Hanging out, ready to sing some Blues

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wilderness 101 Part II: "the tale"

Sorry for the late post fan. We have all been a bit tired from the weekend.

Bunny gives camping a thumb's up!

The Wilderness 101 is a tough event. You climb, climb and climb some more always waiting and praying for some single track and descents. You finally get your wish and then the rocks and speed have your insides so twisted and your arms so pumped you begin wishing you were back on some 3 mile fire road climb. These conflicting and paradoxical feelings continue for 7+ hours. You have several good days and bad days on the bike while you are out there. You have some laughs, cries and elbow bumping with your fellow competitor’s.
Of the 300+ that show up to race I’d say 20 are there to legitimately win, another 30 are there to make podium and the rest are there for the personal challenge that is the Wilderness 101.

The race from Chrissy’s eyes…

At the butt crack of 7am off we went and as soon as we hit the first climb the non-mortals without day jobs started to turn the screws in on us mortals that have day jobs.

Tomi looking chipper bright and early in the morning and with a freewheeling SS instead of the fixed.

It was rough going at that hour of the morning but I held my own. A few groups formed and I found myself with a pretty elite group of SS fellas. Benji, Deejay, Topher and I mixed it up with some geared boys for a while. Our group made up the lower portion of the top 25 and by my estimates we made up 4-7 SS kids. We hit the woods just after aid station #1 when Benji, Deejay and I found ourselves with a pretty good gap that a few geared boys were able to bridge when we hit the next road section.
We all cooperated for a while until Benji turned it up notch with only he and myself coming to aid station #2 together. I got a quick feed thanks to a friend being there and off I went alone. Benji bridged up and the Benji/Chris Alliance would not come undone until mile 95 (editors note- that's really sicky sweet Chrissy). We pushed each other hard. However, Benji was working me over and kept me honest more then I did him- he was the stronger man for sure.(editor's note- I think Chris has a man crush)

Aid station #3 and off we went up the rocky single track climb. We saw three pretty girls hanging out in the trees cheering us on. I think I may have proposed to one as she was so warm and angelic in my time of need. I have not heard from her again so perhaps it was mirage, such is my lot in life.
Benji got away in the gnarly single track somewhere between aid station #3 and #4 but I was not too worried as Benji can normally school me on the rocky stuff. It's not that I am slow, its just because he is that fast. I caught a few geared guys and Matt F. a SS kid in the gnarly stuff. These are Matt’s trails so there was no way I should of caught him at this point but the smoke coming out of his ears told the tale. Good ride Matt.

Ahh, aid station #4, holy shit, Wes S. and Gunnar. Wow, Benji and I have dug our way up to within striking distance of 2nd & 3rd!
I tried chatting but they both took off. Gunnar only does that when he is in it to win it so I knew he was having a good day. I quickly filled my bottles, chugged a Redbull and off I went. Benji was cooling off in a spring but he quickly joined me in our attempt to ride into 2nd-5th. We kept Wes and the Director in sight up the post-aid-station- #4 soul crushing climb.
Somewhere after the top we caught Gunnar but no Wes.
Gunnar, Benji and I rode in cooperation for a bit. My chain fell off a few times and the fella’s never attacked too hard, they did not wait, but they did not attack. We rode past our friend JP who was not looking good and then much to someone's chagrin...
Past aid station #5, with Benji letting out some heroic sounding "On to the road to Glory!!" or something Nordic sounding, and Gunnar's heart sank, and probably should have stopped but was in shock at the non-stop and too busy bitching and moaning and me and Benji, "Ha ha!" (is what LB would say).

Gunnar seems to think we planned on stopping. Now I never said I would nor did I plan on it as I had a full bottle in my jersey specifically for this situation. With only 13 miles to go I wanted to have plenty of water just in case I was racn’, and I was.
But would Benji and Gunnar?
Well, ask Gunnar his thoughts on this.

Actually, I recommend NOT asking gunnar his thoughts on this.

Up the final climb Benji and I dropped Gunnar, (editor's addition) did not drop Gunnar, but rather he blew sky high (end editor's addition). I found myself with gap over Benji too. The regret for the day: I DID NOT ATTACK!!!! SH*T, Benji was able bridge up. He dropped me on the fisherman trail and I buried myself on the rail grade chasing. I gained on him but… he got 3rd SS and I got 4thSS (17th and 18th overall respectively).
Ahhh, why didn’t I attack? Yes, Gunnar has given me much sh*t about that, but he got 5th so…?
The beast John “Fuzzy” schooled us SS kids in 1st 30 minutes ahead (9th overall, wow) and Wes took 2nd. 5 of the top 20 rode single speeds, what what!!

gunnar trying to rehydrate with some champagne in his big ol' piehole.
(editor's addy)Take note how the WV Nightclub stays together and that poor Wes doesn't know what to do.
Such is our presence.(end addy)

Betsy with a bum thumb and on her SS got 5th against the ladies with gears. Good job bunny!!!

Results and pics

Then an amazing dip in the stream, some good vegetarian eats, beer, rowdy single speed awards, Makers Mark and yes, keg stands. There are some compromising photos kicking around of some very unlikely participants in the keg stands, Betsy and Cheryl.

These may or may not be members of Team Bi-Atch.

Shout outs and stuff:
1. Chris Scott of SMT: an amazing experience, thanks man!!!

2. His parents, crew and volunteers: You were all so helpful and supportive during our times of need.

3. Benji Klimas: you are a f-ing beast and I am still hurting and Gunnar is still bitching about the fleecing he got from you.

4. To all the single speeders: you are all some of fastest, rowdiest and real M-Fer's I have ever had the pleasure to ride with.

5. To the immortal non-day job riders that kept it real by hanging out, having beers and cheering on those coming in after 9pm instead of taking your money and running: Harlan, Fuzzy, Deejay, Betsy, Cheryl,Michelle, Wes & others...all keeping it real

5.5 (editor's addition) And the Gas Face to the "Pros" that *needed* to leave early, and *not* hang out, and *not* cheer on the late night finishers, and *not* cheer for the other podiums, and all those others things you did *not* do. You're fast, but sometimes that's not enough. (end editor's addition)

6. WV Night Club: Benji, LB, Chris P, Andy W. (who took a really hard header out of station #2), Juan M. ("yes my ass is cramping"), initiate and Junior member Morgan, Mike the Chaperone, and even perhaps the Bi-atches too, now that we drank their whiskey, did keg stands and all rode SSs.
Who rode hard, partied harder and for being who you are.

7. The Shogren's, Mike Miller, Uncle Rob and Cannondale.

8. And to all that came out to race. Whether you came to win the thing or just to finish under 15 hours, you did it!! Being kind, Living life to the fullest and pushing your body and mind to its limit is what life is all about. Good work!!


What's next fan: a rest weekend (or for the Shogren's-- Mountaineer Stage Race), a WVMBA race, Fools Gold 100, a WVMBA race and the Shan. 100 another Chris S production.

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


crs said...

Thanks Gunnar for the Editor's notes and such.

samlikesbikes said...

I'm Sam Morrison I've briefly talked to you at a few WVMBA's. I also have my bars turned down...but which bars do you run turned down that don't put your wrists out n down with sweep? Thanks!