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Upcoming Events  //   Saturday - April 25, 2009

Looking for some mountain bike related things to do? Not sure where to head? Here's a few things that are on tap in the immediate future:

  • April 26: Greenbrier Challenge MTB Race. This one serves as the Maryland State championship and packs the riders in.
  • May 3rd: Ride Lugged season opener, 45 miles miles with lots of dirt roads, looks like a winner.
  • May 9: Watershed trail work day. 9am at the Sand Flats parking lot, Frederick, MD. Come help us continue our big build of a new section of the blue trail. It's already being ridden and everyone seems to love it, help us finish it up properly. No link yet, stay tuned.
  • May 8 - 10: Raystown trails grand opening. I got a sneak peak at these trails and they are great, go check them out.

Raystown Lake Trails

- riderx

Bakers Dozen - It's Done  //   Monday - April 20, 2009

Leesburg, VA is not known as a mountain bike mecca or even a local trail destination but it is now known for one of the region's best endurance relay races thanks to Rob Harrington and the Bakers Dozen 13 hour race he puts on. This was year #3 and the 400 racer field sold out in 3 days. That's a testament to the quality of the event. Rob keeps the race low key and fun. Sure, it doesn't hurt that the location is a short distance for a lot of people to travel and the course isn't super hard but I can guarantee people would (and did) travel several hours to attend this. The course is on a private farm currently with the trail only open for races. In an area lacking in MTB trails, there is hope that in the future some type of agreement can be made to open the trails at other times.

This year I once again teamed up with my wife Julie and our team mate Kathy to race the 3 person Coed class under the name Two Tacos and a Burrito. Last year's Bakers Dozen was the first race either one had done and I promised a low key, no pressure experience; in other words, have fun and don't worry about the results. Set some personal goals if you want but just ride your bike enjoy it. This year the plan was the same as last, I'd lead out and do double laps, the girls would do singles and when they had enough laps they were free to have a seat and drink some beer.

The course was in great shape despite lots of rain a few days before the race. The 7.5 mile course ran in the opposite direction as last year giving it a different flavor. Like last year, I broke out the fixed gear MTB which flows good on the relatively flat course and lets you drive through many of the corners without the aid of a brake to control your set up speed. There's plenty of little tech spots and logs to keep you on your toes and honest.

The start was fast as we headed down the farm road and through the camp area before entering the pine forest singletrack. Tough to get as far to the front as I would have liked spun out on the fixed, but I managed to get a manageable position and then worked to pick off riders whenever possible. By the time I moved up pretty far I had latched onto a train that was moving good and we worked together to keep a blistering pace. Every buzz of a fellow rider's freewheel reminded me they were getting brief rests while I was whirling the cranks. Came through the transition area at 32 minutes and change and knew I better back off the pace a peg for the long haul. For lap two I told myself not to get caught up in the frenzy like lap one, ride my own race and figure where I need to be. Wound up riding with Poz for the second half of the lap and it was good to have company with someone I knew. He was doing the solo thing (and took 3rd in the end) and was already down to only a front brake due to a pile up at the start that severed his hydro line. Came across the line at 34 something this lap and felt my pacing was a bit better for the long haul. Pitted and sent Kathy out and put down a beer and some food to get me on the road to recovery and did a little wrenching. I had bumped up the gear on the 29er from my usual 36x20 to 36x17 for the race but decided to scale back to 36x18 at this point to get a bit more spin. Turned out to be the right decision.

Kathy comes in from her lap - Bakers Dozen Race

The ladies both turned in consistent laps (extra props to Julie for doing the whole race with a raging migraine) and I was back out again trying to bury myself. After two more laps I popped a bunch of electrolyte pills which helped the legs, stuck with the beer per pit stop program and ate some food. Coming into the race I felt I wasn't in quite the same shape as this time last year and at this point I was wondering if putting in 10 laps like I did last year was in the cards. A third of the way through lap 5 my legs rebounded and felt good as I churned around the course, lap 6 they felt a bit more tired, but still better than after lap 4 and my times were still in the mid 30s.

SSO compound - Bakers Dozen Race

In the meantime, our compound was a beehive of activity as we had several SSO teams and solo riders as well as a bunch of friends who were racing as well. 20 some racers I'd say plus people who came to hang out, party and offer a bit of support (it doesn't hurt to bring a keg of Clipper City Loose Cannon).

Photo by M. Dunn

As darkness fell, my teammates finished their 4th laps and decided it was time to join the party and drink beer. I strapped on my light and slummed out 2 more laps. Arriving back with 35 minutes or so until last call, I could have squeezed in one more lap but decided, like last year, 10 laps and 75 miles sounded like a real nice number to finish up with. The race was a good tune up for the 24 Hours of Big Bear where we'll be out with an all fixed gear team once again this year.

There were great performances put in by many teammates and friends. Becky took 3rd place in women's solo with 15 laps and Todd rode 16 laps to take 4th in men's single speed solo after rallying hard from a dehydration bonk. David and Jon put in 14 laps each in single speed solo which is no easy feat. All in all a great weekend with perfect weather a lot of good friends.

- riderx


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