Monday, May 28, 2007

6 Hours of Gears Report

HUGE thanks goes out to Emily B. for taking these pics and for giving me hand ups all day. You did a great job even though I couldn't hold on to a thing. Be sure to thank your pit crew every time folks they are what keep us goin. Yeah I smiled like this all day, it was just rockin fast fun. Check out the full red Kit.
The gun and run start.
The fully rigid set up was the total ticked today that along with the Ergon grips made happy NOT to have front suspension at this race
Had to run the Planet Bike fender, because it was suppose to rain all day, but that proves what the weather man knows because it only did a little spitting on us.

Below is William of Michael's Cycles, his wife left was doing a great job keeping him going, I just wish she hadn't done quite so good a job.
I'm going to call this nail biter "Goin For It." I decided last minute to pull my Jersey Devil FS out of the truck and grab the Single Ramble Tamble for Saturday's 6 Hours of Gears. I knew I could bring both bikes and if I fell behind on the single I could grab the geared bike and go, but that seemed a little unsporting, you know burn the bridge behind you and go for it. Like I said I have raced this course before and it is perfect for 29ers and singles so I decided to see if I could podium in the 6 hour race. There was no single division so I knew I would need to really drop the hammer if I wanted to place. At 1pm the gun went off and we all ran to our bikes, I was 2nd or 3rd in and was back about the same at the top of the first climb. I passed a couple of guys and was sitting on the back of the first place rider trying to stay with, about half way in I passed him and started to throw down a little gap. He caught and then we went back and forth for another mile or so until he asked me if I was racing a Duo team, to which I said "nope", he replied, "well I am." I started laughing and said " shit I wish you had told me that at the start." I neglected to notice that he was running a blue plate which would have told be to stop blowing myself up, but it worked well because we put a couple hundred meter gap on the rest of the field. Just as we were turning into the final stretch I threw my chain, which cost me a few seconds and allowed the 2nd and 3rd place riders to come up and pass me. I got the chain back on and spent the next couple of minutes chasing them down. After I rejoined them I didn't wait, I passed and tryed to put the gap back on them, I again got up the trail a couple hundred meters when the second place rider Chris Strout came up to join me. We rode together working to be faster than the field which is a smarter plan than trying to blow each other up. Side note, Chris is from Chicago racing with Met Life and working for SRAM, a really nice guy if you get to race against him. Ok back to the action, we were still riding together into the second hour and I was still having chain trouble, but I was always able to get it on and re engage, until it finally tossed on both ends and I had to stop at the bottom of a hill, Chris asked if he should wait and I told him to go, but thanks. I ran second for a couple more laps until Chris Barron finally came up and passed me. This is where the story gets fun for me and for everyone in the pits. 3rd place, William Livingston racing for Michael's Cycles catches me somewhere around 3pm. He and I ride together and go back and forth for the next 3 hours. I will put a lead of 30 seconds on and then he will catch and put a lead of 30 seconds on me. I find him in the pits having a banana and he finds me putting my chain back on the bike. A great guy and a great competitor, he tells me at 5pm that he hit a wall a hour or so ago. I feel bad for him, but am thinking I might be able to put it away because I am now starting to really feel good and warmed up at this point. Every time I see him just in front of me, he is working to stay on the podium and refusing to give up an inch. You gotta respect that. We go back and forth for the next 3 hours until the last lap, he finishes at 5:41:15. I see him pulling off because he doesn't think he can put in 1 more lap in the next 19 min. I came through at 5:41:57, I looked at the clock and thought to myself, it will be a long ride home wondering if I could have done it so I better go for it. I turned to William as I rode by, smiled and said " I just want you to sweat it out for the next 20min that's all." The long and short of it is I rode so hard I thought my lungs would pop out my skull, I came in knowing I was close, I turned the final corner as I came in and saw the time read 7:03. I didn't make it, but at least I didn't have to drive home wondering what could have been. I checked my Planet Bike computer to see how much time I spent not moving because of my chain and the total was 3min 26seconds. I don't know if it would have made the difference William was going hard and in the end I failed to make sure my equipment was 100%. In the end I finished 4th overall, I put down 76 miles in 6:03 or 18min back from the leader. 1st place 76 miles in 5:45. 2nd 76 miles in 5:56. 3rd 72 miles in 5:41:15.For the official ending my 4th place was 72 miles in 5:41:57. I averaged 12.6 miles per hour and all with 1 speed. Do I think 29ers work, I think this one sure does.

8 comments:

bnelson said...

good job lee it sounds like you had fun

Jeff Kerkove said...

cool! Good to see a good turn out at that event. But what is up with the low lap miles? I would have killed myself!!!!

Chris said...

Actually, Jeff, the course was super-cool -- it was only about 5 miles around, but flowed really well and had a little bit of everything. I don't know about the 12-hour guys, but for 6 it was just about perfect. Lee, great race, thanks for pulling me around for a couple laps, sorry about your chain!

MTB Girl said...

Great race! Thanks for coming out to ride our course. It was great to see so many "happy" people!

Jeff Kerkove said...

Just making an observation based on the winner turning 30 laps in the 12 Hr race. Guess, I missed the part where I said I was not "happy" or the course was not "super-cool" [confused]

enduroloco said...

Hey I was riding with ya in the first singletrack section with the swobo kit in the 12 hour duo. Good work out there course was pretty fun, but I definitely don't regret riding the hardtail on and off for 12 hours it felt much faster see ya at Nine Mile

Adam Lisonbee said...

Good job Lee! Way to hammer it out all the way to the end.

I think I am going to race a 12 Hour on the Ramble Tamble in late June. The SS is taking over!

Regina said...

I'm a professional pit girl this year. Sounds like you guys had fun out there. See you at Wausau, I'll be racing as well.