Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Chubb SHART by Scott Shaw

2016 Chubb SHART by Scott Shaw

Team Virtus came up with the idea of creating Shared Adventure Race Training courses or SH.A.R.T.s.  The first one was set up in Lost Valley and was designed to be a mountain biking course with very minimal bushwhacking.  It was a great idea, so I started thinking of doing a SHART too.  I have always loved the Chubb Trail for its difficulty and different terrains.  It is also fairly remote, so it doesn’t get a lot of use, until lately.  20 years ago I wouldn’t see more than one other person on it.  Now there are lot of people using it and they are a mix of trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians, but it is mostly used as a hiking trail.  Most people hear Chubb Trail and wince.  I wanted to try to get people out there, and it fit in with making my Epic Chubby course that I have dreamt of for years.  I set the course to be an advanced course that would take approximately 8 hours and travel a distance of 20-26 miles.  I wanted it to be a mix of biking and bushwhacking, but also be able to be completed by advanced trail runners.  Yes, you had to have orienteering experience or you wouldn’t be able to find CP1.

                The start was at the West Tyson Chubb Trailhead.  You were to travel up the trail by bike (or foot), to the second turn in the trail.  The circles on the map were pretty large so you should have been looking at the center of the circle for the CP placement.  The clue was boulder.  You should have rode through a boulder section of the trail, got off your bike and bushwhacked in the CP’s direction, down a small cliff, to another boulder with the CP tied to a tree, which was growing out of the boulder.  CP1 was easy unless you didn’t know what the CPs looked like or how small they were, which is why I posted pictures of the CPs beforehand, and each CP was double marked with green duct tape.  Collect the letter from CP1 and you have (I). 

                From CP1 you could either go back to the trail and ride to the CP2 area, or bikewhack across to the trail closer to CP2.  I did the course 3 times and each time I did the course I decided to leave my bike on the trail and walk back to it and avoid bikewhacking.  Counting the switchbacks should have landed you near a sharp switchback and a Southwest turn.  If you didn’t count the switchbacks or check your bearing on the trail, then you probably picked the wrong one and never found it, as Neil and I found out when we were taking the course down.  It took us three or four times to dead reckon from the switchback to find it.  CP2 was navigationally difficult so if you found this one, then kudos to you.  You were to find the correct switch back and bushwhack to large boulders, which the CP was tied to a tree growing out of the boulder.  CP2 gave you the letter (P). 

                From CP2 I bushwhacked back to my bike awaiting on the trail.  The first two times I either hid my bike or locked my bike to a tree, but the last time I just let it sit near the trail and when coming back to it we dropped too low and had to walk the trail back to them wondering if they were still there.  You were supposed to ride the trail and count the crossings until you got to the picnic table.  This was a super easy check point, but the map wasn’t totally updated to the new trail re-route, so it could have caused you problems if you saw two trails on your left and only one on the map.  Anyway you took the trail and found CP3 (O) tied to a tree in a pit.  If you had eagle vision you could see it from the trail.

                A short ride to a switch back took you down the “steps” and a short bushwhack back up towards the trail you just rode down would take you to a boulder field and CP4 (O).  This CP should have been easy, but I heard some had problems finding it.  Once you found the boulder field, the CP was placed on the largest one with a tree growing out of it.  Now for CP5, the mother bushwhack.  The first time I went to CP5 I locked my bike to a tree at the steps and bushwhacked across some serious elevation to the creek and up to the CP.  On the way I snapped my shin on a rock and nearly fell to my death.  I found out weeks later that I lightly tore my Achilles tendon in the process.  CP5 was supposed to be extremely difficult, which it was, but Neil approached it by riding alongside the prairie to the creek and then bushwhacking up the creek past the creek junction to the monstrous hill with the little cliff face on top.  The CP was atop the cliff face and gave you (P).  This was the best approach, safer and faster.  He then took the creek back to his bike waiting in the prairie.  I, on the other hand, had to climb all that elevation back to the steps to get my bike back.  The next time we took Neil’s way again.  If you took the creek back to the prairie and backtracked some to the next creek you could take that one to the water fall and find CP6 (E).  CP6 was supposed to be really easy, but the vegetation grew in and made the creek exit hard to find.  If you got to CP6 you got to walk on one continuous piece of rock that was slippery as all can be but amazingly long and was also part of the beautiful rock formation that was the waterfall. 

                CP7 was deviously laid out on an island.  WTH you say?  Well this is TeamBOR.  TeamBOR stands for Balls Out Racing.  CP7 on an island is BALLS OUT.  You may have gotten to the area and realized the only way to get the CP was to swim.  I think your heart either sank and you skipped it, or your adventurous spirit kicked in and you swam across.  I hope you did the later.  The current was strong and you had to swim hard.  If the water was low enough you could wade across.  I waded twice and swam once.  The island was full of Stinging Nettle and you were to find a boat abandoned on the island.  I was afraid the boat would disappear in high water so the CP was tied to a tree nearby; CP7 (D).  

                Swim back to your bike and ride to CP8.  The clue was, “this is where you store your clothes camping.”  You are riding along the trail and see a camper in the woods.  You can tell the flood relocated it here.  You now have to explore it.  You look through all the drawers, closets, and then remember that SHARTs revolve around pooping and look in the head and find the CP8 (M) hanging from the towel rod above the toilet.  The third time I went to it I was amazed that it was hit by high water again and was in way worse condition as it was before.

                Leave the camper behind and now make the choice to be the real deal, or a sissy, and decide to grab CP10 first (Sissy!), or ride to CP9 first (Balls Out!) and get them in order, knowing full well that you will have to ride back to CP10 and then back past CP9 to CP11.  I did this on purpose to make you decide whether or not you had the balls to ride the rock garden over and over.  Neil had the balls the first time and rode to CP9 first, making me proud.  The sissy way did cut a lot of miles off the course and would have made your time much faster.  If you skipped CP9 (Y), then you really screwed yourself because it was really easy and a beautiful little swimming hole with clear flowing water and a nice sunning rock. 


You then rode back the way you came and took the trail to a swamp and easily found CP10 (P).  You then had to ride back past CP9 to the Castlewood Loop through the “sand pits of hell” to get CP11 (A), which was under an elevated car tire.  CP11 navigationally was easy, but someone really buried it in a brush pile under that tire and you had to be pretty flexible to get it.  From CP11 you had to decide to ride back the way you came in the sand or ride on.  If you chose to ride on you found out that the trail is super muddy all the way to CP12 and the sand may have been easier.  I don’t think either way saved any time, but may have saved your sanity.  CP12 (N) was in a ruined barn.

                You then rode the rest of the trail to the Lone Elk Chubb Trailhead and bushwhacked down a small reentrant to CP13 (T).  It was placed here just to make you ride the entire trail.  After that you rode the entire trail back to the picnic table.  Hopefully you took the dry shorter High Water Route, but if it was dry the Low Water Route is more fun.  At the picnic table you should have turned onto the fast and dry Flint Quarry Trail and took it to Mimi’s Overlook Bench.  It was easier here to bikewhack carefully down the hill to CP14 (S) and then out to the trail and then take the trail to the road and the road to the finish at the West Tyson Trailhead.  Bikewhacking here did cut off some sweet single track, but saved you a terrible climb back up to your bike.  Your CPs spelled out, “IPOOPEDMYPANTS” and you probably did!

                In conclusion, I received many complaints that I made the course too hard and too long and people are afraid of Chubb Trail.  I thought this was adventure race training.  I wasn’t aware that adventure racing was easy and short.  I am also on TeamBOR and we are Balls Out, so it was supposed to be hard and long, no pun intended.  For you cry babies out there, maybe stick to golf.  The results follow.

1st place Neil Dickhaus

2. Lo’s Team

3. Amanda and Dave

4. The Barts

5. The Vohsens

6. Anyone else who tried and didn’t send in their results.

Last place. Losers that didn’t try.

                Stay tuned for the Grant’s SHART designed for beginners.  It will be a road biker’s introduction into finding CPs and may have a shorter family friendly course in between.  I may set up the Chubb SHART again in late fall and keep it up all winter as it will be easier without vegetation.  I will move the water CPs to dry land.  There will hopefully be a Chubb SHART Two that will be a summer course designed to be a water world nightmare and yes boats will be required. - Ahab.

Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Cedar Cross by Scott Shaw

2016 Cedar Cross by Scott Shaw.  Hopefully add pics later.

                The Cedar Cross…hot; and the best gravel ride I’ve done so far.  Well I’ve only done 3 official events, so I am a nube, but it had lots o’ single track and I am a mountain biker so it is the best!  I drove down the morning of and had plenty of time to get ready.  Some home-wrecker chick named SuperKate made me stand in line and sign a waiver or something that stole my identity because I didn’t read it as usual.  I probably should have because it probably had cool verbiage hidden throughout that other races don’t have, like you can’t sue if your “vag” cries.  Then there was an awesome shortened version of the National Anthem followed by a more awesome full version.  Hell, next year, just play it twice, it will be a Cedar Cross thing!  I have been down the last few years about the future of America, the younger generation is a bunch of sissys, but this is “Merica” damn it, so play it loud and proud and make ‘em sing!  The liberals, socialists, and communists, need that!  I want to see some red blooded American up there standing by Old Glory with his helmet off, hand over his heart, maybe a fried opossum leg in the other, or an AR-15, or both, singing as loud as he can!  I’m too amped now, so I will come back to this after I go shoot something and drive over some foreign car with my Jeep.  Maybe you get the picture that the guitarist playing the anthem got me pretty pumped up!  You had this ol’ fashioned conservative about to wet himself.  Good thing I wasn’t “packing” or we would have had a false start.

                The race starts and I am still debating on racing or riding with friends, but we are following Chuck’s awesome Wrangler, and I’m all pumped up as mentioned so I take off and think I’m racing this, Ogre legs be damned!  I am making a great pace and then hit a water crossing at around 5 miles and blow out the front tire with about 8 other riders.  I get a couple nice slaps on the ass as riders pass and they probably don’t realize how much I appreciated it.  I take an eternity to fix the flat cause my adrenaline is rushing and my hands are shaky.  I get mine fixed and ride off as hard as I can to catch the rest of the pack.  I am so far behind now that I realize the race is over for me, but maybe I can catch Larry.  I really didn’t want to ride the whole thing alone after riding Ogre alone, so I am really giving it hell trying to catch up.  I pass a ton of people that I passed at the beginning and see a large herd going into a gas station at like 12 miles or something.  I think that’s way too early and keep cruising.  I then think I saw Dave Beattie in that pack, but all I can see is one Noah jersey in a sea of black momentum jerseys and other black jerseys.  The Noah jersey has a back pack on and I don’t see a second Noah jersey so I conclude it’s not Dave and Amanda and I charge on.  I hit the streets in town and get all confused and miss my turn and someone with a Garmin tells me I am correct and then fails to tell me I am not correct.  I don’t realize until I ride all the way to the end of double zero.  I turn around and curse him, thinking he may have done that on purpose.  I then think, “dang it Amanda is wearing a black Maplewood jersey so that could have been them.” 

                I get back on course and pass everyone I passed before and I get heckled by Renee and Derrick for it.  I tell them flats and bonus miles suck!  I ride on, pass Momentum slowly, and lead them past the turn, which we pretty quickly figure out.  I pass Renee and Derrick again and again get heckled.  So now my AR navigation skill is lacking and failing me.  I catch Steve Fuller at the bridge, which I almost die on by getting my front wheel stuck in the wood slats.  He tells me, that he just saw Dave and Amanda.  I feel like I am really pushing hard and decide that catching Larry just isn’t going to happen unless he has bad luck, which I don’t want him to have, so I decide that if I can catch Dave and Amanda I will finish the ride with them, so I don’t have to finish on my own again.  I see the two climbing a hill and reel them in and as I get on Amanda’s side, I say, “Do you know how FN long it took me to catch you guys?”

                We ride some knarly single track together and have to walk some to avoid flats, but I start feeling all peaceful inside.  I actually ask myself, “What is happening? I feel warm and happy.  I think my heart has grown 3 sizes.  I feel like I am at home.  I then think, “oh yeah, I am a mountain biker!” A roadie keeps complaining about the single track and how she is holding everyone up, but I tell her she is doing fine, stay calm, and watch your line.  I think, “Bob Jenkins you marvelous bastard, you figured out how to trick roadies into riding singletrack!” We come across an apparent roadie discarding his rear derailleur and bits of chain into the trail system from a single speed conversion. I am about to blast him Captain Ahab style for littering on God’s and America’s and my single track and then Amanda very politely asks if she can pack it out for him.  I pick it up and shove it into her pack and he says he had nowhere to put it.  Good thing Amanda was there and she has more patience…well more everything than me, except anger, I’ve got plenty of anger.  Amanda says to remind her to kick Bob Jenkins in the balls when she sees him next and I think, “That is so going in the blog!”  I turn the corner and find Alice of the Lo and Alice tandem team down on the ground.  She tells me she thinks she broken her shoulder against a tree and is going to pass out.  She tells me, Dave, and Amanda to leave her there.  I tell her there is no way I am leaving her there, that I will help her out of the woods, or I will camp right there with her.  I get her on her feet and tell her that I am a big fan of the Lo and Alice tandem team and it is an honor to help her.  I had just been joking with Lo that since she was injured and I had just finished the Ogre that I was looking forward to riding tandem with Alice, so she could do all the pedaling and I could drink and heckle other riders, so I got a picture of us walking in tandem.  We drop Alice off in a good spot with one of her teammates for pick up and head on.  We finish the single track with a nasty rocky descent, and I actually decide not to ride it in fear of flatting and then some ol’ boy just smashes down it and gets to the road, throws his bike to the ground, throws his arms up, screams, “hell yes!”  I am extremely jealous.  I wait for what seems like an eternity, not knowing that Amanda is helping another rider with a flat and that dang ol’ Renee passes me again. 

                We are now back on gravel and ride for an eternity in the heat.  I am doing great consuming plenty of liquids, but I can tell I need much more than usual.  I feel my lips drying and blow my breath from my mouth to my nostrils and can tell my core body heat is disgustingly hot.  I drink more.  I am not doing a great job of eating.  I am eating only enough to ride with Dave and Amanda, but am worried that at any moment they will sprint and I will bonk, so I try to force myself to eat more.  I also try to ride just a little faster than them to make them ride faster.  I let them catch up and then ride a little faster, just to see what they have in the tank.  Amanda is really flushed and I can tell she is hurting.  I try to be helpful and give her suggestions.  She drinks more, and I try to get a laugh out of her, but I start fearing for my life, so I give it a break after I get a little smile.  After a long time we catch Mickey and Kate at a gas station.  Now Bob had told us there would be $100 bucks if we beat them, but I know that Amanda needs a break and if I go for it, it will be a sprint to the end with just me and Mickey and the odds are greatly against me unless I go back to the Jeep and get my machete and hack one or both of his legs off.  Plus I really wanted to watch Amanda and Dave fight their demons and make sure they finish.  Dave and Amanda eat a real meal and I think I should do the same, but I want to finish on my packed food so I just drink more liquids and drink another beer.  OMG I forgot to mention the awesome beer stops before in the single track!  What an awesome idea!  Plus TeamBOR got special whiskey shots at Chuck’s Whiskey Tango spot!  How could I leave that out?  I am an idiot!

                Amanda, Dave, and I ride off in search of the nuclear reactor.  Amanda is coming back from her trip inside her pain cave.  I enjoy watching her misery and her beating it back.  It is the whole point of TeamBOR.  Push yourself past your physical, mental, and spiritual level and Amanda is doing it right before my eyes.  I am not worried about “Ninja” at all; that’s Dave Beattie.  He seems fine.  If you would have told me last year that I would finish the Ogre and then the very next weekend finish the Cedar Cross I would have called you a damn liar and slapped your mouth.  I have been in the pain cave before.  Last time I remember being there Dave and Kevin helped me get out of it on New Year’s Day on Berryman.  We ride on and take the mandatory nuclear reactor selfie blinded by the sun and my ears are ringing from the nearby power lines.  We hit 101 miles and realize Amanda just rode her first century.  I tell her I have to take a picture and then neglect to tell her that my first century was so, so, so much easier.  We ride on and I start hearing grumblings from “Scrappy Lappe” ™ of this is boring, stupid, and Dave starts singing “99 bottles of beer on the wall.”  I think, “Oh shit here comes the mutiny.”  Amanda, says the soldiers, “just go on without me” line and Ninja smacks her back with authority “NO, WE ARE FINISHING THIS TOGETHER!”  I stay out of that quarrel and ride on.  The last miles seem to have been deviously laid out to be all uphill after riding a good portion of flat Katy.  I start loving Bob even more because that’s something sick I would do to people.  I tell them we are all crossing the line together and that they are finishing, but don’t crash into each other because that would suck.  We cross the finish together and then the icing on the cake is that I find out that’s Ninja’s first Cedar Cross actual finish.  I had no idea.  – Ahab

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

2016 “Not the O.G.R.E” by Scott Shaw

2016 “Not the O.G.R.E” by Scott Shaw (I will add pics later...maybe)

                When I first heard of the Bonkhard O.G.R.E (Ozark Gravel Road Epic) I wanted to do it, but didn’t have the correct bike, or the legs, or butt for it.  My longest ride was sub 100 miles on a road bike.  I chickened out the first two years.  I started riding a lot more in those years with longer distances and started feeling stronger. Then I decided I was going to do it and with no research into gravel grinding I jumped and bought a used Scott Comp CX bike.  I found out shortly after that Bonkhard was pulling the races and that bike pretty much got stashed away for a while until I started riding gravel with friends and even raced a CX event.  I then started figuring out a CX bike wasn’t a gravel bike.  Speaking of Bonkhard’s abandonment, I never got to do the LBL, which I so was ready for, and I never got to do the Perfect Ten, even though I would have raced it as a not-so-perfect 9-1/2 due to my lack of toe situation.  So when I saw the return of the “O.G.R.E.” I cringed and signed up and prepared for death.

                I trained hard all last year and through the winter.  I am thankful Kevin Minton and Dave Beattie, “sort-of-TeamBOR” members, Team Virtus, and Off The Front trained all winter long.  I was able to hop from ride to ride to keep training as much as possible.  I was feeling incredibly strong until I messed up my leg’s tendons in the beginning of April setting up the Chubb S.H.A.R.T.  Mickey (TeamBOR for adventure racing and the “Freaking Momentum Guy” for bike racing) kept me serious about the Ogre.  He kept stressing Tour of Hermann, so injured I rode day 1 of it and didn’t come back day 2, but I thought I could do it.  So after some x-rays and consultation from the doc, I agreed to no running, cross train into swimming, and upper body workouts, and to ride the Ogre.  Then Mickey hits me with all the crazy specifics.  Crew…?  Crap; I didn’t think I could get anyone.  Place to stay. Ugh, hotel I guess; maybe the wife will crew if I have a hotel.  Bags; dang those bags are expensive, make mine.  Tires, buy gravel tires. Cue sheet and Garmin, wing it, I am an Adventure Racer!

                With a week to go to the race, Tanya, my wife, is a go for crew, and finds us an awesome condo to use and I cancel the hotel.  I am not mentioning who’s it was, but thank you so much, you know who you are!  We decide to take our newish Wrangler instead of our other 4x4’s, because she can’t drive a manual Cherokee, and the Trailblazer is acting up; this will become important.  I am against taking it because I know it’s going to get filthy and that sort of stuff is the Cherokee’s business for now until the Wrangler is paid off.  Plus the new car smell will be destroyed by my funky after-race smell.  We leave early Friday and head down to the Ozarks and Tanya is getting car sick.  This is going to go great.  We arrive majorly early, but drive past the event listening to Siri and down a one lane dirt road and creek crossing; Wrangler off-road check.  It’s a dead end and we back up until we can turn around and find the race start.  We find out we are too early, head to the condo, have fun trying to find it since Siri keeps getting us lost.  We eat dinner, go to registration, talk to Larry and Mickey, listen to the safety/race briefing and go back to the condo to try to sleep through the thunderstorm.  Wake up at 4am, and drive back to the start.

                We are getting my bike ready as Mickey comes barreling in and gets stuck in a water/mud hole and tries to blame it on his wife.  So we stop getting ready and pull him out; Wrangler rescue vehicle check.  Mickey, Larry and I line up at the start.  I am surprised Mickey is so far back in the pack with us.  They start the race and we are off and in a matter of seconds someone already has a flat.  Mickey is hauling some serious ass up some monsterous hills and I am trying my best to hang on and draft him.  I never look back for Larry, for fear that I will die in this speedy pack.  Mickey starts to lose me on a hill, but somehow I catch him later and draft him for a few minutes.  I can tell he has no idea I’m behind him.  I know that I cannot hold this pace for long and wait until he climbs the next hill like an insane man.  I give the hill my best, but when I get to the top broken bikes are all over to my left and someone is hurling their breakfast on my right.  Mickey is flat out gone.  I figure the front pack dropped me so I start trying to hang with the second pack.  I know that I will soon be dropped from this pack because I know I can’t keep attacking the hills like this for long.  I keep telling myself I soon need to get into my pace and make this my race or I am going to bonk and not finish.  “Crap; Bonk; oh yeah eat and drink and take care of yourself” starts entering my mind along with “don’t crash into him or that tree.”  I start thinking “ride smart and don’t flat.”  I then think, “Oh shit I didn’t pack my tubes!”  I cursed Mickey’s tow out of the mud for making me forget.  I am around 12 miles in and know I am not getting those tubes until mile 26.  I ride on and try to avoid every rock which is really hard on gravel and I keep out of the saddle to reduce my 35’s rear tire from pinch flatting.  I figure the 40 in the front can take it.  I was bombing most of the water crossings before, but now I am riding slow through them.  My average speed drops way down.  I make it to the CP and no Tanya and my heart sinks.  I hear her yelling from far away and go and get my tubes.  I get water, electrolytes, and food and take off.

                The next 25ish miles I am trying to regain speed, but the wet gravel is sucking my life force out.  I start thinking “I am soon going to walk hills I can’t ride fast and that’s when I will drink and eat and check the cue sheet.” So far the race markings have been pretty well placed and clear.  I come across down riders everywhere.  Most are flats and breakdowns.  Some are sick and some are peeing.  I come across a guy sitting and ask him how it’s going and he doesn’t respond.  I ride by and notice he has blood on his knee the size of a softball, but since he doesn’t say anything back I leave him there.  I come across a young rider just hoppin back on his bike.  He says he broke his rear derailleur off and converted to single speed, but his chain keeps hopping.  I offer to ride with him to the CP, which is really close now.  We talk about his bike and I tell him I don’t have the tool he needs on me, but I have it in my Jeep.  We ride together until a massive hill, which he rockets up and I tell him I can’t hang and to have a good ride.  I ask are you going to finish as a single speed and he tells me, “Yes, I am going to finish.”  I pull into the CP and Tanya is like an Indy 500 pit crew and changes out my liquids and food, takes my turtle neck and stowed rain jacket.  I start leaving the transition and see the newly converted single speeder getting ready to leave too soon.  I think, “Damn my transitions are fast.” 

                I rocket down the highway and stupidly pass two riders with Garmins.  I am reading the cue sheet and looking at my mileage on my bike computer and my Garmin Vivoactive.  Left turn is coming up soon in two miles.  I fly pass a left turn and look back wondering if it was my turn.  Mileage is incorrect, couldn’t make out the street sign.  Accelerating downhill, look back other riders are checking the sign and Garmins.  I ride on, get to my mileage and there is no road.  “Shit!” I overshot.  I pull out the phone to check Strava, Strava confirms, turn it off to save battery.  I head back and am pissed off!  I get to the turn, 5 extra miles!  There are no markings, but the sign confirms and I head down the road with Wolf Pack Racing.  Wolf Pack drops me just a bit and all of a sudden they are all in the middle of the road yelling to me to stop.  I stop and see the new single speeder laying on the ground and he is in some serious bad condition.  Dave Frei from Alpine Shop is there and riders are scrambling to call 911, but there is no service.  I check my phone too.  We send the strongest riders off to get service.  I am told the mail lady has gone to call too.  I can see a female racer is checking vitals.  I see the single speed with a broken handle bar and confirm that is the same rider.  I kind of take charge of shitty situations and start barking orders; hence my Captain Ahab moniker. I tell them not to move him, hold his head, even though Hunter is already doing a great job of it.  I ask who knows CPR besides me and almost everyone raises their hand.  I thank God.  I ask if anyone has medical training.  There is a doctor and a vet.  I thank God again.  The mail lady comes back and I ask for an emergency blanket and First Aid kit.  She won’t give me the kit and tells me, “but the ambulance is coming.”  I tell myself not to kill her and remain calm.  I ask for gloves and alcohol wipes because I can hear him gurgling and think I am going to have to start CPR if he stops breathing. She throws me alcohol wipes, but nothing else.  I ask again for a blanket and she says she doesn’t have one.  I said, “Give me those beach towels.” She says, “They are dirty.”  I said I don’t give a F#@k; I’m trying to keep him from going into shock.”  I take them from her and think about taking the kit from her too.  She takes off too worried about finishing her route.  I decide to let her live and let her go.  I cover him in the towels and Emily and Earl show up.  Emily’s got her E-blanket and we cover him up with that too.  I tell him I am going to clean his mouth off just in case he needs help breathing, but I tell him to keep breathing.  Hunter checks his teeth and makes sure he didn’t swallow his tongue.  I clean his mouth as best I can and tell everyone to tell me if he stops breathing.  I think he stops for a second and I give him a sternal rub and he gurgles and wrenches his body.  The lady doc comforts him and gets him to lay back down.  I can see his eyes are rolling back and he is not reacting well to my voice and responds better to the doc, so I step away to do something else.  We think about blocking the place where he crashed because it is extremely dangerous, so I jump and do it and then someone else says the ambulance has to get through and he moves it back.  I go and grab his bike’s race bib and put it in his left sock for identification.  The rescue truck shows up and we help them turn him to look for back injuries and find his wallet and ID, which I give to the Paramedics when they arrived.  Everyone works together to backboard and load him and they are gone taking him to the ambulance.  I take his bike and ask a guy if I can leave it at his house for safe keeping.  When the police arrive we ask them if they can take the bike back to the last race CP.  All of us ride off together and I really really want to quit.  I drop from the pack so I can pray.  I ask that he makes it and recovers fully, I then kinda have it out with the Big Man and tell him what I thought of what happened, but then thank Him for making me get off track to be there for him, and for all the riders, adventure racers, and first responders that stopped to help.  I ask that no one else gets hurt and He tells me to suck it up and to finish for the “single speeder.” (I am not using his name without permission.) So I am now somewhere around 60 miles and I should find Tanya around 76.  I know she has to be worried because I am about an hour off my pace.  I try texting his bib # in, but I have no service still.  I think I need to concentrate on taking care of myself, so I drink all my fluids and eat.  I ride and ride and ride and the suns out and its getting hot and I’m getting dehydrated.  I notice the markings and flags are gone and figure I just entered an Adventure race and have to navigate.  I pass a turn just barely and correct.  I ride with Kevin from Dirty Dog Pack and tell him my frustrations with the course, what happened to the kid and that I was really down and was thinking of quitting earlier.  He climbs away.  I see Frei heading back and ask him if it’s a loop and he says yes, but he short coursed it.  I figure he is going back to check on the single speeder because that’s just how Dave is.  Everyone knows he is F-ing amazing!  I ride on and on and it seems like an eternity.  I pass a church and think about finding water, but I skip it.  I ride more and find another church and search it for a water spigot, but find none.  I ride on and walk up a huge hill that Tanya is standing at the top of cheering me on.  I ask how is the “kid”? Someone says he has been life-flighted.

                I have to tell Tanya what happened and a race official and Tanya tells me Mickey is there but he is at mile 110 and is feeling sick.  I see him in the distance and we wave.  I tell Tanya I am finishing for the “single-speeder kid.”  She tells me someone has been stealing course markings.  I am at mile 88, even though I have 5 extra miles.  I ride on to the loop.  I ride fast out of the gate and then slow when I see water and hills.  I ride smart and walk hills and eat and drink.  I pass and get passed repeatedly by Extreme Electrical and Kevin.  I make the loop and get back and Tanya refills my gear again.  Mickey has recovered and is long gone.  I ride back the way I came trading places with E.Electrical and Kevin again.  The markings are back and I make it to the last CP at mile 125.  Tanya changes out my food and fluids and some awesome guy lubes my chain and I am out on the road again.  I probably had the fastest transitions than anyone that day.  My longest one was telling the accident story at mile 88.  I ride into the night and find it really difficult to see the cue sheet without a head lamp.  I lose a lot of time coming to complete stops to read the cue sheet with my bikes headlight or my phones flashlight.  I continually check Strava to make sure I am on course.  Kevin and I continuously leap frog each other and he is awesome each time and tells me I am on course.  I am faster than him in the flats and downhills, but he can climb and I can’t.  We leapfrog into the night and we talk each time we pass.  I was amazed to hear that he never walked once.  He also told me of some awesome adventures he had done alone and with his team.  Kevin is an awesome guy.  I start double guessing myself that the end wasn’t near and start slowing to eat and drink more instead of hammering down.  I also keep checking the course.  I hit concrete and drop the hammer and right before I knew it I crossed the finish line at 158 miles (7 extra).  It wasn’t my best effort, but all in all I gave it my all.  Could I have finished earlier? Probably.  I think I could have finished under 13 hours instead of 15, but I could have also took that header in the creek and been life-flighted.  Like I said I didn’t finish for me.  Ride on “Single Speeder!” – Ahab.