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Crying Like a 40 Yr Old Baby at the Fork Area Trail System

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For my 40th birthday, my wife surprised me by plotting behind my back!  She secretly organized a bike-napping where I would be forced against my will (yeah, right) to ride 40 miles at the Fork Area Trail System (FATS) in North Augusta.

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The weather forecast was a little sketchy considering a slight chance of rain, but I seem to have a fascination with riding in the light rain, so I was still stoked.

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I knew that I was back in my home state of South Carolina when I saw this “beware hunting” sign on the trail kiosk.

20130508-112827.jpgThe bike bandits that organized the kidnapping was Steve and Greg (Cape Fear SORBA president).  They ride FATS several times a year so it was great having veterans lead the way.  I never had to worry about looking at signage, but instead I was able to just kept my eye on the leader of the pack and focus on enjoying the roller coaster ride.

The guys told me the placards on benches scattered on the trails were dedicated to a rider who actually died while riding the trails.  I wasn’t sure if this was true or not, but at mile 33 I had to lay down on a bench as I started feeling queezy.

The goal was 40 miles for 40 years of living, but at mile 30 I started contemplating why I wasn’t attempting this ride at age 30.  Until this ride, my record distance was 36 miles so I knew I was entering uncharted territory.

Most likely due to dehydration, I starting bonking at mile 39.  Not only was I was out of water and an inner drive to continue riding, I was trying to call it a quits in a big way.  Greg and Steve would have no part in seeing me stop 1 mile short of my goal so they fought hard to pick me up mentally and physically.

I remember that last mile very vivid as I was coming up with every excuse not to continue riding or just simply get the guys to slow down.  I remember throwing my chain and telling them I had not tool to fix it.  In reality, I knew it wouldn’t take a tool, but I thought I could stall them for a while.  In addition, I took advantage of a snake that was laying across the trail’s path and asked them to stop with me and do some snake-gazing.

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Moving time was 4:30 mins.

FINALLY, as we crept slowing forward, I saw Steve (the only one with the bike computer) throw his index finger to the ground and mark an imaginary spot on the trail and yelled “40 miles!”

As soon as I cross that line, I dropped over (still clipped in) and just laid there with my face up in the air looking at the tree canopy.  As I pulled myself out from under my bike, I propped by elbows on my knees and looked out on the beautiful view of the rolling green vegetation.

Then20130508-112842.jpg, all of a sudden, it was like a weight of emotion dropped on me!  Immediately, as I realized I was at the 40 miles mark, I experienced this mental flash of my 40 years flash before my mind.  It was like a 40-card Rolodex flipping through my mind.

And yes, as this all culminated I starting weeping like a 40 year toddler riding his bike for the first time with no training wheels!

My guess is that I was broken down in every way at this point and just overwhelmed that the Lord had allowed me to experience life for 40 years.  Maybe I was having a Job moment and felt the weight of his words in Job 12:10,

“In whose hand is the life of every living thing,And the breath of all mankind?”

Ironically, Greg and Steve continued to ride up the trail and missed I had stalled at mile 40.  Nonetheless, once they had figured out I was not behind them they returned to catch a glimpse of a 40 year old trying to gain his composure.

After gaining my composure, they were kind enough to let me ride out on the last .2 miles to the parking lot!

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I wish I could say that the story ends there, but honestly, all I remember after this point was asking if I could lay down in the back seat of the van for a moment and I am guessing I faded away to recovery dream land!

I awoke after an hour and realized that my kidnappers had loaded all the gear and took the initiative to start driving us home.  The 1 hr power nap did wonders and I was feeling much better and ready to eat a whopping burger at Fuddruckers in Columbia.

All in all, I guess you can say that I had a ride of a lifetime and will not forget the fun for a long time.

Actually, you know it is a sign of a good trail build when you look back over 40 miles of single-track and hardly remember one climb in the entire ride.  I have decided to coin the phrase “trail-amnesia.”  If you can build a trail with so many fast rolls that you cannot remember the climbs (trail-amnesia), you have certainly succeeded in building epic trails!

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I was attempting to convince my wife I was okay after bonking, but as you can see I failed miserably!

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The Bush Center Warrior 100K Ride

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W100- Wounded Warriors Bush

What an honor to watch those who have sacrificed serving our country pedal their way with former president Bush in the Bush Center Warrior 100K Ride.  Take time to work through the list of riders and read their bios.  Thank you for serving our country!

– Major James C. Anderson, Jr., USA, from San Antonio, TX
– Sergeant First Class Manuel A. Colón, USA from Orlando, FL
– Sergeant First Class Thomas W. Costello, USA, from Shelby, NC
– Staff Sergeant Matthew P. DeWitt, USA, Ret. from Weare, NH
– First Sergeant Robert A. Ferrara, USA, Ret. from San Antonio, TX
– Major John Dana Greer, USA, Ret., from Savannah, GA
– Lieutenant Colonel David Johnson, USA
– Staff Sergeant Joshua M. Krueger, USMC, Ret. from Hubertus, WI
– Staff Sergeant Michael D. Morabito, USA, Ret., from Converse, TX
– Staff Sergeant Jeffrey R. Palenske, USA from Chicago, IL
– Master Sergeant Roque Rodriguez-Urena, USAF Ret., from Charleston, SC
– Staff Sergeant Omar R. Romney, USA, Ret., from Clarksville, TN
– Specialist José E. Santiago, USA from Centennial, CO
– Major Kent G. Solheim, USA from Raeford, NC;

Read full article here.

Follow Warrior 100K Ride on Facebook.

Bike Rumor Has New Monthly Ezine Digest

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bikerumorNo doubt that Bike Rumor pushes a wealth of new biking product knowledge.  Of course, it is easy to miss a press release from Bike Rumor after doing a couple serious rides in one week, therefore, they are providing a free monthly downloadable Ezine recap.  This should be a useful resource for bike tech geeks and all these geeks can download the first release by visiting this post…especially if you want to learn more about the 650B surge now happening in the bike world.

Coastal Carolina Off Road Series Race #6-Brunswick Nature Park

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It has been a joy to be part of the planning team for the Coastal Carolina Off Road Series 2013.  This 6-race series concludes this coming Sunday, May 5th at the Brunswick Nature Park in Leland, NC.

The Coastal Carolina Off Road Series (CCORS) is a volunteer run series where all money raised is used to enhance and maintain the mountain bike trails used by the participating clubs. The clubs involved are ECVelo of Greenville, CFSorba of Wilmington, DEC of Jacksonville,and the Waccamaw Trail Builders of Myrtle Beach. The goals of the series are to make quality mountain bike racing available to riders in Eastern North/South Carolina and to raise money to improve trail systems in our region.

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This year’s series has experienced record race numbers at ALL races (148 max races at Race #2).  Team competition is tight and the last race this Sunday should be a blast.  I am pulling for Cape Fear SORBA to pull out a 3rd consecutive year of victory. (race results here)

Kid’s races are free and start at 1 pm.  We will be offering free food for all the racers at this race and have sponsors providing free raffles for racers and non-racers totaling $300 worth of gift cards to a local bike shop.

Personally, I will be riding Sport 40+ at the final race which will be 18 miles.  I came in last at Sport several weeks ago, but since I had a birthday this week, I need to move up.  I will see if I can move up the ranks on Sunday, as I have been training hard the last two week.

Win a FREE Scott Spark 910 29er ($4850 value)

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Don’t say that the Trail Mayor isn’t watching out for its followers.  Even if you didn’t ride in the Whiskey 50 this past weekend, you can enter to win a free Scott Spark 910 29er with a $4850 value! You have until FRIDAY, MAY 3RD!

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Click here to go to link.  If you win, you owe me a lap at the bike park the next time I see you!

Miguel Martinez Wins @ Sea Otter Classic 2013

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Watch the finish line crossing and the post race video interview with Sea Otter Classic 2013’s winner Miguel Martinez.

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Nathan Guerra’s Perspective on Pro XCT Opener

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I encourage you to keep your eyes this year on pro mountain bike racer Nathan Guerra.  Here is a snippet from this year’s season opener last weekend in Austin.

Conservative racing only lasted about 1/4 a lap.  If you know me on the bike or off, I am an “all or nothing” type of personality.  So after the first major  climb I was pretty blown up and needed to recover for a bit.  I started reeling people in the last 3 laps but a ton of damage was done in the first 2 with me going way too far into the red.  Plan was to use my strength in threshold power that I know I have right now but that plan suffered a bit, not sure it is really a practical way to race a UCI C1 mountain bike race anyways, since these mountain bike courses are full on bursty climbing followed with recovery by UCI regulation.

Read full post.

(HT: NathanGuerra.com)

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