Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Afton MTB Race- 'revenge' no more...

A benefit of getting old... rediscovering good music.

These guys had a tire named after them too...

I regress... A return to Afton Alps to MTB race, first time in 3+ years. Haven't been there since the air was purged from the MTB trails. From 2004-2011 I weaved a cattle prod and a lamberton rake working the soil, rock, and traps. I can't put my head around all the good times and random riddles that were, but there were many. There is now a giant gap in the local MTB scene in August with no 24 Hours of Afton. Red Wing was a great substitute, but that didn't last. Noobs to MTB are certainly missing out on what was a great annual weekend of circling a bike on singletrack/ hills.

Much appreciation goes to John R. of Afton Alps. He supported our efforts, 24hr's of Afton vision, and learned an eye for the line. Many other LCR's had influence on the trails, specifically, Magic, Jimmmay, StealthDoug, Hendricks Clan & Rocket, Stoenhenge, Jack, Horner Nation, Tony Canada, MarxMachine, and Heath/ DLA.

Revenge Trail no longer exists. Created in 2005 with the help of local trail building legend Tim W. and named by The Goat. le Goat's point in naming 'Larry's Revenge' was to those that enjoyed the Cruising Meadows trail as you relaxed and finished your 7 mile lap of the 24 Hour race, guess what, Larry's got something for you (revenge) to finish up on (think slow climbing min flow singletrack).

'follow me...'

NOTE- LCR Rule X, you can't nickname yourself or name a trail after yourself either.

Fast forward to Sunday's MN series race. The trail is now maybe 50% intact. Was pleasantly surprised seeing a stump ride created by Jim still in place. When I told Jim it was solid/ didn't wobble, his comment 'dirt grows'.

Trails now gone: Larry's Revenge, Flow trail, LCR Corner, Shady Lane, Cliffs Edge rocks, Afton Gully, Valley View rocks, the Pile in Porters, DLA, Hideaway, Mid Mtn Crossing to Chikanes .

Trails that remain: Dougs Loop (bunny hill circle), Bridge Loop, connector trail to Southern Switchbacks and portion of Cliffs Edge, to Deer Path- Plunge, back up to the Pile that remains, Pirates Cove (argg!), mid mtn to Manhandler up to Whistler, over to M&M then a flyer back down to start/finish.

Could keep typing random comments, blah blah. Sum it up; the 4 mile loop that remains, I wasn't cheated (Garmin says- 750' of vertical/ lap). The loop is worthy of MN Series race. 4 laps and I was cooked. No need for Larry's Revenge, Cruising Meadow got it's revenge on me. RACE RESULTS

NOTE 2: 'Pirates Cove' named after the Pirate when an 'Argggg!' was overheard about how much the LCR Swashbuckler hated that trail... Point.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

June Bug in July (reprise)

Life on and off the bike, certainly gravitate towards all things simple. From attempting to mitigate situations involving the fire tetrahedron to the best layed plans involving family vacation time on the north shores.

Modern day mountain bike panic/ Rain storm.

Duluth weekend involving family time, wife birthday doings, and mixing in the MN series race at Lester. I had a brilliant plan which would allow me to be set free on the bike for the Marathon (3.5 hr) race at 9AM. Here was the plan:
  • Up at 6AM (quiet and dark don't wake up wife/ kids) continental breakfast food in my face by 6:20AM, do up bottles in dark and pack a lunch for the 3.5 hr's in saddle, pack up for trip home, is bike dialed?, Wife and kids up by 7:30AM for the shuttle to Lester, Wife knows Duluth but doesn't know Duluth so must set up for success or fear the reaper, Wife to drop off racer and bike and let fend for self, questions I had for self- do I keep all my personal belongings with me?, do I drop off team overpack gear and have a pile of weekend crap along the trail just in case?, wife left to fend for self getting back to hotel at Canal Park, getting kids squared, packing room and kids (minus my crap setting alongside trail), checkout, and return back to Lester to watch her Stuper Star. 
Said plan played on repeat in my head until 4AM at which time I folded to the complexity of it all. 1PM start was much simpler for this Stuperman on family vaca. So the early rise plan above was scrapped for an easy morning in a fancy hotel, a wife going on a solo run along canal park to be set free for a bit, packing up team overpack like a jenga puzzle, and enough circling over bike crap to make sure I was over prepared for 1PM.

The race was what it was, as riddl-E would say. A nice half hour rain to start off the race. Fun times on some flowy singletrack and attacking and being attacked fumbling through the mud with other like minded's. Reeled in Old Max. Finished mid pack to a son saying "what took you so long?"

Up next, MN series at Afton Alps. A return home so to speak. Spent many hours moving dirt with fellow LCR's creating and improving the trails. The trails that were, for the most part no longer exist. Good times were had. Even a bout with Lymes Disease. No regrets.

Afton 'flow' Trail we built circa 2006- today no longer exists.

Annual blag tradition... I give you 'June Bug' by fellow riddlers from the northwest, The Melvins... I remember seeing King Buzzo and friends at that one spot on Hennepin, it's a culture shop now I think.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2 Bucks

Who can argue with this stat... So far this summer of monsoon's, Buck has been the best trail, just by keeping us on dirt. More water = less dust.

To sum up June. From a 9 hour grind fest in the jungle of Cheq to the europa short track racing at Buck... Opposite games. Both stones must sharpen the slingblade. Right?

 2 races at Buck in 3 days, any MTB beats closed/ canceled MTB. You can scoff at Buck, but 6 hot laps with nowhere to hide will make your eyes bleed.

Random- 11 years past. Welch Village Rock Shox Drop. Expert? I lost a point here... ha. Ride it/ stay off the front brake and behind the seat and you'll do better than I did on this lap. Let her roll or be ready for a tumbling act. Also there was this one tricky spot between two trees at speed, clip a bar = superman. Old school, ride the ravine. Good times...

I blame it on the panaracer fire xc 1.9's at 40PSI we use to run...

Note- this blog thing isn't simple enough. Might have to succomb to the facebooks. Arg.