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Thread: VQ/CC stories

  1. #1
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    VQ/CC stories

    Congrats all! You rock!

    Once you recover, please post your story here so we can hear how it went! Was it easier or harder than you expected? How about compared to last year? How were your legs? Was the wind that bad? Any other riders you encountered that stuck out in your mind and why?
    Love, Impy

  2. #2
    mechmann_mtb
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    the day was wonderfull. temps were perfect. wind was a factor, but not unbearable. i do however think that lighter riders suffered a bit from head and cross winds.

    we (allison and i) had a rough start. i won't go into details, but after doing a cursory check for major damage, we were dead last. as the road started up the first switchbacks we had started to pass some of the slower riders. i stopped to help a few people with mechanicals since allison had fallen back a bit. as the sun came up, i could see that allison was dripping blood from her left arm through holes in her arm warmer and her left hip/thigh was visibly swollen and bleeding. about half way up blackstar i gave her one last chance. i said that if we quit right there, it would be fine, but if we were going to continue, we were going to finish. her answer was that she had come for a feather and was going home with one!

    i then set out to try and pace her up blackstar but she was not willing to keep our normal pace. she had slowed considerably and it was concerning me. every chance i got i cheered her on. whenever i was one switchback ahead i would cheer and call her name to keep her going. a few times i turned around and rode back down to her to keep her going, little did i know that later in the day the tables would turn...

    once on main divide we climbed more, but we knew the route well. we passed a few more people and then we were riding with the famous Troy and his dad. it was really cool to see that kid out there pedalling along. if he sticks with mountain biking that kid will be amazing before he is 18. somewhere near the last few climbs on main divide my legs started to tighten up. i would stand to rest my bum and i could feel my quads on the verge of cramping. the rests i was taking to wait for allison at the tops of the climbs turned into a frenzy of massaging my legs and ingesting anything i thought might help the cramps.

    finally we got to motorway. getting to go down made me feel SO good. i let loose and was rocketing down. caught a few people before the steep washed out part and passed them since they were walking. i waited to see if allison had caught me yet (times have changed and she can really move going downhill sometimes) no dice, so on i went. i was absolutely flying. i passed a few more people. i almost washed out going wide around a corner where Winston was snapping shots, i thought it was a downed rider or something. (thanks for the awesome pic winston) then near the bottom i came up on three riders that were NOT going to let me pass. i don't understand that, but whatever. they were dabbing and stopping and not letting me pass so i stopped. it was excruciating to stand still on such a great descent, but it was more painfull riding right behind people that dabbed over ever little rock or drop. i waited till the last person i passed caught up with me and then continued. i still wound up right behind the threesome going through the jumps at the bottom and didn't have enough speed to really air it out

    we spent more time at the first aid station than planned. allison got there only a few minutes after me, she said she was having a really good descent and everybody was really cool and letting her pass. one of the nice volunteers spent a good amount of time bandaging allison. there was a huge patch of road rash on her thigh, a really deep patch on her forearm, and another one on her wrist. once those were covered we refilled bottles, grabbed some fruit and OJ and trudged on.

    most of the day we had been surrounded by other "racers" but the trip up maple springs was different. nearly the entire trip up the paved portion we were alone. we were chatting and suffering, the wind was non-existant and we were getting hot. when there was a breeze it was a headwind and didn't seem to help. the climb is steep, but as we climbed it felt like my brakes were slowly being applied. then i noticed some bob in my front suspension, but the reba was locked out?!?!?! well... the front tire was going flat! i decided that since we had maybe a mile to a mile and a half that i would just fix it where the road turns to dirt. as it turned out, the goathead in my tire wouldn't have let me get further if i wanted to.

    the rest of the climb up maple springs was torture. my legs were cramping horribly and holding onto allison's wheel was nearly impossible. both hamstrings and then both quads were cramping. tears came to my eyes at least once. allison just held a steady pace and i was doing my best to hold on, massaging my legs with one hand. twice i could not pedal any further so i dismounted and walked. when 4 corners was finally visible i felt relief, but my legs were still cramping badly. once at 4 corners we spent a good 15 minutes resting. i am glad we were still there when Anne (Slow Spokes) came up because we were able to cheer her on (she was riding all alone since Andy had to work). after resting some more, we set out to the summit. the pain was severe, but we made it with a few short walking sessions.

    once over the peak we were flying downhill and enjoying ourselves. Upper Holy Jim was good, except when allison overheated her brakes and scared the crap out of me on a switchback (i think the 140mm rear brake is too small for her to drag the brake for long periods of time). dropping down Holy Jim was a blast as always. i did get off on a few techy spots that i know i can ride, but i was exhausted and no where near 100%. i waited for allison once we got to the switchbacks and she cleaned almost all of them, i was still worried about her brakes.

    there were a lot of vehicles driving on the dirt road on the way to the finish line. one of them filled with punks gassed their truck and swerved at us, such is life. we finished with a time of 8:20 or so. allison and i both need to train hard for next year's VQ!

  3. #3
    stay thirsty, my friends
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    Still a bit tired to write up my CC/VQ experience. Most likely do that tomorrow. Don't forget to checkout all the photos and reports on this thread, though.
    Last edited by Impy; 03-04-2007 at 06:44 PM.
    "With that said, until you have done a STR group ride- YOU HAVE NOT LIVED!"
    - dino brown

  4. #4
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBmtb
    Still a bit tired to write up my CC/VQ experience. Most likely do that tomorrow. Don't forget to checkout all the photos and reports on this thread, though.
    those are great pix by winston! looks like everyone was tired but happy!
    Love, Impy

  5. #5
    dft
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    first and only VQ for me, just wanted to do it once. i mostly freeride, first time i was on a XC bike in 4 years and now maybe the last! i had 3 flats, but was able to make the cutoff with 20 minutes to spare. wind was killer, but overall a good day. that was my 2nd longest ride ever behind the white mountian ride by bishop. i'll leave the long XC rides to the pros from now on. great folks though and good party afterward. the winners time is unreal.

  6. #6
    ali'i hua
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    Coup finisher here.

    better than 2003 when I didnt finish at all. the wind was something to marvel- being blown over was quite the experience.

    items of note:

    -note to self: find out how to make it from aid station to aid station with only two waterbottles and gu. camelbacks suck

    -i still do not like the paved part of maple, but past that, it's a dream SS climb

    -iPods full of good tunes can realy motivate. Clapton is god.

    -i felt great at the finish until Padre came crusing in 5 minutes after me while completing the vision quest

    -new brake pads are not a bad idea before such a race. wish i had done that

    -a new rear tire is a great idea before a race. glad i did that!

    - thanks to all the cheering crowds at the checkpoints- the motorway crowd and the upper holy jim crowd were definitely a help!

    - i really need to get the 29er ss in race ready conditon- longer cranks and bigger wheels would have been nice. but the 26er ss performed flawlessly, so i'll just stop complaining.

    -my feather is now proudly hung here in the office. if the dog ever gets it, he's dead. literally.

    -starting training in january was ok, but earlier would have been better

    -advil is a lifesaver. i feel sorry for the person that lost their baggy of it mid blackstar.

    -why were there so many innertubes lying on the trails? c'mon, people! and let's not get started with the empty gu packet wreckage....

    -swimming REALLY helps with the cardio- the legs were the only part lacking.

    about it from me right now. time to hobble to the kitchen for another cup of joe.

  7. #7
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    I finished the VQ for the first time (last year broke a chain attempting the CC and did not finish) My plan was to do the CC, but it was sold out so all I had left was the VQ...and I was not really sure how I would do.
    Overall i really enjoyed the whole trail except for the Hike a Bike on the last leg....so I think next year I'll just do the CC (since I already did the VQ). It just seems to be more fun and you are on the bike the entire time.
    I felt pretty good the entire time, and only felt a bit tired on the pavement part of the second leg. Once the fireroad started I felt good all the way up to the peak...and down all the singletracks I was passing people that were nice enough to let me go by. I seemed to get into a ZONE and cleared everything on the singletracks (don't think I got off the bike at all). I think the downhill sections are a bit underrated as far as saving time. Most focus on the endurance to get up the hills, but I noticed I was passing people going down and they never caught up. My advice to anyone thinking of doing either of these two races is to work on your downhilling skills.
    Overall the whole event was GREAT and it was better b/c I finished. The two guys I went with did not finish the VQ for the second year in a row, but I give them a lot of credit for making the attempt and at least riding the 44mi.

  8. #8
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    I calculated that the VQ is won or lost on the downhills. That's why I rode my SC Bullit. Well, I lost, but I sure had fun on the downs!

  9. #9
    Floater
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    Finished!

    I finished the CC. Against all odds, I did it! My training was interrupted by a couple of illnesses that included a lung infection. Then the week before the event, I had dental work that kept me from being able to chew. The worst obstacle to over come was self-doubt.

    I got off to a bad start, but felt strong and made up time after Beeks. By the time I got to Pleasant Peak, I felt I could just beat the first cut off time. Coming down the Motorway, I pinch flatted on the rocks. Fastest tube change yet! I beat the cut off by at least 20 minutes.

    I started up Maple Springs feeling good. But this is where I earned my Coup Feather. Just before the pavement ends, my legs didn't want to go anymore. I alternated between walking and riding. As I approached the gate at the top of Maple Springs, I had about 3 minutes to go before the cutoff. I expected the cutoff area to be there, but as I rounded the corner, I saw the cutoff was above Harding. I gave it everything I had. As I passed the truck, I heard, "you got it by a minute and a half". Whew. I did it! Now I just needed to get down safely.

    There were three other guys I "leap frog" with. We joked about the battle for last place. As we got into the snow, I slowed down and secured that last place spot. All the sweep personnel were great checking on me and giving me lots of room to ride at my own slow pace. A couple of check spots they called me by name, I guess they'd been waiting for me.

    It was one of the best feelings to come across the finish line. Its still hard to believe I did it. Thanks to all who worked the event, you're all great! Thanks to my wife, Shorty, and my sister Nann for being my support team. Oh yeah, I did come in last, but it was the fastest last place finish in four years!
    Last edited by Floater; 03-07-2007 at 05:58 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floater
    Oh yeah, I did come in last, but it was the fastest last place finish in four years!
    Haha!

    Congrats on that!

  11. #11
    Floater
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    From what mechmann_mtb wrote, it sounded like the both of you really earned your Coup Feathers! Your crash at the start looked awlful. Congrats to you and your husband! What a day for a ride.
    Last edited by Floater; 03-06-2007 at 11:12 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floater
    From what mechmann_mtb wrote, it sounded like the both of you really earned your Coup Feathers! Your crash at the start looked awlful. Congrats to you and your husband! What a day for a ride.
    It was actually a great day for a ride! The weather was great, I thought. Sure, it was really windy in spots (I was actually almost blown off the fire road on Main Divide at one point), and really warm climbing up Maple Springs on the pavement, but otherwise very good.

    The crash was pretty bad. I'll be wearing the scars from that for awhile. Er, once the skin heals over into scars, that is.

  13. #13
    Team Hardcore Cornbread
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    First VQ for me having done the CC last year for the first time. I talked my friend into pushing ourselves a bit harder this year and go for the more punishing VQ. I have to say that overall I enjoyed the VQ much more. I think mainly it is because once I got to the last cut off it became more about being motivated by others vs. just pushing myself. You really make quick friends while pushing your bike up that death march with 10 other riders. I had a late start last year so I may have been playing catch up a lot, but it seemed like all of the down hill sections this year were way jammed up. Motorway especially was a traffic jam and people were not wanting to let others pass. Not a real big deal but there is a reason I push my heavier bike up hills to enjoy the downs.

    Once again a great event put on by the WS. A big thanks to my wife Alyssa for not only understanding the all day rides on the weekends but for being my pit crew at EVERY aid station. Thanks to Kyle for pushing me on the training rides. Bummer on the broken derailer and having to finish skate board style. You still beat my time and I had no mechanicals. Oh yeah, and I was one of the guys that was actually blown off the bike from the winds. I just turned the corner about a mile past the golf ball and was hit in the face with crazy winds that turned me side ways. That was a first.

  14. #14
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    I just showed up to support a few riders at the finish....
    here are a few pics http://singleswizzle.com/vision07/index.htm

  15. #15
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    Last year I had great support from friends. This year they were remodeling a house so I was self-supported but the (long) drive to the start went smoothly and the weather looked fine so I was optimistic.

    At the start gate I recognized Sauce and said hello. She was holding mp3's bike while he was elsewhere. When I asked about other STR's she said that Keith B had forgotten his helmet. I said that I had an extra. (fate would fix that). "Too late" she said, he had gone back.

    I didn't have a light and would have preferred to go by moonlight but when there are lights you need a light. I eventually found a singlespeeder with a light (you know, spinning wildly then resting) and stayed on his tail. On Blackstar there is a puddle that should have a name (Lake Blackstar?). As I went around, somebody who couldn't wait passed and cut me off at the trench. I missed him but not the trench so I tumbled. No harm, just loss of dignity and my guide.

    The climb went smoothly, the fast racers were gone so I was just one with the crowd. I passed Sauce and mentioned that her seat looked too low, (bent knees, etc.) and I think she agreed with my free advice.

    At higher altitude the wind was a pain. Headwinds that make you wish for a motor and sidewinds that make you wish for a 36-pound bike. Unfortunately I was a weight-weenie that day. I had put the Pace carbon fork on the front (looking for fast climbing) so the wind was doing all the turning. Downhill times are highly overrated. It's the climbing that wins.

    On the Main Divide one sweeping turn and the wind came together to cause another fall. I was a little stunned but people were there in a flash and I got up and they seemed relieved. That was Chelle talking, right? (After the ride I found my helmet had cracked.)

    The rest of the ride to Aid #1 was uneventful, just that the bumps added to my headache. I seemed to be making progress, made Aid #1 at 8:18:43 (isn't GPS neat?). A few (7) minutes to hydrate and think (what's my name again?) and away. At the end of the pavement I saw ocrider standing but he didn't wait for me to catch up.

    I passed him later as he was fixing a flat. Sub 9 was his goal so if I'm ahead I was going to break 9 hours too but ...

    No major issues on the climb, I was controlling my pace (going slow enough) but my lower intestines were cooking. At Four Corners I got a roll of paper from the guys and continued. On the long level section it was time. I pulled over into the shade for a break. Things went pretty smoothly. Luckily there was snow in the shade. I augmented the paper with snowballs, talk about pucker factor!

    It must have been then that ocrider passed me. Nothing much to report except the grind, I felt fine but didn't push. I wanted more reserve in the wind and cold. Upper Holy Jim would be fun on a good day but - I walked the bigger drops (headache). Lower Holy Jim was perfect I was feeling good and much faster than last year (where I barely made the cutoff going SS - with an early start). Some uphill riders slowed me a bit, hikers gave plenty of clearance (I need it folks).

    Saw dstepper at the last water crossing (Hi) and made Aid #2 at 11:49:09 (GPS again ). They say a fresh rider can make the cutoff in 30 minutes, can a stale rider do it in 40:51? Up the trail that I've seen 3 times before, hoping that every turn is the last and then finally the checkpoint. Made it! ( ). But wait, that means I have a long walk ahead. (ugh).

    I made the hamburger stand some time later, much later actually, 1 hr 15 min - should have been 45 minutes. And the downhill, cool until the rocky parts, every bump was felt in my head. Flatted too (cost me 7 places). The final Trabuco road took 18 minutes.

    Total time 9:56 apparently the fastest last place ever (thanks to the new cutoff times) and maybe the old guys record.

  16. #16
    Floater
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    Hope Congrats!

    From the last place finisher in the CC (me) to the last place finisher in the VQ, Congrats!!!

    I have to add that watching the rides you post on geoladders, I can't wait to retire and get
    more ride time in, then I might be able to keep up with you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floater
    From the last place finisher in the CC (me) to the last place finisher in the VQ, Congrats!!!

    I have to add that watching the rides you post on geoladders, I can't wait to retire and get
    more ride time in, then I might be able to keep up with you.
    ahahahaha!!! I think everyone on geoLadders feels the exact same way! I'm not even trying to keep up anymore. We were high 20s, low 30s for a bit, but now down to the 40s. It's difficult to maintain that. I dunno how everyone rides so much. Lucky bastids.

  18. #18
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    I didn't attempt either race, but I wanted to pop into this thread and congratulate everyone who finished (let alone attempted) the VQ and CC.

    Well done.

    That's all. Carry on.


  19. #19
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    I trained and trained and trained since last November.
    Got the flu 9 days out...flat on back for 2 days or so.
    Slow recovery.
    No ride the Saturday before.

    Started the event feeling at least glad to be back on the bike but wishing the last 4 months of training would deliver.

    Long story short, I shaved a blistering 4:28 off last years time.

    realizations:
    - i wished i'd ridden my SS again
    - i'll never be using hammer perpetuem again
    - i've increased my LT a good bit since last year
    - my wife increased the amount she beat me this year by almost 50%...on her SS...while barfing all day.
    - wind is better than mud
    - wind is better than cold
    - people who drop their gu wrappers and tubes should be beaten, then have their face covered in gu and placed in the sun next to an ant hill.

  20. #20
    Floater
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    [QUOTE=
    - people who drop their gu wrappers and tubes should be beaten, then have their face covered in gu and placed in the sun next to an ant hill.[/QUOTE]

    I agree, I was surpise by the wrappers, but could hardly believe the tube left behind. I should have picked the tube up, next time.

  21. #21
    OMR - Old Man Riding
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    Good job! A real congrats to all who finshed or even attempted VQ/CC

    Hey,

    Those are tough rides for anybody. The amount of training required and proper nutrition makes these serious endeavors... now, add in the cutoff times that puts pressure on the rider. When you ride these events, you know you've been in a race.

    This is one event I really enjoy working (although I love to ride it as well).. but it's a lot of fun encouraging people when they come through the checkpoint. This year, we had spreadsheets that we were able to call out the names of people as they came through... the surprise on the faces when the names are called out is something to see.

    I worked the lower section of Upper Holy Jim (the one with the HARD right turn at the bottom)... funny to see people toward the end of the race trying to make this turn after 6 or 7 hours on the bike.

    What was really amazing was to watch Cameron and then Manny come through in a little over 3 hours after the start of the race. God did not creat all people equal... some are more equal than others!

    Stay tuned for the Toad Festival... looks like we're going to stage out of Irvine Park this year... with a lot more games and such during the ride. Should be a great event.

    OMR...
    Socal Warrior
    Older than Dirt!!!

  22. #22
    Floater
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    You guys really surprised me when you called out my name, you guys are great. I was one of those seven hour + riders. That hard right turn looked so big as I came off Upper Holy Jim, but got really small as I came around. I made it though. Those of you who rode sweep down Lower Holy Jim were great! You all made sure I was doing good and then gave me plenty of room to ride at my own slow pace. THANKS! It was a great day and it was due to all who worked the event. I was impressed with how organized everything was, and the great people I met.

  23. #23
    OMR - Old Man Riding
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    Seriously....

    Quote Originally Posted by Floater
    You guys really surprised me when you called out my name, you guys are great. I was one of those seven hour + riders. That hard right turn looked so big as I came off Upper Holy Jim, but got really small as I came around. I made it though. Those of you who rode sweep down Lower Holy Jim were great! You all made sure I was doing good and then gave me plenty of room to ride at my own slow pace. THANKS! It was a great day and it was due to all who worked the event. I was impressed with how organized everything was, and the great people I met.
    The thanks we get is seeing all those smiles at the end of the ride... makes standing there at the check points for over 7 hours bearable.

    BTW: What was your number?

    OMR
    Older than Dirt!!!

  24. #24
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    Hats off to all the VQ/CC volunteers!

    As others have stated, the race was very well organized and supported by, it seemed, dozens of volunteers. As a participant, I really appreciated not only the good organization but also the cheers and support from the folks at the aid stations, check points, and elsewhere on the course. And yes, I did notice you guys calling out people's names. That was a nice touch, particularly for those of us riding without friends and family on hand. Warriors Society seems like a terrific group. Thanks again for a great event!

  25. #25
    Floater
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtber3737
    The thanks we get is seeing all those smiles at the end of the ride... makes standing there at the check points for over 7 hours bearable.

    BTW: What was your number?

    OMR
    I was # 364, with the

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