geronimo k

What do you mean this is silly?

Wilderness of my mind 101 which led to Liberty!

This past weekend was my second ride at the Wilderness 101 (W101).   For me W101 is the original 100 miler.  I can’t think of anyone/anyplace that was doing a 100 mile mtb event earlier than 1991.  I remember thinking, “that is crazy.”

Michael Bush: 2012 Wilderness 101 &emdash;

Photo Cred: Mike Bush Vault

My bike, pre-race routine and nutrition was on check. The opener ride the day before went smoothly.  Morning of the race my legs and lungs felt fine.  However, five minutes into the start I was already hurting and breathing harder than I should have been.  “Uh oh…” was the first thought that came to my mind.   The second thought? I may want to turn around now.  I didn’t.

Countless times I just yearned to stop. Stop and sit down, stop and sit in a refreshing creek, stop and get into someone’s car, stop and hang out with the aid station staff (they were quite pleasant), plain ole quit. Why didn’t I turn around at the beginning?!  I can’t remember when I last suffered so badly and with so much more yet to go.
I tapped into all the mental visualization, verbalization and positive mind movies vaulted into my cognitive memory: “Get to the next section of singletrack, it will be fun….”, “Head up…flow through here…”, “Get to the next feed…there will be food and drink…”, “Just keep pedaling…”, “I am a machine…”, “I’ve done this before…”, “I can do this…”, “I will do this.”

I did it.

Photo Cred: bobs-photgallery

Mad respect for those that do this weekend after weekend. There is a real mental toughness to these things.  I’ve heard many endurance MTB stalwarts utter this mantra, “There are three guarantees in the 100 milers: 1. You will feel good and it won’t last long. 2. You will feel bad and it will last way longer than you want. 3. Both 1 & 2 will happen several times and you’ll probably be alone.”  It’s so true.   On this day I was #2 for 90% of the time.

The W101 is definitely crazy, yet I feel more sane for doing it.

The Liberty Criterium Presented by Philadelphia Ciclismo
I made the three hour trek to home straight after the 101. Got up the next morning, barely, and headed out to the Liberty Criterium. I was questioning myself, again, the whole time but I was registered and told people I’d be there.  I re-packed what I needed the night before so I ate some breakfast and headed out the door.

My legs were much much better today but I didn’t realize it till mid way through the 30 mile race.  By then it was too late and the break of three, whittled down to two, would not be seen again.  I surfed some leadout trains snagged 4th in the field sprint and 6th overall.  Took home some good bounty.  I’m cool with that.


Photo Cred: cycleraces

The Liberty Criterium is a sweet event and I’m humbled to be friends and a part of the crew that assembles this race (albeit they do most of the leg work).
Props to Liberty promoter Jamie Harris and his rock band of: Jason Eicholtz, Darrin Miskiewicz, Geoff Rezvani, Jason Gabriel and Wes Beers for pulling off a great day.  Cheers to all the racers, volunteers and sponsors to0!  Lots of people step up and much attention is given to the  details: good directions, easy parking, clean and abundant port-o-johns, fast registration, good prizes, quick results, quick pay out, quick podium pictures, available swag and etc…  Thank you for everyone that came out to race and may those that involuntarily played with pavement have speedy recoveries!

The goods.

*Now that I’ve done a few mountain bike races I must say the pro/top guys are way more friendly, take the time to talk with people, competitors than I’m used to seeing. Much nicer vibe and much less ego heads.
*Not only does Stan’s NoTubes make great products but there employees actual ride/race! Even with their busy schedules Mike Bush was riding around all day taking pictures. Richie Rich completed yet another 101 while Rich Straub finished his eleventh W101!  Awesome crew.
*Liberty Criterium Sponsors: Moshulu, Kimberton Whole FoodsToasted Head, Walton Endurance, Railroad Street Bar and Grill, Dogfish Head, Java’s Brewin, SRAM, CANNONDALE and of course Philadelphia Ciclsimo.
*Equipment for the W101: Cannondale Scalpel 29er w/ Stan’s NoTubes Crest Wheels, SRAM Grip Shift and SRAM Type2 Rear Mech. NO FLATS!
*Equipment for the Liberty Criterium: Cannondale EVO w/ Stan’s NoTubes Alpha 400’s w/ Hutchinson Intensive Tubeless Tires, SRAM new RED group. NO FLATS!
*Please forgive me if I forgot to mention someone!

Thanks for reading and Rock on!


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