A mans desire to go fast! Like Ricky Bobby but more redneck.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A little Yellow with envy

After a nice long South Park ride yesterday that was just in one word fun. I called up one of my newer friends and found out she was actually free for almost a half day today! This meant we were riding Yellow Creek SP. Well the excitement could have been premature but its was due. Yellow Creek does rock. Its got a little of everything. Pine forest pine needle flowiness, Rolling hardwood singletrack, Davis WV like ferny rocky plantation trail, flowly corn field downhills, steep uphill, pump track like sections with some flowly loamy and ferny though in as well. We rode 12 milish of trali there and it literally felt like you hit every Western Pa MTB trail in that 12 miles, but yet it was distinctly Yellow Creek.

After some pine needle double track we hit the first single track. This section was flatish Pine Needle flowly piece of goodness. This section alone would have been worth the one hour drive from the burgh.

Kim our gracious guide basically tore up the pine needles

and is Smiling because of it.

After some rolly polly hardwoods riding we do the first little creek crossing.

Erika showing us how its done

on her SS

after a really hard doubletrack 100 yard of 20 percent grade with leaves that I some how made it up, we get in some ferny rolly singletrack with views of the lake.


Kim zoomin on the sweet track

 Scenery with people

our favorite cheater on her big wheels

We then came to the River crossing Erika does not like the river crossing.

I should have went to help but I was taking pictures Kim goes to save our scardy friend. Typical guy right? I stand around while the women do all the WORK!

after that some more scenery appeared out of nowhere

We then rode some flowly trail with huge Log piles. I pretty much rock and Kim should have a camera since she takes better pics than me!

Then we happened upon a super fun boulder field with some rock gardens, I wish I would of taken more pictures here.

Erika being brave on the rock Spine.

Kim's first attempt didnt go so well(this is much more off cambered than it looks)

Her second attempted went alot better.

on the down

Me going the opposite way totally air borne

and I alwasy like to drop it likes it hot.

 If you reading this and can drive here in a couple hours its was worth it. There was so much stuff I didnt take pictures of as well. again thanks guys and it always rocks to ride with some rippin chicks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

South Park - 11/7/09 kinda of leavy

Super chill day on the bike with my buddy Kent and 24 team mate Brain. Only rode 6 miles due to a shoes thats sole literally split from rest of the shoes and was making log crossing kinda of tricky as the gap would open up each time i pulled up.

Brian is a super solid rider and very humble. He was the only guy to beat my time on my team at Seven Springs

Kent the guy I ride with the most has come along way this year.

I just like to get air

I also spent some perfecting my pumping skills the day before raystown.



I then went home and got my shoes gorillas glued back together and got ready for the 25 miles of raystown lake.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In the Cold Cold Night

as the days get shorter and the nights comes earlier night riding has become a way of weekday life here if you want to ride you bike at all. its seems harder to get people this time of year to ride at night than say the middle of winter, I thinks it due that summer just ended, and they dont liike or want it as much as me.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oct 25th Moraine MOM

Moraine MOM. cliff notes

1.I had a horrid start
2.I rode the rocks sections ok
3.I finished 10th overall and 6th for the year in the series.

October 24th Kennerdell

got to explore a new trail system this day with a very and hard core girl named Kelsi. fully rigid SS FTW! Rode a couple hours here. Note to SS do not try to climb blunder it is not fun but nearly everything else.

Kelsi Smiling cause this trail rocks!

Ridge Trail was quite fun with cool flowly section, logs, and rock gardens.

Kelsi on a cool little log pile

Windows Trail was a cool cliff side trail that had great views of the river valley.

just dont ride off the cliff

its me!

Brady's Run MOM

After getting my second call up of the season yay. I went on to suck for the entire lenght of the race! Its was slick muddy and felt like shit. Got 11th in class that day, but should have done much worse.

I was so bad I dabbed on a 5 foot uphill!

Grove City

Grove City Cross race. Got 10th in class after holding off eventual 3rd place overall in the series winner Darin Shriver. I had a good race for myself here an I felt strong like bear.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MOM Raccoon TWP cross race

today's theme song


After 44 miles of XC 'racing" I decided to head on up to Beaver Country for some good olde fashion muddy fun know as cross racing.

The Month of Mud race series is Western Pas premier off road racing series. This is my 3rd year competing in it. I have done one year as a beginner, was last years Sport champion, which made me an expert this year. The first race at Bavington I finished 7th in the expert class and had the 10th fastest time overall.

So the cross race......I arrived 20 minutes before the start of my race. I love being late!! I signed up and ran back to get changed into my cycling clothes and get my sweet borrow Redline Conquest Pro cyclocross race ready. I forgot to pay my entry fee. Thanks Kent for coming back and running my money up to them. I get the bike set up and get excactly one warm lap on the tight twisty soon be slick as snot course.

Arriving at the start pack I line up solidly mid pack. I know I am tired from yesterday, and I also know I will be competive but not with the top guys. Gunnar Shogren(the premier old guy bike racer in world mulittime XC,CX, road and tandumb national champ) is here, Gerry Pflug(this years NUE SS champ) is here and he eats people apparently, plus a slew of REALLY fast local pros. I sheeplishly line up behind these guys knowing that in due time I can hopefully compete with them but right now especailly after 44 miles of WV trails I dont have stand a chance. My plan is foiled though by my own goodness at Bavington. At the MOM races they call up the 10 fastest times from last week to the front lucky me I was number 10. I know move to the front of the pack, a couple more honory call ups await. Shogren, Pflug, and Gorski . I feel like I am minor league pitcher trying to strike major league batter now but damn it I am going to try.

We start and I manage to stay top 10-15ish into the first turn. I pull some aggresive moves in the first lap to get back to top 10. I already can tell that I am not all there really but damn it I am going to try to do well anyways. First lap goes buy with no real drama but I know I am really freaking tires only 8 minutes into the race. People start to pass me and I start to make really bad mistake including a couple really sweet falls and on the super greasy ground. I know that I cant stay with these guys so I just start to run my own race to the finish line.

During the hell of fighting though this race I actually had alot of fun trying to find different lines and putting down power where I could. In this time a friend and good competior we shall call him D.C. kept catching up to me. I havent lost yet to him this year be Ill damned if I just let him pass he is going to have to earn it! At some point in time Betsy Shogren passed our little group on here SS cross bike and made it look effortless. I noticed that her SS is a huge advangate here and quickly upshift to a much higher gear and start finding my rear tire is slipping out why less. Following her and riding in higher gear lets me put a huge lead on D.C. and the Dirty Harry's rider around me. Other than that though pretty boring race due to me not being 100 percent and just not being that good at Cross yet. The top 5 lapped me including Gunnar and Gerry Pflug.

the specating for the B race was mucho fun though and I had alot of fun watching the Tandumb race with pictures here.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Revenge of the Rattlesnake - long write up

On Saturday the 26th I had the pleasure of suffering though 44 miles of WV singletrack and fireroads here is a true account below.

After for me what was a very disappointing finish at the 50 mile Big Bear Ultra, I just had to do better. 54th outta of 69 entrants kinda of sucks. Funny the Big bear Ultra sucked so bad I just want to do one of these and do better and actually enjoy it. So after Big Bear I knew that one thing was sure that my purely interval work outs werent helping me that much for an XXC race and that I was totally ill prepared for that race, for the revenge that would all change. I started doing slow easy tempo MTB rides that would last for hours and usually chew up a couple different set of riding partners. I was able to get to the point that 40 miles in 4 hours at my local(easy buff twisty singletrack) was easy for me to do. time to enter the battle ring again, and this time it was a real Duesenberg of a race "The Revenge of the Rattlesnake"

a little story on the "The Revenge of the Rattlesnake" from WVMBA

The 26th annual Revenge of the Rattlesnake Race is possibly the longest running annual mountain bike race in the galaxy, and it's the 4th and final race of the WVMBA Ultra Series. After the race, wash your bike, hang out, eat and drink right behind the bike shop!


The race first began in 1983, and became part of the Canaan Mountain Series back in 1984 and has been a series race ever since, as well as a popular attraction to riders from surrounding states as well as a few locals. Some locals who ride the trails all the time or have participated in the race, don't want any part of this race because they know what is in store!

The course changes every year and this year it is encompasses trails in Blackwater Falls State Park, National Forest- Canaan Mountain, Canaan Valley Institute property and Vandelia Heritage Foundation property. All in all and 44 mile course with enough technical and gnarly single track to test your endurance and will power!

So down to Davis I went to race this stupid hard, and painful race. My only real goals to suck less and to finish. Rain was the name of the game as was chilly air. temps hovered between 45-50 degrees all day long with moderate to heavy rain. Perfect weather right? It was pretty bad but I had leg warmers, arm warmers, foot booties and a surprisingly water proof jacket. I stayed warm and pretty dry nearly the whole time. My prep consisted of getting my bike out my car, checking tire pressure, setting my pedals to release easy and lubing my chain with my super heavy duty chainsaw lube which is perfect for the wet and gritty conditions of the day. Checked my bag to make sure I have my spare tubes, pump wrapped with duct taped, quick link,spare derail hanger, spoke wrench, and a multitool. good its all there, nothing sucks worse than getting stuck in the middle of the woods and having to hike out. I chow down a Pb&j sandwich, shove 6 "gu" packets down my short legs, fill my camelback and use a concentrated H.E.E.D. mixture in my bottle. I conveniently parked 10 feet from the start line, so back in to my warm car for 20 mins to wait for the mass neutral start.

Its start time 60 starters line up in Davis, Wv for a neutral roll out on the main street in a crowded due to the leaf peeper festival Davis, Wv. Excitement, nervousness, determination, unknowing every racer there feels alittle bit of this. Even the fastest guys know this is going to be tough. WV singletrack aint no joke, these trails are easily the hardest trails I have ever ridden. also you needed to get though plantation trail in 3.5 hours or you were marked as a DNF.

the trail map is here


elevation profile is here.

We started out going across the Blackwater river, right after the bridge a quick right on to STP trail. The STP trail is nothing more than doubletrack. I am trying my best to keep my cadence high and just spin easy. No effort is what I keep telling myself. I stay at the back of the front group before hitting Yellow Birch trail. Yellow Birch trail is your typical WV singletrack. Roots, soft ground, rocks, and drops. I am cruising most of it pretty easily yeah its tough but I am fresh and I make it though with out to many mistakes. One such mistake was hopping up on a rock only to see the left line I was taking was a 4 foot drop into a hole. I had to stop, should of taken the right line!. I get though the yellow birch trail and am glad to see paved road. Gu packet one consumed, I keep reminding myself to eat, or well in this case suck down Gu packets.

After the paved road we hit the Canaan Loop fire road. I catch up to some guys and some people catch us. I start to talk with them to force myself to go slow. One guy on turner RFX is eating up the chunky rocks on the fireroad like nothing. We then hit Mountain Side 114. This is roughly 10-15 miles on Elevation map. note yes the trail looks downhill, it is but you would never know it, its an old railroad bed that is just straight up rocks and fallen logs. The rocks are loose and require constant pedaling to keep moving though them. RFX dude passes me going mach schnell. This trail for me was much rougher to ride than plantation, I just hate loose rocks!! they scare the shit out of me and everything else in this race was no moveable rocks. At the bottom of the trail RFX dude has 2 flats. Note to everyone tubeless is always the way to go. thus starts the big climb. The guys I have been riding with remark that we probably arent going to make the post plantation trail check point. I am think to myself I didnt drive 3 hours to not finish, so I say see ya guys I am booking come if you want.

Thus starts the epicly long climb. 2500 feet to 3600 feet. Huge by this part of the world standards. the first part is steep but moderately easy fireroad. This went for roughly 2 miles. Then you got back to the Canaan Loop Fireroad 13. The fireroad was quite simply the easiest part of the race. despite going up it was pretty shallow and rolled fast. I was able to take down some Gu and eat one of my nutrigrain bars. I get to the top and see Aid station one. I ask them the time they say 1:05. I have an hour and 25 minutes to ride 9 miles of some of the hardest trail anywhere aka Plantation Trail.

Plantation Trail is the type of trail people ride just to say that "they have done it". Most people would ride this trail one way and call it a day and head back to their cars VIA roads. Today it is part of 44 mile race loop that you hit exactly after 19 miles of riding. This trail rocks because of how bad it can suck when you ride section you feel like you have accomplished something. There is not a smooth piece of trail for 9 mile of riding. There are multiple hike-a-bikes and tech sections that will make you rethink just how good of a rider you are. I actually had a ton of fun here, I had alot left in the tank so I was able to use a higher gear to power though the tough stuff. Lots of line choosing, bunny hoping, stepping up and drops down filled the trail. At some point in time I passed some "West Virginian Night clubs" smoking what I am sure is a banned substance. I also passed Steve Thorn who went on to get 4th in masters. He said I was killin it! I was to, well at least for that trail. I make it though plantation in 1:20 minutes trust me when I say this, good luck if you shall ever attempt this trail. Its is a worthy stop for anyone who considers themselves a MTBer. more importantly though is I hit the check point at 2:25. 5 minutes before the Cut and 26th outta of the 60 entrants. If your doing the math, alot of people didnt make the cut. I was surprised to not be caught by Betsy Shogren or Ruth Cunningham 2 ladies(and friends) who I was sure who would eat me up in an endurance race like this.

Leaving check point 2 at on Route 32 I continued on up the paved road to the high point of the race at mile 28. Thus started a roll coaster like ride up and down a very wet gravel road. I so wish my glasses werent fogged because I was totally blinded several times. soon enough the next trail came up. Rocky Point trail was a new trail made just for the ROTR. Needless to say it wasnt very worn in yet. This trail was the slickest trail of the race due to the mud and loose ground. In due time though this will be a very fun trail to ride especially the whoop de doo decent! On this day though, it was pure hell trying to get over 10 mph on the damn off cambered and slick trail. After 30 minutes of fighting to keep the bike on trail I see a river. They said there was a river crossing but holy shit they meant an actual river. This was the Blackwater River. I saw it said "F it!!' and just rode right into the damn thing. In less than feet I was up to my chest in water!. The only good news is that the river water was damn warm compared to the air and freezing cold rain we had that day. As I am laughing hysterically at the my absurd situation I stumble on a rock and lose my bike, my bike nearly floats away down river. I guess if your bike has large air volume tires it will actually float? I guess I learned one thing today. After the river crossing a rest awaited in the form of 3 mile long flat fire road.

After the 3 mile long fire road and a couple more GU packets, I reached aid station 3 at 3:15. 15 minutes ahead of the cut! sweet I am going to finish the whole course! I may suck but I am not a quitter! The guy at the aid station informs me to go right then follow the arrows. The arrows will take me around the West Virginian State Champs course backwards. Sweet right? Well today not really. To those of you that have ridden the state champs course Moon Rocks and Hoodoo rocks I am sure were built only to be hatefully hard. My legs werent toast they were tired but not toast but more importantly my arms were absolutely done. I could not unweight my front wheel and more or keep the bike straight on the wet rocks. I hiked a bike more in the next hour in a half than the entire course. I was pretty demoralized at the point but kept drudging on. I couldnt exactly quit in the middle of the woods. I kinda of wanted to when I tried to again find the rideable line down moon rocks and endo hard into granite. I finally get to the 'easy" section of the state champ course and start to enjoy the last couple miles of flowly singletrack. On the pump track like section of trail I am thinking I am so close! Only to then see a turn to the left down one more boggy, rocky trail. Determined to finish I am literally just pedaling full strength into rock gardens hoping for the best. I crest the last hill, see the last downhill of the state champs courses and am psyched. I motor down over the couple kickers. At least this race ended good. I finish, the guys keep time informs me of time of 5:54, whatever I finished. Rode back up to my car and changed.

So thus ends my second foray into endurance racing. This time I enjoyed alot more of the ride and actually felt good enough to cross race in a "elite" group badly the next day. The Revenge of the Rattlesnake has some of the hardest singletrack I have ever ridden let alone raced on. Anyone in the area should try this race at least once. IMO finishing on a nice day is an accomplishment, finishing on a cold rainy day when you not even close to the best out there is take some will power.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pa is Rocking

May 1st - Apollo Roaing Run, Apollo, Pa

an hour northeast of pittsburgh there is some REALLY fun singletrack that is both technical and flowly at the same time. Tons of fun little rock rolls, bridges, logpiles and bridges skinny and fat. Some extremely challenging rock gardens as well. Miles? about 25 miles of very well thought out singletrack.

Another great day riding in the Pennslyvanian Rain Forest.

Its been raining nearly everyday the soil here is loamy meaning its is pretty much rut proof, but the logs on the other hand can get quite slick...

embassing pictures of me trying a very small step up.

to anyone scared to ride clipless this is how quick you can get out.

Ok well I really dont suck so here is the second try

Wheelie drop

Pasuck on one of the dozens of bridges built to avoid the wet spots

western Pa singletrack, I feel bad for riders who dont have singletrack like this near by.

some more pictures of the trail wish we would of stop to get some of the harder sections on camera

lil rock roll

it was cherry sweet

May 2nd Moraine State Park

rode the most technical trail I have ever ridden in my life yesteday. Rock gardens, logs, log piles, Rock rides skinnys, steps up and down, off cambered turns, drops. You name it and it was here. its 30 miles of riding packed into 11 miles of Gnar. Particle if you thought this trail was hard before wait to you see the new sections its freaking ridiculous. Standing logs 30 inches tall, 6 foot tall log pile, numerous tricky rock move.

(sorry for some of the cell phone pics)

at moraine this just about as easy the trail gets, and trust me when I say this, this is like all of these pictures dont do this place justice.

Troy on a steep rock roll down

Erae on Pennslyvania slick rock I lied the slickrock section are actually easy to ride so much grip

E Rae hoping some logs

Jeff riding one of the many low easier to ride bridges

Troy leaping like a treefrog over the logs

Rock? heck no there is no rock here

this is me clearing the second part of the "rockelator" what you cant see is the lead into this which is steeper and twisted, and you cant see the 15 foot drop 2 feet away to my right, and you cant see the left turn right after this to 10 more yards of "rockelator"

Rae is seeing whats coming down the grapevine

The trail builder riding what is actually 4 of these features in a row.

the last drop is for sure wheelie droppable once it gets ridden in alittle bit

ok this is a different day but me and troy both rode this very cool step up

this leads to

which leads to this

then after this there is a 5 foot super steep roll down right over the downed trees onto the roots its really hard to explain hopefully the other pictures get posted soon.