tire. at one point, i would walk for over 20 minutes waiting for somebody to pass with a tube. oh the futility.

finally, got a tube from a passing rider. at this point, i was sort of in a bewildered state from the mechanical mess of a race i was having. i ended up catching up with robert who rides for tomac and we would ride together the last 10-15 miles of the race. he was not having a great day either, so it was good to ride in together, bs along the way and forget about the issues that lay on the trail behind us.

their will be other days, and besides, got to ride on some nice trails and enjoy the day with 300+ plus mountain bike enduro freaks.

see you in wyoming.

sologoat out

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