Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Fun Weekend...

Almost getting crop dusted at the Farmhose Classic, near Lathrop, MO. Photo thanks to the DirtBum.

This past weekend was my first double race weekend in quite a while. Both races ended up pretty good too. Saturday was a nice, gravel affair in north central Missouri, the Farmhouse Classic, hosted by birthday boy and all around strong man, Joe Fox. Not only did we enjoy some ultra-fine gravel, we also were treated to some of the best pulled pork barbecue any of us had ever eaten... It was really incredible. Thank you doesn't seem like nearly enough, but I think from the smile on Joe's face, just being around his family and friends with a bunch of bikes was exactly how he wanted to spend his 26th birthday. Happy birthday, Joe! I'm honored to have been able to spend it celebrating with you!

I was on my Salsa Chili Con Crosso for the Farmhouse Classic. I actually had my Fargo with me as well, but ended up pulling the CCC off the rack. I wasn't sorry either. It was the right choice. It's hard to go wrong on a strictly gravel ride with the Chili Con Crosso. It's as good as it gets and Saturday just provided further proof as to why.

Sunday was the 25th annual Cornhusker State Games. I was entered in the mountain bike race and though the classes were pretty small, the quality of the riders was very high. I'd be racing against the likes of guys like Darin Schlake and Nate Woodman, so there were some fast guys there. That said, it was a super fun day to race bikes, and aside from Darin and Nate, I was able to hold my own against the assembled competition.

I rode my Salsa Big Mama on Sunday and it was perfect for the bumpy Branched Oak area one course. Horses have frequented area one over the past year, making the trails really pock marked, yet it's still a fun place to ride as long as you're equipped with a bike like the Big Mama that can deal with the choppy bumps. I do have to say however, the course was in much better shape than I thought it'd be... It's been much worse this year and the Cycle Works crew did an admirable job of whipping it into shape for the race. Thank you very much! Thanks also to the volunteer radio folks who came out in force to man the course.

Riding into the finish. That's Cycle Works team rider and Nebraska moutain bike icon, Paul Chapman, on my wheel. (All photos thanks to Nebraska Adventures.)

End of lap two, I'd just taken a hand-up from Laura, who you can see in this photo in the right background, about 100 yards back down the trail. Thanks for the hand-ups Laura!!

The roll-out... Monkey Wrench Cycles' lead strong man, Nate Woodman, led from the gun. Before the second lap was complete however, Darin Schlake had moved past and solidified a lead he'd never relinquish.

Lining up... That's eventual race winner, Darin Schlake on the far left. Runner-up, Nate Woodman is next to him. I'm the 'other' Monkey Wrench jersey on the front line.

Thanks to Nebraska Adventures for the Cornhusker State Games photos... See all of 'em on his Flickr site.


walkert said...

Great post Matt! I hope things are well...

MG said...

Hey Walker -- Man, it's been way too long, my friend! Life is good indeed. Hope it's going great for you as well. Let's catch up soon.

Thanks for checking in. Talk to you soon.


Harp said...

You were bombing the downhills at the csg. I tried but couldn't catch up. Thanks for the compliments man.

MG said...

Thanks Harp, You were totally killin' it on the climbs. If it weren't for my ability to bomb the downhill sections, and in particular, rail that 'enchanted forest' section of singletrack, I don't think I'd have been able to stay ahead of you. Every time we'd get to the climbing side of the course, I'd look back, and sure enough, there you'd be, truckin' up the climb about one switchback behind me (which would usually get me to go "oh shit!" in my mind and stoke the fire just a little harder).

Thanks for making it a fun race, Harp. You're flying right now... It's not gonna' be long now before you're racing in the expert class, 'eh? I'd say you've got the skills.


mw said...

good work pal.

i recall the first GTDRI when GTed and i had a weird hacking cough from the crop dusters working nearby. mmm. chemicals...

Steve Fuller said...

Sounds like a great weekend MG. I would disagree on your choice of gravel bikes. I'm pretty sure the La Cruz is a better choice ;)

Guitar Ted said...

Wow! Sounds like a very successful biking weekend. Congrats! Those don't happen often enough, do they?

MW is right about those crop dusters. Nasty! Hope you didn't suffer any ill effects.

MG said...

LOL... Thanks MW, Steve and Guitar Ted.

MW, you definitely could smell the chemicals in the air, so it stands to reason that we were probably breathing some of the bad stuff into our lungs too, but I guess that's the price we pay for bug-free crops, 'eh?

Steve, you don't think I sold off my second best race bike, do you? LOL!!! I think the La Cruz is an awesome bike, but as a strict race bike, it sits distinctly in second place to the Chili Con Crosso. As an all around ride, it might be a different story, but as a race bike...

And Guitar Ted, you're right, those "super" days are few and far between, so you really have to enjoy them when they're given to you... At least take advantage of 'em. And I did. I am... These are my favorite days of the year, and you saw it this past weekend.

Thanks guys for the thoughts and comments!!


MG said...

I just realized that I made an error in my comment to Steve... it should have read "... sold off my BEST race bike...", because that's what my Chili Con Crosso is. Sorry for my confusion. I get that way sometimes. ;-)