Month: May 2013

Boggs 8hr Enduro – by Bekah Rottenberg
The Boggs 8hr enduro held a lot of firsts for me: It was going to be the first time Bike Monkey was trying out an enduro race format, it was my first race with a hill climb, and my first 8hr event.  The hill climb was hot, hard, and dusty. There were only four pros and four experts and we all started together. I normally approach any type of climbing with trepidation and anticipate my legs seizing as I watch the competition slowly fade out of view. This climb proved to be different as I pushed myself to ignore my chalk dry mouth and burning lungs and climbed my way to second place overall for the hill climb, first in expert! 

The next day was Saturday and the start of the 8hr race. I felt pretty relaxed as I was going to treat my first lap as a warm-up, and shoot for my second lap to be my fastest. The format for the enduro was such that the winner would have the fastest combined times from all three events:  hill climb, fastest lap during the 8hr, and super D.  I had never participated in any type of 8 hr race before and I wasn’t sure what to expect; from both the race and my body. My goal was to get in one fast lap and complete at least 6 laps. Thanks to the phenomenal support from Marin bikes, encouragement from teammates, and a spectacular race course I completed 8 laps and I had the 2ndfastest lap time for the solo expert women!

Saturday night I was completely destroyed and it was all I could do to stuff my face with food and climb into my tent. Sunday morning was grey and chilly. I woke up early because I wanted to pre-ride the super D course. I put on all the clothing I had and pedaled up to the top. By the time the race was about to start I was feeling really nervous but also excited. Based on the hill climb and the 8hr lap time I was four minutes ahead of the second place woman, so I knew I just needed a clean run for the win. After all the pro men were sent off it was finally my turn. The descent was smooth and fast with a mid- run climb that left my lungs gasping for air and my legs burning with pain. But all the hard work paid off and I finished first for women’s expert in the first ever Boggs 8hr enduro!

 I want to send a huge shout out to Marin Bikes for their stellar support, Smith for their pivlock shades, and camelback for their clever bottle lids that don’t require you to pull the spout open – I’d never appreciated that feature so much as in this past race! Also Lost Coast Brewery – best carbo load beverage Blisworks Bikes for their support and GU for their constant supply of energy.

Boggs- 8hrs of true grit!

What can I say, it was a great day! I had the privilege of tearing it up on a three man team with 2 super rad dudes Tsering Alleyne and Michael Hosey from the Marin Bikes factory team. I woke up at 3:50 am Saturday morning ready for some caffeine to pop my eyes open for the 3 hr drive to boggs. (at least that is what google maps said) At that period in the morning, it is what I like to call no rule 30, and so… I like to make my own. 2 hrs and 5 minutes later I was jumping out of the car running from the cops. No just kidding, I was jumping out of the car headed over to registration to grab my race number. Some of the first familiar faces I saw were Gravy and Tom over at the Marin Bikes tent doing neutral support for the event and damn did these dudes do a great job. 

After every lap they were on it, going over my(and everyone else’s) bike making sure I was off my feet and helping me out with everything just short of piggy backing me to and from the food cart. Thanks so much again, guys you rock! It was dusty out there (half way through the race it looked like Tom and Gravy had been riding the course, they had a good film of dirt all over them just from being stationed next to the course!). The course was fast fun and as the day went on hot. Our order of execution… Mike went off first at 8 am turning out a ferociously fast lap with Tsering to follow. I took the reins 3rd and handed the mic back to Mike. And so it went… 8 hrs later we were brining home the gold. I couldn’t have asked for a better team, support or sponsors. I had a blast! Thanks so much to the Bike Monkey crew for doing it so well again, Marin Bikes, Lost Coast Brewery, GU, Smith Optics and true grit from all the freakin dust out there!  Peace!

2013 Shasta Lemurian

 The Shasta Lemurian- a super sick, super fun race put on by some really rad promoters had me hurting a couple weeks ago. It was hot and I was apparently not race-ready. One of my first real XC mountain bike efforts had me blowing chunks heading down the back side of the first gnarly decent. I thought I had eaten early enough an felt ready to go when the gun went off but my gut said other wise! I got a great warm up in and went off with the leaders and it wasn’t until about half way up the first long climb that I realized it wasn’t happening. There was no way I was going to hang the whole way to the top. By 3/4 of the way up my stomach was churning and just as I picked up speed on the way down the first decent the eruption happened. I tried to turn my head fast enough but because of the wind and sheer projectile force, all I was able to do was spray my whole right arm and handle bar. This was like college party, vein in the fore head popping, projectile vomit! Luckily no one was behind me. I made up some time on the decent and regrouped with a few other riders, I apologized for smelling like sour milk and raced on. I pedaled to the best of my ability through out the rest of the course which if you haven’t ridden it you need to check it out! It’s a true mountain bikers mountain bike course. Finally about 3/4 of the way through about 1/2 way up the last climb I was able to get down some race fuel and keep it down. Thank you GU for helping me salvage my race. I was able to pick the pace up a bit and finish strong. It was really good to see all the Team Lost Coast Brewery crew there, thanks Marin Bikes once again for the super support and the sick CXR 29er race rig (which when operated properly destroys everything in it’s path!) See you out there!

Other Team Lost Coast results of the day: Bekah took 2nd in Expert women, Danny was 4th in expert men, Ethan 8th in his category, Trevor 15th (after barely making it to the race to start on time!) and Emma 6th in hers. The 2013 Lemurian had a record turnout of racers and it was awesome to see so many Lost Coast riders out there racing hard in the heat!

Sea Otter was a BLAST!

I have avoided the Sea Otter cross country race like the plague since I switched from racing skinny tire bikes on the road to knobbys on the dirt. I always heard about all the sand, the fire roads and the general “terribleness” of it all. Well, there was a lot of sand, tons of fire roads, but instead of terrible I experienced a whole lot of awesome, fast, crazy fun!
Before the race I got to hang out with all the cool people in the Marin Bikes tent, which is always a good time. Tsering was an angel and offered to feed me during the race, and I even picked up a legit trucker hat that looks like it says “suffer and stroke” 🙂 Then I went to warm up on the Laguna seca race track and got to chat up some awesome fast women like Emily Batty, Erin Alders and Vanessa Humic to name a few. The highlight of the race was the call ups for me because I was standing right behind Marianne Vos while the Olympians and national champions were called to the line ( well until she was called up which was pretty soon after the call ups started). I was already having a blast when the announcer yelled “go”, and rode right to the front of the group of about 45 women for the paved section of the race. I was nervous about the transition to dirt because there were some ruts, not many good lines, and so much nervous energy around. We all made it onto the dirt fine though, and by the first fire road climb I was sitting around 15th place. Well, there was some fun fire road racing, I crashed pretty hard on a rut and unseated my rear wheel from the dropouts (had a moment of panic that my race was over when my rear wheel wouldn’t spin until I tried resetting the qr skewer). Got passed by quite a few women and had to work to start catching them. The next large portion of the race was basically an exercise in passing on narrow climb-y sections and trying my darnedest to corner in the sand on the descend-y sections. Finally we came to the final fire road climb (of whose length I was completely unaware) and I was able to get around the last rider holding me back. I picked off a few women on this climb, including an Olympian 🙂 and was feeling really good and strong riding up the last of the ridge top rollers into the final dirt section that spit me back onto the race track. Overall I finished 18th, which met my top 20 goal for the day. I was a bit disappointed because the crash and not per-riding the course cost me a lot of time, but was so happy to have survived, and to check another XCT race off the calendar! As always, a huge shout out goes to our awesome sponsors who make racing my bike so much fun, especially Smith Optics, Gu, and Marin Bikes (you guys are incredible, and I would have died without that feed!)
Post race ( after I went to the car and ate ALL the food we had brought) I got to meet some of the reps for the brands that support us, watched dual slalom finals, and got to see Single Track High, which made almost all of us cry. A perfect day at the Otter if you ask me!