6/28 Wayne Ultra

Marietta OH;   The Wayne Ultra was #2 in the  WVMBA Ultra series.  I went into this with a little bit of a grudge,  Andy beat me fair and square at last weeks race, when I was having just one of those days type of race.  I let him know on the car ride up to the Wayne National Forest that the only race that mattered was right here in this car.  I felt pretty eager to race and mostly rested up (not at lot of recovery need after last weeks performance). 

So regardless of the competition that could show up for the Masters 45+ Category, I had my motivation.   This is the list of suspects that I had to work with for the day.;

Rudy up there on the number one spot on the podium;  I don't know if I have ever race against, I spotted when it finally cranked up to speed in the first five miles or racing for the trailhead, (the grey edges are just one tell) Strong on the road, doesn't really mean you are going to finish strong esp. when it comes to riding trails.  'Cept in this case his finish time proves that he had it all together and had a good race.

Brocc from PA, number two, the one lacking the podium skills, I seen after I flatted at about 15 miles in.  I think I was in the process of pumping up my thorn punctured rear tire when he rolled by.

Paul on the left from right here in the Valley was petty much right after that,  Mike Cordaro was hiking the wooded trail and sat down to bitch some more about his busted shit and stuff, and Paul was there to offer some free on the spot analysis.  Well, maybe it cost Mike the entry fee. hm.

This is when Andy blows by then attacks. )

Stevie Thorne teammate making the right end of the podium made the scene after my rear tire was up to pressure and I was vulcanizing the old tube patch kit.  I gave the AOK and he rolled on in the small groupette of homeboy Jeff and Aaron "The Burk" Tornado.

Paul and myself got it together and hit trail after what I figure was 25 riders that passed us up in the woods.  Time I couldn't even estimate, I did not have a timepiece.  Paul had cleat problems earlier so he was in a group ride mentality or something, and he hung out till everything was right.  We started up behind and around Michelle Johnson (the Women XXC overall winner) Then I rode and worked with Paul for the next five miles of trail or so.  Moving up smartly and quickly thru racers that we had just seen.  Worked a little to catch the Tornado groupetto and made an awkwardly polite pass on the trio.

It was towards the top of a single track climb, I hit and shifted chainring thru a little gulley which blew away the quick link and my chain hit the turf.  A quick look for the gold link left me in pieces and I went to panhandling for parts.  Along comes teammate Steve and produces a link.  That was just what I needed for a quick repair!  I was stoked! and back to hunting down Charlie Patterson (7th Masters) et al for second time in the race.

I blew thru the 20 mile aide station trying to keep a low profile.  I didn't see Paul there but know he holds some sort of sanctimony for the aide stations, so I was pretty sure he was in there feeding his face or something.  I was ready for some suffering and the fastest way to that is down the road.  Got to chat with Calvin on the on the lonely road after the aide station, before I went on and pick the at locals Chris and Nate.  Found Chris Phillips hiking his single speed and sparked something that made him ride away.  If i had only known 2nd place was so close, I coulda gone a little bit harder...

All in all it was a good day of racing.   I believe everybody had that good whooped feeling afterwards with a little sense of accomplishment.  That's one reason why we do this and maybe the main reason that people put on these events.  It feels good.

46 miles


1 flat

1 broken chain

3rd place

~ 1 min > 2nd Masters

6 min > Andy C on the SSpeed




expert men (overall) the guys I didn't see

expert women (overall)...


6/23 The Life and Time of a 4.2D

A couple of years ago, fed up with the inadequate performance and life of Shimano freehubs, (those clicky things on the back wheel that let you coast) I purchased my first high zoot wheel for my local bike shop - a rear DT Swiss 240 wheel.  I paid way more than most normal people would think that a complete bicycle would cost, but  I don't even like to think about that, I just need something that would work on a continuing basis.  It was noticeably light and held true for a good two plus years of abuse.  The light soft rim took its fair share of abuse, suffering its biggest dinger at the Big Bear Ultra in its infancy stage.  It didn't really pose any problem after a re-truing and I ran that huge dent in the rim for the next couple of year until the rim started separating on the inside one spoke hole at a time.  The inside of the rim looked like this at what I declared would be its last race  at the Appalachian Classic;  


It was a sweet wheel while it the rim lasted.  The hub got a overhaul at the beginning of the series this year with new bearings all around to keep it tight and in drive, but I postponed replacing the rim, for mostly the sake of not shelling out 50+ bucks for a rim that didn't measure up.  First off in weight was a major concern to be balance with durability.  I scored a like new salvage DT Swiss X430 from the garage with  heavier gauged spokes and built up my new wheel that came out an ounce heavier - a weight deficient that I could life with.   Mounted up some tires and went for a ride and was greeted with a major thumpa thumpa, check the trueness of the rim to find all okay.  That led my to check the seating of the tire to the rim and. yeah that's fucked up.  It took three tries to get it seated most the way right.  Bummer, glad I didn't shell out any bucks for that rim.  I have had rims in the past like this, all OEM and I can't really figure out the marketing of such an inferior product - ones that takes a tire iron or four to remove a tire, which was not so on the original Swiss rim.  How much more does close tolerances cost, anyway?  I guess maybe a lot.  And I don't really mind spending a lot if you can guarantee me these things; light, durable, tire goes on and off easy and true.   But you don't really get that at the point of purchase, so I will make due with what is what, and run what I brung  (as they say).



6/21 All down hill

Sometime around this time of the year, when the heat and the humidity crank up that final notch, and then add a poor race performance, well it can seem like it is a downward slope in, motivation, speed, power, and strength. That can make me want to throw in the towel not only racing but maybe a little bit even on riding. 

(Friday evening on the KT)

Sunday's Appalachian Classic is a good time on some mountain biker created single-track that has stood the test of time.  Some groovy single to enjoy while twisting though the trees, over and up up the hills and into the creek.  My kind of stuff.  So after the musical start I went for it all out.  Got that fast start that had been brewing up in the back of my brain following the early season races.  I was a thinkin that maybe if I could go faster at the beginning I could hang with those guys early on and then I could finish up around in there.  Wrong.  There is a reason I tend to start slow.  It takes me a while to ramp up and I tend to not warm up that good, if at all. 

So after I got that fast start, I was where I wanted to be with those guys within the first quarter hour, then it all started sliding away.  But I thought I could get it back.  Then another rider would slide by.  One by one.  It was a long drawn out parade with a little suspense as to  who would be inching up next.  I seen a lot of riders that I normally don't race with.  I was glad if I could help them feel better about their own abilities as a racer.  That was about all I could do.

It finally came around a little bit too late and I made two whopping passes (one for class position) in the last little bit of the race.  But it was a performance that I can't really put a finger on.  There was finite failure, no cramping or nausea, or equipment to blame.  Just one of those races that I rode a maybe a little too much going into during the week, so maybe this will end up paying off a little bit down the road.  Or maybe by this weekend.  Go Ultra.


6/18 Does my ass look big?


Feel lucky if you are getting any of this - dry trails.  Lots of mud out there guys.  Some places that should be avoided are getting a little abuse.  Maybe think twice about the ruts you leave behind and the trails maintenance hours that will go into fixing such. 



6/12 More HA!

Okay enough of of poor ol Joe.  The prognosis on the bummed knee is that it  has no serious damage. A mild to medium sprain, that needs to be stayed off of for 2 weeks and at least a month before any more racing.   Let's get on to my drama.  FINALLY got to see some times in some results.  And if you are interested enough and scroll down far enough you can see my name at FIVe hours and fifty minutes.  I can be a little slow, but that is a lot of slow.   I happen to know that my time should be FOUR hours and fifty minutes.  I summit for proof that I was wearing a watch.  In  JRP's photo  below you can see that I was wearing a watch...

This is the first race of the year that I made it onto the course with a timepeace.  Time checked at the start was on the money 9:00.09.    Finished at 1:50.  I counted my fingers on one hand and that equals 4:50.  It could be a typo - I have yet to see any results here.  So it could be just a transposed number somewhere along the line.  Four fiddy puts me twelve minutes behind Paul Stahman and 14 minutes ahead of Chas Mic.  We all cross the start/finish somewhat together for the first time with 13 miles to go.  I did a quick stop to fill up some water, so that I could at least be fully hydrated when I started crampin' up on the final drop off the mountain.  Paul went on for a good run that would knock me off the top spot of the podium.  Which is exactly where I found out that that spot was not mine - after I got Gunnar  out of my class standings on the old fashion leaders board at the race,  my tag was in first place.  And that is where it was till  "the end of the protest period".   So when they announced our names and placing at the awards I wasn't listening and hopped onto the top spot, only to be knocked down a second time.  I thought I was gonna cry...

I have faith that it will get worked out, because it think it really matters.  When I am old, I don't want to be looking back on this race and think that I really sucked.  But, I know what my time was, so maybe it is more like I don't want YOU to think that I really sucked (NO offense to those racers that finished back there that didn't think they really sucked). 

There was a lot going on.  Think CarniVal ! a big race on a big course and everything  went smoothly a shizzly.  Over 400 racers in this US Cup East Coast event.  They got it right where it matters most.  Volunteers ALL over the course.  MORE water/aide stations than could possibly be utilized.  Double swag bags.  Big boys money money.  New cat like classes to cipher.  Piles of prizes.   I heard not a discouraging word all day.


I know that some master in the little double x time is small peanut. Maybe these other little "grassroot" backyard racing that is WVMBA  has spoilt me a little bit.  Cause when you finish there/here, you can see right away what is your official time and rank, class and overall, as well as any other finisher.  Plasma technology right here in good ole WV.   Makes the whole tear tag - plywood - stapler way of doing things a bit antiquated. 


All I am hoping is that George and/or JR have read this far and then care enough to fix my times, because after all this long blogging, all interest and time to even shoot anyone an email has long since past.  



6/9 Rider! safety.

Time to listen up boys and girls;  We got these pictures in  from Andy Hole.  Yes, he was there too, I didn't mention it before as he had a bad result in the XX, (but a good weekend of riding)  missing the cut of to the real Super D the day before with me (not entirely not my fault) because of riding and of not riding, or self induced trauma, if you will...

You see J o e was not safe.  He had this racer focus.  A game plan for racing and that's all. This gravity fed rock bed is huge. It gets trickier as it goes, and exit's with big commit bonus rock.  then roll.  You would have to be touched in the head to ride something like that.  Can you see those rocks?  Two dimensional photos usually don't do the tech or grade any justice and well, this looks and maybe sorta defines rock and roll tech.  All I am saying is there is no reason not t0 ride safe, all the time.  We should all learn from this. 



what's up with this?

 Some pro.  Wiping out, in the grass, taking out the barrier, at the end of the the Super D, loosing his shoes in the process.  

 there is nothing to be learned here


6/7  WVMBA Ultra #1

Massanutten Mountain, VA;  WVMBA Ergon XXC Ultra Series.  Ultra races are typical twice as long (40-50 miles) as  regular cross county race.  This was the first session in the series and I would say the hardest of all the courses, with biggest of climbs and the rockiest knarly-knar descents.   38 miles in 4:50 for myself to finish 2nd in the Masters Class.  I had some good battles going back and forth around the eventual class winner but he crept away in the last 13 miles, not to be seen again.  I have no regrets when I am in that situation, just being in a position for the win is all I ask.  Lets me know that I have done my work, just need to sharpen the blade a bit.  But the hugest surprise of the day (for some) was overall win by Jesse Stevens of Huntington, WV.  I always thought he was a roadie.  Might have to change my thought on that.  Good job man.

WV - 3 of 5

XXC men - Jesse Steven (bikebFAT!), Benji, Klye  (1,2,3)

XXC Women - Haywood, Churtle, Shogren (1,2,3)



6/6 Tumblin' Down


 Making it through the trickiest of spots off of Kalyors Knob.

Too bad the second run ended abruptly at this same spot - with a torn up knee.


Heal up quick, and complete


6/5 Demo Day


Ellsworth Demo bikes coming to Barboursville Park - Wednesday June 10th from 4 till everyone is done.  Jump em off houses rocks roots and in general just experience the Ride.  


6/4 HOO HA!

Some of this - Patrick Miller SmugMug Photos - some of the ridge with some of our neighbors, that you might or might not recognize will be my playground for this weekend at   Massanutten Hoo-Ha! - WVMBA Ultra Series #1 













Barboursville FAT Tire Brethren

Beech Fork Association of Trails



bFAT is an informal group of riders who appreciate the land and ride for a healthy well being.



Beech Fork is mostly a single track trail that follows around the lake leading into a combination of creek bed, hill climb, and fast downhill back to the lake.  Barboursville's Park has some nice runs from the top with  numerous scenic overlooks from the  sheer  cliffs and steep drops. The flat single track that follows the river and comes out behind the lake - is where the real fun can begin or end. Click on the link at top of page - above left to see a map!    The  Kanawha Trace and Adahi Trails are 32 mile and  17 mile multi user trails crossing over private land.  Check with the Tri-State Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America for trail information and registration.


bFAT email groupo<----click here  Become a part of an e-group forum that will let all subscribers communicate (free!). Send an e-mail with the word "join" in the subject or body and you'll get hooked up with other riders, to do fun group rides, get trail info and conditions, technical advice, etc.










for more info  administrator at bike bFAT