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  1. #1
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    Napa Valley Dirt Classic Race reports

    This race is becoming more and more popular. There were at least twice as many people racing this year compared to last, but still very well organized. Hats off to all the volunteers, who make this event happen. It was brutally hot this year, especially on the long climb back. If only they had a gentler climb back up this race would be really fun.
    What a difference a year (or two) makes:
    2006: 2:47:22 11th in Beg M (40-49) walked quite a few of the downhills as well
    2007: 2:14:11 4th in Beg M (40-49)
    2008: 2:05:21 1st in Beg M (50-54)
    2009: breaking 2 hours?

    Next year I'll race sport (I would have been 10th out of 17 in the Sport 50-54 group). At least I won't lose time behind slower riders on the singletrack, although many did give an opportunity to pass after a while and once the steep climb started it was all fire road with plenty of space to pass. I was just too tired, hot and probably dehydrated (riding with just one water bottle and the three small cups at the water stations) to do much passing at that point.
    - J.L.
    Last edited by JL de Jong; 04-14-2008 at 03:31 PM.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  2. #2
    190lbs of climber
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    cough cough cough sandbagger cough cough cough
    edit: Take it as a compliment that you are fast enough to be called a sandbagger. Really.
    ye' old trailblog: www.most-excellent-adventures.com THE BAY AREA... WHERE IF IT'S FUN, IT'S ILLEGAL

  3. #3
    Lusus Naturae
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    I came in at about 2:33 according to the lady keeping time. Didn't walk any downhills but the uphills??? It was a sauna out there and I could barely even walk up the steep ones.

    At the whooptie-doos, I got caught in the wrong gear (front wouldnt change to small ring cuz rear was too high) and basically did a slo-mo fall over at the top of the first one. I did great on that downhill section near where the jeep was parked, just before the absurd uphills.

    Congrats to Barry Wicks(?) for doing it in 1:23 ... thats just insane. I almost have to see that myself ... too bad this stuff isnt filmed I'd watch someone who can do that course in 1:23

    My friend finally showed up after 4 and 1/2 hours out on the trail. He won bronze medal for coming in third (and last) in his cat. But yeah, if he could survive that trail in that weather, he deserves a medal.

    Everyone deserved one today ... that was brutal nonsense out there. I dont plan on returning for this race. :P

  4. #4
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    Hovering between 8th and 12th in the whole Sport starting group for the first 1/2 hour. Once we hit the singletrack and started descending my chain broke and vanished. I lost my chain and lost the race. I'm still piszed about it.
    That sport group was frickin fast. A real race for sure, I loved every bit of my racing time. The hour walk back to the start wasn't as fun.
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  5. #5
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    JL. Here is a photo of us enjoying the podium. It looks like you have an admirer there.
    The Wrong Tim.

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    I guess the photo was too big to post. If you want a copy send me a pm and I will email it to you.

  7. #7
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    got 1st place in sport, 19-24. Here is the catch...there was only one other racer in my category! I felt really dumb. But at least I beat him by 20 minutes. The race was great, dusty as hell, and I think they should alter some part of that climb. but other then that, it was a great time.

  8. #8
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    Finished second in sport 25-29, damn those guys were fast this year.. my finish time: 1:49, average HR: 196.... it was freakin so hot out, good job for everyone that finished!!!
    Ibis Cycles
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  9. #9
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    What a race!!!
    This used to be my favorite race to ride... now it's my favorite to watch. It was hot, but not unseasonably so (Last year was cool and last time I raced it the trails were unseasonably wet.)
    The whopptie does really seperate the locals from the tourists. It's a blast to watch 15 rookies clamp on their brakes just before they realize that they need momentum to get up the other side... then there's the resulting clusterfock going up the other side with people bouncing off of each other, the broken chains (sorry VuDu sucks, but you sure were not alone.) the poor shifts resulting massive chain-suck... There were a lot of mechanicals out there... Get yer drivetrains in order well before the race guys.
    The very skilled and fast eating up the technical ST descents... Saw some great motox style passes on one switchback... To the guy cussing and swearing because he was passed in that corner... rubbin's racin' hombre, It's all about the "W".
    And then the sorry-ass looks on everyone's face at the top of the climb out of Pope Valley... reminds me of why I never ride the lower loop voluntarily.

    There were very few takers for fig newtons (way too hot) and I only had to pelt one rider. Couldn't blast off the party poppers on top of the hill as it was quite dry and I didn't want to start a forest fire.

    The race is still very small compared to what it was like in the 90's. Always a great vibe... We were not graced by the presence of Justin Timberlane this year, but fun nonetheless.

    Great job to everyone who finished. It's a historically tough course. Certainly not for the meek.

    I shot with film, so it'll be a while before I'll have pics available.

  10. #10
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    That wasn't normal heat out there, regardless of what the spectators hanging out in the shade might say. I started getting shivers on the last climb out. Dug myself a pretty deep hole. I was cramping so bad after showering I could barely put my shoes on. Still feel punch drunk today.

    Felt like a hero going through the whoops. I think I passed 10 people on the first one. 3-4 when I aired the step-double on the upside. That will probably be the highlight of my season. I should quit now while I am ahead, or until someone reminds I was basically passing a bunch of girls and super-vet-master riders.

    Finished in 1:54 on my single speed.

  11. #11
    2012 Race: April 28th!
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    So who won the overall? Edit: I see, Barry Wicks!
    www.shastalemurian.com!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by the.vault
    That wasn't normal heat out there, regardless of what the spectators hanging out in the shade might say.
    Just gets hotter from here... The shade was very nice though.

    It was actually foggy and kinda chilly early this morning... you guys sure did tear up the ST.
    See ya up there in August for the HMC?

  13. #13
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    Good Stuff!

    NVDC was pretty wicked. W/ 3 real pros at the line (Wicks, Sneddon, Japanese guy) I knew it would be fast.

    Unfortunately, some woody laid it down just as we hit the single track and the front 6 had a nice little gap as we picked through the rubble. I was the first through the debris but all that was in front of me was a dust cloud.

    I tried my best to bridge up to the World Cup crowd, but to no avail. At some point after the first hill past the airport, Wicks and Sneddon put the hammer down and that was that.

    I chased full out for about 20 minutes before succumbing to the loss of O2 to my brain and glycogen to my legs. I settled into a pack of 5-6 NorCal boys (Bartels, Weir, Hewett, Big Head, etc) and tried to hold on as best my bonked self could.

    By the start of the super steep jeep trails I was feeling good again and crushed up all the climbs (in a 30X32, granny gears are for grannies) passing two guys in the process. It was much to late to mean anything, but at least I felt strong.

    At the end I came out on the track about a half lap behind Weir and tried my best to close it, but he just spun casually in and had 5 yds on me at the line.

    Good training at least.

    Sea Otter and Lemurian coming fast!!!

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Yikes, not a good race for me. Spent the weekend celebrating my birthday (erp, hiccup!) Was on the start line not really fellin' it but determined to race anyways. Had a dumb crash mid way through and settled into "just finish mode" from there. My knee cap has a strange lump on it today and I am walking with a slight limp. Not a cool swagger of a limp either, more like a geriatric limp.

    Raced open SS Sport, only girl in a field of 25 boys. Sorta fun in a how many boys can I beat kinda way. Different anyways. Managed to beat 5 boys in so that was my small victory for the day. My time sucked though.

    In my delirious state of mind on the final climb I saw an MTBR jersey in front of me and said "what is your handle on MTBR"? Reply was "JL de Jong!" So I finally got to meet a fellow MTBR poster.

    All in all a fun day. Great weather, well organized race. The raffle is always fun and you gotta love those showers after!! So far, no poison oak. (knocking on wood...)

  16. #16
    2012 Race: April 28th!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider
    NVDC was pretty wicked. W/ 3 real pros at the line (Wicks, Sneddon, Japanese guy) I knew it would be fast.

    Sea Otter and Lemurian coming fast!!!
    How do you think the [U]"real"[U] pros would do on a [U]real[U] mountain bike course like Lemurian? You think they're capable of giving Tim Olson a run? What do you think the chances are that they'll race Lemurian?
    www.shastalemurian.com!!

  17. #17
    rj2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menso
    cough cough cough sandbagger cough cough cough
    edit: Take it as a compliment that you are fast enough to be called a sandbagger. Really.
    Yea, you've been kicking my a** every Sport 45-54 CCCX race. As your son says between the lines, WTF.

    That means I can downgrade to Beringger for Sea Otter.

    Congrats on your win.

    Richard
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  18. #18
    It's always greener
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    While I"m certain that I couldn't ride any harder, since I averaged 92% (177bpm) of my max heart rate (193), I would say i could ride faster if I was a little more agressive on the passing on the downhills.

    For all that work, I managed to eek out a 7th of 21 finishers in my category (1:53), not bad for my third race since high school.

    It was an awesome course, just what I was looking for in remembering the Rumpstomper course of the very early 90s. (I'm almost certain it was at the same location.

    What a killer race course, the high speed action by the airport, the super tight singletrack through the trees and down those dry streambeds...awesome. Then there's the climb. I was destroyed but kept pushing the rig up that damn hill.

    The single lap is the best format since I now have an idea of what savages those pros are, with a sub 1:30 time..........incredible.

  19. #19
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    Smile 1st time at NVDC!!!~~

    hey gang.
    my buddy who is a AWSOME rider..has done this race and lots of others a few times.
    he turned me onto this...(and this website)
    Ive normally just done regular non-race rides at, Annadel ST. Park, Skeggs Pt., Wiedler Ranch, Water Dog (in my backyard!!~) and Demo In Santa Cruz...so ive def done some hard rides and looong bike adventures.

    but nothing was quite like this..just incredible to see the PROS take off and everyone was soo super cool and seemed everyone was stoking someone to charge the uphill.
    that makes it alot of fun.,.when a beginner can still feel welcome in such a bad ass race with some BAD ASS riders..

    i originally signed up as SPORT Mens 30-34..because Geesh Im not a beginner right?
    ERrr....WRONG>.my buddy laughed at me..and said dude.im a beginner and so ARE YOU!!~..i said..ok ok..no problem..there..so i switched...thank god!!~

    anyway......the course was awsome..with other competitors, the heat and that nasty 5 mile or so climb at the end..MADE the course HARD...maybe not as technical as some *other places* but man..with ALL the elements involved in this race..made it the hardest RIDE i've ever done.

    i was def at the end of the pack...but charging away in great spritis..I bailed once in the fire road downhill to the bottom..where the ruts turned to sand in the middle. I saw another lady crash right before MY big crash...but we were all still in good spirits.. I did however make it up all three big down/up sections at the start of the race...I ended up finishing the race
    at 2:53!!~ so.

    1) my goal was to finish
    2) my goal was to not be last..HA!~
    3) was to stay below 3 hours.

    not bad for a 1st race..EVER!!~

    thanks yall and looking forward to next year!!~
    see ya in my backyard!

    GizzardS&P
    so who wants to ride?

  20. #20
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    Could be interesting. . .

    I think Olson has that course dialed, and it is pretty much perfect for him.

    However, some of the Candian Pros who have been training down here have some mean tech skills. And finishing 4th to none other than Tour of Cali champ Levi in a Grasshopper means you are pretty damn strong as well (Sneddon). It would be awesome if they came up for it, I love getting crushed to within an inch of my life!

    I will try and pass the word @ Sea Otter this year, however I think there is a World Cup somewhere the same weekend.

  21. #21
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    Fellow MTBR

    Quote Originally Posted by badjenny

    In my delirious state of mind on the final climb I saw an MTBR jersey in front of me and said "what is your handle on MTBR"? Reply was "JL de Jong!" So I finally got to meet a fellow MTBR poster.
    Hi Jenny,

    I was in a similar delirious state of mind and couldn't hold much of conversation on that last climb out. Congrats on your finish and racing with the men.
    No_balance (glad your friend finally arrived after 4.5 hours of torture in the heat) and Morgan Fletcher (3rd place in Sport) were there as well.

    - J.L.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  22. #22
    rj2
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    More work to do

    13th place, Sport 45-49, 2:09:20

    My knee had been bothering me after my return from vacation in Feb culminating in my first DNF ever at CCCX #4. After the race, I went back to the basics and noticed that my saddle was too high. Last season, I had started to raise it as my fitness improved and kept it at that height as I noticed no ill effects. My knee's better since I lowered my saddle and my power picked up. Although, not enough to keep up with JL, aka, Menso's sandbagging dad.

    I had a great race, even with the hot weather and dusty conditions. My only biff occurred on the dusty, downhill switch backs within the first 5 miles. I knew then I had the wrong or worn rear tire. Voodovgn, was that you I passed when I mentioned "free bike?"

    I really knew I had the wrong rear tire while descending the exposed rutted jeep road before the final climb out. It was loose over hard, but my rear tire made it like riding over marbles on a waxed floor. The rider behind me acknowledged my challenging descent with a "nice save" comment.

    I finally started passing riders again on the climb to the airport and rode down the hike a bike section without incident. As I was riding over the grass just before the track, I passed a most incredible blond coed. You know who I'm talking about.

    I'm either getting fitter or not racing hard enough as my recovery ride this morning went well and I'm feeling pretty good. My expectations are really high given last years results, but my training partners mentioned that I started slow last year as well.
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  23. #23
    2012 Race: April 28th!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider
    I think Olson has that course dialed, and it is pretty much perfect for him.

    However, some of the Candian Pros who have been training down here have some mean tech skills. And finishing 4th to none other than Tour of Cali champ Levi in a Grasshopper means you are pretty damn strong as well (Sneddon). It would be awesome if they came up for it, I love getting crushed to within an inch of my life!

    I will try and pass the word @ Sea Otter this year, however I think there is a World Cup somewhere the same weekend.
    Yep, there's a World Cup in Germany 4/26 & 27. Maybe the pros who don't go to Europe will come to Lemurian? I appreciate you talking it up! I hadn't heard of Sneddon until today, sounds like he's got lots of potential! I noticed Mark Cato from Redding finished 10th overall!
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  24. #24
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    Next year, I'll race sport everywhere, not just at CCCX. No more sandbagging, but may I first try to win a few races before moving up?

    I even beat Jason Moeschler in this race. His time was 2:06:03. Probably had 4 flats and broke his chain. How does Barry Wicks do it in 1:23:44? Does he ride without using the brakes and stay clipped in on the entire climb back up? I had to walk some sections very slowly.

    - J.L.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  25. #25
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    I did it for the first time, and really enjoyed it. Registered in the singlespeed sport divivision.

    Singlespeed starts must be the funniest thing ever to watch. A bunch of guys furiously peddling at over 100 rpm and going nowhere fast. LOL. I start a few rows back and held good position up to the "hike a bike" section . I got over the top and was now chasing a group of three and it looked like I was maybe in 9th place, but it was hard to tell because the singlespeed sport and expert classes started together.

    Our group of four is cruising through the first 2-3 miles of flat fire roads at a fast pace. I am focused on a smooth spin and steady breathing, and notice that I am spinning faster than the rest of the group. It is going to be tough to hold onto their wheel. I am running 2:1 (32x18) on a 29íer. I guess they must be running a slightly bigger gear. I had received advice that attrition plays a big part in this race, as there are 2 steep climbing sections near the end of the race and if you could stay strong you have a good chance of reeling guys back after the big hike-a-bike. We hit the first climb and pass a couple singlespeeders, and transition into some gradual downhill mixed with some flats. Still having trouble with pace on the flat sections. I decide to let the group go hoping to catch back on later in the race.

    After 30 min or so I start getting into some of the Pro/Expert women, which wasn't a problem. Not long after that though I got into the tight single track. I hit the fourth or fifth turn in the singletrack a little hot and overshoot the turn into some bushes. While getting untangled, one singlespeeder passes me. I am back on course (no injuries) and I quickly catch up noticing that he is in singlespeed expert class. We ride together through the incredible redwood covered singletrack chatting occasionally. I loved all of the switch backs and I kept telling myself to keep the pace up and not daydream about the beautiful scenery. The rider in front of me introduces himself as Jeremy (with Breakaway Bikes). We ride the rest of the singletrack section together and take turns pulling on the flat sections before the big downhill into Pope Valley. Itís about an hour + into the race I am feeling good but am starting to feel some fatigue.

    We hit the big downhill and begin the BIG climb out of the backside of the valley. It is at this point that I realize just how hot it has gotten now that we are on the hot exposed hike-a-bike section. Sweat is pouring off of me. Jeremy disappears up the hill. Did I say it was Hot!? I guess my body was not accustom to the summer-like temps. I kept the pace as high as I could and I managed to catch another guy on the steepest part of the climb, of course we are both pushing our bikes, I was just able to push a little quicker I reach the top of the steep section, grab some water and see Todd Richardson (one my Victory Velo teammates) in the distance. I hop back on the biking hoping to catch him and quickly realize it not going to happen.

    My legs are now very tired...I have officially popped, and itís a struggle to keep a steady rhythm. I reach the short pavement section and look back to see a somewhat familiar face. Itís Barker (Folsom Breakout) who races in the same division with me at the Prairie City Race Series. Where did he come from? At this point, I know it is going to be a battle on the downhill to the finish line. For a moment I am not paying attention to the course and make a wide turn before the nasty hike a bike section. Barker takes the inside line, passes me and nails it down the steep section. As I follow him down, the my wheel jumps into a bad line and it forces me to take the bottom turn slower and wider. Meanwhile, Barker is sprinting down the fire road creating a gap between us. Down the through the meadow and onto the track, he maintains a 200-300í lead and beats me to line by 8 seconds. Overall, I finish fourth place in my class with a time of 1:50:28.

    What a fantastic race! My goal for the day was to finish top 5 for my category, so I am happy with the 4th place result. Props all around to the organizers. I loved this race. It is a tough course, but I am definitely going to do it again next year!

  26. #26
    rj2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JL de Jong
    Next year, I'll race sport everywhere, not just at CCCX. No more sandbagging, but may I first try to win a few races before moving up?
    J.L.
    By all means enjoy the ride. I should take a page from your book and race up at CCCX to prep for the sanctioned events.

    What am I thinking, Sport CCCX riders are already taking my lunch money. Getting lapped at Expert would be completely demoralizing.

    Besides, Menso started it.
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  27. #27
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    Was out there yesterday and today. What a difference in temps.!
    Got out there around 11am for a pre-work ride yesterday, so I missed most of the action.
    A little dry and loose right now.
    Glad everyone enjoyed my hometown trails.
    I'm waiting for PUC to pull all the arrows and clean up all the trash. They always get most of it. I'll be picking up the rest.

    Just a reminder to keep the internet talk of the private property here in Angwin to zero, outside of the racing reports, which I enjoy reading about.
    No worries if anyone wants to ride here anytime, but please keep this place special by not mentioning the riding here outside of the race reports.

    The backcountry skiing is winding down
    (not really, just gas $'s are going to keep me more local this spring)
    - I'll be around more for my Tue/Wed.'s off.
    If anyone wants to ride on those days, PM me.
    And please keep your recreational (non racing) communication about the riding in my backyard to PM's only.

    I liked seeing all the bikes on the vehicles on my way to work Sunday afternoon.
    Who owns the Audi(looks like a new VW bug) parked in downtown St. Helena around 3pm? That's a sweet ride.

    Again, glad everyone had a great time. The Howell Mountain Challenge is coming up.
    I enjoy seeing people having a great time in my backyard. Sorry I couldn't represent and hold another BBQ. Maybe I can get some time off work for the Howell Mountain Challenge and hold another kegger on my back deck.

    Keep the race reports coming.


  28. #28
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    Those guys are honches

    Thanks for being diplomatic in your response I have no illusions that I would suddenly beat a guy like Wicks that I've never beaten, just because of the location of the race.

  29. #29
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    "Voodovgn, was that you I passed when I mentioned "free bike?"

    Dunno. A lot of people were yelling at me to get out of the trail, so I wasn't really paying attention to what people were saying.

    I've really got to work on my race etiquette.
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  30. #30
    YESBRO!!!
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    are you allowed to ride that course on any other day of the year other than race day?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2B
    My legs are now very tired...I have officially popped, and itís a struggle to keep a steady rhythm. I reach the short pavement section and look back to see a somewhat familiar face. Itís Barker (Folsom Breakout) who races in the same division with me at the Prairie City Race Series. Where did he come from? At this point, I know it is going to be a battle on the downhill to the finish line.
    You guys had a good batlle going! To be continued at PC? Kinda fun when you see someone from the local series in an entirely different setting and see how you stack up. 8 seconds, that is as close as it gets.

    He was killing it on the rigid Bridgestone SS. He hadn't done the Napa Valley course before, just Howell Mountain. I told him "you'll be fine on the rigid" and that he would want the light bike on the grunts on the way out. What I didn't tell him was that he would probably join the rest of us and end up pushing that bike for a while. Why ruin the fun surprise ending?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by datenschwanz
    are you allowed to ride that course on any other day of the year other than race day?

    PM me.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by datenschwanz
    are you allowed to ride that course on any other day of the year other than race day?
    short answer... nope. Private property.

  34. #34
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    Beginner male 50-54 Podium

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrong Tim
    JL. Here is a photo of us enjoying the podium. It looks like you have an admirer there.
    The Wrong Tim.
    I cut out a smaller portion of the picture and uploaded the image. My first "gold" medal podium! Thanks Tim and good luck racing sport next year!
    - J.L.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  35. #35
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    It was good to see you all. I like this race a lot, although once again I'm left thinking "I should have..." I'll be back for sure. This race was like a party, where all those people I see at races were invited - they were almost all there! I like that a lot.

    I was really trying to beat Tim. We had lunch last week and realized we both had to beat each other. I've battled against him at cx and mtn races for two years now. Was right on him as we approached the singletrack, but he managed to move up a bunch of spots before we got onto it and I didn't see him again until the last climb to the helipad. That singletrack isn't kind - you're kind of stuck with your position until you get out of it, and I am large and ungainly and was making my way from starting wave #7 through preceding waves of racers. I was putting helmet, shoulder, hips into the foliage. I also made an iffy pass by Julie Bates. I now owe Julie a beer. The climb seemed shorter this year. I was able to ride most of it in my granny. Once it flattened out a little I put it in the middle ring and hammered, knowing I only had two miles to go. Knowing the course and having the GPS (mileage) really helped me gauge the effort at the end. Climbing up to near the helipad I saw Tim and I drilled it. Some guy in a Soulcraft jersey (and MTBR socks) got on my wheel but I didn't care, there were only two people in this race. I thought about just sitting on Tim's wheel but that would be *****, plus there was still plenty of riding to do. So I said "Hey, Tim" as I rolled by, and I could tell by his response he was done. I gave it all I had, dropping the Soulcraft guy but uncertain about Tim. There was someone back there so I tore it up around the track to the finish. Rolled across the line right behind a guy I'd been sparring with early in the race. After the line I realized he was in my field - I'd lost 3rd by a bike length! I finished in 1:50. Last year I did it in 1:56, the muddy year, riding my Blur. Dang. I think I brought the wrong tires. I had my lightweight ti hardtail with v-brakes, UST 2.1" Racing Ralphs at 32 f / 35 r psi and it was sketchy. The seatpost was slipping and it was down an inch at the finish. I'd have been better off with my Flux and grippier tires I think. I couldn't rail it hard in the tech sections, only made up ground on the climbs, but getting to the singletrack first was key! Next time I'll bring the Flux - or maybe a Retrotec! - and race expert. One benefit to racing expert that I'd forgotten about is less traffic on the bottleneck stuff. Unfortunately I'll miss Howell Mountain Challenge in August because I'll be racing TransRockies the same day.

    After my effort late in the race I was standing in line at the oranges/bananas/water/gatorade table on the infield of the track at NVDC, my vision was white around the periphery and I was feeling nauseous and dizzy. I had to sit down and put my head between my knees! Oranges are good. Water is good. Bananas are good.

    Results are here: http://www.puc.edu/Pioneers/NVDC/08%20results.htm
    Motionbased record: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/5387405

    The race was a lot more fun without the mud. It was hot, 92 degrees! People were bonking, cramping. One thing that worked well for me was a 70oz hydration pack with some Nuun tablets in it. Used a caffeine gel or two during the race too. This is the second year in a row I've had insomnia the night before this race. I get that a lot, the night before races. Luckily it doesn't seem to affect me too much, but the subsequent afternoon and evening I'm a dead man.

    Even better than getting 3rd yesterday was waking up Sunday morning and seeing 199 on the scale, then 198 this morning. It's been a long time since I was under 200! That made me really happy.

    I looked at my time and the times in the 40+ expert category. I am ready for project beat-down. My next mtn bike race is Cool 8-hour, then I don't know what. No Sea Otter for me this year, and unfortunately no Lemurian either. I haven't done that race since the early '90s, when it snowed and was super muddy.

    I hear Tim is going to do some expert races too...

    Morgan

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2B
    I had received advice that attrition plays a big part in this race, as there are 2 steep climbing sections near the end of the race and if you could stay strong you have a good chance of reeling guys back after the big hike-a-bike.
    I guess that advice paid off... for me Sorry to steal the podium away from you S2B, but you may now go back to the regularly scheduled program of whupping me at PCRS!

    It was a weird "race". Kinda went from a race, to just riding along in the forest, to a survival hike, to a race again. I went into it with no expectations or aspirations... just to get a good ride in while badjenny raced. I think the laizze-faire attitude worked well as I didn't blow up or feel crappy at anytime, I didn't even attempt to ride up those ridiculous hills, I didn't notice the heat, I didn't cramp or bonk, and I had just enough left in the tank to finish fairly strong.

    Once I saw a singlespeeder in a Victory Velo jersey (S2B) on the final fire road climb to the pavement, a different beast emerged from me, not knowing if he was sport or expert. Then S2B peeked over his shoulder and and it was time to pin it. In fairness, S2B did stray a little left on a right turn just before the nasty downhill... I tried to say something but an inaudible sound came out of my mouth (sorry!). I hit the paved track, saw another SS a hundred yards or so ahead and tried to reel him in to no avail, but it turned out he was racing expert. I was very shocked to learn I had taken 3rd place, but happily satisfied that my stupid, fully rigid, 32x16 Bridgestone MB-1 got me around the course in 1:50 and change. My body hurts today.

    Fun place to ride, well run event, but not certain I'll do that race again. Hiking ain't racing in my book. Great job to all the racers, especially those that rode the silly hills, and those that can do a course like that in 1:23

  37. #37
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    morgan -

    retrotec is the RIDE for angwin. super-fast. call curtis and he will set you up.....

    now if only I had some legs to match the bike....the climb out of the lower loop cracked me for sure.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahb
    morgan -

    retrotec is the RIDE for angwin. super-fast. call curtis and he will set you up.....

    now if only I had some legs to match the bike....the climb out of the lower loop cracked me for sure.
    Curtis tells me my frame is getting close. Need to play hookie and go ride with him, give him my info, fill out the form, stuff like that.

    OK, maybe expert singlespeed next year.

    Morgan

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahb
    morgan -

    retrotec is the RIDE for angwin. super-fast. call curtis and he will set you up.....

    now if only I had some legs to match the bike....the climb out of the lower loop cracked me for sure.
    No-one had a sense of humor coming off the climb this year. You looked rough, but still managed to crack a smile.

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    I was happy just to be able ride in following an unfortunate mechanical. Had my chain snap at the bottom of the big climb home. Lost all kinds of time, but glad I didn't have to walk.

    Lessons learned: Be self sufficient. Carry what I need to fix my bike during the race, don't worry about the extra weight. When something goes wrong, stay cool. (I should have had my chain fixed in less than 5 minutes, but it probably took 20, comedy of errors). Replace chain each year.

  41. #41
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    my race highlights:

    threw up all over myself, twice. no not a little, but a lot.

    spent five minutes in the race gagging and lightly throwing up on myself.

    hit a downed tree with the front end and somersaulted into some tree limbs, then fell the 4 feet to the ground with a thud. one of the norcal velo guys stopped but i was all like "go! go! go! i'm fine!" thanks, dude.

    bailed over the front end, both feet simultaneously, on the steep down hill where i went for the rut to pass the two clowns who were all over the brakes only to find 8 inches of deep sand in the rut i was using.

    went off course three times, partly due to running 45psi.

    bonked on the climb due to dinner the night before being a pb&j sandwinch at 11pm.

    spent the day before coming back form running goldsprints in farking hot LA until 3am, then had to get to sleep by 4am so we could get up at 9am and tear it all down, load the van and drive back through the SCORCHING valley with no AC to get back to SF by 6pm to unload the van and reload it with team MTB stuff to drive 2 hours to napa.

    got to napa to find campground full, whipped out the iphones to find alternate site, went there and set up camp. got up at 7am to get too big of breakfast which i could leave at race course, in various places.

    BEST RACE EVER!!!
    //sarcasm off

    1:59:39 male expert 35-39. not DFL, but one off!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    No-one had a sense of humor coming off the climb this year. You looked rough, but still managed to crack a smile.
    took a fig newton, too. although I didn't manage to eat it. I put it in my mouth and considered the idea of chewing up for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. next time I think perhaps cold, calorie-laden beverages at the top of the climb.

    all in all one of my favorite races of the year. it's got all the elements of fun racing: ripping-fast start complete with bottleneck, tons of twisty singletrack, ludicrous-speed descending to scare the wits out of you, and leg-busting, morale-breaking climbing to serve as reminder to ride the bike more so as to stave off the wide-open crack for ten extra minutes next time.....

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahb
    took a fig newton, too.
    you were one of the few... Mr pauls was the only one deserving of a pelting... I coulda easily outrun him if I needed to. He was done.

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    Last year the NVDC was my first MTB race and I made my goal of finishing the race, which I did in about 3:12. This year my goals were to finish under 3 hrs and clean at least 1 of the whoops. Iím happy to say that I made my goals but it wasnít easy!
    The start went fine and I was about middle of the pack at the hike-a-bike. I passed a couple of riders as we got to the airport and hooked up with another rider who was riding at a good pace. I could stay with him but I could not pass him. We passed several riders on the fast gravel roads on the way to the woops. I cleaned the first, almost made it up the second and cleaned the third! That was the highpoint of the race for me. The single track went great and I managed to pass a few more riders. On the long rutted downhill I slowed my pace after having a couple of close calls. Unfortunately I didnít slow down enough. Near the bottom I went offline into a rut. I thought I could ride it out but the front rim twisted and over the bars I went! It must have looked bad because a couple of riders rushed over to see if I was OK. Thanks! Other than some minor cuts and a couple of bruises on my forehead I felt that I could finish the race. That is until I looked at my twisted and broken front wheel. At that point I thought that my race was over. After 5 minutes of carrying my bike I realized that it was going to be a LONG walk out and decided to try and straighten my wheel enough so I could at least push my bike out. After 10 minutes of jumping on and kicking my front wheel it was straight enough to push, possibly good enough to ride. A 25 foot ride confirmed that it was indeed ride able so I was back in the race. The climb up was long and very hot and to add insult to injury the water stations were out of water. (My water bottle disappeared somewhere around the whoops) With my front wheel questionable I rode the last part of the course at a very slow pace and finished the race in 2:50.

    I was wearing a helmet cam during the race and got some great footage. Everything from the pro start pileup, the awesome single-track the woops and of course my OTB trip. It is amazing that the camera survived! I will try to edit some clips and see if I can put them on You Tube.

    Even with all the problems I had I still had a great time and canít wait until the next race here. Also a big thank you to everyone that stopped to help, especially the racer that gave me some of her water near the end of the race.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by badjenny
    You guys had a good batlle going! To be continued at PC? Kinda fun when you see someone from the local series in an entirely different setting and see how you stack up. 8 seconds, that is as close as it gets.

    He was killing it on the rigid Bridgestone SS. He hadn't done the Napa Valley course before, just Howell Mountain. I told him "you'll be fine on the rigid" and that he would want the light bike on the grunts on the way out. What I didn't tell him was that he would probably join the rest of us and end up pushing that bike for a while. Why ruin the fun surprise ending?
    Yeah, I was tailing him in the top section, by the airpport, and figured I'd just wait for him to pop, or stack on the ridgid.
    It never happened. He lost me on the rollers when I took a bad line and got stuck in traffic on the climb over one, he went left, I went right.
    C-ya.

  46. #46
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    I'm still picking sand and gravel out of my hide.
    11th SS Exp.
    Not DFL, but damn close. It was not a good day for me, I'm not fully recoevered from Boggs. I'm going to ride SLOW for a few weeks and head to COOL refreshed and RE-Laxed...

  47. #47
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    Morgan,

    Good job! Nice to see you--white spots and all LOL, and the O Town gang. Going to come down to CCCX any time soon? Retro-Tec huh... nice. 29er?

    Nick~

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by badjenny
    You guys had a good batlle going! To be continued at PC? Kinda fun when you see someone from the local series in an entirely different setting and see how you stack up. 8 seconds, that is as close as it gets.
    otbp_nocal definitely was strong at the end of the race. I have no idea where he came from...He just showed on my rear wheel. otbp_nocal and I seem to finish very close to each other at Prairie City every Wednesday. I think that is one the things that I like about PCRS...You get to challenge yourself every week against the same competetion. It really keeps me motivated to keep pushing harder each week....To be continued on Wednesday!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfcyclist
    Morgan,

    Good job! Nice to see you--white spots and all LOL, and the O Town gang. Going to come down to CCCX any time soon? Retro-Tec huh... nice. 29er?

    Nick~
    Hey, good job yourself. 1:40 is pretty damn good! I didn't get a chance to see your pimp new ride. Next time.

    Yeah, I need to do some expert CCCX races. Looks like I'm SOL until late May at this point. I like the CCCX races a lot, just haven't had a chance to do them this year.

    Come mid-may I transition to some more significant endurance training. Haven't done intervals yet this year.

    Retrotec, yes! My first mtn bike when I was 13 was a red Laguna cruiser frame with a crazy mish-marsh of parts, lots of them bmx anodized gold. Curtis is gonna build me a "double" frame, red, and I'm trying to come up with as much gold stuff as I can. It will be fillet-brazed, 29er, EBB but with a drop-out and cable guides. I think I'll build it SS to start. I think it'll be all White-Industries, Stan's rims. Thomson said no to anodizing but White and Stan said yes, so I need to find a seatpost and stem I can anodize. Already have the Spank Loyola gold riser bars, DT-Swiss gold nipples.

    What a silly project. I also need to sell my Chameleon SS to finance it. Will post a classified ad...

    Morgan

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by otbp_nocal
    Once I saw a singlespeeder in a Victory Velo jersey (S2B) on the final fire road climb to the pavement, a different beast emerged from me, not knowing if he was sport or expert. Then S2B peeked over his shoulder and and it was time to pin it. In fairness, S2B did stray a little left on a right turn just before the nasty downhill... I tried to say something but an inaudible sound came out of my mouth (sorry!).

    I could not believe that I almost missed that turn. I guess that shows you where I was mentally at the end of the race. You finished super strong on Sunday. Downhills are typically one of my strengths, but I couldn't seem to close the gap (could only maintain it). You were flying on the downhill into the finish. Good job on your 3rd place finish!

    See you on Wednesday...

  51. #51
    2012 Race: April 28th!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Olson
    Thanks for being diplomatic in your response I have no illusions that I would suddenly beat a guy like Wicks that I've never beaten, just because of the location of the race.
    I wasn't trying to put you on the spot Tim, but you excel on technical courses. Your results at Downieville & Lemurian are testament to that. I often read posts here and on the XC board commenting on the lack of technical features in most XC races. I know Wicks has a huge motor, and figure he must have good tech skills based on his cross results, just wondered how he'd measure up on a burley course! Good luck at SO this weekend.
    www.shastalemurian.com!!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2B
    I could not believe that I almost missed that turn. I guess that shows you where I was mentally at the end of the race. You finished super strong on Sunday. Downhills are typically one of my strengths, but I couldn't seem to close the gap (could only maintain it). You were flying on the downhill into the finish. Good job on your 3rd place finish!

    See you on Wednesday...
    Yeah, you seemed pretty spent when I was catching up to you. The near missed turn was indicative of your state of mind, and in my last gasp of exertion, I couldn't form the words to yell at you to stay right. Sorry about that.

    I hope to make it Wednesday... I caught a flu bug yesterday so racing might not be in the cards if I can't shake it. Not that you'll miss me... I never see you top 5 guys after the first half lap anyway!

  53. #53
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    Video Clips

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonflyer2

    I was wearing a helmet cam during the race and got some great footage. Everything from the pro start pileup, the awesome single-track the woops and of course my OTB trip. It is amazing that the camera survived! I will try to edit some clips and see if I can put them on You Tube.
    Hi Carbonflyer2,

    Congrats on still finishing under 3 hours. Considering what you went through, that's quite an achievement! I'd love to see those video clips. Maybe you can post a link here too?

    Thanks, J.L.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  54. #54
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    JL: Good thing you turned 50 or you would have come in second place to a very nice 1:47 by the 45-49 winner.

    Still no pics up on this race? Cant wait for the images to come in, showing all the suffering and pain. Woohoo!

  55. #55
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    I have to say, that was the most painful race I've ever done. I think it was made worse by the fact that I had no sense of how much farther I had to go. Specially cause the guys at the last aid station told us we had 12 miles to go!

    The positive surprise I felt when I realized how close I was to the end was pretty great, though...

    Short report: I felt pretty bad from the beginning, really struggling to keep up. Not sure why. I'm pretty sure I didn't eat enough before the race, and I had a chance to warm up and didn't take it.

    At some point (probably around the end of the big climb out) I started to cramp, for the first time ever in a race. I probably should have stopped and gotten some electrolytes into my body, but I just soft pedaled for a few minutes till it went away.

    On the last big fireroad downhill I got passed by some guy, which woke me up a little. I jumped on his wheel and sucked it long enough to realize he was in my category, and then got it together enough to get past him. I ended up chasing down one more guy between there and the finish, but he wasn't in my category.

    I had a goal of 2 hours for the race, and I missed it by 3 and a half minutes. I also was (as usual) right around the middle of my class (15 of 31 in sport 40-44). Overall, though, I walked some stuff I should have ridden, and the stuff I did ride I was pretty slow.

    Still, I had a much better day than one of my friends who got lost and ended up coming in after over 4 and a half hours!

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by sashax

    Still, I had a much better day than one of my friends who got lost and ended up coming in after over 4 and a half hours!
    I saw her coming in. I waited another 10 minutes for my friend to show up. Getting lost out there is brutal; the course itself is harsh enough. Damn! Happy everyone survived.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by sashax
    I have to say, that was the most painful race I've ever done. I think it was made worse by the fact that I had no sense of how much farther I had to go. Specially cause the guys at the last aid station told us we had 12 miles to go!

    The positive surprise I felt when I realized how close I was to the end was pretty great, though...

    Short report: I felt pretty bad from the beginning, really struggling to keep up. Not sure why. I'm pretty sure I didn't eat enough before the race, and I had a chance to warm up and didn't take it.

    At some point (probably around the end of the big climb out) I started to cramp, for the first time ever in a race. I probably should have stopped and gotten some electrolytes into my body, but I just soft pedaled for a few minutes till it went away.

    On the last big fireroad downhill I got passed by some guy, which woke me up a little. I jumped on his wheel and sucked it long enough to realize he was in my category, and then got it together enough to get past him. I ended up chasing down one more guy between there and the finish, but he wasn't in my category.

    I had a goal of 2 hours for the race, and I missed it by 3 and a half minutes. I also was (as usual) right around the middle of my class (15 of 31 in sport 40-44). Overall, though, I walked some stuff I should have ridden, and the stuff I did ride I was pretty slow.

    Still, I had a much better day than one of my friends who got lost and ended up coming in after over 4 and a half hours!
    were you on the SS cross bike?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipus
    were you on the SS cross bike?
    Nope. It woulda been way easier to carry up the hills, though!

    I was on a Cannondale Rush demo bike from Big Swingin' Cycles. It's too much bike for me, I think, and the relatively slow steering wasn't the greatest match for this course. My experience is much more with short-travel, sharp head-angle riding, and the Rush has an inch plus on either end more than I know how to use, in addition to a pretty laid-back fork angle. The Lefty's pretty damn impressive, though, and I was really pleased with the way the RP23 ran.

    I know they sell the Rush as an endurance race bike, and maybe after the 17th hour it starts to make more sense, but it didn't really suit me. It sure ate that rutted downhill stuff alive, though.

  59. #59
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    A true sandbagger

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBalance
    JL: Good thing you turned 50 or you would have come in second place to a very nice 1:47 by the 45-49 winner.
    Thomas Humphreys' time of 1:47:19 in Beginner male 45-49 was faster than the winner's time in the Sport Male 45-49 category (1:49:56). I would say that someone who could have won sport, but races beginner is a true sandbagger, unless some mistake was made in the registration.

    - J.L.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  60. #60
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    Anybody know if there are pictures from the race?

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    Video from race

    Finally uploaded my helmet cam video from the race.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3HMMa05Khw

    Click on the high quality icon just near the bottom right corner of the video screen for better quality.

    Helmet test at about 7:15!

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonflyer2
    Finally uploaded my helmet cam video from the race.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3HMMa05Khw

    Click on the high quality icon just near the bottom right corner of the video screen for better quality.

    Helmet test at about 7:15!
    Nice video and a good close-up of the man-eating rut
    - J.L.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  63. #63
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    Nice Video Carbonflyer2. I really enjoyed the helmet test, as I had my own helmet test as well. There were 2 steep loose (like deep sandy/dirt) downhills on the backside before the big climb out of the valley. Riders were dropping like flies in those sections when I went thru there. A very fun but tough race.

  64. #64
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    Nice job on the video. Too bad about the crash ... I took a line just to the right of that rut - just lucky I was able to hold it, really.

    The uphill climbs look familiar though the steepness and pain don't come through, of course.

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