C.B. Classic 2009

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2009 by stubbeja

The final exam of the year is over, and the C.B. Classic 100 is in the books.  For the sixth year in a row, the masses descended upon our best trails, looking for a  tough challenge, NO prizes, and the promise of a cold dark ale at the end.  All this for free.  Roughly 60 said yes to a day of pain, rewarded with beer, pizza and the gathering of the tribe. 

So first….huge congrats to Kelly Magelky and Jeff  Irwin fastest men, Ezther Horanyi (sp?), fastest woman, Dax Massey, who went to the Alpineer to get his brakes fixed after lap 1, then continued,and finished, and all who rolled down Kebler in the waning light of a fall evening.  Dan Loftus….you are a bad ass, and you host a good party.  My girlfriend Sarah, you are healthy, strong, and you will finish this race one year, you just keep on trying.   That’s all we can do. 

Second…..Dave O.  This guy puts on a mean race, and is a helluva descender.  I think the best part of this race is that Dave has let it be known that it’s all about YOU as the racer.  1 lap, that’s great, 2 laps, that’s fine as well, and 3 laps, well, you deserve a beer.  I’ve said it before, the success of these races is all the people who don’t win.  Again, another grass roots jewel. 

Third…..the race.

7:00 a.m. and a temperature of 28 degrees greeted the riders at the four way.  Most were clad for winter conditions, but would warm up quick as nary a cloud would appear for the rest of the day’s journey.  This year’s version took a new route up the Teocalli Ridge trail, and this seemed to warm folks up as it was a long granny grind across the face of the mighty mountain.  I’m not sure where I was in the group, I just knew there were plenty ahead to catch, and plenty behind chasing me.  Just keep pedaling, or should I say grinding.  We topped out on Teocalli, and Dave O. came blowing by me like my brakes were stuck.  I tried to hang on the early parts of the downhill, but I was riding like my grandma after a couple of scotch and sodas.  I thought that was the last of Ochs.  Nearing the bottom, Huck starts breathing down my neck, and it’s obvious after dropping both of these guys on the climb, that I descend like a pussy.  Note to self…buy a pair of balls. 

Now we’re crossing Brush creek at about 8:30, feet are soaked, and I’m wondering if the adhesive heaters in my shoes will work when wet, or maybe I’ll just get a sweet chemical burn on the top of my foot.  Either way, Huck and I pedal on, enjoying some sweet tacky singletrack early in the morn. I approached  the fence at the top of the strand climb, and there was Ochs, looking like a deer stuck in a fence.  He actually crawled THROUGH the fence, with his bike.  I hopped over, and then proceeded to get worked again on the downhill.  Oh well.  A quick jaunt into town, pit change, get rid of warm clothes, and we’re off for 403-401.  This is always the toughest section, but somehow it didn’t seem that intimidating this year.  I spotted Ochs ahead, maybe one more guy, and I started to slowly get moving.  Once we got to the 1st major swithchback,  Ochs throttled back a little, and I never saw him again.  Now it’s a solo time trial.  Up, up, and some more up.  The upper part of 403 was like pavement.  The middle portion was a little greasy, and the bottom descent to Gothic road was tacky, technical, and fun.  Now it was a quick spin up to 401.  I felt a little queasy here, but who doesn’t in a race like this.   Such a mixture of racing and hot dog eating skills doesn’t come  easy, but I’ve done a fair number of these, and you have to shut your mind out, eat, and keep on keepin’ on.   The climb up to 401 had me feeling like I was at the Indy 500.  Needless to say…LOTS of cars and trucks today….leaf peepers I’m sure, but hikers, bike shuttlers, and hunters as well.  Oh well we share these trails.   The climb to the top was greasy, but rideable, oh so sweet on my tiring legs.  The views were superlative…..no wind, a wispy high cloud, and the brilliance of our backyard mountains.  This is God’s country, but it’s also our’s.  Nearing the top I caught another rider, and he said we were in 6th place.  I have finished every C.B. classic, finishing 6th  three times.  Irony I suppose to finish sixth, in my sixth try.   How ever up ahead local phenom and young stud Travis Scheefdog was feeling a full season of pro x-country racing in his legs, and he pulled out after two laps.  Now I’m in fifth, but I’m ready for beer and pizza and the Dyke trail is still ahead.  A quick check  at the Brick Oven and out for lap 3.  Troy Hiatt, the guy I passed on 401 is now back with me, and proves again how slow I descend and take pits.  Oh well, I’ll take the company up Kebler, and a partner to fight the 30 mph wind that is gusting down the pass.  We grind, we eat, we drink, and we grind some more.  Up through the Irwin townsite, shadowed by the red peaks of Owen, Purple, and Ruby, we approach the final section of singletrack.  Troy rides away from me in the fast flowy aspens.  I’m in awe of the day…the leaves, the weather, and my ability to ride a 30 foot front wheelie.  Also known as a Polish wheelie.  It happened so quick I couldn’t do anything, other than take a huge breath, and thank the higher ups I didn’t end up in a tree.  That one scared the SHIT out of me.  Believe it.   So up ahead, Troy had stopped to pee, and now we’re together for the final grind out of Horseranch Park.  We ride the first mile together, silently, and then we both comment on how blown we are. I tell Troy I’ve got nothing to attack, but want to continue to ride a good tempo so we don’t get caught from behind.  We agree, and pedal up the pass, that dogged wind now at our back for the first time all day.  As we approached the new paved? section of Kebler, I noticed Troy drink the final shot out of his two bottles.  He was out of gas.  I had brought a 100 oz. bladder, and 1 bottle on the bike for this lap, knowing how tough hours 8-9 can be.  I got to the Wagon Trail first  and just slowly churned out the circles.  I never looked back for the next 40 minutes, but knew what was going on.  After about 300 kidney shots from the newly cut primitive trail, I was ready to hit the road, and the smooth lower sections of the trail. It didn’t disappoint as the flat trail and tailwind has me descending to town at breakneck speed.   A quick drop onto Elk Avenue, and this racer  is ready for the beer and the bullshit!!!  Let the keg flow.  Personally, a real satisfying C.B. Classic.  9:00:57, and I didn’t feel too bad.  I’ve had better, but I’ve had worse as well.  In the end, I love to pedal a bike, watch others pedal, share the stories, the beer, the season, the whole F’ing thing.  This is it for me.  Gather the tribe, make the tribe push their limits, then regather and celebrate.  This is our life.  Want some?  JPS.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 by stubbeja
How we play

How we play

24 Hours of eating

24 Hours of eating

Steamboat ribbon

Steamboat ribbon

sweet track

sweet track

Sarah's finest moment

Sarah's finest moment

C.B. Classic 2009

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 by stubbeja

101_0905As if the quaking aspens hadn’t let you know fall is here…….then the C.B. Classic 100 certainly will.  Now in it’s 6th year, the brainchild of local Dave Ochs (spotted here at SSWC)has taken on cult status, and is a fixture in the world of fringe mountain bike racing.  And Ochs wouldn’t have it any other way.  I think Ochs hatched the plan the same summer he rode with only a water bottle, filtering along the way, through June, and July, through high water, low water and eventually some cowshit.  That summer he was spewing out one end for sure, but out of the other end he hatched the ultimate clover leaf race course on the best C.B. had to offer.  The kicker was a check in at the Brick Oven each lap, and beer and pizza after.  Grass roots racing is always born of some wild scheme,  some beer,  maybe a spleef, and some folks who look to challenge themselves.  I witnessed it’s birth, and I’m back for race #6.  The guys who have won this race is a who’s who of Colorado endurance racing.  It’s a tough field, but there’s room in the back as well.  The beauty of this race is doing what you can, and finishing at the Brick  READY TO PARTY!!  This year’s course is a bit different, but still a whopper.  Deer Creek is out, as we’ve all raced it at the C.B. 40, and Teocalli is in.  Get your granny spinning, this will be a great addition .  Also at the end of the third lap, the Wagon Wheel Trail is in.  Adding a bit extra time, it is some good trail, and the descent of Kebler on this trail is big ring giggle time.  A 7:00 start will also benefit those battling darkness on the last lap.  So for those looking for a little bike ride on a Saturday, know that this is the vibe we search for…..killer trails, killer attitudes, good beer, and NO ENTRY!  No excuses with this crew.   JPS

Riding C.B.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 by stubbeja
Huck slowing down.....briefly

Huck slowing down.....briefly

Star trail

Star trail

where to?

where to?

Summer Pics

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 by stubbeja
A swimmer at heart.

A swimmer at heart.

Vapor Trail 125 2009

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 by stubbeja

Wow….it’s September.  The Vapor trail has come and gone.  The ’09 version will go down as the wettest and coldest yet.  It also goes down as the shortest version, but by no means the easiest.  The crew at Absolute Bikes put on a fantastic race in the face of impending disastrous weather.  The logistics of running this race are incredible, thanks to Tom Purvis and Shawn Gillis….the brains and brawn behind this grass roots racing gem.  

With a daunting forecast ahead, the race’s start was postponed to let the thunder and lightning  pass over the high summits we would cross.  It was now midnight and time to get it on.  Myself, Jordan Carr, and Aaron Huckstep (Huck), kept warm and dry in the confines of our Eurovan, waiting for the start of our adventure.  After much deliberation over garbage bags, duct tape, etc., we decided that being wet would be part of the equation, and we’d just deal.  Lights on, food, drink, ibuprofen, we’re racing.  The race opens with a neutral start, long  jeep road climb, and classic Colorado Trail leading to the first of five aid stations.  In this roughly 30 miles, the race packs in about 6K in climbing, some techy trail, and all before 3:30 a.m.  Josh Tostado, superhuman biker, and as I learned later, a very nice guy, was in and out of ckpt. #1 about 3:00a.m.  He would ride alone the entire race, and in the process serve massive doses of humble pie to those chasing.  We ate our humble pie at ckpt. #1, and Huck and I continued on, presently in 2nd and 3rd place, despite my attempts to slow down and settle into a rythm.  I thought at this point I would blow to the moon later on, but resigned to try and ride with Huck, who has been kicking my ass all season.  Shortly after we were passed by a couple of folks, and we settled into a long grind up to Alpine Tunnel.  4% grade can hurt you physically, but it can crush you mentally.  I rode with Huck,  hoping some company would make things easier.  It didn’t.  I was cold, wet, and after dumping my bladder down my neck at the last campground, I was none too pleasant.  Huck had grocery bags around his feet, and the resulting plastic exiting his shoes looked like lace doilies on a ballerina.  Certain things are often entertaining at 12,000 ft. early in the a.m.  I was f”ing cold.  I think three folks passed us and now we’re on top of Alpine Tunnel.  It’s real cold, probably around 27 degrees, as evidenced by the ice on the puddles at top.  It was here my race changed, for better or for worse.  As we topped out, I asked Huck if he wanted his leg warmers, and he responded yes.  I reached into his pack, gave him his clothes, and went up the trail a bit to eat, pee, and drink a bit.  As I slowly started to descend, I was instantly freezing.  I thought, soft pedal, be careful, and don’t stack it into a field of baby heads at 12,ooo at 4:30 a.m. !!!  Holy shit!!  I’m off the pass and heading through the incredible railroad ruins that dot the western flanks of the Alpine tunnel.  Out of the old train depot I spot a light, a human, and it’s Keith Fisher, who has ridden up the west side access to Alpine Tunnel just to give us a hoot and holler.  Thanks Keith.  Now it’s a blast down to the base of Tomichi pass, and another granny climb up to the top.  I settle into a rythm but it’s a bit faster than I want, but I’m shaking after the descent, and though I can’t tell, I’m sure my lips are blue.  I ride most of the pass, and more than in past years.  I’m without Huck now, and though I was enjoying our racing together, I’m still thinking Huck will catch and release me sooner than later.  So I pedal on.  On the early flanks of the pass I pass another racer, and see the other two up ahead.  Flickering headlights as the dawn approaches.  I pass another who is in the woods, another who pushes his singlespeed, and now I’m on the summit.  I drop off the pass with some defrosting fingers, and thoughts of hot food 10 miles down the road.  It’s early…about 6-6:30, I’m imagining, but nevertheless  I feel like the worst is over.  A quick descent through a couple of hunting camps and I’m into Snowblind, and ckpt. #2.  Ahhhhh, hot coffee, my smiling girlfriend, and the entire Gunny crew.  I’m happy, cold, getting warmer, tired, and generally out of it.  Wienzy asks how I am as his kids play pit crew.  A kiss from Sarah, a swig of hot coffee, and a good luck from J.B., and I’m heading toward the sunshine I know is waiting on Old Monarch pass.  Feeling lighter as I ditched clothes, lights, and extras.  It’s now a grind to the pass, but one I know well, and look forward to as the rays of light begin to warm my cold soul.  Climb, climb, and climb.  Not hard, but just enough to keep your attention.  Soon enough I’m nearing the pass, and a teaser section of singletrack shoots me out to the highway.  Sarah, Travis, and Lisa are at ckpt. #3,  and I’m ready for the final push.  I put down a quick breakfast of Hammer Gel, ibuprofen, aleve, and a Red Bull.  Then it’s off to the Crest Trail.  Does it get better than this?  I’m feeling reborn to a certain extent, but I know that feeling will fade, and it will hurt as I near the end of the mission.  But for now, I’m in, not on, the proverbial cloud 9. The peaks off to the distant north show winter’s anxiousness.  The trail ahead is wet, but tacky, moments of  trail rippin’ velcro, followed by moments of terror filled slippery roots. It’s a lot to focus on right now.    I continue on, Mt. Ouray, and Chipeta watching my every move.  I’m small now.  Soon after I shoot out to Marshall Pass.  Here are the final saints, bearing food, water, praise, and chain lube.  A humble racer, I accept the gifts, say my thanks, and chug on.  I now see only one track ahead of me through the puddles.  It’s Josh, and he’s well over an hour ahead.  But now, after 22 years in the vally, countless rides on this very trail, and I KNOW there’s nobody ahead!!  No groups of tourists to pass, no family excursions to ride through, no nothing!!  Just a guy an hour ahead who is going so fast I doubt his tires are actually touching the ground.  I relax as I can ride my own pace, and really enjoy the moment.  And the moment this epiphany registers, I bobble my handlebars, do a quick running man, and slam my Ergon grip right into my groin.  I’m still standing, no crash, no dirt, no blood, but I feel like there is a meteor in my crotch.  See what happens when you think.  So I pedal.  I approach the turn down Silver Creek with a bit more caution as I’ve seen thousands of  flats, broken bikes, and personal carnage in this next 8 mile plunge.  I’m getting tired and a bit thirsty.  Aid station ahead……or not.  Arriving at ckpt.#5 I find nothing.  A quick assessment of the situation, meaning I’m out of water, makes me a bit leary. I  shake my backpack, and feel a bit of fluid in there, so I conserve.  I know this trail well, and plan accordingly so I don’t blow.   A couple of berms, some twisty track, a bump and a jump, and I’m hosed.   I feel like a drunk driver, you know, Diana Ross on Christmas Eve.  Out of food, and out of water, I eject off the trail and on to Hwy. 285.  I’m homeward bound.  Josh Tostado had enough time to eat brunch, take a nap, and publish a manual on endurance racing before I arrive at the finish.  He gives a big high five, a hearty congrats, and now we’re just two normal dudes on somebody’s lawn in Salida.  This is when you really realize how special this race is.  This is a race to test your soul.  I know there are longer and tougher races out there, but I don’t know if there is a race that leaves you feeling this satisfied.   One loop.  Never the same place twice.  Great sunrise.  But most of all people who share the passion.  The passion is what it’s all about.  And yes, the smiles of those who finish.  In racing there is only one winner, but it’s all the others who define the success of the race.   A personal victory, a personal record, or simply the completion of a journey.  This is why we race, it’s why we risk failure. 

A bit later Huck, and Jordan roll in, and we’re three for three.  Huck completes his first VT, Jordan his 4th, and I’m a bridesmaid for the 3rd time in four attempts.  We eat meat, drink gruel, and tell each other how proud we are.  Our season now seems more complete after this test.  We vow to race again next year, to risk failure, to rise and to fall.  Where is your passion?   Jason.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 by stubbeja
Sarah enters an old burn area north of the 'Boat on the Wyoming Trail

Sarah enters an old burn area north of the 'Boat on the Wyoming Trail

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