TranSS RockieSS Stage 6-8 (x-post passion)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    TranSS RockieSS Stage 6-8 (x-post passion)

    The evening after stage five I was pretty sure that tomorrow would be our day. I can't nail down one reason, but maybe it was the empty stomach/four beer buzz combo. Perhaps I was inspired by the diligence of the Race Face crew as they worked in the dark installing an Avid mechanical brake on Josh's bike. It could have been that the continuous rain was soaking the course making it more favorable towards simple drivetrains. Then again maybe it was the fact that Josh was getting stronger on the climbs everyday, and my foot was finally healing. My foot? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my foot. When we were in the RV on the way to Fernie I was screwing around and I split the callous on the ball of my left foot wide open exposing the red meat. I tried to Superglue it shut, but it kept breaking open. I had been duct taping it closed for the first few days, but it was finally looking (and feeling) a lot better. For whatever reason Stage Six was going to provide us with our come-uppance. We were putting all our chips on the table. Got some death to do.

    STAGE SIX

    We arrived to the start line late and ended up in the middle of start block two. This was not where we needed to be so we lifted our bikes over our heads (not everybody's heads, sorry) and walked up to the front of our block. We needed to get out first and put the hammer down. Right from the gun we were slamming our way towards the front of the pack. I would look back and if I saw Josh making progress I just kept going full bore. We passed riders left and right as they daintily picked there way through the slop gingerly shifter their shifty things. Riding amongst a new crowd of racers I told Josh we've never seen these people dirty before. These riders seemed more interested in riding fast than having fun, but we kept up with the motorcycle noises and wisecracks the whole way.

    The singletrack ended all to soon and we found ourselves riding down a ribbon of merciless gravel. We only gave up a few spots before we hit the major climb of the day, and this is where the fun started. I kept the pace as high as I could stand, checking back on Josh on occasion to make sure he wasn't exploding. When we hit aid station one the fun was over. It was time for the 4.5km hike-a-bike.

    The promoters knew they wanted the course to go from the startline in Nipika to the finish in Invermere. The only problem is that the two locations were not connected by road or trail and they were seperated by a mountain. What was their logical solution? Cut a trail straight up the mountain and connect the dots. Without Sherpas setting ropes and ladders for us we were in for a long walk. The "trail" was just a steep, rooty cut through the Canadian backcountry.

    Josh and I did our best to hold our ground as we pushed up the "hors categorie"(beyond category) climb. Spiderman would have had a tough time scaling this "trail". We lost a few spots on our way up the mountain, but we had the pleasure of watching the lead riders blow by us. They had gotten off course earlier and they were now trying to make up ground fast. They seemed kind of upset when they found out they had lost so much time that they were even behind the single speeders. The pitch petered out eventually, and we hooked into an old trapper-shack trail till we reached the top of the pass.

    Looking at the route book the day before we weren't sure if the final descent would favor us or not. It did. We ripped down a double track hill complete with seventy plus waterbars till we got to a gravel mining road. Every once and awhile the pitch shallowed and a geared team would get by us. When the speeds got really high (35mph+) we got into an aerodynamic tuck to take full advantage of the free speed. Josh went for the more traditional look while I did a more "tribute to Marco Panatani" chest on the saddle thing. The closer we got to town the more the gradient lessened. We were spinning so hard that it felt like our hamstrings were going to pop off. The smell of victory (well, victory in our eyes) was in the air and we refused to stop attacking. We had to go through town and obey the traffic lights which goes against our very courier nature. The road dumped us out near some tracks and we rode along aside a moving train until we popped out at the finish line. We were nineteenth on the day with under five hours of saddle time. We jumped from 40th overall to 29th in one stage. We'll go ahead and call that a victory.


    STAGE SEVEN

    The route map looked like an upside down letter "V" for the last stage. It would either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the pitch of the mountain. The day started out kinda cold and bleak so we overdressed. I had put my MP3 player on my waist strap and loaded my Wingnut Assault hydration pack with a set of speakers. If you can't have a good day at least have a good time, right? Well we got to the start line late and got blown outta the water on the pavement approaching the base of the climb. To mke matters worse we were both buring up under our over-abundant clothing so we had to stop an dmake adjustments. This ended up being a blessing in disguise. As I made my way up the climb there were a lot of people ahead of me to pass. As I passed them they asked if I would hang out so they could hear a little music. Rob Zombie to Simon and Garfunkel to Sir Mix-a-Lot. It seemed to break up the monotony of the 20km+ climb. Only one person tried to bribe me with beer to turn off the "psychological warfare" He must not be a DMX fan.

    Towards the top of the climb people were losing steam. Joah and I had put in so much effort on the day before that it was starting to take its toll. I offered to push Josh's bike for him and he said if I didn't stay away from him he would throw me off the side of the mountain. Hmmm.... OK. We were above the tree line and the temperature kept dropping. Finally we pulled around the side of the mountain and we could see the pass. The guy from Bike magazine wanted us to pose for a few shots on top so we complied. We suited up for the cold descent knowing it was going to be over 20km's long.

    WOOOHOOOO!! As soon as we hit the downhill we started looking for targets, I mean riders. Once we got 'em in our sights we proceeded to hunt them down. Braking was an afterthought and speed was our friend as we gobbled up our prey whole. This was to be our one last piece of revenge on the "Cult of the Gears". We took no prisoners and scared the hell out of some people (including ourselves). At the bottom of the descent we were just an easy couple of km's from the bomber run downhill that took us to the finish line and the immediate start of stage eight.

    STAGE EIGHT???

    Yes, stage eight. This is the race to get your bike box and your luggage, find your room, box up your bike, and find beer as fast as possible. The good thing about stage 8 is that everybody is a winner eventually. We ended up getting as out of hand as possible, and I even got a "chest bump" from first place honch Andreas Hestler. Good times, good times.

    Thanks to Race Face and all the people who voted for us in the Ultimate XC Challenge. We hope you got what you wanted out of us and more.

    Did someone say fixed gear in '07?

    Pic 1 First stop, beer store. He we are enjoying a few "wasn't it nice to put a hurtin' on the gearies today" PBR's.
    Pic 2 This is our new friend Jen showing a little SS white trash flair. You can take the boy outta the trailer....
    Pic 3 This is Josh playing a new game we invented next to the Race Face RV. It's called "Grenade!". The only rule of the game is you yell "Grenade!" and then throw yourself into the crater disregarding your own personal safety. The Race Face guys didn't want to play. We were both declared winners.
    Pic 4 Josh says "We climbed a mountain thhiiiiiissssss high today".
    Pic 5 Never go to a party that has $4 beers unprepared.
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    Last edited by teamdicky; 08-17-2006 at 07:38 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Good job!

    very inspiring! these two posts should be sticky'd.

    thanks for the great write up - you guys did an amazing job. If I saw you I'd give you maybe a 5 second hug. Any longer than that and it'd be gay, but I wouldn't care because you deserve it - a nice, long, tight, full body manhug.

  3. #3
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    thanks,
    Here's a nice photo someone posted in passion of Bad Idea Racing after crossing the finish line:
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  4. #4
    34N 118W
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    thanks,
    Here's a nice photo someone posted in passion of Bad Idea Racing after crossing the finish line:
    oh yeah...how did the I9 wheels hold up? Not a bad testimonial to add to their PR.

  5. #5
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    I9 is only a couple hours from my house. I UPS'ed the rear wheel to them so they could poke their noses around inside to see how they performed in the silty dust and nasty mud. I should be hearing back from them shortly.
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  6. #6
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    Here's another random photo that someone snagged of us before the start on Day One. Josh looks like someone just pooped in his cereal and I look mentally challenged.
    Representing the SS scene:
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  7. #7
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    Any Advice for Stage Racing Singlespeeders

    Brilliant effort guys. An example for the rest of us.

    Inspired by this craziness I have entered an 8 day MTB stage race in South Africa called "The Cape Epic" as a singlespeed entry. The only singlespeed team to attempt it so far. I did do the race on a geared bike a couple of years back and have some idea of the general suffering etc involved. Its about 6 months away.

    What advice can you offer from a singlespeed point of view i.e. gear ratio(gear for flats or hills,etc), any equipment suggestions, any training or racing strategies ?

    All help and advice appreciated.
    ____________
    Fear only Fear

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneFear
    Brilliant effort guys. An example for the rest of us.

    Inspired by this craziness I have entered an 8 day MTB stage race in South Africa called "The Cape Epic" as a singlespeed entry. .
    Ugggghhhh Cape Epic on a single speed???? I have crossed the Trans Alps and Cape Epic off my to-do list for a reason. The Cape is soooo much gravel road that I don't think I could stand it. You'll definitely have to gear your bike in a manner to benefit you on the flats. Although it will be a challenge, CE would drive me crazy. I try to pick races with awesome trails, so I am not sure what to tell you other than ride your own race. Ignore the gearies and let them go by when you have to. Don't kill yourself spinning to keep up. Remember your goal is to finish on a single speed, not blow up.
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