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Archive for August, 2012

What is this “roadie” doing? Rattling 50 review.

I am blessed. I’m on a road team and yet I’m allowed to pick my own schedule. At this point in the season I’ve only done nine days of road racing and ELEVEN days of mountain bike (MTB) racing!
It’s still a lot less racing than the “full time” roadie days. Yet it’s already more than I had planned for the year and I still have cyclocross season just around the corner!  I guess riding/racing three main disciplines is a good problem to have?

This past Saturday I lined up for the Elite Open Class at the Rattling Creek 50.  A 50 mile mountain bike race title sponsored by Stan’s NoTubes and based in and around the trails of Lykens PA.
This place is a small gem. The locals are friendly and check out Kevin’s place.

The local mtb organization partnered with IMBA have constructed some amazing trails here. It’s PA so yes, it’s generally rocky, however, the builders have put in some nice flow too. Some of the rock garden ride lines are really well done!

Here’s a neat vid someone put together. It gives a quick sense of the trails:

The race went well. I was previously doing a build for Leadville (which was also this weekend) and the subconscious/automatic training program paid off and I had good legs.
I was patient and went away solo before aid three, 36 miles in. According to the pre-race meeting this left me with approximately nine downhill miles to go.  However, there was a minor snafu with the trail markings late in the day.  Since I was leading at aid three and barring catastrophe (worse than being lead off course) I was on track for the win.  I ended up doing two sections of trail all over again and riding an additional four miles of singletrack with a little bit of climbing too.  No worries because It was decided by my fellow racers that I would be moved to top step!  Amazing humbleness and sportsmanship by my fellow podium competitors Collin Becker (who I rode with and was crushing it most of the race), Jed Prentice, Ryan Heerschap and Chris Edmonds. Several of us were similarly lead astray but again, heads remained cool and honesty prevailed.
Mike Kuhn (Rattling 50 promoter) was uber bummed (along with his volunteers) about the course signage glitch but remained super calm.
True class by everyone involved! Choice radness!

Kuhn does a great job with his races. Attention to detail in many places: fast registration, easy parking and a roll out start from the middle of town (not too many mtb races can claim such a beginning). Post ride swag, food and beverage (at a real restaurant) is part of your entry fee too!

Great race in a friendly town with excellent support by Stan’s NoTubes, Toasted Head Wine, Cannondale and the town of Lykens!

I’m already thinking about when I can get out to those trails again.

Huge thank you and congrats to the volunteers and competitors!

Maybe next season I’ll dust off the track and bmx bikes too?