Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fool's Gold

Packing up Jeff’s Tacoma (we have the same awesome truck) on Thursday morning, we set off on our Fools Gold journey. Driving south for roughly 6 hours, the first leg of our road trip brought us to Hendersonville, NC where we stayed with my family. (photo: Jeff riding in the Pisgahs)

The following morning we pressed deeper into the backwoods of Appalachia and made our way to Camp Wahsega where the Fools Gold 50/100 miler was to begin. After picking up our numbers, pre-riding a bit of the course, and wolfing down a tray full of cafeteria style spaghetti (the rolls were really good) we made our way to the Hiker Hostel. (BTW – The Hike Hostel is absolutely the BEST PLACE to stay for all your cycling and hiking needs. Thanks again Josh and Leigh!)

Saturday morning we awoke at the ridiculous hour of 4:30am (this is the other slightly obnoxious thing about the stupid long races) and sat down to a beautiful breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal made by the Hiker Hostel folks. Thanks again for getting up stupid early to make breakfast! (photo: cyclingnews.com)

Race day:

I’ve never really been all that interested in the psycho long distance stuff. The 100 milers sound like a lot of unnecessary chafing. However, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to road trip with Jeff through the southern Appalachians and the Fools Gold happened to be offering a 50 mile option (small price to pay for a southern odyssey).

So that is how I found myself at the starting line on Saturday morning. I really was not in a racing mindset and didn’t really feel like venturing much into the red zone.

The race started with a fairly long gradual climb. Maria set the pace and I sat on her wheel ….until she started to peel away from me ….and I really felt no desire to make it hurt enough to stay with her. It would not be until the third aid station that we would reunite. Upon our reunion I learned that Maria won Queen of the Mountain!!!! Yay Maria!!!! (photo: Maria is Queen of the Mountainn for the 50miler!!!!)

Maria and I rode together for the remainder of the race at something of a tempo pace ….not killing it ….periodically chatting in between the short steep climbs and the fast descents. At the last aid station (just 6 miles from the finish), Norma snuck past us. Had I realized we were vying for second place I think I would have probably been more willing to log in some time in the pain locker. Yeah, I really had no idea that we were doing as well as we were. Within the last couple miles I peeled away from Maria in the single track section and rolled in at 3rd place …which was actually a bit of a surprise. (photo: Jeff is King of the Mountain for the 100miler!!!!)

The next day I checked out results on line to find that we all finished pretty close to one another. Hmmmmm …..what the hell was I thinking? Why was it that my head wasn’t in-it-to-win-it? In retrospect, that could have been a fairly attainable win. What is it that goes on in the tangled jungle that is my head?

All in all, with the right about of chamois cream, 50 miles really wasn’t so bad. I think I might try out the Shenandoah 100. Who knows, maybe I’ll even try to race for real. Oh, speaking of which, the SM 100 happens to fall on my 29th birthday. Ahhhhh!!!!! That means I’m 30 in racing years!!!!

As for Jeff’s race …it’s always awkward trying to recount someone else’s race, but I will try my best. Jeff started out feeling pretty strong …evidence of which was apparent when he easily claimed King of the mountain early in the race. It wasn’t long before he and Jeremiah had successfully broken away from the field and set to work putting a sizeable gap on third place (Local hero Thomas Turner). (photo: new Spooky team kit = awesome)

I believe it was somewhere around mile 63 that Jeff had his catastrophic flat …a slash to the sidewall. After fixing the flat Jeff was back on the bike and chasing for just 10 short minutes before he flatted again, resulting in a 30 minute hike back to the parking lot. A sad sequence of events, he took it surprisingly well. I think I would have done a lot more pouting. (photo: Jeff in the Pisgahs)

Race Results >>>> HERE

Side note: Turns out Spooky is back in business! They’re definitely getting off to a good start. Check out their new team kits! Best design I’ve seen all year!

Sunday morning we headed back to the family homestead in Hendersonville.

Yesterday we rode some of the most beautiful, technical trails the Pisgahs have to offer. Many thanks to Mr. Vanderbuilt for so generously giving this land to the state of North Carolina! Jeff seemed to like the climb up Black Mountain a good bit.

What could be better than a day riding in the Pisgahs? Hmmmm ....birthday cake might come in at a close second.


gwadzilla said...

great job!

maybe endurance races are actually your thing!

bummer about jeff's DNF

the SM100 will only be that much more exciting of an event for him!

Ikon O. Klasst said...

Maybe NOT actively concentrating on winning is the way to go for you...some unorthodox, counterintuitive, Zen kinda thing that works all on its own.

Or maybe I'm just full of shit. ;)

Congrats, either way!

Anna said...

Thanks for the props guys!

Steve - Good luck at SSWC08!!!

Let me know if you plan on doing the ORIGINAL Punk Bike Enduro! I think it's in October?

Kate Flore said...

poor unicorn!

What better way to spend your birthday??

Anna said...

It is a rather alarming image ...definitely not for the faint of heart.

K-country said...

Way to podium! Is that your grandpa? He's a looker!!

Ikon O. Klasst said...

Dirt Rag's? I plan to be there. You?

Anna said...

That's the plan! Do you know when it is?