Monday, May 24, 2010


What a great weekend! Close to home, great friends and a sweet place to race. The first ever Night Owl race was held Saturday night at Hungry Mothers State Park in Marion, Va. I really like this park and they REALLY LOVE MOUNTAIN BIKERS! No bull. This is one of the most bike friendly parks you will ever visit. I arrived late Friday and the bicycle with rockets already had us a spot right beside Capt. Dingo. Andy did all the cooking and kept me and friend fed well and I greatly appreciate it, thanks Andy! Most of the NTMBA gang was on hand and we all had a great time in my opinion.

NEWS FLASH: The reason there has been no activity at the aka: "man cave" at Winged Deer Park is because it has gone mobile! Yes I said mobile and it was parked directly across from Capt. Dingo and was piloted by Jodi and Brandon all weekend. I'm not lying yo!!!!

Speed up to race time: I'm somewhere between a sport rider and an expert rider. I registered in expert class like the last time I raced here. This is a small grassroots type race, small event but huge in fun! I was hoping I would at least finish next to last with all the guys that showed up. Wes showed up and cherry picked this event for sure. He's an awesome up and coming pro and way outclassed everyone there. Jason and a few others were there as well so I had huge doubts I would be able to do anything at all other than suffer. Well my goal was not to finish last out of 10 expert riders and I surprised myself by being able to do that and a tad bit better with a 6th overall.

We were the first to be let loose on the 4ft wide trail and I got about a 6th or so place start. We had only one single speeder in our class and not even a quarter mile into this race he was spun out! He started waving everyone around and I was taking every advantage I could so I followed Bill and David around him and tucked into a nice roadie draft for the couple mile or so trail around the lake spinning the big ring up front and close to the 12 in da rear, we were movin'. I made up my mind then and there, stay with Bill til the CCC climb and blow up there trying to maintain this pace. After reaching the climb I watched as Bill slowly walked away from me and lights behind me grew brighter. Two more peeps caught me on the climb and I managed to hang with one guy in a SW Va kit most of the way to the top, he was a pretty good rabbit for me. All I had to do was make it to the top and I could let this Yeti 575 loose on the DH part. After alot of struggling I managed to summit but I had lost my rabbit. I stood and accumulated all the speed I could as I pointed that thing downhill! I caught my rabbit pretty quick and yelled "on yur left" as I shot up the bank beside him and jumped back onto the trail ahead of him. I did hear some explicits as I made this move but I won't repeat. I dropped him like a bad habit and had to gain as much time as possible because I DID NOT WANT THAT SS guy to catch me if at all possible. As I passed an intersection that was manned I heared one of the rescue guys say "dammit" to one of his fellow rescue workers. I mean I had it pinned coming down. (when I downloaded my garmin I had hit 34mph max on the downhill section in the dark) Upon reaching the lake trail I slid into a powerslide sorta move because I came in too hot, little did I know there was this huge german sheppard sitting with the ranger. It came unglued barking and growling and scared the living bejesus outta me, I stood and cranked so hard to get away from that dog! I stood up and cranked more when I felt I was slowing, I kept checking behind me knowing that the SS rider was soon to reel me in for sure. As I passed where the sport riders came back into the trail I almost had a train wreck with one of them. I kept hammering and was able to pass several more sport riders finishing their lap but no light gained on me at all. I was about 200 yards from the finish when I looked back and couldn't see any lights so I sat up and rolled it into the finish. The SS never caught me...............I was very pleased as well as surprised. I had not got to ride my bike 6 days leading up to this event so I was very satisfied with my effort.

Special thanks to the Hungry Mothers park rangers, the Friends of Hungry Mothers, Black Diamond Rescue, the volunteers and Jason Carrico you put on an awesome event that rivals some of the biggest events that I have ever attended. Many promoters could take lessons from you guys! If you missed this event you missed a huge rating?..........

Two thumbs up!

LAter G......................