Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trans Stony Superhero Challenge - 6 Hour MTB Race

This past weekend, Speed Theory’s mountain bike enthusiasts were in Stony Plain for the Trans Stony Superhero Challenge – 6 hour Enduro MTB race. Members who took part in the fun filled event as Solo Superheroes on the Monday of the May long weekend, included myself (Shawna), Marcy K, Thomas Y, and Rick M. We didhave one missing member, as well as a couple others from other teams. While organizers shouted out these names with hopes that they would sign on, this caused a 15 minute delay for the start time which ended up being 10:15am. Bueller? Bueller?

It was a chilly start to the morning with cloudy skies, but that was soon to change as anxious racers off the start line dropped immediately into the trees and onto some tight swoopy single track. With the tight pack of riders on the brakes so not to hit the racer in front of you, and racers who were on/off the bikes as the tires slipped on the rooty climbs, this brought the heart rate up enough to work up a sweat. The bottle necking stayed in effect until we got through the first half of the course which was some sweet single track in the trees consisting of lots of swoopy tight turns, with steep rooty climbs, as well as numerous logs thrown in that you had to hop your bike over right before the start of a steep tight climb. Then it all broke apart in the wide open field which led you into some longer climbs enabling those of us who had more than one gear to throw it into a larger one and stomp on it. Each lap consisted of about 6.5km and 120m of elevation gain, getting in as many of those as you could in 6 hours.

It was business as usual for Thomas Y, and he did a great job with only one gear at doing 12 laps. The pinstriped business socks mesmerized his opponents allowing him some huge gains. Rick M might have looked like he was playing for the other team in his Deadgoat jersey, but we still allowed him to hang with us, which helped contribute to his 11 lap race. Marcy K fooled everyone with her chicken legs (I have her permission to say this) and heavy 29’er wheel by slapping down 9 laps, with only 2 rings in the front. Her 3rd ring wasn’t working for her, so she did what she could with 2. My guess is Thomas is slowly trying to get her to follow suit, and become one of ‘him’ in the Single Speed club. I had a goal of 9 laps and managed to dig out 11 laps. I don’t know where that 11th lap came from, but when I came through the transition area, the commissaire told me I had 36 minutes. I didn’t feel like I had 36 minutes in me, but the girl who rode behind me for the last lap seemed confident that she could pull out another one and make it count, so I had to go out. I stayed on her wheel for a while, until I passed her and we discussed our expectations of making this lap count. We made a pact to work together for this. I got her through the single track, and then when we came to the field of climbs, she got me through it. I was in a world of hurt as I climbed up the last hill to the finish line, as Thomas stood there yelling at me to stand up and hammer. I hammered, but there was no standing. When I crossed the finish line, I lay on the ground and stared at the black spots in the sky. The girl I worked so hard with came over and hugged me and we both agreed we couldn’t do it without one another. It was good to see her on the podium. Marcy had a similar last lap experience and worked closely with another guy to get that last lap to count. It just goes to show that if you really want something, you will have it.

When I first heard we were racing on Fern & Harvey’s MTB farm (all man-made 10 years ago strictly for races) in Stony Plain, I thought, 6 hours of lap after lap on a small Nose Hill. I was very wrong. Stony Plain was Stony Plain AWESOME.

Great race everyone, solid effort! This Sunday is Deadgoat’s 8 hour race at COP. See you all there!


Simon said...

Guilty of being a 'missig member' and feeling bad at prolonging the start! On the up-side, I did manage to bag 2nd in the Expert race on the Sunday... Well done to you enduro guys though!

Thomas said...

Nice work on getting 2nd Simon.

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