Let me start by saying I love riding in State College. The trails are unbelievable there. So I was stoked to do the Stoopid 50 race yesterday. A small group of us made our way to the Shempf residents for the weekend. Matt, fatmarc, Diane, Fitzy and Ted Logic made up our little group. Mr. and Mrs. Shempf and Wes t Conqueror were wonderful hosts this weekend and I can't thank them enough. Wes took us on a little ride where we got a sample of the course. Good stuff.
The area is nothing short of beautiful and the weather was perfect for racing. The course was probably around 75% single track and I had heard a lot about how hard it was going to be so my plan was start steady, try to ride consistent, and hope for around 6:30 hours. Matt and were going to try and stay together as long as possible. we managed to do that for about 25 miles. Things started well, Matt, Marc and I were together through the first part of single track, but marc got hung up in traffic, then took a slight detour, so it was Matt and I. We had a good rhythm and we were slowly moving up. We were both feeling pretty good.
After the 15 minute brutally steep and hot hike a bike we got back into our groove. We were ripping the down hills, and riding steady on the climbs. Then we hit a climb about 20 some miles in and I started to fade a little. At first Matt backed off, but after a while I told him to go, I wouldn't see him again.
I tried to find my rhythm again, but it wasn't happening. I hooked up with Andrew Craig for a while and we rolled into the second aid station together. I had to take a couple of minutes to tighten my chain, and lost a couple of guys in the process. The short stop seemed to be some good because I felt better again. I came up on Andrew who was fixing a flat, I made sure he had what he needed and I kept going.
This is when I realized my 2 big mistakes. First, I wasn't drinking enough and I could feel the signs of on coming cramps. Second my stomach was feeling queasy and not eating enough. I just tried to keep moving, but the cramps hit, every time I tried to stand and pedal my legs just locked up. I stopped and tried to rub them out, but the cramps never went completely away.
Finally I recognized the trail I was on, and new I was getting close to the end. I tried to push a little harder but every time I did my legs locked up again, so I just tried to keep moving. I hit what I know is the last bit of single track, the guy taking pictures tells me 2 miles of road and your done.
I actually found a rhythm again and just put my head down and tried to make a final push. Looking at my computer I see 2 miles has gone by and the finish is nowhere in sight. I figured out the finish was at the parking lot, which was 3.5 miles from the end of the single track.
It didn't really matter at this point. I rolled across the line in 5:56, 5:50 with out the neutral roll out. I Finished 20th in what was probably the toughest single speed class I have ever been in. Congrats, to Wes for winning the single speed class and nailing 3rd over all.
The rest of our little group all did well, Matt ended up 15th, Marc was right behind me, with a big detour thrown in, Fitzy was up there in the Clydesdale class and Ted was doing OK until he crashed out.
Thanks to Chris Scott and all his volunteers for putting an a great race.