13 February 2008 - 1:072008 Jay Winter Challenge
Friday February 8th 2008, marked the beginning of something so crazy, you have to be there to truly get it.
It was the commencement of the 2nd annual Jay Winter Challenge. I attended the event last year, invited by the race director himself, Dan DesRosiers. Over the last year, we have gone back and forth on various crazy bike race ideas, and I’m quite pleased to have gotten a chance to know this man. He is a very twisted individual, and quite crazy. My kind of people!
He’s the same guy that brought us the Jay Challenge, the ultimate endurance triathalon. 70+ mile bike ride, 30+ mile off raod marathon, 20+ mile kayak across Lake Memphromagog.
The winter challenge is no stroll through the woods. It is a bike only event, a 30 or 10 mile ride on snowmobile trails, and new for this year, a 25 lap figure 8 ice crit. Oh boy!
When I saw the course I was shocked, amazed and utterly flabbergasted. There would most certainly be carnage!
The crit was Friday night. A crew of snowmobilers had groomed a figure 8 out on the frozen lake. A couple of road contruction generators and lights and voila! A race course. I must admit, I wish I had brought my bike. Watching the 25 laps around this moebius loop af death on ice was some of the most amazing bike riding I’d seen in a while. Among those that raced, were some folks I know, Brook Scachard, Racin’Rick from ME, and to my amazement, none other than Captian Dondo. Yeah, that’s right. THE Captain Dondo. For those that don’t know, he’s one of the originals to the sport of mountian biking. I used to read his atricles back in the day when he used to write for Mountain Bike magazine, roughly 14 or so years ago. We share many of the same values as cyclists, but I digress…
The race started with blast from the air horn, and the fury around the 8 began. I figured it would be about lap 6 when the opportunity for carnage would rear it’s ugly head.
Saturday morning I left Waterbury at 6, dragged my buddy M2 up to Newport, and set up for the main event. The weather was better this year, warmer, more snow.Well, may be not better for the riders, but better for those of us that stood around in the snow, as the daytime temperatures climbed, the snow got really soft. There were 2 road sections that were removed from last year’s course, which would add about an hour ot the race time.
There were a couple of guys who didn’t let it bother them, and managed to crush the field in record time (results at the end). The race temperatures started in the high teens, and warmed up to the mid 30s by noon. The weather in VT can be quite unpredictable in February, we’ve had quite the snowfall this season, the event was perfectly nestled between two major winter storms.
Brian King was the first to finish, riding an ice spike Specialized full suspension bike in the 10 miler
Alec Petro finished the 30 miler shortly thereafter on his Pugsley.
Lea Davidson (Trek pro rider) was the first to finish the 30, and Rebecca Van Dyke finished the 10.
The complete details can be found here.
Good job to everyone who came to the race. I hope to see you all again next year.