Skyline Park Race Report
So, the field for the SS at Skyline was PACKED with ringers. There were 31 total and about half of those dudes were pro/semi pro. The course was brutally tough, as always. We started up the first fire road climb and I counted 11 riders in front of me early. I wouldn’t see most of them again. On the first lap I moved up to 10th, but on the backside descent I began to feel like I just wasn’t riding well, then I realized that my rear wheel was not bolted into the dropouts. I had a new larger freewheel put on it yesterday and the mechanic didn’t bolt down the hub tightly. It was just being held in by the chain- thank god I was on a single speed. I stopped to tighten it and let about three more riders by on one of the short technical climbs on the backside of the course. My lap time for the first lap was 45 minutes. The second lap I was feeling much better about and I had the course mapped out in my mind. Made some time, caught a couple riders and finished the second lap in 44 minutes, then on the third lap I began to get some pretty awful cramps. Every time I had to get off my bike to walk the really steep sections I would cramp. This slowed me down significantly as I had to pedal softer and took a couple short stops to stretch. I had two riders go by me and finished the last lap in 54 minutes. Sucky. I ended up 17/31 with a time of 2:23. That time would have gotten me 5th in expert geared, if that gives you any idea of how fast the SS category was. Cameron Falconer took the win with a time of 2:08, just a few minutes off of the geared pro winner, Jason Moeschler. Rich Maile was just seconds behind Cameron. Of the top 5 riders in all categories, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were all on single speeds. Dezmin Wilder who won the Downieville SS category last year with a time of 2:12 was a respectable 8th today at Skyline with a time of 2:15. It was a great race and a good primer for Downieville.
Last edited by Dirt_Diggler; 06-30-2008 at 11:11 AM.
wish i was racing or riding for that matter
good job hanging in there. mere mortals would have given up. i'm stuck here in san diego - our jet had some a/c issues on taxi out so we've been sitting here for the last 7 hours waiting on mechanics first to arrive, then to take a look at the plane...i'd much rather be riding
Way to hang tough Ty.
You know it's a hard race if Ty is pack fodder. I guess I'm glad the smokey skies kept me from racing.
Good luck in D-ville!
Last edited by jerms; 06-30-2008 at 10:48 AM.
That was one tough race, I was hung over from ales and trails and i became severely dehydrated at the 3rd lap. Just glad to have finished! There were soo many fast people out there! Fun course though!
The day was made better from a stop at Villa Corona for a enormous salty burrito ! Thanks to Morgan for driving too!
holy cr@pload of fast riders.
last minute decision to enter, primarily to check out Skyline and test the SS there. wimped out and entered sport instead of SS. 2 laps was plenty for me in my current state of fitness. Lots of hiking, and I think I could have done much better with gears, but that wasn't the point.
great seeing so many familiar faces at a great race!
My TWW report
I ended up driving up with Ty and ran in to quite a few familiar faces. We parked next to Dave and set up shop. I went for a little warm up up the initial fire road and was not feeling it. With the lack of sleep and riding, its been really hard to keep up with the big boys. Anyway, after an hour of goofing off and chatting with people, I headed over to the start with Rafael. Ran in to Hillstrom and said hello. We take off, and I feel like within the fist 5 minutes, I am in pretty close to dead last. There was a long string of people in front of me. Oh well, my plan was to see if I could stick with the fast guys for the first 30 seconds to a minute, and if that was impossible, throw in the towel and just enjoy a great day of riding on some amazing trails.
So I kept chugging along and surprisingly, on the march up the first steep hill, I was able to run around about 5 people at the very top. I kept my moderate pace on the flats, but every time we hit a technical section or a hill, I was able to ride or run around 5 or so people. Midway through the first lap, I was hurting, but having fun. I saw Hillstrom on the side of trail fixing a flat. After getting the signal that he was okay, I kept on the gas. On the big decent, we ran in to some single speeders and got hung up, but I didn't let it bother me. I knew the leaders in my category were long gone. So we got around when possible, and I nailed it on the fire road back to the S/F.
Lap two, more of the same, just less people in my way. I could feel I was falling off the pace a little, but for the most part didn't have people in my way to hang me up on the fun stuff. Some riders I had passed early on in the first lap on the technical stuff came whizzing by me on the climbs. No big deal, just stuck with my race, thinking I'd possibly catch them on the decent. I did, and passed a few. Towards the end of my last lap, I saw Antonio (the Colombian guy) on the side of the trail with a flat and no pump. I decided to let the guy behind me pass and let Antonio grab my pump out of my camel back, knowing very well, that the guy behind me would pass me soon enough now that we were out of the technical stuff. Turns out Antonio grabbed my shock pump and didn't realize it until I'd already jumped back on my bike. Oops.
So on the last little rock steps in the switchbacks, I just didn't carry my momentum and started to slowly go over the bars, but ended up falling on my side in to the nice soft grass on the upslope of the hill. I laughed it off and yelled to the guy with the flag that I was fine. Back to the finish line with a smile on my face and turns out I was 9th out of 15 with a time of nearly 1:48 even. I took a look back at previous results and starting from 2005, my times have been 2:14, 1:50, 1:37, and then 1:48 this year. So about 10.5 minutes slower than last year, but with the kid and a lot less riding, not too bad. Next up, well, not sure. I've once again decided that Downieville isn't in the cards. Some day I'll get up there. So maybe the evening Bike Monkey race is next up on July 19th.
9/15 Sport Men 19-34
hellz ya, the post ride mexican food was perfect. well, until we got back on the road and all i wanted to do was pass out- too bad i was driving. i tried to convince leonard to curl up in the back of the van catch up on some of the sleep he's been robbed of since having Alex, but i think he was too nervous i might fall asleep at the wheel without his help.
Originally Posted by lizzle
I didn't want to get the sheep skin couch cover dirty or track any dirt on your nice hardwood floors.
Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
I made the trek up from SLO to check out the course for SSWC. I preride under fire I guess. Its funny (sad), the Deer Valley National only had a total of 7 single speeders, we had almost five times that many at Skyline! Anyway up the first climb I find myself with the fast guys and think this is cool, I can watch them for a while a see how they do it. When we hit the first hike a bike my long legs got me to the top a little too fast. As we start riding again I find myself in front of a freight train of pros. That is not were I wanted to be, going up a trail I've never seen before, setting the pace. Luckily I suck at downhill switchbacks and several of the fast guys got around me. It was a thing of beauty to watch Cameron come sliding under me in a switchback then rocket away . Not to much later I goofed a series of rocks and waterbars, before I could clip back in at least five guys blew past me. Ah, now I could finally settle into my own personal place of pain. On the next two laps I got to meet and have a fun little battle with Surges, I'd catch him on the ups and he'd dust me on the downs. On the start of the 3rd lap I think Wilder finally got warmed up as he just came out of now where and blew my doors off as he passed! ba bye! Finished within a minute of three other SS'ers! What a great race, what great course, and what amazing competition!
That was my first time heading up to northern California for a race. I have to say you guys put on an awesome show and I really liked the vibe. I met a lot of great new friends and really hope to be back some more.
John, you had a good race. looks like you were at the end of the first group of fast guys, with no one withing 5 minutes of you. Wilder really did turn it on for the last lap, or actually, probably just didn't fade like i did. he was behind me for much of the first lap, then not far ahead during the end of the second lap, then 10 minutes in front of me for the third. i need to focus on hydration during the week. last week was especially poor and i think i paid the price. more riding would also be good.
anyway, sorry i didn't meet you, but sounds like i'll see you in august at SSWC.
Good reports people. Johnnyboy, good riding and nice to meet you. Maleonardphi, were you the Matt I met? I think so, nice to meet you too. You did good with a new baby in the house.
I finally made my own web log, and put my race report up there. Blogs are so navel-gazey, and mine is and probably will be no exception.
Ty, you raced well. I was so far behind you. That was fun but imagine what it will be like with 400 single-speeders on that course!
Yep, nice to finally meet you Morgan. I had thought that I had recouped a lot of my prebaby fitness over the last month or two, but clearly I have a long way to go. Oh well, still had a blast, can't beat that.
yeah, handing out tubes (probably changing them too), giving gearing advice, and probably saving children from burning buildings and cats from trees. Meanwhile, my average heart rate must have been 170 something compared to your conversant 140 something.
Originally Posted by morganfletcher
SSWC is going to be an absolute blast. though, like you this weekend, I imagine the race is going to be in front of me. oh well, more time to enjoy the ride.
Yeah, it will be. I'm so looking forward to it. I think I might offer to lead a Pine Mtn / Tamarancho SS ride. Curtis says there will be lots of associated rides around the bay area that week. I'll work the race, probably.
Originally Posted by Dirt_Diggler
I can't get over how fast Cameron went. I talked to him after the race and he said he won it on the downhills. Amazing! I think he said he was running a 34x19.
he's so fast. at boggs on my ninth lap he passed me (uh wait, lapped me) on one of the climbs and at that point he must have been going twice as fast as i was.
i do think that had i prepared physically for the race last week (been well hydrated) i could have at least cut into my time by 5-6 minutes, that would've have still put me over 10 minutes beyond Cameron.
34 x 19 sounds painful, though i have to say, there weren't that many times that i felt over geared unless i was WAY over-geared and had to walk, but i would have needed to run a 32x24 or something to make those sections.
let me know if you lead a ride, i'll join for sure.
Short version: As is disturbingly often the case, I ended up exactly mid-pack in Sport men 35-44.
Longer version: I didn't feel that up for this race. If I hadn't already signed up, I might have skipped it. I've also used up all my bike-borrowing chits without finding a new one to buy, so it was time to dust off the too-small Anthem, which was likely gonna be the source of pain.
I took my time once we got there, and then started to warm up, rather desultorily. I hadn't ridden the bike since Lemurian, which was a couple months ago, so I didn't notice that it felt, well, wrong. Eventually I realized that my fork was running somewhat soft. Like 80% sag. I ran around trying to find a shock pump, and finally got my hands on one, just in time to see everyone lining up to start a couple hundred yards away.
I paced it pretty casually at the start, and made it to the first technical climbing section in good order. At that point we hit the tail end of the Single speed wave, including the guy who thought it'd be a good idea to race on a brakeless fixed cross bike. (!) There were enough people walking that I joined them, and scurried up the pitch around a few folks.
I spent the first half of the first lap going back and forth with a teammate who was racing 19-34, and then left him behind (I found out later he'd gotten a flat). The rest of the lap went smoothly except for the stream crossing, where the guy in front of me stalled out, which forced me to put a foot down, and then lose like 3 positions getting started again. This would unfortunately happen again on lap 2. In fact, on the second lap I got held up with a guy behind me, who ended up hyperextending his knee...
I did make up time on the uphills (especially the running parts), and held my own on the gnarly downhills, although for some reason the switchbacks totally threw me.
I think I actually took it out a little too easy, since I ended up with gas in the tank, and less than a minute behind the two guys in front of me. Still given the (very very small) amount of riding I have been doing in the last few weeks, I was not unhappy with my result.
The event was very well run. The course was perfectly marked, and there were plenty of volunteers there to flag the sketchy parts. Plus the course was really really fun.
It was great to see Morgan (thanks for finally delivering that GPS!) and Rafael. I even won a bottle of wine in the raffle!
It's not as narcissistic as my sponsorhouse page. You have a long way to go, grasshopper.
Originally Posted by morganfletcher
I would have been there if CCCX #9/NorCal didn't conflict. The Skyline race needs to become part of the NorCal Series.
We take care of your technology
needs so you can focus on what's important.
Damn, sounds like a lot of fun! Too bad I had to miss it... Didn't want to miss the last CCCX race and the accompanying overall awards..
Anybody have a link to Motionbased for the event? I'd love to get out and try the track. Thanks!
So, who won the golden tickets to SSWC? They were giving out 6 right? 3 to top three placings and 3 to random, is that the correct rumor?
I just got back from an AWESOME day at Northstar with the Evolution Bike Shop crew, so here's my belated race report:
I raced my Superlight, but two days prior decided to switch my front tire to a Continental Speed King for some more grip than the Crow that was on there from Sea Otter. The problem was, I couldn't get it to bead up tubeless, so I had to run a tube, which would come back to get me when I pinch flatted 28 minutes in, just as Jason Moeschler caught me. Darn. I didn't have anything to fix it either, since I'm used to racing tubeless now and didn't think about it, so I had a long hike ahead of me. Double darn. And then, with some advice from a race volunteer, I decided to take a "shortcut" back which ended up descending into a creek. And up the canyon. Away from the finish. Triple darn.
Long story short, I made the decision to hike down through the creek carrying my bike, and finally made it back to civilization.
the good and the bad:
I raced for 28 minutes, all of the them in the lead
I hiked for 65 minutes, most of them in poison oak
I somehow did not get the PO
I put over a minute on Mr. Moeschler in the opening 10 minutes of climbing.
It took him less than that of descending to gain it back.
Bike racer nerd-thinking: If the climbing/descending extrapolation works for Downieville, I will be the first to the top of the climb by over 5 minutes, but will still lose the XC race by about 4 minutes.
proper race report
I warmed up the fire road climb with maleonardphi which was a good thing as I learned I could make it with the SS, and also not to go too hard or else I wouldn't make it to the doubletrack. I was feeling okay after the warmup considering the lack of recent training.
Once the race started, I settled toward the back of the pack since my hamster spinning abilities aren't the greatest on the flats, but once the hill picked up, I was stuck wasting energy weaving around all the guys in their small rings. Ive never ridden at skyline before, so I found myself going too hard on some climbs, and not hard enough on others.
The techy downhills were fun, but got clogged up on the first lap. Once we got to the last fire road stretch, things opened up for the second lap. The second lap was much clearer. I knew I was way back, and I just paced myself. I pretty much rode the second lap by myself. I cruised through all the downhills on the first lap, but walked the downhill section where Matt leaned over on the second lap after I caught up to a SSer that was going through it very slowly. He was a Sycip rider that had took a spill and had a pretty scratched up chin, so I finished the switchbacks behind him then passed. I knew I wasn't
gonna catch anyone else, nor be caught, so I just took it easy to the finish. Maybe a bit too much as I still had some left over at the end, but I find out my second lap was about 4 minutes faster than the first. hmm.
I think I needed one more tooth for the techy climb section between the two downhill sections. Besides the two obvious hike-a-bikes, I had to walk a part of this section on both laps, but think I could have cleaned it with a 32x20 instead of 19 (29er). I was warned ahead of time to lower my gearing, but I got lazy.
Finished sport 19-34, 10th/15 1:57:09.
I think I could have shaved several minutes if I had my geared bike,
but I am happy with the finish considering the SS and all the hiking I did.
I was really hoping to get into SSWC but I had a bad race. I was feeling great on the first lap but my tire felt low. So I stopped and pumped it up a little on the first lap. At the start of the second lap it was already low again so I stopped and looked at my tire. There was a TACK in my tire. Like the kind you put in bulletin boards. Why was there a tack out there!? It took me like 15 minutes to change the flat because I had no tire levers and I'm slow at that anyway. I also bent my rotor on a rock, so I had extra friction. It was a total bummer. I guess it just wasn't meant to be this year. I'll cheer for my friends instead.
Last edited by paperpl8; 07-06-2008 at 07:00 AM.
oh those silly tacks. i think they might have fallen out of my old toyota van (i have a big bulletin board in there for posting postcards and help wanted signs). totally kidding. that's a pretty chitty deal. were you one of the two girls racing for ventana that parked next to us? i assume the one on the single speed? you'll have more fun throwing rotten tomatoes and beer on people anyway. if i had an extra ticket to give, well, you'd be about 4th in line. but, if i had four, i'd give you one. you racing downieville?
Don't worry, you can join me and the gang as part of the 4-day drinking/heckle crew.
Originally Posted by paperpl8
People think SSWC is a race. Ha,ha. It's really a partey.