September 11, 2012

Race Report from Tyler: Shenandoah 100

First off thanks again Walt for building me and badass ride. The bike does everything I wanted it to do. It floats around tight switchbacks with ease. Out of the saddle it feels stiff yet feels super comfy over long rides. On steep descents the bike feel really stable. The geometry makes me feel like I’m riding “in” the bike. Hands down I love this thing. Why would anyone ever want to ride a plastic bike when they can ride an awesome custom steel bike? That will probably last a lifetime. I’ve done a many rides and races on it on so far and the bike has yet to me down. So here is the build and a race report from Shenandoah 100 I did this weekend. Oh yeah crazy thing happened, I was raven on and on to this guy behind about how much I loved my Waltworks. Then he pulls up next to me and he had one to! Small world. I think his name was Mark Rogerson?

Build Kit
Fork: 100m Fox Float Terralogic
Headset: Chris King
Bars: Ritchey Low Rizer
Grips: Qury Lock on with Cane Creek Bar ends
Stem:Thomson
Post:Thomson
Wheels:I9 with Flow Rims
Tires: Maxis Arden 2.4 and Ignitor 2.1
Crank: Stylo 1.1 36 or 38t
Brakes: XT

I look at my phone, “yep it’s 4:30 in the mourning and somebody is playing Crazy Train as loud as possible. Hell yeah! I’m ready to my bike a 100 miles.” Some dude rolls by hitting a gong on a 4 wheeler and Chris gets on the loud speaker “C’mon get ya some breakfast, it’s black coffee kinda mourning.” I get some pants on get three or four bagels and huge cup of unfinished coffee. Joe Fish is there and I talk to him bit. Then I rollout and change into the race clothes and all the other pre racing boring stuff.

At the starting line I find my boy Allen Campbell from Blackwater Bikes, we get rowdy almost too rowdy for 6:30 in the mourning. Allen and I start way in the back and pass probably half the field on the climb up to the radio tower. Then on the cookie trail nobody is riding the rocks and everything gets bottlenecked. Bradley Schmalzer passes me after his flat at mile 2. I find a train on Tillman Rd and latch on. Then begin the hike a bike up Lynn Trail. Finally the top of Lynn comes and sweet descent down Wolf begins. I rip past a few sketchy characters and some guy screaming bloody murder. Guess all the riding with the Plastic Man has payed off! I reach the creek at the bottom of the flowy stuff and pass mickey mouse, a hooters girl, some guy who said “Rider 555 (my number) your table is ready” and D Reid who broke his degaylleuer. Then on the flat road section, between Wolf and Aid 2 all the geared riders I passed on the descent come by in their big ring. I promptly give them the finger and tell em see ya halfway up Hankey. Not really but damn was I thinking it!

The awesome volunteers get me in and out of Aid 2 quick and the assault on Hankey begins. My legs feel good and I catch Davy from Blackwater in the little meadow before Dowells. Davy and I roll down the sketchy top portion and pass some fellas walking their bikes down the drops. Davy skids off a little bit and lets me around. Halfway down I feel my water bottle hitting my leg, I look down to see my cage is broken. So for the second half I come down looking like an idiot with my bottle in mouth until I can get a zip tie at Aid 3. I hop into a geared train down 250 while some dark clouds roll up. Half way up Bridge Hollow the skies open up and I’m talking biblical rains. The rocks are near impossible to ride and I watch some dude ride his bike off the mountain. Bald Ridge, the Braley downhill, isn’t much better. You have to squint like an old man reading the newspaper to keep the mud out of your eyes. At aid 4 I see a bunch of people quitting.

“Sup Dicky”

“Quitting”

“You to J-Pok”

“Yeah there is no point”

Damn this rain!

On the road to the death climb I start shivering and can’t feel my toes. At the base of Shit Road I see Joe “Pro I’ve got them flashy yellow shoes” Fish who has the worlds biggest sidewall tear. He encourages me to keep riding. Actually he gave more of that WTF are you doing, stop talking, go ride your bike, it’s race kinda tone. So I press on. Shit Road is this stupid 2% grade gravel road that goes on and on for 7 miles. If I sit down I spinout and it’s not steep enough to stand. Man I want this to end! Finally I hit the base of the real “Death Climb.” A lot of the geared guys looked shelled, I grind pass Mark Junkerman from RunRideRace halfway to Aid 5. Finally the much needed relief of pizza and candy comes at Aid 5. Then things got heavy. The little road up to Little Bald knob and Chestnut is destroyed. It’s the nastiest mud I’ve ever seen. Slow going really doesn’t describe it. I ride through a puddle that engulfed my water bottles. Then the top of Chestnut was super sketch, peanut buttery and slick rocks. Finally towards to bottom things smooth out and I make some moves past some fellas. At the very bottom I past two dudes on full squishy bikes, who tell me at Aid 6 “Didn’t know you could go that fast on a hardtail.” I was going fast!? Plassman, David and Joe must be moving at the speed of light then.

I roll up Hankey the second time, walkup the Plastic Man dubbed “bitch slap.” Roll up under the finishing banner to see David telling me I just got under 10 hours. Right on! Pretty stoked on a 9:59 finishing time and 16th out of 45 in the singlespeed class.

Immediately I fill up my finishers glass and start my post race festivities. After a couple hotdogs and a dip in the creek and I start talking to Dicky and Thom Parsons. Jeremiah Bishop comes over and Dicky starts making fun his “aero pads.” Then Bishop tells us there is women’s underware and little turds in people’s drop bag’s. I say he is full of it but Thom and me go investigate. Check out my interview from that at the bottom. After a few flambongos (a pink flamingo made into a beer bong), I start hanging out with the cycling and living legend Tinker Juarez. Yeah it happened. Not really but Garth Prosser is one of the coolest freaking dudes I’ve ever met. Things were drinked, words were said, and friends were made. Late late into the evening an angry mob of Nate Sheerer, Thom, Sideshow Bob, that lady from the WV Night Club, and myself all went on the Dick hunt. After much searching we found the little man, who everyone thinks is me, asleep in his fortress. Threats of sharpies were made, finally I went to bed after the worst merry go round ride of my life.

I’ll be back next year sure. I made so many friends and hung out so many old ones. In fact I’ve got 100 mile-itis. Next year I’m gonna step my game up. Get ready for me, Mohican, Cohutta, Wilderness, Fools Gold and Lumberjack. Maybe even race the Tahoe Sierra 100 and make a stop by the Waltworks HQ. Everyone who reads this must try this race, it’s a blast and well worth the entry fee. Anyone can finish all you gotz to do is pedal.

Oh yeah I ran a 36×22.

My cycling interview (video) from the race.