This review of the DOUBLE DARE hit my inbox this morning:
I'll try to keep this short. Here's what happened the weekend of 10/28-29, The 2006 2nd Annual Double Dare:
It wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. I wasn't looking forward to it. Ross was my original teammate. He had baby/Dad/Husband duties. So he was out from the invite/getgo. Bob/Ken were next in line. Ken was going to Florida, so he was done. Bob was possibly available. He wanted to go for it. We were going to do it because it was there and let the cards fall into place. It was the ultimate test.
Turns out, Bob may have to bail becuz of work. Yeah for him and me. I was off the hook. What a relief. I didn't have to torture myself.
Well, I wanted to do two epic days in Pisgah and camp in between. The race fit the bill, with a little extra umph. I knew it would push my limits, and then some.
So, this guy Adam, that I do alot of road rides with (ok not alot, I work), had been doing a couple mtn bike rides with me lately to mix it up. His wife went out with us once too. Turns out, she's a badass downhiller. They both did the NORBA series in '97. So they both got some skills. I gotta throw this in here. His wife Cheryl went with us the first day we went mtn biking. I'm going down this wet-rooty ass downhill that's past steep and I here Adam behind me. He's a roadie, where's he getting the cocoanuts to do this? I make it thru this nasty section that I only rode becuz I heard him behind me. I stop and look back. It's his wife! What the Rodgers is going on here? She's a badass!
Well, anyhow, Adam says he thinking about doing a long mtb race, 12 hrs of Charlotte or something like that. I tell him I'm out cuz of the Double Dare.
I few weeks later we ride again in Pisgah. He says he wants to do the Double Dare (he wasn't doing the 12hr Charlotte race). Mind you, he's got and aluminum hardtail w/ pretty good components. He's never done a ride longer than 7hrs on his road bike. He hardly ever rides his mountainbike. In fact, I was surprised he even had one. However, he is a consistent top ten Cat 3 down here, pushing for his cat 2 upgrade. I figured he had the endurance for day one. But, 2 days on that steed in Pisgah. I'm thinking "He doesn't know what he's getting himself into."
So Bob calls and confirms he's out the same day Adam says he wants in. I tell Adam it's open. He's all for it. All of a sudden, it's on! I'm still not looking forward to it. I'm thinking about the cold, rain, possibly snow. All the torture mother nature and Eric Weaver at Pisgah Productions can throw at you. My trail knowledge wasn't sharp either. I hadn't been doing much in the way of Pisgah excursions lately. What a wuss. Never listen to that voice.
I hadn't been doing much riding since the Shenandoah Mtn 100 http://www.mtntouring.com/mountain/h.../page_home.htm Between, Shenandoah and the Double Dare, I rode every day for 20 min easy spin in the mornings. I mixed in some high intensity w/ CycloCross on a weekend and a couple practice road races. That was it. I had about 6 weeks to recover to do Double the Damage. Two 9-12 hour days back to back in Pisgah National Forest. Saturday Noon to midnight. Sunday rise and no-shine started at 6am to 6pm. You had to be back before the cutoffs both days or you were DQ'd. Plus you had to carry this pack of items that could get one thru a trip to Nova Scotia.
I continued my commitment to the race. I was just going to do it because it was there. Whatever happened, happened. I was going to leave it all in Pisgah. Whatever was in the tank. I would get my two epic days and camp out, freeze if necessary, and possibly die.
The week leading up to the event, the weather was cool/cold. It rained all day Friday the day before the event. A soaker. This would have wiped out a lot of events, esp up North. Sat was cool, breaking clouds, some sun, getting up to a high of 53. The event started at noon. I was still cleaning my bike at 11:45. Did I mention, the race started at noon? I wasn't looking forward to this? I barely made the start. I was in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Had to add a vest 2min in to the race, it was a little cool.
Adam started out a good pace. We hit the pavement 3 minutes in and he was off to a road race. I had to control the pace. I wasn't going to blow a gasket 10 minutes in to a 10hr day. I did that at Shenandoah. That was fun, 6 hrs later. I let him drop me so he would slow down. We climbed for an hour and 40 min on gravel to the first trail. I swore I'd never do that climb again. It just wasn't fun. The views were incredible though. Thank you Lord.
We hit the trail and my instincts took over. I always go faster on the trails. It lights me up. Adam was killing the single track on that Aluminum bike. I was in heaven on my Racer X. That thing rips.
Adam knew the trails on this part of the course. He had recently ridden them, thankfully. We clicked off a few check points and Eric Weaver's Branch Davidian methods got the best of us. We took the long way to a checkpoint becuz I didn't read the passport correctly. Sorry Adam. There were 10 checkpoints and 1 bonus each day. We'd a had 10 checkpoints that day if not for that mistake. Anyhow, 10 hrs after we left the start, we arrived back at camp. Hurtin! But I gotta say. We went the wrong way up a one way street twice.
The icing on the cake was going up Clawhammer at the end of the night. We used a small flashlight to climb the service road in the dark to conserve our head lights. We rode in the dark mostly, going by quarter moon light. I told Adam we were taking Black Mtn Trail down in the dark on the way up. I'd had enough of gravel roads that day. I'm a mtn biker, damnit. He said he didn't think he could do it. His arms were shot. Poor Bastard! I let him think he was off the hook. The last checkpoint arrived sooner than expected. Before too much cold set in, we doned some hats and arm warmers. The wind was wippin up there. I thought trees were going to fall on us. We had to hike up some small hill from the checkpoint. That kept us warm. Five minutes later the DH was on (that's Down Hill for y'uns others). Hang in there Adam, this is gonna make the day. The ride down Black Mtn in the dark was everything. The lights in the distant small town off the ridge, the quarter moon up above, and the whippin wind was surreal. I was filled up. I slowed plenty to make sure Adam was in tow. We were a team.
We arrived at camp to a warm welcome. A bunch of lights, a fire, music and people cheering, and beer. Day one was in the book with 9 of 11 checkpoints. My friend Lauren had showed up, pitched a tent, and had a stove ready to warm up some Urban Burritos. And Adam's wife, Cheryl, had made a special trip out there to leave some stuff for us in Adam's tent. Are you kidding me? No. Goodnight Adam, see you in the morning. We were in 3rd place after day one.
Luckily, for me, Lauren knows how to camp. It got really cold that night. We had plenty of warm covers. I had to wear a hat on my head, it was freakin cold. Three dog night or two warm women? Sorry, no success story here. I needed the legs for Sunday. I didn't sleep much. It must've been the Hammer Double Mocha I had going up Clawhammer that kept me up most of the night.
The quote of the weekend comes from Lauren early Sunday morning. "Isn't the race meeting at 5:30(AM)? Then maybe you should stop playing with my boobies!" Ouch, I gotta go now. Adam you ready?
We took our time after the meeting. We got a late start. 7:20. Thanks Lauren for making breakfast. You rock. We got our bikes ready, studied the map, came up w/ a strategy, and hit the trail/gravel road. Up Clawhammer again! Hair of the Dog anyone? God I love that. The other quote of the weekend, "That's what I'm talking about Mother F'er! We said the whole thing...plenty. What the F? You might end up dead. It was the Double Dare.
We worked our way to some checkpoints. Again, there were ten plus one bonus. We aimed for all ten. However, as Eric would have it, at some point in the day, you end up making concessions. Then you have to use your brain when it works least. It's crazy. Dyslexia, Alzheimers, ADD, Terrets, it's all there w/ spent legs and a broken ass. This is Broke Back Mtn of the Bikin Kind. You figure it out. I'm going this way.
We made our way to the Parkway to limp home before the cutoff. We picked up another checkpoint on the way. However, before that happened. We climed. 4 miles I think. There was some relief, but it wasn't enuff. Adam was looking at the dripping rocks for water. I offered mine up but he didn't take it. He was at home on the road even if he was dehydrated. We were run off the road by Leaf Seakers. Man, they're sad. Why would anyone endanger someone's life on a bike becuz you're in a car? Where're you goin on the Blue Ridge F'n Parkway that you don't have 30 seconds to wait for a safe way around? I pray for those people and money to widen the Parkway. On a positive note, some hot chic in a Navigator of all vehicles blew me a kiss. I may have been halucinating. Either way, it was inspiring. It kept me pedalling.
We got to the Pisgah Inn, got some water and farted in some woman's face. Thanks Adam. We donned our warm weather gear an hit the road. This was gonna be a 1 hour downhill. An' it was gonna be cold.
I shivered all the way down. I said the hell w/ cars and rode in the middle of the road. No ******* was squeezing around me in a turn goin' 35! It was my time F'er! I said the whole word. I didn't give a sh!t.
A few miles down the road, and I mean down, the sun was creeping behing the hills and Mother Nature had turned her cold shoulder once again. We came to the turnoff for one last checkpoint. It was 4:30pm already. There was a 40 minute climb and a 20 minute downhill on a good day. If you caved in it was 2 hrs back to camp. Was it worth the risk? We were tempted by greed and pride. We both said no and "laid up". We worked too damn hard to get DQ'd if we arrived after 6pm. Adam led the way to the finish. Again 10 hrs later, this time only 7 checkpoints. We hung our heads. We didn't think 7 would hold up too good for day two. There was another warm welcome. The cheers, the cowbells, the fire, the muzic. Damn it felt good to be back and finish the Double Dare. I collapsed, head tilted on the leg of a picnic table...wasted. We were told the news we were officially in 1st. It was only something after 5 pm. There was still close to an hour for everyone else to come in. We packed up out stuff and had a few beers. Hoping for a top 5 by the time it was thru. 6pm arrived and so had all but two of the other teams(there were only 12 total). We ended up 2nd. We were stoked. We went out for Mexican and one Margarita later we were both drunk. We were alive. Ain't it cool?
Thanks Eric and Pisgah Productions for putting on a stellar event. This is going to get huge. Thanks Adam for stepping up. I have no idea "how you did what you did but I thank you." Thanks Bob, Ross Ken and Ray Chester for all the inspiration. Thanks Eric, West Coast 1 Speed for all the training and trail knowledge. Thanks Hammer Nutrition for the good products and Sycamore Cycles for hooking Adam up with them. Thanks Eric n Matt and rest of the crew at Biowheels in good'Ole Asheville, NC for all the gear, help and support. As well as the OBB for helping me get started and pointing me in the right direction. One last shout out to Solon Bicycle. Keep the North Coast Bicycle scene rockin. As for the rest of you, thanks for helping me be Me. Welcome to my new life after the Double Dare!
Keep It Real,
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