Monday, June 14, 2010

The Organ Grinder 5 Hour MTB Enduro Race

What do you get when you have a typical week of Jun-uary weather in Calgary consisting of rain and cool temperatures, followed by a weekend of temperatures that should be expected in mid-June? You get mountain bike racers from all over, flocking to the Canmore Nordic Center for 2 back to back mountain bike races, XC and Marathon. What you also get, are people who are notacclimatized to the temperatures we were embraced with, and many racers sitting in bushes off the side of a trail, and falling off bikes midclimb, as they entered the town of Crampville.

Yesterday’s event was the Cyclemeisters Organ Grinder 5 hour MTB enduro race. After doing the 6 hour and 8 hour races in previous weeks, one might think, 5 hours isn’t so bad, but factor in 11.5km with 350m of elevation gain, a lot of tight single track accompanied by loads of relentless climbing at the start, and at the end of a lap, it makes for a really tough race. I think we can all agree that this was the toughest race out of all the races in the last month.
Speed Theory racers who entered as solo riders were as follows.

Mark Jesse rocked this event with 6 laps. I met up with Mark on the course, and he was going so fast, I thought, wow, I guess I better start pedaling…much to my surprise I actually was moving, and he made me feel like I was standing still. Nice work Mark.

Thomas Y decided that an event called the Organ Grinder sounded like so much fun, he only wanted to bring one gear again, and managed to pull out 4 laps. Being the toughest endurance race we have done this year, it is officially confirmed that Thomas loves to suffer. I think people should start being very afraid of him…mtn and road.

Marcy K has been racing her new mountain bike this year, which is a 29er hardtail, and a completely different setup than what she is used to. After a few endurance races under her belt, she has finally figured it out, and was all smiles when she rolled in to complete 3 laps. Kudos for figuring it out during our most difficult race yet!

Tanya H and her husband Ryan entered as a mixed team, with a catchy team name “Hopping Along”. Ryan encountered some bike mechanicals about a ½ hour before the XC Iron Lung race on Saturday, so he ended up borrowing a bike. On Sunday he didn’t have a bike at hand, so Tanya left the start line with possible expectations of completing the event solo. Ryan managed to score a bike, and Tanya only had to do 3 laps, leaving Ryan with finishing off 2. Nice work guys…I’ll have to remember the broken bike thing next time I’m doing a team relay.

I managed to pull 4 laps out of the bag, which was a huge accomplishment for me, seeing how on my 2nd lap I thought I was going to have to pull the pin. Tanya H was a huge help on the course with her words of encouragement, when I talked about having 4 more dreadful hours left. Her response was, “You don’t have 4 more hours left, you have 3 hours and 45 minutes” Thanks Tanya! Laps 3 and 4 were a piece of cake after that.

Even though there were 4 significantly difficult sections of the course (volunteers sat at these sections so they could clean up the possible carnage), Cyclemeisters did an amazing job at putting together a pretty advanced, yet super fun course. Of all the endurance races we have done, yesterday was a good example of true mountain biking, and right in our very own backyard. We had some Speed Theory fans come out and watch us suffer, and after hearing about the course, I’m thinking we just might have a few of you roadies convinced to come out and try a race…after Nationals of course! The last of the MTB endurance series is Provincials at the end of August in Hinton, AB.

1 comment:

Francis said...

great race - I raced pretty conservative - like our prime minister...finishing with four laps... but it did rain on occasion...i might just have barely got that magic fifth lap in if I pushed it a little harder...but this race wanted me to enjoy it...thank you volunteers and organizers

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