Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fun Ride


The other day i went out to the trail to try to get some laps in for fun and when i stopped to take the picture above i noticed i had a voice mail from Matt and he wanted to do a night ride out to Cottonwood Falls(50 miles round trip). Sounded like fun i thought so i ran home and threw on the lights and was off to meet up with him.

We(Randy, Steph, Matt, and myself) left town at about 9ish or so into a beautiful sunset. The ride was at a decent speed but nothing fast...just a relaxing ride.

(Matt, Randy, Myself)

Once to Cottonwood Falls we stopped and put down a couple beers as the gas station was shutting down.

(Matt working out his inner demons and Steph)

So we finally started to head back to Emporia at about midnight or so. It took us an hour and a half to get to Cottonwood Falls and would take us two and a half hours to get back. Probably could have been faster if not for all the shorts breaks and Matt not feeling so hot...poor guy...shouldnt have been trying to hold my wheel! haha just messing with ya Matt.

Here is a couple other pics from the night:

Matt on the way to Cottonwood

Randy showing off his new training secret with Steph

Steph enjoying the ride

Matt and Steph on one of the many breaks on the way home

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dirty Kanza 200


Prerace Picture

L-R: Jim Cummings, Me, Tim Mohn, Matt Brown, Lelan Dains, Mike Wise

Well its been a week since the Dirty Kanza 200(a 200 mile gravel road race for those who dont know) and I figured I am over due for a update and some thoughts on the race. Sorry about the long post but long ride equals long post.

The day started just like any other before a race...with a great breakfast and some coffee to make up for the 2 hours of sleep you got from being to nervous to sleep. So after some early morning fuel I headed off to the start line located at a hotel in town. Thanks again to Mikes parents for letting us put our bikes in there hotel room so it would be less to worry about getting to the hotel. So once I get there and was finally ready to do this, they start the rider meeting with news that the race will now start at 8 a.m. because of the weather south of town that had hail and strong winds. 10 minutes later they sent us out anyway and it payed off beautifully.
Once off we were escorted out of town be the local police to about a mile outside of town where we would hit our first gravel of the long day.

This made for a funny time seeing some of the riders from out of state on the gravel with there cross bikes just getting kicked all around.

The pace for the first 20 miles was crazy fast. We averaged 20 mph and the crazy thing was everyone was keeping casual conversations at this pace. It was looking like it was going to be a great ride.

With the lead group pulling away before the first climb the group would slow to go single file across one of the first of many water crossings of the day.
The first climb of the day would be a preview of what was to come...a super fast pace up some crazy large hills! The first hill used to be something I would dread but on this day it didnt even seem like a hiccup compared to what we would later see.

Once over the hill Mike and Lelan would break off with the lead group of about 10 or so after the first hill. Jim, Tim, and myself would take just a notch off of that pace to relax a little bit and save ourselves for the next 170 miles still to come.

While the rest of Team High Gear was just relaxing into the grove Matt Brown was out just plain smashing it with the rest of the top dogs!

As a team the rest of us(Me, Lelan, Mike, Tim, and Jim) would just destroy the first 50 miles about a little over 3 hours with Mike and Lelan beating us into Madison but waiting for us.

After leaving Madison for the next 50 miles the Team High Gear train would form and would make short work of the section leading into Cottonwood Falls.

This section started with a long section of "Minimum Maintenance Road." This section had a deep water crossing that I have got to give props' to Mike for trying to ride. The water was so deep and fast that I thought it was going to sweep Mike away...and that is no easy task folks!

Ok so enough pictures now for my thoughts. That was by far the funnest/hardest ride I have ever done...and I had to drop out at the 155 mile mark! I feel as if I learned more about my body in that one day than possible. I had been dealing with cramps for about 9 hours when I did call it quits but I feel as if I still won after just getting that far, cramps or no cramps. It was something else to pull into every check point and having people cheering for you and the great pit crew of High Gear there to help us out...Ya I am talking about you Steph, Jenna, Randy and Marvin! I stepped off my bike at the 100 mile check point to be waited on by them like I was royalty....It really gives you the strength to go on.

And I have got to mention thanks to Matt again for dropping out and driving by and seeing me and saving my life and giving me a chance to laugh for a little bit. I dont think I will ever forget you and me just laughing like little kids about how big the climbs were and everyone else in the car just looking at us like "We need to get them to a hospital." Still makes me laugh thinking about it.

Mad Mike you deserve some big time props' (along with your wife Shelly...wait change that...your whole family) for making the amazing prerace carb loading meal that still is in my dreams! Also for being a great support crew and it was awesome to see your parents come so far to support you in something you love. 11th place with an extra 14.78 miles too because he is just "Mad" like that.

Lelan got out and got into a pace that would not be denied! Even with 3 flats(By the way were is my tire iron!) he would pull into 14th right as the sun was setting for the day. Lelan probably gets the award for biggest support crew for the whole family at the start of the race! Thats what happens when your big time I guess.

And for Jim(#37) and Tim (#66) thanks for pushing me till I exploded! Just kidding. These two put down a solid pace and never once swayed from it. Tim would pull in 3rd place....2nd year in a row. Now thats consistency for an event like last all day. Jim would pull in not far behind him in 4th place.

Well thats about all I got...Thanks again for Tim, Joel, and the Heartland crew for putting on an amazing race and thanks to Matt for helping put together an amazing course. Also thanks for the pictures Shawn at IM design. Also look for picture in Mountain Bike Action...we had photographers at the race from there.
Copyright 2010 Seagato