Hanging out, ready to sing some Blues

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Appalachian Classic

We headed to the Appalachian or Appalachain Classic this past weekend. I certainly was in need of a less stressful weekend of racing. The Mohican and the 24 Hours were both physically and mentally taxing so this bus-casual race weekend was perfect. The weekend was to include a TT, short track, bike polo, Weedhawks, X-country, lake jumping and hanging out with excellent people. Chrissy’s tale for our fan…

I was slated to leave DC around 2pm but I decided to update my Ipod and generally dick around so I hit the road at the height of rush hour, brilliant. I got to Mo-town around 9pm and before I could even shut off the van Gunnar had us riding the short track course across the way. With out lights and complete unfamiliarity with the course I slammed my head on a low hanging branch propelling myself in reverse through the air. Dug some bark out of the skull and continued, ugh!! We grabbed some Broccoli and tofu from the take out joint, watched an artsy Portishead video, drank some cold beer and hit the sack.

TT:Gunnar and I left Morgantown around noon for the 2.5 hour drive to No-where, WV. We needed to be there around 1:30 for the TT. Do the math! We would be meeting Betsy and her folks there…and we had Betsy’s bike…oops!We arrived fashionably late, 2:05ish. Betsy was geared up along with every one else. I decided the night before to skip the TT(tired) and Gunnar is sickly so he too decided to save it for the short track. As spectator’s we heckled. It was a good TT.

Our TT

Bike polo: I did not play but some really large out of control polo playing guy almost killed Jason C, Nick W and I as we spectated. He landed on me causing me to tumble down the hill. I quickly left the polo match for a nap. That shit is dangerous.

Short Track: Let me begin by saying short track racing hurts. It hurts even more on a single speed. Well, pain was dished out in large doses. I decided it would be smart to jump on Jeremiah (Bishop) and Nick’s (Waite) wheels for a few laps. I was holding my own but man the top section was tough with only one gear. They could shift and recover from the climb while I spun to hold their wheel at 2billion RPM’s. I finally had to say uncle so I kind of sat up or kind of blew up and waited for Gunnar, Joey (Riddle) and Aaron(LB). The four of us rode hard together but we had some laughs too. Eventually, Gunnar and I pulled away. We worked together trying to bring Nick back unsuccessfully. I finally got “geared” again as Gunnar made a move that I was not able to go with. He may of caught Nick, hhmm. In the end Jeremiah kicked our asses but it was fun.

Betsy "girled" all the boys

Weedhawks: Some wacky comedic Blue grass. I recommend the “The Metalica Cliff Burton Acid trip song”, hilarious!!! We were entertained and shared some beer. A jolly mountain man offered us some “mountain wine”. I think that was code for moon shine with some grape flavoring. Holy shit was that strong. I think I may have grown chest hair.

Then off to bed for a hot and humid sleepless night in the tent.


The weekend brought some east coast heavy hitters: Jeremiah B, Nick W, Davey “I race in jeans” Walker, Ben O, Sue H. and all the usual suspects that make WV racing so hard and fast weekend after weekend, year after year.

5,4,3,2,1…go…I hit the woods in 6-7th . I got around that shady character Johnny Martin putting myself in 1st within the single speed kids & 6-7th overall. Joey Riddle chose to race SS and he caught me near the end of lap 1. I planned to hang with him for a while but I found myself with a gap so….I kept going. I was having a few bike difficulties through out the day too: damn mechanical brake fade, my chain fell off at least 10 times and the freewheel on my (ok the Shogren’s) race wheel is close to exploding. As I was putting my chain on once again that funny, crazy and shady Johnny M (also racing SS) got by me, ugh. I kept him in sight through the single track which is no small feet as that Johnny can ride his bike well. Just after we entered the 3rd and last lap I jumped on the wheel of Andy G. who has gears and we bridged up to Johnny and Jeremy Rowland. I took the lead wheel and turned in the screws. I spent a lot of time in the “pain box” on that final lap but I was able to get away from Johnny while Jeremy kept me on task.

It was a fun race, bumping elbow’s with Joey and Johnny for 1st for the race within the race, single speed class and pressing the pedals with the boys in the top 5 overall too. I was with Gunnar for a while as well and that is always cool. We have a good time heckling one another but I also like to keep him honest. In the end….

Betsy 2nd X-country & 1st Short Track and "girled" all the boys

Gunnar 6th overall

Me, Chris 1st SS and 7th overall

Full results:


Shout outs and miscellaneous:

- JR for putting on a kick ass event.
- The Baltimore crew (Chris, Amanda and Thomas) that shared camping space with us.It was their first race experience. I think they enjoyed the hanging out festivities more then the racing but I think they will return.
- Betsy’s parents for hanging out and cheering louder then all others.

Things learned:

Joey was eaten by JR
Coming soon 8 races in three weeks, ouch!! Anyone want to sublet my DC apartment?

As always...
Get out there ride, have fun and ride some more. It is cathartic ya know...better then _______ I have heard!