PH100
I arrived at Grand Targhee Resort late Thursday morning. The following photos of my ride that afternoon don’t do it justice.

30 miles later I got back to the trailer and Christian and Milissa had recently got in and were setting up camp. Later after eating and a couple of beers, Andy -PH100 event promoter and Christian’s brother stopped in to relax. I found out then that current road cycling World Champion and fresh off his Tour de France Green Jersey winner Peter Sagan would be arriving tomorrow to compete Saturday in the 1 lap 50km race.  He was using it in preparation for his Olympic mountain biking debut in a few weeks.

We all headed out on a short 9 mile loop up Action Jackson and Buffalo Soldier trails a bit later for them to stretch their legs and me just because.


Friday morning I slept in til 8.  Usually C&M are up and finishing their coffee by 8 but because of wind and the worry of their sun shelter blowing away, it appeared they were none too happy when I knocked at their door at 8:30.

We all later headed out on the second half of the course to check out the new additions that Andy had built. Towards the end of the loop last year was a fast singletrack section that brought you down the mountain through the berms and jumps, this year was different. The addition of the new Snowdrift section was twisty and bumpy. The twists continued again after flying down a road dropping you off at the bottom where you had the cruelness of one last uphill to the finish/lap line. Boy this is going to be fun.

I replaced my fixed seatpost with a dropper post to give me more control on the descents and switchbacks that adorned the race course.
Race Day
The alarm woke me at 5:45 for my 7am race start. Outside my window I noticed that rain had soaked everything not under the tent. It was a welcome sight after 2 days of riding on dirt that resembled moon dust from many days without moisture. I pulled up a muscle warmup program on my Compex Wireless EMS to jump-start my legs and had some Hammer Nutrition Race Caps+++ I dragged my cooler containing a full Camelbak and 3 extra bottles up to the trail above my campsite that would act as my resupply point. Dressed and on my bike I did one short uphill spin before heading to the line for the start. The race starts on a dirt access road to break everyone up before entering onto the singletrack I eyed Sten and Gary in front of me and relaxed knowing that it’s a long climb and there was no reason to put myself in the hurt locker this early into a 100 mile race. I made little jumps here and there when others seemed to slow down and when we neared the last steep uphill before the descent of 38 Special (switchback heaven and hell) I jumped pass a group of riders to really narrow the gap. Flying down the trail, I caught Gary first and he let me by after nearly ran him over a couple times. Quickly after that I caught Sten and I knew he wasn’t going to let me get by him. We chatted it up on the descent and flew through the lower singletrack that led to a 3 mile paved road climb. We pretty much were content to ride together and he would let me go first into descents knowing I was faster. He would eventually catch up after each one as I was clearly not trying to drop him that first lap knowing we had 2 more to go. We crossed the line together as we entered the second lap heading onto Action Jackson trail. It’s an hour long climb from the start to the descent and I settled into a comfortable pace keeping an eye on Sten as he rode away. I only needed to keep him in sight as I would probably catch him on the descent of 38 Special. As the trail started to ease off I picked up the pace and started to really hammer when the trail started dropping a bit. On the 2 track section prior to 38Special, I heard the sickening sound of air and tire sealant escaping from my rear tire. Somewhere I clipped a rock and punctured my sidewall. Adding some air from my only CO2 cylinder I attempted to get it to seal as I rotated the puncture down and kept pressure with my finger. It was much to large a hole to seal. A passing singlespeed rider asked if I needed anything and I asked if he could spare a CO2. He obliged by dropping 2 out of his pocket. As I pulled my wheel off to put in a tube, Gary (the eventual Masters winner) passed me by. Aired up with a tubed tire, I headed down 38 Special. This time I would be 4 minutes slower to the road climb as I took it much easier since I was now without a spare tube if something did happen again. In fact everytime I headed downhill now I was much slower than previous due to being overly cautious. Going into the last lap I calculated that in my tired state, giving it what I had left in the tank, I would finish in 10:20 5 minutes outside the time limit to get a finishers buckle. I decided that I would ride strong on the climbs and back off on any tire slashing descents so that I could finish. It was at the top of Action Jackson and Buffalo Soldier trails that I was greeted by Milissa and Christian.

 Christian cheered me on as only he could by stripping off his shirt while Milissa took photos. I told Christian I was in need a spare tube or I might be looking at a DNF if I flatted again. When I came through the intersection again he was waving a tube which I gladly took. I through caution to the wind knowing I had a spare that I could finish on if I needed it. My times reflected the same as the prior lap but I attributed that more to lack of precision handling as I was pretty tired and motor skills to corner smoothly were not quite there.  On that last lap I caught up with the rider that saved my race when he gave me his CO2 cylinders.  I thanked him and continued on my way.  With a half lap to go, it started raining and I decided to hit the Aid station and get some fluids in me. Stopping there was a small mistake that I would pay for later. I jumped on my bike for the last 15 miles. With ~6 miles to go I saw a rider in front of me wearing the team kit of Gary Gardiner. Was I seeing things I thought? Only one way to find out as I pushed my pace through the North Woods trail only to lose sight of him. I sped up the hill towards Snowdrift and caught a glimpse of him again. “is that Gary?”, I asked myself. I was now on a mission to catch the mystery rider. He was also pushing hard and through the closing mile of the race he was right there in front of me. By then time and race course had run out, I finished 23 seconds behind him only to find out he was Gary’s teammate John Lauck, another masters racer. He had passed me while I stood at the Aid station. The probably unnecessary stop had cost me 3rd place. And with a finishing time of 10:17:53 it probably cost me a Finishers Buckle awarded to the riders that finish under 10:15:00

Next time

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Tatanka 100

Posted: July 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

There’s more to Sturgis SD than motorcycles.  Well at least for me there was.

It was the location of the finish for the Tatanka100 Epic. A point to point 80 mile race with over 10000′ of climbing that starts at Mount Rushmore and for the majority of the race follows the Centennial trail. The race is part of a larger race series called the National Ultra Endurance Series that showcases some of the best ultra the country. 

Two things worth mentioning about the day prior to the race. I suffered a crash while pre riding the finishing miles that I had to bandage up the wounds.   That evening I had a severe alergic reaction to something that caused me to break out in hives across my body. It took 2.5 benedryl to clear me up as I looked up the address of the nearest hospital. I did not get a good rest prior to my 4:15am wake up. 

I was lucky enough to have Christian doing the same race and was able to bypass the shuttle ride to the start.  The start time was originally 6:20 but was delayed 30 minutes due to the late arrival of the shuttle busses. It was already warm and the projected high was 91 degrees. Proper hydration was going to be key today and I had filled my 70oz Camelbak bladder with a HEED and Perpetuem mix that would carry me through to aid 2 at 30 miles.  I also filled a bottle with the same dry mix to add to my bladder as that has been my standard fueling strategy for awhile now. Turned out it was a good thing as the aid stations only had HEED which I would rely on from mile 50 to the end. 

A few big heads watching the race start 

Another Hammer athlete, Beverly Enslow from Illinois 

Beverly and myself

So with no idea how my race was going to go I headed out in the large group following the US Park Services vehicle as we sped around the pavement which let us to the singletrack. I maintain the position towards the front but not in the front on the back of all the faster riders knowing that they were going to burn some matches way before I wanted to you and I like to warm up in the my race. Those first few miles of singletrack a pretty hectic with tall grass, rocks, riders going off course and having to rejoin. There were some rocky areas where some rider had issues and they were having to pull off trail to let me through as I rode throug. There was the section about 7 miles in where it was hike-a-bike, playing to my strength since I do that kind of stuff all the time, I passed several riders there and soon found myself riding alone for the next 40 miles. I had no idea where I was in the overall or in my ‘old man’s’ category. 

I sped through the first aid station where Milissa, Christian’s wife was waiting for him

cruising into aid station 1

From there it was another awesome section of singletrack and fire roads leading to aid station 2. When I got there I asked where all the other master men were, thinking they were in front of me. NUE series director Ryan O’Dell, who was following the race answered that I was the first one. Dumbfounded I couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure that someone made the cut in front with the faster riders. Knowing I was in the lead I headed out on the third section of trail towards aid 3 with renewed energy and promptly started cramping. The thing about cramping and me is that I don’t stop, I grit and bear it and pedal on through softly. It’s always work for me and within minutes my legs hadloosened up and I was cruising again, alone.  

smiles when i found out i was in the lead

Within a few miles of aid 3 at the 50 mile mark, I was caught and passed by a singlespeeder and th eventual women’s winner. Not alone I was able to finally have someone to pace with. When I got to the aid, I proceeded to pour ice cold water over me as I had been cooking out there in the heat. It was the precise moment when the second place Masters rider, Marland Whaley, would show up, grab two water bottles from his support crew, and head out. I was a bit relieved to finally have someone else in front and worried because I was really suffering and he looked really fresh. I took off after him with Ryan taking photos of us as we headed into the next 17 mile section.  I cramped as we headed up the first climb out and backed off the pace to recover. In my mind I knew the 2 things I had going for me was I had been hydrating all day whenever I wanted due to my hydration pack vs his 2 small bottle setup and his hardtail bike would have shard time competing against me on my full suspension Salsa Spearfish. On the next road descent I couldn’t believe my luck as he almost overshot a turn onto the singletrack. I was on his wheel as we entered the climb and it was apparent that something was wrong as his speed was much slower than I expected. We both pulled off the trail for a couple faster riders in the shorter race. I deferred to him to go as he was in front and he said “no you go”.  Was this a trick I thought?  I decided with approximately 2 miles of climbing before a big descent to burn my matches and almost doubled to pace we had been climbing at to see what his reaction would be. Several minutes later I was all alone with no one in sight.  I bombed down the descent throwing caution to the wind as I drifted through switchbacks. I ended up crashing at speed as I slid on the pine needle covered trail and went over some rocks. Only some scrapes, I got up and charged down the descent again, and again the pine needles had their way but it was only a slow speed fall and I was quickly riding again as the trail straightened out. I had my GPS with course overlay showing the elevation profile and distance to next stop and hammered it out to the aid station. I didn’t waste any time and was quickly back on my bike with the final 15 miles remaining in a mostly downhill trending profile. I kept on the gas as best I could feeling much better than I did during the middle half of the race. As I crossed into Ft Meade recreation area I knew short of a race ending crash nobody was going to catch me. I eased off the pace so as to be focused on the final few downhills as I had crashed here 24 hours earlier. Even then I still struck a boulder with my pedal that sent me in the air. Luckily I landed in control and with 3 miles remaining irelaxed entirely to enjoy my first individual win in a long time. 

It was surreal as I crossed the line.  Ryan was there to congratulate me on a great race. DirtWireTV even did an interview with me. I was like, wow.  Now where’s the beer?  

Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes, Anti-Fatigue caps, and Endurance Aminos were used at regular intervals throughout the race. My main fueling was HEED and Perpetuem for the first half and HEED and 3 Hammer Gels the 2nd half. I never needed more but the cold coke with 15 miles to go sure tasted great. 

Later talking to Marland I found out that when I went by him he was suffering through cramps and had stopped to stretch. Furthermore he probably hit the same rock I did but was not so lucky as evidence of the blood on his arms and legs. 

Hammer Nutrition 1-2

custom TATANKA100 trophy


It was such a great course, I can’t wait to do it next year. 

Tuesday night Laramie MTB series races: Fun, hard, challenging, custom race plates
They let you: reconnect with friends, meet new friends, push yourself past your comfort level on descents, pass slower riders, get passed by faster riders, get eaten by mosquitos, eat same mosquitos, enjoy the trails of Happy Jack, finish at dusk to applause. 

Post racing you can expect: Lycra, baggies, smiles, good food, race talk, beer, awards, random name raffle prizes, thanking sponsors, memories, more mosquitos, online results, online photos.

Next race: more of the same!

http://laramiemtbseries.com/

 

Rattlesnake Rampage, Glendo State Park, last year this was my my first race post cervical fusion. A race I will probably do every year due to the difficulty level. Free camping, lunch-dinner, and an awesome trail system. Seriously some of the best trails that no one knows of ‘shhhhh’. Prior to the race I was having leg cramps from ?? So at midnight I took a couple Endurolytes. Boom, slept well with no more cramps. Forecast was for a high of 99 so I loaded my hydration pack with my favorite HEED flavor Strawberry. True to my race nutrition, breakfast consisted of a coffee. Yep, a habit that I’m not going to drop. One hour prior to start it was Endurolytes, Race Caps, and Anti-Fatigue caps to prime me up. Before the start it I took my Endurance Aminos and a Nocciola gel. Race started out fast on a road climb to break it up and I found myself in the front 5. Being almost 50 years old, I consider this an accomplishment that I can compete with these guys 10-20 years younger. Craftiness, experience, and Hammer Nutrition has helped me get to where I am still. As Craig, the eventual winner pulled away from everyone, I was content to maintain position with the 2 riders in front of me. I eventually let them get away on a very hard technical section knowing that I could probably use my knowledge of the trail to catch them on the descents. Mike, a rider from western Wyoming caught and passed me until an untimely fumble in a rock garden allowed me to get by.

Chasing Christy

Chasing Christy


Hitting the descents, I opened it up knowing the trail flow. I eventually caught up to Evan and Christy who were going much slower on the descents. Easing back and sipping HEED from my pack I was relaxed but in reality wanted to pass. Unfortunately for Evan, he hooked a tree with his bars and crashed, he was fine. Christy let me pass and I made the most of the rest of the descending before pushing too hard and fumbling myself in the rocks on the following climbs. With Christy on my wheel, I pulled over and let her by hoping to see her again (not a chance).
through the rocks
I settled into my pace not wishing to blow up before the halfway point. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a top overall position and I was determined to not relinquish it. Knowing a few of my closest pursuers were on hardtails, I felt confident as I rolled strong through the rough rock sections on my full suspension Salsa Spearfish. The heat was pretty unbearable but I was cramp free and hydrated. On a fast, smooth section of trail I saw what appeared to be water on the trail. Everything slowed down in my mind but happened in less than a second “…water? Why is there water on the trail? I don’t remember any water here last weekend. I wonder if my wheels will stick?” The answer would be, Nope. DOWN I GO! Sliding on wet grass on my left side, my knee hitting my bars (ouch), it was cool water(yeah!) though. I get up, and jump back on thinking, wow, that could have been worse.
finishing Twenty15
Continuing on with only one last obstacle to the finish I maintained pace without looking back. On the final climb I looked back and was pretty sure no one could catch me. In the last switchback I saw no one behind me. I was pretty tired and couldn’t even get the energy up to jump the bumps on the last stretch to the finish. 3rd place overall, incredible, as I thought only a year ago I would never ride competitively again. So fun to be performing well. Credits to Milissa Melle for the photos and Hammer Nutrition for the support.

The forecasted storm for this past weekend, upwards of 10″ of snow, never materialized at my latitude/longitude. It did snow some, maybe a couple inches, but the constant drizzle of rain and cold temps sucked. Prior to the ‘Storm’ I was up snowshoeing with my dogs, a friend, and his son. Under calm conditions and deep snow it was a treat. 
Of course Lily could only think of how big a stick she could carry.


Then Thursday afternoon came with rain and sleet. Followed by more of the same on Friday. Yuck and double yuck. 

Waking up Saturday and looking outside at snow flying sideways with the wind I made the decision to stay indoors as the temperature never crested freezing. 

Sunday warmed up under sunny skies and I felt confident that the trails would be passable. Lol, who was I kidding, I fully expected to turn around at the first full road mud moat that often happens when the snow melts fast.  To my delight the dirt roads were rideable. I dodged the mud holes to stay as dry/clean as possible. Thoughts came in my head ” do I climb to Buford or ride through Gowdy? Dirt or snow/mud?”  I chose Gowdy singletrack. 

There was rideable trails and snow.


And not so rideable snow


I had fun nonetheless. It was probably about 75-25% ride vs hike on the trails. But beautiful regardless 


The weather looks good for the next week.  I’m going to enjoy it. Next weekend I’m going to the Wyoming state bowling championships in Lander. Maybe I’ll bowl a 300… Over three games.

Thanks for reading. Leave a message if you like or dislike, feedback is important for me.  

Along with the season premier of Game of Thrones last weekend Wyoming was warming up quite nice. A trip to Glendo State Park was planned with expected temps 80s and 70s. I arrived Friday afternoon, setup camp, and headed out for a nice short loop of Buffalo Run-Gigawatt-Rattlesnake-Feather-dam road back to camp just in time to meet up with Tim and Barb who were riding there for the first time. 

My dogs met Hazel (their dog) and all was well.  They set up their popup Aliner camper and we relaxed to beers and the awesome setting where we had camp as I described what to expect. Techy uphill rocky power spurts, flowy sections, with fast blind descents.  


The next day we met up with Mike and it was game on. Or rather, time to ride. Honestly, I was out to ride my legs off so it was a tour where I rode hard and then we regrouped. Typical modus operandi for me. That’s how I roll people, so drop it.   We had an awesome 3 hours of riding, mixed with the repair of Mike’s rear wheel that was on the verge of imploding.  finishing back at camp to check on the pups and drink a beer as we ate some chips and salsa. Yeah, I know, awesome way to recover from all that climbing and descending.  FYI, I downed a Hammer recovery and regular bar also. 


Part 2 was sans Mike as he headed back south to Cheyenne. I promised 10 miles and delivered. We rode out to the northern trails. Less techy but not smooth.  Narrows Bluff-Toadstool-back on Narrows to 2015/17. It was super fun.  ~26 miles ridden.  

Dinner, talk, and dog antics ensued. The next days forecast was not good and Tim’s allergies were in hyper drive.  The overnight rain did not help things. 

The next day as I watched  Liege-Bastonge-Liege live on Eurosport, I saw the approaching storm in the distance from my window.  Tim knocked on the door and said basically what I was thinking.  There would be no riding today. Time to pack and head home. 

The day after I parked my truck -Airstream combo in my new garage, I drove my Mini Cooper home in 2″hail with an expected snowfall that night  of several inches.  As I watched episode 1 of GoT’s current season, I recalled the tag line…”Winter is Coming”. Indeed it is here…again.  May it be gone quickly. 

The forecast for Friday is upwards of 12″ locally.  May God have mercy on the Lannisters.

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2016 12 Hours in the Wild West hosted by Zia Rides

12-Hours-in-the-Wild-West-Logo-Horiz-White-300x158

9 April 2016 Ruidoso, New Mexico

The month leading up to the race I had rode less than 80 cumulative miles.  A flu bug bit me and bit me hard the day after I received an entry into the race representing Hammer Nutrition.  My enthusiasm for racing hard for 12 hours waned significantly due to my perceived lack of training.  So in the interest of making it fun in the case that something didn’t go as planned I brought my dogs and running shoes. Whoa, as planned? Who was I kidding, I was already planning on beers and heckling other riders by noon with my dogs by my side. 

The Thursday prior to the race I started my trek south to Ruidoso with a stop in Albuquerque to pick up my Airstream that had some repairs and upgraded batteries installed that would also serve as my sleep quarters.  I think I won the unofficial “Furthest Drive” award from the promoter Seth Bush and his Wife.  Having never been to Ruidoso I had no idea what to expect.  I certainly did not expect the high elevation forested hills set in a resort community.  It was fabulous. 

I arrived around noon Friday and discovered that all the good “Solo alley” parking was already full to the point that I was not going to even attempt to set up there.  So I parked about as far as one could get from the transition tent and set up camp for the dogs and I.  After having not ridden my bike for a week I figured I’d better get one lap in to plan when I would be cracking a cold one.  The course, 11 miles long that starts with ~5 miles of ascending and what seemed like an equal part descending was killer.  I was grinning ear to ear as I ripped through the downhill sections noting the warning triangles at danger spots.  Maybe tomorrow won’t be so bad after all I thought to myself.  Returning to camp I met my weekend neighbor Trevor and his son.  They were the kind of neighbors you want to have at an event like this, fun and outgoing. 

I prepped all my gear, Hammer Endurance Aminos, Race Caps, Anti-Fatigue Caps, and bottles of HEED and Perpetuem with the thought that all would be fine. I decided to use a hydration pack instead of bottles due to the nature of the course, almost all singletrack. So the bottles would be my refill option every couple of laps. Mistake 1 and 2 discovered.  1: only one bladder and 2: not enough bottles.  As I drifted off to sleep thunder sounded outside and I brought the dogs inside from their kennels. A light rain started soon after. Mistake #3 was not deploying my awning. I was awaken around midnight to a pounding rain outside that made me realize how much I hate riding in mud let alone in rain. If it came to it, I would be a volunteer under the tent instead of a race participant.  5:30am, up and feeding dogs and drying off my wet bike. It’s low 40s outside and wet, I put on every bit of clothing I have brought including my fleece gloves and vapor barrier under the socks to hold off any Reynauds reactions I might have. To say I’m none too delighted by the wet and the temps would be an understatement. I was looking so forward to warm southern New Mexico.  it was not what I expected, FYI, the high was in the low 60s. To be honest it was warmer than the 40s I left behind in Wyoming.  6:15 am racer meeting, we find out amongst other things that the city had voted to change the ordinance that forbid camping in city limits just for this race weekend. THANKS RUIDOSO!

7 am race starts with a shotgun blast and I calmly ride in the mix. No trying to move forward, just pedaling along like it was a big group ride.  Honestly, I can’t recall ever doing this. I usually just hammer it and settle in to an endurance pace later. On the long climb I find myself in the conga line that forms in races like this on trails like this. Everyone was so silent, no talking, no music from somebody’s Bluetooth speaker… No fun.  I commenced to get a conversation going with everyone around me, ringing my bell, and requesting some jokes and where everyone was from. It was not the crowd I thought they would be.  Listen up people, it is 12 hours of solo/duo/team riding, have fun, talk it up, it’s the first lap, you will never be any fresher than now. Oh, and put a freaking bell on your handlebars.  By mile 4 I finally was able to make a break from the doldrums to excitement. I pleasantly, or annoyingly, found myself with a large gap in front of me to ride as fast as I wanted. And I did exactly that. At mile 5 the drop in elevation commenced and the 2 rock gardens endorsed by Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid did nothing to slow me down (till later, but only just a little).

There was one thing that I have neglected to mention, the mud. Remember that rain?  Yeah well it turned that awesome dirt to mud. During the conga line, more than a couple times I was forced to hoof it when a rider fumbled. Shoe cleats, pedals, and drivetrains were coated. Coated in a thick muck.   Back to the race.  The final few miles of trail included some fresh cut trail that were fun. They included a couple banked sections that, try after try, I could never master completely without braking. 

The arrival at the start / finish tent was worth it. Crowds of applause every lap. The announcer proclaiming your name and, for me at least, commenting on my kit and how she hoped Hammer Nutrition knew how well I was looking in it. This was before she ever knew I was a Hammer Ambassador.  One lap down and my bike in the second lap was sounding like a screech owl when I got on the power. There wasn’t a rider around that didn’t know I was coming up their backside that lap. I made it through lap 2, informed the announcer of my Hammer Nutrition affiliation and was rewarded with her announcing to everyone about how she uses Hammer herself. It was pretty cool. She continued to cheer me on every time I came through letting the race venue know. I pitted this lap to fix my obnoxiously loud drive train. Mud crusted over my derailleur pulleys causing issues and my chain was in need of some lube. Oh, and dogs needed to get out. See, still not taking the race seriously. Issues and dogs taken care of, I rode back to the course. Lap 3, sweet jesus, I felt like I was riding in stealth mode as I overtook the other solo riders that didn’t have to ride off course ~.25 miles and walk dogs who had moved in front of me.

finishing up lap 4 I pitted to refuel.  For fun I checked the standings online.  WTF? 7th place?  What the hell am I doing in 7th place overall Solo. Now I need to seriously ride for 12 hours. New Goal: put my personal problems aside and race for 12 hours.

The dirt was getting seriously good but the lack of training and the repeated hammering from the rock sections was taking it’s toll.  It was taking longer up the climb to feel good before I could push it and the descents were killing my wrists and neck. 

I had half jokingly said to myself that I could make 8 laps during the drive down.  The joke was on me as I finished lap 7 and headed out on lap 8.  Seth’s wife was ecstatic as she announced one more for me (which is what she did for everyone) BTW, Seth your wife is an awesome announcer/motivator.  With no one to push me through most of the lap I rode a bit slower than before knowing I would easily finish the lap under the 12 hour limit.  My last mistake was letting 2 riders, who I perceived to be team riders as fast as they were riding,  pass me… one in the final 1/4 mile finished 3 seconds in front of me.  I dropped from 7th to 9th overall in the Solo category, a minor disappointment as I had ridden further than I initially thought, had pushed myself past the point of breaking and owe it a lot to my buddy Tony that had told me “dude, even when you are sick your a better rider than most people”.  I’m not sure if that was meant as a compliment or a way of shaming me but it worked. 

Seth’s wife handed me my finishers award, a doughnut.  I was like “where’s the beer for finishing?”  she kindly handed me a pint glass off the table and directed me towards liquid pain reduction therapy. 

I have to thank the people that believed in me, Hammer Nutrition, Zia Rides, and my 3 patient dogs for an awesome weekend of racing.