1 August 2012 - 8:38Single Speed USA 2012 Pt.1
The 5th running of what has become the “official” unofficial singlespeed race is now history. I will admit that after “winning” hosting rights last year in Boulder CO, I had no clue what I was actually getting myself in to. Sure, I’d been to the last 2 events, but I was not really expecting what happened this year.
The madness began with a certain madman from AZ showing up at my shop on a rainy Thursday night. Mandy had been out on course in the afternoon doing some pre-emptive marking. It is not a fun job, but she got done in time to meet us at the Rez for dinner. It was after dinner that we all decided it would be cool to meet up at The Back Yard in Stowe (local super dive bar) and get our pre-party on. We closed the place down.
Friday came too early, and I had to be at the shop to meet and greet all the folks who were coming into town to play bikes. While I was shop bound, Mandy was out marking the 28-esque mile, 3500 ft-esque of climbing course. Lots of folks were rolling in, and while it was nice to get to meet and hang with some of them -Pat from AZ rode from the airport in Burli to my shop, where I was able to reward him with beer. Shortly thereafter, Eddie and Namrita O’Dea showed up, and then B29 rider Chris Muddiman. Being a Team 29 rider means you have to help me schlep kegs, and Chris helped me wrangle 111 gallons of PBR into his truck for Saturday. Then it was off for a quick bite, a change of clothes and up to the Matterhorn, a Stowe apres ski favorite, for registration.
Another late night had me rallying early to get the final details organized, mostly the aid station items. Team 29 rider Dough was very helpful in selecting “dough”nuts, chocolate covered ones to be exact, and he made short work of getting rid of half of them before we got back in the car. I almost lost my hand trying to grab one. We all got ourselves to our appointed positions, me with last minute/slacker registration, course marshals to their appointed spots, supplies to their designated areas etc etc.
Amazingly enough, the race left at 10 on the dot. I did have a bit of fun and made every one gather as close as possible around my podium (Scottie’s truck) for my pre race diatribe before I simply uttered the word “go”.
The course pretty much featured everything that there is to offer in Stowe. The route was figured out by Ron from iRide, Stowe’s real bike shop, Mandy, and myself over a few beers a couple of weeks ago. We put a lot of effort into the it, trying to showcase everything there is here, without having to do laps or get way out into the boonies. Managing a big group of riders in this area is tough, you can get pretty remote if you aren’t careful, and if something goes wrong… well, no one wants that.
The first half of the course is pretty rugged. Sterling Valley to be exact. It took me 2:15 to do it last weekend, albeit hung over. I figure it was a good gauge of how long it might take the average person to do the ride. Upon arrival at the mid point, one was greeted by the mid point “aid station”, hosted by Drunkcyclist. Lots of things other than water and nutrition here. I will admit that I was slightly horrified that the fast guys were here in less than 1.5 hours…
Come back tomorrow for the second installment!