May 28, 2008

Another report from Collin

Collin took 2 pictures – of the parking lot – to accompany this report. I have chosen not to reproduce them here. Enjoy!

Why is Granogue, DE magical? Well, I went up there for a bike race, and even after the gas, tolls, Starbucks, and Quiznos, I came back with more money than when I left. Keep in mind, this was a bike race, something we all know isn’t supposed to profitable to the racer.

More importantly though, I made a bunch of friends almost instantly thanks to my charm (and Waltworks bike that eveyone seemed to love). Wes, Matt, Harlan, Marc, Tom and many others were all very helpful.

It turns out, the Colorado boys have been missing out all these years. Granogue is a private estate in Delaware and the race is part of the Mid-Atlantic series. Fat Marc Vettori puts on the race along with some other fine folks I had the pleasure of meeting. The track was really cool with lots of punchy climbs, roots, rocks, and a stream or two. 3000 feet of climbing total. It was probably 80% 1-track, some double track, and brief section of pavement, and the race ended on a climb! I didn’t have to present any sort of bicycle organization license and for only $25 I got to subject myself to 3 laps of pain. The fans were also great and cheered everyone.

The riders out here are talented, that’s for sure. I struggled a bit with the wet roots and mud, but the WaltWorks held her lines very nicely and Ignitors seem to be a very good tire choice. Chris Eatough was the “household” name there along with some other east coast regulars that I stalked prior to coming to the race and each seemed to possess an impressive race resume. The actual race report is not all to interesting, I started in about 10th place and moved up to 6th by the end of the first lap and stayed there to the end. I came within about 40 seconds of 5th place, but I suffered from a case of the stupids on the last lap and lost about 1:30. Well that and 5th place (Harlan from Independent) threw down a scorcher of a last lap.

Cultural Notes:

1) East coast races pay out 20 deep and are run very smoothly. Pay out is pretty impressive, I scored $105 for 6th place. First place comes with $300
—I must note, there are no gravity events at the MA series, so perhaps this aids in the prizes and organization because gravity stuff really seems like a pain in the arse to organize. I don’t have a problem with gravity events, but if that is why Colorado entry fees are nearly double Eastern entry fees, something should be done.
2) East coast mountain bikers are just as nice as other mountain bikers I have encountered. I now have a wealth of new mtb knowledge and some folks I can call to carpool or go ride with (assuming I can get out of D.C. first)
3) There are a lot of toll roads out there
4) There are a lot of states here, and most are very small.
5) I passed a Decoy Museum and an Ordnance Museum. I wonder what kind of decoys and if the decoys ever attract anything the Ordnance could hit. Maybe they have some sort of deal worked out. Maybe it’s not even a real museum, maybe it’s just a decoy..ha
6) They only have starbucks out here, so many, that I bet there is a starbucks inside a starbucks somewhere.
7) They have actual vegetation, mud, streams, and rivers