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Location: pittsburgh, pa

Monday, May 01, 2006

400 Miles Later...

The Race was a success. More riders than expected at the start in Philly (10 or so...), and apparently some confusion as to what exactly this "race" entailed.

I'm sure everyone has their own personal story to tell—big rig bullying, late night riding, pizza from the dumpster, 12% grade downhill fixed riding, a detour to the C&O Canal—but those aren't my stories to tell. My story is one of pain management and conflict resolution. And some really great people coming together to experience a new and exciting challenge.

I encourage everyone who participated to post their experiences here...

And for the record concerning the confusion over the route, I'll direct everyone to this blog post where the allegedly confused rider posted a response to the "rules."

But hey, we all had a great time. We all pushed our limits, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the Iron City in the aluminum bottle at the post-race souiree. And in my mind, anyone who rode their bike and pushed their own personal limits achieved exactly what this race intended to accomplish.

Let's get the planning started for next year.

9 Comments:

Anonymous jhl99 said...

The weather seems like it should have been close to perfect.

Did people hotel or camp? Get enough sleep? What was the range of finishing times?

Was the organizational effort worth it?

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Ken Kaminski said...

Well, I'm the guy who ended up at the C&O. Somehow I missed the turn off 655 south, but it was such good riding that it never occured to me that I was off Route S until I got to route 70, and I couldn't go any further because the overpass was out. The gas station had no pay phone and wouldn't let me use either their land line or an electrical outlet to power my cell. I asked some of the locals if I could sleep on their property but I got static. Eventually a cop approached me and gave me "special permission" to walk my bike across route 70 and continue on to Hancock so I wouldn't be bothering anyone anymore. It was just like First Blood, except I didn't shoot anybody. I remembered from talking to a guy on the 'net that Hancock was on the C&O, so I decided I'd take that to Pittsburgh and camp there for the night. I gave up on that on Sunday half of the way to Cumberland because I was getting too many flats, and eventually I lost my hand-pump.

Two things I wanted to ask:

1. Did anyone else get chased by a dog on 234 after the climb through the orchards?

2. Does anyone else remember a short steep drop with a sharp right turn at the bottom somewhere after Cowan's Gap? I was really impressed with myself for making it down that stretch of road brakeless, but now I'm not even sure if that was on route S or not. Was my proudest moment not even really a part of the race?

6:09 PM  
Blogger Ccrider said...

I ended up hooking up with three other riders after mile 60 or so. By that time, the two who had been riding with Ken had separated from him. Together, we pushed on through the night til about 11:00 or so, 190 miles to Cowan's Gap State Park where we threw down tents and bags and bivies and stayed the night.

Ken, I can't recall a sharp right after the downhill after Cowan's Gap, but damn man, way to go on riding that far without a freakin brake!

The dog, I do recall. Big ol' brown and black hound that just tore after us. Luckily, he was just protecting his property and didn't chase us all that far.

The Official winner of the 400-mile race was a PIttsburgh local, Nick. He pushed through both nights with little sleep and finished in something like 51 hours.

The upset individual who posted above is one of the crew who rode 290 miles along route 30 and declared themselves the winners.

As for the crew I rode with (Max, Chris and Erik), we rolled in around 6:30 Sunday night. All in all, an outstanding time.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Ccrider said...

I'm very happy with my ride and will eventually post up my write up.

Unfortunately there seems to be some bad blood forming, so I'll address the poster above who seems to be a bit hot under the color about a $8 bottle of champagne.

Philly messenger guy with the bad attitude:

I'll be happy to foward all the emails I recieved from you guys a month in advance proving there was a least one of you group who was completly clear on the only 2 rules I set forth; stay on route, no outside support.

I had a hell of a good time, hopefully this will happen again, I'm sure we can all get together for another round of petty squabbling after long days of riding.

Cheers.

Eric

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

After 400 miles of fixed my biggest pain is sitting down to type this. Right ankle is a little tender and left hand is a little numb but other than that I feel pretty good. Knees held up just fine. I'd definately ride it fixed again.

Only had to switch to my bailout 42x20 twice and walked two sets of hills. I'm fine with that. Instead of carrying everything on my back I think next trip I take I'll put some weight on the bike. No mechanicals or flats either.

Route was very well marked. Only 2 confusing spots the whole way. Winds were out of the northeast which was a savior out in the open farm country. A headwind the whole way would have been brutal.

Overall the trip went great. Weather was perfect and the crew I rode with was awesome. We finished up Sunday at 6:30 pm. Vegan traveling can be tough but I did okay. I know some eggs and dairy found their way into my system but I'm not worried about being shot on site by the vegan police.

Big props to Ken for going out brakless. Bigger props to Nick for makeing it all the way across the state and spending less the whole way than I did for one breakfast.

Hope everyone had fun and no more hate. We all crossed the fucking state on bikes so that should be worth something.

Chris

8:02 AM  
Anonymous ken kaminski said...

I hope this race becomes a tradition, and if it does we should make that dog the mascot. In the future, get a picture of him flying across that lawn for the spokecards.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous nick said...

i already got lost about 20 minutes into the race. i hit a bump and my water bottle jumped out of its cage. i stopped to pick it up and i lost the pack, then the skuykill river trail abruptly ended. i had a philly bike map but still ended up getting lost for about an hour. catching up with the trail in conshenhoken was a great relief.

other than that incident i had a great time. pennsylvania is a beautiful state. no flats or serious mechanical problems the entire ride. the weather was incredible the whole way, i think the guy with the single speed had the best tan. i was munching on a giant bag of doughnuts for the better part of the ride. along with some exploits from the turkey hill dumpster.

i made it to the allegheny highlands trail saturday evening and with the help of a giant head light rode through most of the night. i stopped in connellsville for about 3 hours to rest and made it to the point at 8:30am. then i walked most of the way home.

great ride everyone, i think we all had fun. i hope we can have another race next year.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous max said...

you guys all rock!

the whole experience was fantastic, and other than a pair of fingers on both hands that are still tingling i came away from this whole thing just amazed at how much fun putting your body through intense physical challenges can be!

thanks to everyone i travelled with... i couldn't have asked for better company (and never would have survived it alone). i owe you all many beers!

AND big thanks everyone else involved.

if any of you are ever mountain biking (or just need a place to crash) near philly please look me up!

and finally one last time, nick, your the muther freakin man!

6:29 AM  
Blogger Fxdwhl said...

Can't comment in the post above so I'll try here. This is Chris, road it last year. Interested in defending my fixed title but May 4 is the weekend after Trans Iowa and don't think I can do these back to back. Anyone else interested at this point?

5:40 PM  

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