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  1. #1
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Whiskey race reports

    I know a separate thread for the Whiskey was started and then morphed into a psuedo-race-report thread...but I figured I would start a thread for you all to post dedicated to your race reports.


    I originally signed up for the 50 Proof in the singlespeed class. However, after the pre-ride last weekend, my patella tendon decided to start acting up (old running injury that rears its head from time to time), so I did a last minute change to 50 Proof open (geared) class. Ya...call me a wuss...but I decided risking serious injury was just not worth it, especially on the 1+ hr grind out of Skull Valley. So on Friday I put my Kona Hei Hei 2-9er on the bike stand and got it all dialed in.

    I started mid-pack, mainly because I have no interest in blowing myself up at the beginning of the race. I know myself -- if I get behind somebody faster than me, I'll overdo it and blow myself up early. (This isn't a road race where I can hang in the draft). The guy next to me was on a Kona singlespeed. I asked what gearing he was running and he told me 32-19. I asked if it was his first time on this course and he said Yes. I've seen him in races before (always forget his name) and he's a pretty fast guy. So I wondered if I would see him again.

    The climb out of town went well for me. The bike felt really good. On the steep hill just before the dirt road, I ran into Kona SS guy again. He looked a little tired pushing that 32-19 gear up the hill....but he kept on going and eventually pulled ahead of me.

    Once we reached the singletrack, I paced myself behind a pretty fast pack. In past years I had trouble getting up the waterbars on Trail 48...but on my 29'er, I rode up all of them. This was a pleasant surprise.

    When we reached the downhill on Trail 48 (the series of S-turns), I ran into a traffic jam because a few guys overshot the turn and ended up in the bush. I had to needle the thread to ride between them. This is the first year that I didn't crash in that same spot and cause that backup!

    Bombing down Trail 260 was a blast. I passed a few slower guys and got into a group of guys that hauled arse. It was fun, even with the Geax Saguaro tire up front (which was a little more skittish than the Panaracer Rampage that I rode the same trail a week earlier).

    The climb up to the 25/50 split was uneventful -- just put my head down and pushed.

    Once I got to the 25/50 split, I turned downhill and let it rip. By now the winds were really picking up, blowing me all over the place. There was a section of road that had a lot of ruts in it, and I damn near biffed it there. My front tire caught a rut, slid sideways a little bit...and at speed I damn near lost control of the bike! That scared the crap out of me and made me slow down a bit.

    At about mile 3 the fastest guys started coming back up towards me. This was a good sign, as the 2 years I have done this in the past I ran into this fast group around mile 5.

    In Skull Valley I took my time to eat some grub...take a whiz...drink plenty...and fill up my backpack. On the climb I went...

    ...and oh how I never remember how long that climb is. I was back-and-forth with a fast girl (turned out to be the second place finisher) most of the way up -- she really helped me out when the winds got ugly (thanks BTW). But I then had to pull over to fish out my gels at mile 5 and I lost her for good. A second shot of gel fueled me up and on I went...battling the wind and pushing through to the 25/50 aid station.

    At the station I ate some more gels and filled up my water again. Funny -- I laid my Hei Hei 2-9 on the ground....fueled up...and when I went to get my bike there were 3 of the exact same Konas there! I had to recall my race # to get the right bike.

    On I pushed towards the Prieta Overlook. I just kept on pushing even though I was tired. But I never wussed out and reached for the granny gear -- I stuck it out and pushed with taller gearing. Right near the top I ran into Kona SS guy again. He was pushing really hard. I yelled out some words of encouragement to him and all I got from him was that he wished he had the 20-t gear instead.

    At the Prieta Overlook I took a 5 minute break to eat a bar and look at the view. After choking it down, I continued on the fun downhill.

    When we got to Trail 321, this is where I ran into trouble. A guy ahead of me couldn't make it over a small technical section next to the creek and I ran into him. I couldn't unclip until the last minute and the pedal spun backwards and ripped the sh!t out of my shin. I was so pissed I didn't even look at the damage to my left leg...which is a good thing.

    The rest of the downhill was FUN and uneventful...until I felt my left foot getting wet. At first I thought it was wet feet from the small creek crossings, but when I looked down I realized it was blood. Yep....there was a huge gash in my shin and it was bleeding all over the place...into my sock and making my foot feel wet. Ugh.

    Once back onto the road I pushed like mad to get back into town. I got an unexpected jolt of energy and was able to push it pretty good. That last little climb just before downtown kinda sucked...but thankfully it was short.

    My finishing time was 4:24, which was about 25 minutes faster than my previous best time. But...that put me around 45th place...and when I looked at years past, that would have put me in 20th place. This year, 25 guys finished in under 4 hours!! Damn...this race is attracting more and more fast guys. Oh well...I'm still proud of my time (good thing I have a day job).

    Oh...and my leg...my shin is hamburger. The EMT at the finish line cleaned it up, cut off about a 6" long flap of skin, wrapped it with a bandage, and sent me on my way. It looks really ugly. Damn...and I have to visit clients this week. Wearing dress socks is not going to be fun.

    That night, my family and I hung out at the Roger Cline & the Peacemakers concert. What a great time! Thanks to Todd and Epic Rides for putting on a stellar event.


    Thx...Doug

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    I started mid-pack, mainly because I have no interest in blowing myself up at the beginning of the race.
    It was tons of fun though. Like driving through morning traffic in a F1 car.

    Good job without going to the granny. I made it through as well.

    Interestingly, I did my crash just before your spot. I was trying to get back into the rythm after the crash, so unlike the pre-ride I did last week, I didn't make that technical section where you crashed. I was trying to get my leg going again, which eventually it did. Doesn't sound like I had quite as much blood, but I'm missing quite a bit of skin right now.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It was tons of fun though. Like driving through morning traffic in a F1 car.
    You think that was fun...try doing the same thing on a road race when there are literally thousands of riders! Now that's like driving through morning traffic in an F1 car...and damn near as scary (roadies don't mind bumping around in packs).

    Thx...Doug

  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    In any case, it's fun to see (in the race) how small the actual difference is between different bikes. It's all about the riders, on all kinds of setups. Lots of people convince themselves that setup A or bike B will make "the difference" for them, but the difference is usually already there, between riders.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
    Beer Drnkr w/bike problem
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    S.S. 32x20t 25proof. No crashes for me but I got a flat about 1 1/2 miles after the Prieta overlook, my CO2 didn't work and my new hand pump barely worked taking me 10 minutes to fix a front flat tire. I had to finally take off and finish the race with under 25lbs in the tire and I thought for sure I would get a pinched flat before hitting the road but I lucked out and finished with a great time. I was only a few minutes slower than last year when I geared it. I beleive with the new section of the course, they made this years times at least 20minutes faster than last year so we really can't compare them. I still had a great time and a great race. For the first time after this race felt good enough and able to do a Sunday recovery ride. (it still hurt but worth it)
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

    E-bikes are Mountain Mopeds

  6. #6
    .......................
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    Nice job everyone, the 25 is getting scads more competitive than it has been.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    First Whiskey. 50proof SS 32x20 riding blind (no pre-ride of any segment ever) Started cautiously about 2/3 of the way back in the pack and was frustrated a bit in the early singletrack crowd pileups. Hard to maintain momentum. Things opened up on 260 (don't believe the hype).
    Enjoyed the blast down to Skull Valley and seeing the guys coming up. Appreciated the tailwind climbing up and out. Only had one guy (a SS'er) pass me on the way up. Good rush back into town although crowded, if briefly, after the overlook.
    Crossed the line at 4:41 satisfied with the effort but already focusing on ways to cut time off.
    Good to see the Siera Vista guys on the podium of the 25 and 50, nice ride guys!
    Enjoyed the family friendly scene after. My kid ended up running around with Fuzzy's as the music played.
    When's the next 50?
    Cheers,
    M

  8. #8
    In the rear with the beer
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    Saw my first live snake on the trail (other 2 i've seen were dead) in 3 years of riding in AZ, on the descent after the overlook. Luckily (for the snake) i was at one of the brief slow points. King snake, bright colors really stood out. Bounced my tire and he slithered out of the way. I was having too much fun to be freaked out, but was impressed by how colorful it was!
    Salvation Outdoor
    "Take it Outside...Again!!!"

  9. #9
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    1st timer report

    My first Whiskey and the 1st time I rode the course was Saturday morning. I stuck with a group of fast guys going up Copper Basin. I was feeling good as we rode through the campground and remember thinking "...according to the map, we have a little more climbing before we hit the downhill." ooops.

    On the first couple of switchbacks coming up 393 I started to struggle. Guys were starting to pass me and I was not feeling so good. Somewhere near the top of 48 I had a spectacular endo. There was a short downhill with a waterbar leading into a tight left. I came around the corner with a water bottle in hand and over i went! Not sure what exactly happened, but i was cleaning rocks out of my helmet for the next 3 miles. Nobody was there to witness it and I giggled a bit to myself for cheating death and collected my gear. A dude rolled by when I had my bike upright and pointed in the right direction. Not knowing what had just happened he yells, "I think you dropped your water bottle!". I reply, "thanks, I pulled over to pick it up."

    260 was scary. I was taking a lot of chances and thought I was flying. Guys were just blowing past me. Crazy fast.

    On FR 53, I found my legs again and began to push. Passed some of the fast descenders on the way up to the aid station. Refilled water as the 1st place 50 proof SSers zipped past.

    Second climb up Copper Basin was my favorite part of the course. Just put your head down and grind.

    The descent past the Overlook was good times. I could hear dudes hooting and howling up and down the hillside like a pack of coyotees on the hunt. I was barely under control the whole way and almost lost it a couple of times. I was surprised again at how fast some of the others were. Must be locals? Very impressive.

    On the short climb up 323 or 392? the guy in front washed out and then began to cramp up. I had to stop and as soon as my feet hit the ground my quads started locking up as well. Kind of a funny scene as both of us stood in the middle of the trail doing a robot dance trying to loosen up our legs. I look down hill and see another guy about 30 yds away off his bike doing the same thing.

    The road home was a great closer. I clicked up to the big gear and flew. I felt guilty as I passed 2 SSers spinning like mad. They had been kicking my a$$ all day only to get passed on the homestretch by a gearbie. My left quad locked up again making the right hand turn onto Park and I almost came to a complete stop.

    Like everyone else has said, the competition was very good. I missed my goal time by 1 minute but feel like I got whipped.

    Anyone know the date of next year's race? I can't wait.

  10. #10
    Not a Barry supporter.
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    First timer...Stayed with a small pack until the double track climb up to 260. Then bombed that and once at the bottom, I felt awesome so I hammered the climb up to the aid station and then just grinded my way up to the overlook. I didn't stop at either station and then hammered the rest of the course to the finish line. I started to cramp at the short rocky uphill but was able to hold it off. I found my alone on the road until a geary passed me right at the end. As I crossed the finish line, my camelback ran dry. Perfect amount of water!

    And I was shocked by my time of 3:02 for the 25 SS category. The rest of my crew pulled strong times too.

    I was convinced this was not my sort of race as I'm more of an endurance fella but all in all, it was a great time and maybe it is my sorta race.
    Why would I need more than one gear?
    @A_SingleSpeeder
    EPA = crooks!

  11. #11
    Ride 'Til Your Knees Hurt
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    25 proof on SS. Ran a 3:14 which was faster than my last time. 17th place overall. My legs fell apart after the 2nd DH. I was cramping so bad. Didn't stop though. Just belted out a weight-lifter yell and tried to force my petrified legs to keep moving. They eventually broke free after much pain. Dealt with this a few more times (even at that last little pavement climb before the finish). I was shooting to beat my previous time so I can't complain.

  12. #12
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    I did the 15 proof run. I asked Jason from Titus to lend me a bike to run the race with. He obliged and put me on a Racer X ( a 29er) We got it dialed in for me but I left with out one important item a spare tube. In my back pack I had tubes for a 26 inch tire not a 29er. So from the start I was up front peddaling my way up copper basin rd. Up where the road turns to dirt I made it around 3/4 mile when the back tire blew like a shot gun blast. I had alot of riders say " that sucks" and "bummer" and " holy crap that was loud" So I had to walk the bike back down to the start finish line disappointed and pissed. One thing I thought was really cool was a few cars stopped and asked if I wanted a ride back into town. I was impressed with the generosity of some of the locals.
    So I guess next years run will have to be a priority for me.

  13. #13
    Rhino
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzMtbeR
    In my back pack I had tubes for a 26 inch tire not a 29er. ...So I had to walk the bike back down to the start finish line disappointed and pissed.
    I think you are going to be more pissed when you find out that you can stretch a 26" tube to fit into a 29" wheel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanseeds
    I think you are going to be more pissed when you find out that you can stretch a 26" tube to fit into a 29" wheel.
    Whoops.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  15. #15
    Master Gardener
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Biff master

    On the short climb up 323 or 392? the guy in front washed out and then began to cramp up. I had to stop and as soon as my feet hit the ground my quads started locking up as well. Kind of a funny scene as both of us stood in the middle of the trail doing a robot dance trying to loosen up our legs. I look down hill and see another guy about 30 yds away off his bike doing the same thing.
    That one's called Cramp Hill. Named after it was incorporated into the Whiskey course. Before that, we just called it That Shitty Little Climb.

  16. #16
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    That one's called Cramp Hill. Named after it was incorporated into the Whiskey course. Before that, we just called it That Shitty Little Climb.
    Both names do just fine.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  17. #17
    A plethora of pinatas
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    I did this event back in ’06 and had a pretty tough day on the bike.

    I did the 25 proof again this year was pretty smooth sailing for me. No crashes, no chain-suck, and no getting lost. I rode my steel Voodoo Bizango and it was the perfect call for me. It felt solid on the climbs and very smooth on the descents. The course was in awesome condition! Hats off to everyone involved with working on the trails before the event. You would to have to try pretty hard to get lost this year. In addition to the course markings, there was a volunteer at every turn cheering you on and pointing you in the right direction - pretty cool! I shaved over 2 hours off my last time! Yea, me!

    This was Tyler’s 1st year doing the Whiskey and he had an awesome experience. One of the highlights of his day was riding for a while with Dejay Birch on the climb up to Sierra Peralta. On the decent down to the pavement, Ty took a couple of spills but no injuries. He finished the 25 in 3:03 (1 hour & 32 mins in front of his old man) and placed 2nd in the Jr Cat!
    Marty

  18. #18
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    Started slow, nearly at the back. Worked my way past about 1/2 the crowd by the start of the singletrack. Stayed with a group about my speed through the rest of the singletrack and up 48. Generally, I was faster downhill and slower uphill than this group, but it was close.

    I walked most of the steeper climbs as it was not worth the energy expenditure on the SS to try to clean them.

    On the way down 260, I was significantly faster than two guys in front of me and wanted to pass. That problem solved itself when they both crashed off course at the tricky right turn into the big waterbar drop and I went by. The rest of 260 was super duper fun, and I went down it faster than I ever remember, passed about another four folks on the downhill, most of whom saw/heard me coming and made it easy. Caught up with a group of 4-5 riders in the last minute or so of the descent and cooled my jets since I knew the bottom was near.

    As soon as I started up the dirt, I knew I was in trouble. No power at all. My body was just done. Possibly I went out too fast on the first road climb? Who knows, but I was blown up. I had the great privilege of watching rider after rider pass and being able to do nothing about it. Counted seven SS riders pass me here.

    I did manage to make it to the aid station without walking, threw a glass of water on my head and started up again. While at the aid station, another local Big Chris passed me, and I tried to keep him in my sights, but he rode slowly away.

    The rest of the climb was a bad experience of suffering, knowing how far I had to go, and simply willing myself to the top while getting passed by 25 and 50 folks now. It is possibly the worst I have ever felt while on a bicycle. I just wanted this thing to be over.

    Made it to the top only to be passed by three more riders on the single track portion between the overlook and the start of the descent. I got irritated, probably because I was pissed at myself for bonking so badly. These riders did nothing wrong, but I was sure I would be stuck behind them on the downhill, and I was right. I found myself hot under the collar and yelling as they struggled on the mildly tech portions of the start of the downhill. I am totally embarrassed at the race rage I manifested now. Sorry if you were one of those folks, it was inappropriate on my part.

    I do think it is interesting that when folks pass me on the uphills, I always willingly got over, but when passing on the downhills, many folks made you pass them rather than giving a little space. Maybe that is racing, but I am not experienced as a racer at all, so I don't know the protocol.

    Once the trail widened, I passed a bunch and put local knowledge to use bombing to 51 and then down 51. I cleaned the rock where the singletrack turns off from 51 (which I don't always do), which was nice.

    The rest of the race was bombing the downhill sections, while getting passed at pretty much every uphill. My engine was gone. I really enjoyed the tech sections along the creek toward the end of the ST.

    When I hit the road, I saw Big Chris walking with a flat. Apparently he gave his tube to someone else and now he had nothing to repair it with. I stopped long enough to give him a tube and pump and took off down the road. Bummer for him because he was riding really well.

    I raced a 50 SS rider down the road tucked and spinning like mad (ironically, this is the same guy Chris gave his tube to). That was serious fun. Geared riders blew past.

    I got dropped when the Park street climb (which I was not expecting) started. I then labored up that, then in to the finish.

    Finished 3:13, good for 15th in the SS category. Compared to my 3:00 geary finish in 2005, I think it is pretty equivalent because the course was quite a bit different and shorter then without the $hitty little climb noted above.

  19. #19
    NedwannaB
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    Way to hang Enel

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Report:

    As soon as I started up the dirt, I knew I was in trouble. No power at all. My body was just done. Possibly I went out too fast on the first road climb? Who knows, but I was blown up. I had the great privilege of watching rider after rider pass and being able to do nothing about it. Counted seven SS riders pass me here.

    The rest of the race was bombing the downhill sections, while getting passed at pretty much every uphill. My engine was gone. I really enjoyed the tech sections along the creek toward the end of the ST.

    Finished 3:13, good for 15th in the SS category. Compared to my 3:00 geary finish in 2005, I think it is pretty equivalent because the course was quite a bit different and shorter then without the $hitty little climb noted above.
    Proving mind over matter (body).

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