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Friday, September 12, 2008

Tahoe Sierra 100

What a day. I can't say as I've ever ridden 100 miles of fireroad before. Can't say as I'll ever do it again. Somehow though, the Tahoe Sierra 100 was a pretty good time.


Tomi. Shake-down ride. Tahoe Donner trails.

We loaded up the mighty truck and headed out.



My dog, Lewis, know this scene all too well.


This race was epic in all aspects. Even the drive to the race venue (French Meadows Reservoir) was nothing to be taken lightly. We took a "short cut" using Yankee Jims road out of Colfax. This road is dirt, rocky and has soooooo many ways to go wrong.



Cows. In the middle of friggin' nowwhere.



Talk about coming out of the woodwork! Burly... keepin' it real.



Tomi McMillar. Early in the day. All smiles.... for now.


Cheryl, womens open race winner, chases early in the race.

After the first climb, the picture taking kinda took a back seat for me. You can check out a ll the pics on the slideshow at the top of the page. The pics are from the race as well as a few rides in Truckee.

Mens open podium.



Womens open podium.



Mens singlespeed.



Womens singlespeed.



NUE series winners!
My race: Of course I show up late for the start and go to the back row. In a 100 mile race, this isn't really a problem. I wasn't planning on winning this thing anyhow. If I were able to beat Chris Eatough and Jeremiah Bishop, I probably wouldn't be fixing bikes and drawing house plans to pay the bills. My mission for the day was to not get passed by anybody. Starting in the back will help me accomplish my goals. After things sorted out in the early stages of the race, I would only see one other rider pass me at about the 2/3rds point of the day.
First climb. People everywhere. Dusty. People are in good spirits. This will change. At the top, I've already downed a bottle of mix. This is a good thing. Stop at an aid station and refill. Next, fireroad descent. This is the point where I'm really glad I have a 4" bike. I pass people with ease. It's dusty. Really really really dusty. As we start climb #2, I take a quick "p" break. I start the climb with Dicky. We chat. He drops me. I re-catch and return the favor. I get stuck behind someone on the only skinny part of the course and eat dust for about 1,000 vertical ft of descending. White thorn everwhere. I could ask him to let me by, but it's early in the race. I'll sit back and relax for now.
We go up the first climb again about 30 miles into the race. I feel pretty good. I also know that at the top of the climb my drop bag awaits and there's music in there. Lots of 80's & 90's tunes to keep me going. I stop at the aid station staring at the table of food for waaayyy too long. Fill bottles, another 100oz of water on the back, grab some pbj's and I'm back on the bike. After a short climb out of the check, we start a nice descent. I've got Van Hallen in the ears and things are going well. Again, my 4" bike is treating me right.
The course starts to roll and I keep an eye on the mileage remembering the 20 mile climb at the 60 mile mark. The climb came and actually wasn't too bad. We arrive at another check at the 85 mile point. Mark Tiessen is there with words of encouragement. Unfortunately, he really needed to be a few more miles up the course. The next 1/2 hour would be spent climbing a disgustingly loose, soft tiering climb. I'm slummin'. I've not budgeted energy for this part. Damn! I fumble with the track button on my mini disc player (yea, I'm old school). I settle for some random hip hop to help me up the last climb of the day. The climb get steeper, looser and more depressing as it goes. The climb can't end soon enough.
Finally it comes, the last descent. I catch a single speeder on the way down. The descent is rough. Earlier in the day, I was glad I hadn't brought the one speed, but this section is the most reassuring. Loose, rocky and some sections where it sure was nice to be able to pedal. As the descent starts to mellow, I'm within' a few miles of the finish. Damn glad too. My wrists hurt, my feet are sore and my ass.... let's not even go there. I see another rider. It takes me almost a mile to actually catch him. I tuck in behind and use his draft for a minute to recover slightly. I slingshot around him in hopes that he doesn't have the energy to counter my move. If he does, I'll never beat him. I cross the line in 8 hrs 26 min for 12th place. I'm pleased with the day, especially now that I'm done.
Swimming in the reservior felt amazing despite the burning sensation in my nether regions. Other riders wade around the water, dazed, staring into space like zombies. The guy that I'd just drafted and passed approaches. I'm sure he's gonna kick my ass, but instead gives me a high five. "Nice one" he says in a tired, raspy voice. The normal "where you from?" and "what other races do you do?" talk ensues and starts the apres' race rituals. This folks, is why I race.

Results here if yer into that kinda thang.

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