Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Huntington Clusterf&#k

Hi all. I have not posted in a while because I have not been up to anything. Mainly because the road season ended. I did however get a cross bike that I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on. I am going to throw my hat in the ring and do some racing which should be interesting. Here are a couple shots of it. It now has a white stem and I cut the steerer tube.

All of these were taken at the start of what should have been a cool race. However, when something is terribly organized and perhaps too ambitious for its own good the results can be disastrous. For those who do not know the Huntington Challenge is a "road race" that includes road, gravel, grass and singletrack. It started off and I went pretty hard to get things going, while at the same time angering the local old men who pride themselves on winning this pointless charade. One of them said "Its not time to go fast yet!" Sorry but it is always time to go fast. Well we hit the first wooded section and I went to the front and rode hard but within myself. To my surprise (somewhat) I came out of the woods with several minutes in hand. I then did about a 40 mile time trial into headwinds on flat roads while maintaining by advantage. Albers was closing but was on a road bike and I was confident that if he did close the gap I would be able to lose him seeing as the race ended on technical single track. This is where it all unraveled. I hit a grass and wide trail section leading to the single track. Upon crossing a creek I came to a gate with no markings. After stopping and contemplating my options I saw a tiny path to the left and decided to continue around the gate. Awesome work guys, all it would take is about 4 ounces of spray paint. This led me to a gravel road. After about 2 miles of gravel with about 8 miles left of racing I came to an intersection with a course marshal. I paused looked at him and with no indication to the contrary via markings or signaling from this hillbilly continued straight. After a couple miles it became evident that I was no longer on course so I turned around. Knowing I had just lost was the most deflating feeling ever. I went back and this awesome guy says.."My bad..you were supposed to go right." You chubby worthless man burn half a calorie, raise your arm and point!! Or I don't know simply say RIGHT?!?!? At this point I just wanted to be done. I hit the singletrack came over a hill and was going down a fast descent when I discovered that someone had crashed and failed to move is bike. I hit it my front wheel stopped and I endo'ed into woods down a hill and into a thorn bush. I was pissed. I crawled back up inspected the rig and was officially shattered. I just wanted to be home. Then....to top it all off discovered that the wreck had dislodged my PowerTap head and it was nowhere to be found. Ridiculous!! Then I flatted.....most bad ass day on a bike of all time.
So here are my complaints.
1. If you are going to put on a race, mark it accurately and find volunteers that care or simply do not bother!
- I met the course designer who was not a bike racer or even a rider so therefore had no idea what is and what is not a good idea.
2. Truesport.com please do not promote these catastrophes. I do not want to go to a race and discover it is a clusterf&#k devoid of common sense.

This race should be canceled and never again considered. Seriously what I thought would be fun was terrible. To anyone considering doing this in the future, I beg of you do not waste your time or money.