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  1. #1
    i worship Mr T
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    Things that rock & things that suck: Chickasaw Trace race rept (pics galore!)

    Things that rock:
    •The Chickasaw Trace race course. Kudos to the Columbia Cycling Club for developing and maintaining such an awesome trail system and race course.
    •Electrical tape…..it can fix anything and leaves less residue than duct tape
    •Hitting the woods with a gap on one of the pros in the field (who smoked you in a race last year)
    •Psyching out the competition by cleaning a log hop when everyone else took the ride-around
    •Feeling better on lap 2 than on lap 1
    •Sitting in 5th place on the final lap with the 4th place rider in sight

    Things that suck:
    •Realizing during the pre-ride that your brand new chi-chi seatpost is a 26.8 and not a 27.2………one minute I was pedaling happily the next my knees were in my chest. (Enter the electrical tape)
    •Dropping the chain to the inside……..3 times………in the first lap
    •Getting the song “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” stuck in your head (especially when the title is the only line of the song you actually know)
    •Leg cramps
    •Pinch flats on the final lap

    After a disappointing finish in my first race this season I was unenthused about the prospect of getting stomped again 2 weeks later, but the Chickasaw Trace Classic race in Columbia, TN was going to be the first opportunity for the SourceBURN Factory Team to race together this year.

    Tyler (Mr. SourceBURN himself), Ed, Leesa (and her friend Brigid), and I all met up in Columbia, TN (just south of Nashville and near pretty much nothing but cows and a really stinky industrial park) on Saturday to pre-ride. From the course description I’d seen I feared that this would be another flat, fast course with short steep climbs. Not my forte. I guess it depends on the perspective of the person describing the course. The course was definitely fast but although there were some flat sections there were also a number of rocky, technical sections, and a big, long climb making up the better part of the 2nd half of the course. I was in love.

    We finished our pre-ride, went back to our hotels to clean up and met up for a pre-race dinner & team bonding at what appeared to be the only resturant in all of Columbia: uh, something mexican. Then back to the hotel to flip through bike stuff catalogues and early bed time.


    [SIZE=2]Ed ogling bike porn[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=2]what do bikes do while we sleep?[/SIZE]

    Tyler and Lisa were both racing Sport (scheduled to start at 10:30 & do 2 laps/18 miles) and Ed, Scooter (who came in late Saturday night, thus missing the team bonding dinner) and I were racing Expert (start time: 12:30, 3 laps/27 miles). Fortunately for all of us, Leesa had withstood our ‘are you psychotic’ stares the night before when she mentioned that getting up early would be easy since she was on east coast time. Apparently, she was the only one of us who was on the ball enough to realize that TN is on central time, and until she explained this we all thought she might need to contact her doctor to up her meds!

    Ed, Scooter, & I entertained ourselves by sitting by the BURN van & handing out cold BURNs to anyone who wanted, handing bottles to Tyler & Lisa in the feed zone, and playing with my digital camera.


    [SIZE=2]pretty cool glasses, eh?[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=2]Men’s Sport starting line (that’s Tyler in the middle with the silver helmet & black jersey)[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=2]1x1’ers line up[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=2]Women’s Sport starting line (Leesa is in the red & white helmet grinning)[/SIZE]


    [SIZE=2]Go Tyler!![/SIZE]


    [SIZE=2]does she ever stop smiling?! Go Leesa![/SIZE]

    By noon it was more than just a little toasty out. The Expert races promised to be hot, sweaty, salt-wasting affairs. Ed’s group, Sr. Expert/Semi-pro/Pro, went off first and 40 guys big-ringed it through the field, around the trees, and up onto the fire road above the start. The noise that filtered down to us, “BZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz” sounded like a swarm of metal-on-metal bees. The next groups went off at 2 minute intervals until all that was left were Jr. Experts & Women’s Expert/Pro. The organizer at the line announced that they would be combining the Jr. & Women’s fields, which would have given us about 25 people (~15 women and ~10 juniors) but threatened mutiny from the women led to a change in plans and we started last, 2 minutes after the juniors.

    Several of the girls wanted to reduce the number of laps from 3 to 2 but when the idea was vetoed by about ½ the field one of the proponents of 2 laps said, “Well, today is my baby’s 3rd birthday, so I guess riding 3 laps can’t hurt any more than what I was doing 3 years ago today!! And besides, if this hurts too much, I can always stop!”……..Bet, you guys never heard that comparison on any of your starting lines!

    The air horn sounded and……….uh, where is my *&$%#$&* pedal?! Oh, there it is. My goal for the race was to stick as close to one of the pros who had dusted me in a race last year. Missing the pedal was not a good strategy to do this, but once clipped in I worked my way up from about 8th to around 4th or 5th……passing my pro “rabbit” in the process.


    [SIZE=2]before the first single track (that’s my “rabbit” behind me)[/SIZE]

    My first lap was brutal. A short technical climb had girls falling all over the place and we all ended up running. Back on our bikes, 2 girls had gone off the front and there were 3 of us packed wheel to wheel on the single track, pedaling hard and dodging trees. We passed each other when possible, but no one ever managed to get a gap for long. Out into an open field and back into the woods. I was 3rd in our little train of 3. We were coming up on a section with a large log across the trail that afforded both a log hop and a ride-around. I had practiced the log hop (I love hopping logs) in my preride and thought I might be able to get over the log fast enough to get ahead of the girl directly in front of me if both girls did the ride around. We rode up to the log, both girls in front took the trail around and I floated over the log. Unfortunately, it didn’t save me any time and I ended up back where I’d started but I did get a ‘you go girl!!’ from both of the girls in front.

    We continued in our little train for a while longer until the girl in front suddenly slid out in a turn and landed hard. ‘You ok?!’ we said as we passed. She had bounced back up and was cursing – a true sign of health. We pedaled on. We hit a hill. I down shifted. CHRRRRRIRRRRRIRRRR! CHUNK! Arrrrgghhh! Chain off to the inside and chain suck. I had to get off my bike, pull the chain out from its new home between the chain ring and chainstay, get it back on the cog and back on the bike. I was now riding alone.

    A little while later it happened again: CHRRRRRIRRRRRIRRRR! CHUNK! Arrrrgghhh! *bump* the girl behind me ran into me as I stopped dead, pedaling with no resistance. I pulled the chain out and back on again,as she ran past me. It was my “rabbit” and she was gone (she ended up 3rd). The chain slipped off one more time during that lap and the girl who had fallen earlier caught up to me. We rode wheel to wheel until it was my turn to go down in a turn and she passed me.

    Back up and on my bike I went hard and caught up to the girl who had passed me. We finished the first lap and came through the transition & feed zone wheel to wheel. Heading out for our 2nd lap of 3, I’m right behind her. We go through the feed zone & I grab a new bottle. AHHHHH, cold water. The next thing I hear is people yelling ‘WRONG WAY! WRONG WAY!’ I had followed the girl in front of me and instead of going straight she had gone left back towards the start. DOH! We did a quick about-face and she turned to me & said, “Sorry about that. I was in ecstasy over cold water & wasn’t paying attention”

    We hit the first short technical hill and she went down. We both scrambled and I got out front and for the next lap all I heard was what sounded like every spectator on the course yelling for her, “Go Robin!!” I wished my name was Robin. I dropped her on the flats. She caught me on the climbs. This was her home course and she knew every line. We caught up to the 4th place girl and came through the transition/feed zone 1, 2, 3, (or 4, 5, 6 as the case may be) to a chorous of “Go Robin!”s for our final lap.

    We hit the short steep techinical climb for the last time. I cleaned it and was off. I heard Robin yelp. I kept going. I reminded myself to ride my own race. I was in 5th. I could see the girl in 4th. Out of the single track, onto the field. All my ‘field interval’ training has helped. I want to keep a little left in my legs in case I can catch the girl in 4th and it comes down to a final sprint. Back into the woods & single track. Along and above the creek. There’s a twinge in my right leg. Ow! No, no cramping! OW! Ok, maybe if I move my leg to her. No! maybe this way. OW! OW! Or if I stand up. Ahhh….better.

    Coming up there’s a short, steep technical drop into the rocky creek bed and out over some more rocks and a big root. I drop in and hit the rocks at the bottom hard. By the time I’m up and over the root on the other side, seconds later, all I hear is *FWOP!* *FWOP!* *FWOP!* My back tire is flat. I’ve never flatted in a race before and it shows. That tube change must have been one of the most inept in mtb’ing history. I get the tire off the rim, the blown tube out, the new tube in, the tire back on the rim. I pull out my CO2. Robin passes by & says “Awww. So sorry girl!” I screw the nozzle onto the CO2 and put it over the valve stem. Nothing happens. More girls pass. One more time. This time I hear “pssffftt……..” and I get about 10 lbs of pressure into the tire but nothing more. I take it off & reposition it. Nothing. More girls pass and I know I’m done. I collect my things, put the back wheel back onto the bike and start the ¼ mile hike back to the finish area.



    Although it’s a bummer that my race ended in a DNF, nevertheless I had a great race. I had fun & felt good.


    [SIZE=2]still smiling[/SIZE]

    Overall, the SourceBURN factory team had a good day. Congrats to Tyler on taking 3rd in Men’s Sport, to Leesa for a strong finish in Women’s Sport, Brigid for sticking it out in Women's Expert, and to Ed & Scooter for placing 4th and 5th, respectively, in Men’s Expert!


    [SIZE=2]far left: Scooter & Ed…and the rest of the guys[/SIZE]

    as always thanks to Tyler & SourceBURN Energy Drinks for the jersey, a great team, good company, and for not snoring; to Rick & Outback Bikes for getting my bike ready to race again this coming weekend; to Team 180's for the awesome sunglasses and support; and to Hayes Brakes for more stopping power than i'll ever need.

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="2"]*rt*'s fabulous blog[/SIZE]
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  2. #2
    Two wheels are best
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    That smile says it all!

    Dang *rt*, sorry to hear about your troubles. You'll get 'em next time!
    Never be afraid to try something new.

    Remember amateurs built the Ark.
    Professionals built the Titanic.

  3. #3
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    Hmmmmm

    Payback for all that sandbagging?

    Don't even tell me you only carry 1 CO2 cartridge......

  4. #4
    i worship Mr T
    Reputation: *rt*'s Avatar
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    pfffthhhhhh!

    Quote Originally Posted by roadiegonebad
    Don't even tell me you only carry 1 CO2 cartridge......
    ok. i won't tell you.

    rt - lesson learned
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

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  5. #5
    beer thief
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    You rock, rt.

    Sounds like a super race, despite the result.

    I really like those self portraits.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    ***** and moan, ***** and moan. That's all you ever seem to do :-)

    (Can you tell that your race reports make me very jealous, and that I'm dreading the next 7 months?)

    P.S. I can think of a million other songs I'd rather not have stuck in my head. Classic Country is a great pre-race genre (Johnny Cash is a staple in my pre-race CD case).

  7. #7
    I like Squishy Bikes
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    it aint bad for an old landfill

    I've been there while garbage trucks were unloading...beep beep beep.

    *rt* Re-Cycles at the Chickasaw Trace

    On one of my 1st solo Mtb rides, a hawk flew a little close to my head.
    It barely missed me, all I saw were 2 HUGE talons.

    I've popped out of the trail & startled a few fishermen
    (part of the trail comes out at a boat ramp to the Duck River).

    The steep climb must have been the Trail of Tears.
    What about the little whoop-de-doo???

    All just a short drive from my old Home Away From Home.
    Hamilton Creek, its where I learned how to ride: tight, twisty & rocky.

    As aways...nice Ride Report

    Hollis (feeling kinda homesick after reading this )
    A dirty book is rarely dusty

  8. #8
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    Good report...

    ...bad luck. My seat came off during my first race of the season so I feel your pain. Sounds like your "motor" is up to the task though, keep your chin up! Oh yea, you might want to check your lower limit screw

  9. #9
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    Freaking double post...

    ...that's what I get for being a smart a$$.

  10. #10
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    Great race report. I could feel your pain.... even if you weren't showing it on your face at the end.

    Oh, btw, I think it's, "Don't let 'em ride horses or drive pick up trucks, Make 'em be doctors or lawyers or such..... Mommas don't let your babies......" well you know that part. Just in case that one gets stuck in there again.

  11. #11
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    Though your results don't support it...

    ... I'll still say congrats *rt*! If you can run (or in this case ride) a race, then lose... and still have fun, then you're a winner (weiner? ... nah... ) in my book.

    Yet, it always seems like catastrophe follows you everyhwere...

    Oh ... and what happened to the glasses...??





    D'you change in the middle of the race?
    Randy

  12. #12
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
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    Is this a GT Timberline?



    Nice pics, looks like ya'll had fun!

  13. #13
    Mythical Creature
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    chain suck, seat drop and a flat....

    Man were the odds stacking up against you! Having had multiple flats and chain drop problems in races last year, I hope I've "excorsized" my bad race juju. And always keep an extra couple of 16g CO2 cartridges in the jersey pocket! Had you practiced with CO2 recently? I usually "waste" 1 or 2 now and then to make sure that the head works, and that I work! Anyhow, great narrative as usual and it sounds like those ladies know to watch out for you now! As mentioned above, the photo's were great too. I hardly smile before a race, never mind after! Hopefully I have something to smile about this season.... we'll find out this Sunday at the Coyote Classic in El Paso on a pretty tough course chock full of Cactus, rocks and dust. I've heard some great stories about folks like a pal (super-strong expert rider) reduced to sucking on discarded GU packets to stave off catastrophic bonking. And sneaky trailside branches attempting to reduce another strong rider to pre-pubescent choir-boy like high pitched voice (!).

    Anyhow, I'll finally get to post a race write up, as all you eastern folks who've been at it already are making me fidgety!

    Great job none the less *rt*!
    follow me on Twitter!
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  14. #14
    Mythical Creature
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    deleted redundant post

    urgh, slow a@@ server today made me stop and repost.....
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  15. #15
    avg. joe
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    Great story and photos

    Way to go on the ride and sorry to hear about the mechanical issues. It shows that your work during the winter has shown good results.

    Tom
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas.

  16. #16
    i worship Mr T
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    hope so!

    Quote Originally Posted by DM-SC
    Dang *rt*, sorry to hear about your troubles. You'll get 'em next time!
    thanks. looking forward to this weekend's race at Tsali!

    rt
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  17. #17
    i worship Mr T
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    thanks rob!

    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    You rock, rt.

    Sounds like a super race, despite the result.

    I really like those self portraits.
    despite the outcome it was a great race. gets me totally psyched up for this weekend. hopefully all the bad karma has been excised. *keeping fingers crossed*

    rt
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  18. #18
    i worship Mr T
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    *grin*

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    ***** and moan, ***** and moan. That's all you ever seem to do :-)

    (Can you tell that your race reports make me very jealous, and that I'm dreading the next 7 months?)

    P.S. I can think of a million other songs I'd rather not have stuck in my head. Classic Country is a great pre-race genre (Johnny Cash is a staple in my pre-race CD case).
    hey, at least i'm not sandbagging!

    thanks!!

    rt
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  19. #19
    i worship Mr T
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    with all the people milling around at the race...

    i'm pretty sure that the hawks had all been scared off!

    Trail of Tears had a steep climb but the long climb was actually further along in the course......it finished maybe a 1/2 mile from where we came out of the woods (on pavement heading straight up toward the dump!). i didn't catch the name of it but it was definately a grind.

    i'm pretty sure i flatted near that boat ramp..........but i could be wrong. my brain doesn't function well in race mode.

    thanks hollis!!

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

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  20. #20
    i worship Mr T
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    thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorJD
    ...bad luck. My seat came off during my first race of the season so I feel your pain. Sounds like your "motor" is up to the task though, keep your chin up! Oh yea, you might want to check your lower limit screw
    the whole bike's getting a check right now & it should come back to leaner & faster! (ditching the disk brakes and going back to xtr v's!) hopefully the shifting issues will be resolved as well.

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

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  21. #21
    i worship Mr T
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    ah, the glasses....

    [QUOTE=®andyA
    D'you change in the middle of the race? [/QUOTE]

    lol. those are special glasses: black frames that change to white while racing.

    ok maybe not.

    the 180's glasses i was wearing before the race don't have interchangeable lenses and the dark lenses are too dark for riding in the woods. i switched over to my Rudy Projects for the race 'cause they've got light amber lenses.

    thanks Randy!

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

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  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    great report!

    and great pics!
    I've only been racing adventure races the last coupla yrs, and I am just happy to finish!

    another bit of advice aside from carrying a couple or three CO2 cartridges
    I do have a rim with 2 holes drilled so I can put a spare tube in the tire for race day... at least on the rear, so I don't have to take the tire off for the *first* flat. I'm a clyde, so pinch flats can come far too easily when i'm tired (yeah, I know, float like a butterfly and sting like a bee).

    thanks for the inspiration.
    hasta,
    serge
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  23. #23
    i worship Mr T
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    thanks glen!

    lesson learned! from now on i will carry multiple CO2's and a little practice with the threaded kind wouldn't hurt either.

    good luck with the race this weekend. looking forward to the race report! i'll keep my fingers crossed that all our bad juju has been exorcised!

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

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  24. #24
    i worship Mr T
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    thanks Tom!

    Quote Originally Posted by STinGa
    Way to go on the ride and sorry to hear about the mechanical issues. It shows that your work during the winter has shown good results.

    Tom


    rt
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  25. #25
    i worship Mr T
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    don't know...

    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321
    Is this a GT Timberline?



    Nice pics, looks like ya'll had fun!
    someone else asked if it is an avalanche. i'll have to shoot leesa an email and find out.

    rt
    [SIZE="2"]"where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="2"]*rt*'s fabulous blog[/SIZE]
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