Well the Berryman Epic was fricking sweet. This may be a good recap post because I do remember quite a few details of this race..so if you're not interested in the long story here's the short:
57 miles...5 hours 43 minutes...1 broken water bottle cage...1 flat tire...53rd place overall...7th place in 20-29 age grouping...1st overall finisher under the age of 25. It was a good day :)
So my 29r is out of commission right now due to dropout issues...this was a huge blessing as it turned out. SC let me borrow his Mad Max bike fully geared with baby wheels. I used every single stretch of gearing in this race, from granny-granny to big ring/smallest cog.
A bike with full suspension and gears may be in my future...
So this race is 57 miles, 46+ of which is singletrack, the other 9ish miles are on fire/gravel roads. The race begins with a pretty easily graded gravel climb to the first part of single track...I hammered this section going in not too far behind the leaders. The road skills acquired this year helped big time here...lots of sketchy riding on sandy/loose gravel and lots of drafting wheels to keep up.
So I get to the first checkpoint where we have to get colored zip ties. I had no idea this was also the first aid station so I grabbed a zip tie and blew through, didn't refill bottles or grab any food..it was ok though, weather was mid-70s, kind of cloudy still and a decent breeze. I found out about 3 miles later from a guy that the zip tie area was the aid station and we had like another 12-13 miles to go to station 2/the bag drop. I settled into a good rhythm here with Doug Long and Brian Duff on either side of me...that old man Pappy sure can pick some clean lines!!! I broke the water bottle cage probably about 20 miles in so had to stop for like 10 seconds to stuff it into my jersey and put the phone bag in another pocket. Caught back up with them by the aid station and I stopped in, grabbed a gatorade out of my bag, chugged like 3/4 of it, refilled the one empty bttle of water and topped what was probably 1/8 of a bottle of perpetum with heed...still no soild food, I totally spaced it until a couple more miles in....oh well, just stay up and going...I couldn't believe the position I was in and how good I was feeling still, then of course, psssssssss....stan's spraying out of the tread of the rear tire...that's right, the TREAD of a rear Geax TNT Saguro tire. fuck!!!! Thanfully pappy long had thrown me a tube before the race so I had a spare. Denny Albertson passed me about a minute in trying to change it and asked if I was ok...I was so flustered I just kind of mumbled something and he went on...about another minute later Lyle Reidy came by and asked if I needed anything and I told him if he had a CO2 it would make my like a helluva lot better at the time...he graciously jumped off his bike and popped a cartridge into the tube for me and took off. HUGE UPS to Lyle for the help...It saved me some good time for sure, even though I had already lost a good 5 minutes by the time I got the wheel set back in and going again...and of course I had aout 15-20 psi in the rear tube so I took it super easy so not to pinch flat...probably lost another 10-15 minutes rolling easy on the 10ish miles of single track and 4ish miles of nasty roads before getting back to the bag drop/checkpoint 4 (checkpoint 3 was at the the far turn around of the singletrack-->gravel transition). There I grabbed a pump, refilled both my bottles again with heed grabbed 1/3 of a banana and tok off again.
The final part of the singletrack is on the Brazil Creek part of the Ozark Trail. The only reason I remember this section is because it was nasty...after 40+ miles already hitting some of these rock gardens and roots and killer climbs was taking a toll. I got through though and make the final stretch of 6-7 miles of gravel back to the Bass' River Resort. Big ringed the road the whole way back and felt amazing suprisingly...like I could go another few hours easily. Came in and was handed a beer from the tap not 2 minutes after crossing the line...sweetness.
got a t-shirt, socks, $75 pair of interchangable sunglasses, drop bag, BBQ and beer for the race entry (which was free, thanks Tripp!) Damn good race, aid stations were best I've seen anywhere ever, no lie...and I didn't use them haha.
So yea, I had fun, seems like I should have told a few more detail things but whatever...I should be doing homework instead of this anyway :)
peace and riding!!!
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