Slogging The Su 100- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Grillin' & Chillin'
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    Slogging The Su 100

    I hate to say "I give up" or "I quit" those aren't phrases in my vocabulary. The Grill Meister did survive to grill again. Those of us that finished the 100 actually participated in the duathlon division - 32mi Bike Push/68mi Bike. It was brutal, to say the least. I can hardly walk this morning. My calves are so tight from all the pushing, arms, shoulders, back and neck too.

    Huge congratulation to Pete "Supercrank" Basinger and all bikers that finished the 100: Greg "Thirstywork" Matyas, Tom Peichel, Billy Koitzsch, Josiah Freeman, Joe "Broken Toe" Pollock, Jacques Boutet and Tim "Grill Meister" Kelly.

    If someone had told me, as we departed from the Flathorn Lake Checkpoint that I was going be pushing all the way to Eaglesong, I would have seriously doubted them. And I'm not sure why I didn't get a clue when Jacques Boutet and I stepped out the door of the Flathorn Checkpoint and headed straight into a steady 20-25mph headwind, with what I estimated to be 30-35mph gusts. The wind blasted us all the way through the Dismal Swamp. Oh yeah, it was snowing too.

    Jacques was really encouraging (maybe crazy) though. He said that once we made it through Dismal Swamp and crossed the Su, that we would be into the woods and the trail should firm up and we would be able to ride that portion. Yeah, right! The snow kept increasing in intenity as we made it through the Dismal Swamp we were slogging through 2-3 inches of fresh snow on a soft base. By the time we reached Eaglesong it was about 5-6 inches deep and still coming down. Earlier Jacques had promised to buy me a Cheeseburger (carrot on a stick) when we made to it Eaglesong. Food my 2nd favorite thing in the world - my 1st? - Free Food!! This was good, as I had left my intended dinner of 2 peanut butter and honey sandwhiches in the car. What a doofus. Not to be wasted, I'm eating them for lunch right now as I type.

    To our surpise "Broken Toe" Joe was still at Eaglesong, holed-up and waiting out the storm. After dinner we discussed our options, which mostly centered around sleeping and probabaly resigning to scratching and then walking back in the morning. Later that night we had heard that they groomed the trail between Eagle Song and the Yentna and the skiers were cruising just fine, but would the trail firm up? After breakfast, one of the volunteer Motor Mushers, that just came in from patrol, said the he just came from Luce's and he had past a biker a few miles out that was pedaling, Mark Lynch, I believe.

    While Joe and I were packing our shtuff, Jacques did a test ride down the lake and it indeed was firm enough tor ride, but just barely. Our group's discussion ended with Joe shouting "Onward!". I don't know if it's true or not but we had heard the some that had chose to head back on the ungroomed trail did wind up pushing back. We knew that even if it was marginal riding conditions, that as long as we were on our bikes we could maintain an average of 4mph, and we would have a good chance of finishing rather than scratching.

    One stretch, between Rich's Tent and the Wall Of Death, about 5 miles, we cruised without stopping for a break and I was feeling hungry and was worrying about bonking so I stopped and let those guys go so I could pig out. When I caught up to them on top of the Wall Of Death, I ate again. That was critical to survival too. I knew that all we had to do now was make it to the Flathorn Checkpoint, knowing that a huge pot of some of the best Jambalya in the world was waiting, cornbread too. That dinner was good enough hold off the hunger knock until the finish.

    To me it was of utmost importance that we travelled as a group. Having Jacques as our guide, as he has been out there at least a million times, and Joe the ultimate DCT team mate, to continually provide encouragement was my greatest motivation to keep peddling and be a finisher.

    I think the drive home, driving sucks, was harder than the Su 100. Good thing Joe and I were watching out for each other on the way. By the way Broken Toe, the coffee was pretty nasty from Tesoro - Bleech! I had to toss it out after drinking enough to get some caffeine in me.

    I couldn't have finished it without the Speedway Fatback (thanks Thirsty), Endomorphs (at probably less than 10psi) mounted on 80mm rims and being so braindead that I didn't understand that normal people don't do these kind of things. But as my kids have always told their friends when the see me riding my bike in the winter, "My Dad's crazy, he's not normal".


    Normal sucks.

    Photos:
    Me at the start - before I realized that I didn't need a helmet
    Flathorn Lake Blizzard - Mt Susitna in the background
    Joe sacked out at the Eaglesong Weatherport Bivy Tent
    Joe refueling before leaving Eaglesong
    Three amigos looking forward to actually riding bikes out of Eaglesong
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by speedsk8_ak; 02-18-2008 at 03:56 PM.
    Grill Meister
    "There were never any good old days
    They are today, they are tomorrow
    "
    - Gogol Bordello

  2. #2
    Grillin' & Chillin'
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    More Photos

    Finally riding! An hour out of Eaglesong going in the right direction.
    On the Yetna a couple miles past Luce's - Joe and Jacques
    On the Yetna a couple miles past Luce's - Me
    Joe's Camel Insulating Contraption - worked great - We're on Flathorn Lake
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Grill Meister
    "There were never any good old days
    They are today, they are tomorrow
    "
    - Gogol Bordello

  3. #3
    Fatback
    Reputation: thirstywork's Avatar
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    well done

    Nice job to all three of you. It's much more fun to share the misery.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    You show perseverance when you...

    ...are at the end of a difficult race but you cross the finish line

    Congrats to all of you!! You all deserve much kudos.

    Great race recap, Grill Meister! I knew from my commute in to work on Saturday that you'd be having a "great time" on the trail. Nasty weather for sure! I was a little surprised though that a certain birthday boy (Hint: '29' in his handle doesn't refer to his age) wasn't among your die-hard pack that slogged on. I guess turning 50 years-old the day before was too much of a shock to his older body. Ha!

    Glad to read you got some great wind training in, Tim. Wow! The combo of pushing big tires and riding into the wind sounds like a great recipe for another respectable placing in Kluane. Just think...transition to skinnies in June and fly!! (but bring lots of spares for that new carbon...ahem, at least that's what I heard.)

    Oh yeah, one more thing....leave the yellow shorts at home if we go to your homeland. The Royal Canadian Mounted Grizzlies may take a liking to them, but...."Duct Tape" magnets they aren't!!

    -ToJo

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pbasinger's Avatar
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    Nice write up Tim.

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