Today’s QuickNDirty, Filthy 50 Mountain Bike race was another great event put on by Victor Sheldon. This year was once again sold out, and UC Cyclery was represented well with racers in almost all categories.
The 55+ class was represented by Ken Winston, Randy Liechty, Jack Kairy, and myself. We started with a very fast pace. Before we arrived at Raptor Ridge we had already caught the group ahead of us (a VERY large Sport class) which made navigating and passing this group very difficult. As we approached Lake Hodges, Ken was trapped in the Sport group traffic which left Randy, Jack, and myself with Johnny O’Mara leading the class. We managed to stay together as we navigated the steep terrain, and as we hit the “wall” (a steep section of asphalt) I test the group by pushing a little harder and noticed Johnny struggled with this pace, which helped me strategize my attack for later in the race. UCC continued to work together to keep the pace up. We caught a teammate of Johnny's (from the Expert Open class) who then pulled us at a fast pace from Hodges to Raptor Ridge. As we approached the base of Raptor Ridge, Johnny’s teammate dropped off, that’s when I made my move and was fortunate enough to gap him and sustain my lead to the finish. I was fortunate to catch some of our Sport teammates and they helped pull me in to the finish (thanks guys)! Randy, Ken, and Jack finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th, which gave us 4 out of 5 podium positions. Impressive ride gentleman. Way to go UCC!
Filthy 50 Race Report by Paul.
This year was my 3rd attempt at the Filthy 50. Both Justin and I were entered in the sport class. I started on the front line and took off at a good pace. I had some shift trouble out of the first 90 degree left corner. Not sure what happened, but it resolved itself and I led until the pavement section. There I backed off the gas a little to let some others do work.
I put in a little surge up Raptor Ridge to try and get a clean shot down Raptor, but ended up in a conga line not able to pass until the flats. At that point some strong riders came forward and we had a good pack of at least 8 through to the dam. Lusardi was pretty uneventful except a road biker on Artesian passed us and one guy took off in his draft. The rest of the pack made a push to close the gap and then we let the lead guy go for a little while. It was too early to make a move. He ended up getting caught on the concrete wall and then we never saw him again.
Justin had passed me and was feeling strong so he led the way through the switchbacks. Once we hit the dam I let Justin go as I was starting to cramp and needed a rest. I led a couple other riders who weren't going to do any work, so I just spun at a comfortable pace. I figured at this point we would get caught, so I was hoping for more riders to help work through the mule trail. I ended up using more water than I planned going through my bottle and hydration pack. Normally I just try to carry it all and not stop or rely on aid. Cindy Fenton was at every trail crossing cheering us on and offered me a bottle on the way back. That ended up being a life saver as I needed every last drop.
I ended up getting beyond lucky when Ben in the single speed category came along like a freight train. I knew that was the race going by me right there; so I jumped on his wheel and held on for all I had. Nobody else went with me and we caught Justin in short order. I called out to Justin to catch on and he was able to stick with us. We caught another pack of riders and this larger group was towed all the way up to Raptor. This was the first year I didn't totally explode going up Raptor and put a tiny gap on Justin up the climb. As expected he blew past me on the descent half way down. I had to bury myself to catch him on the flats. Greg Fenton in the 55+ expert class caught us and the three of us worked together to the finish line.
On the last 90 degree right hander I went to sprint early. I figured if Justin had anything left he would get me; otherwise it was my best chance. We crossed the line in 1st and 2nd. After the race I was viciously attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Congratulations to Tony Darr, Larry Murray, and Michael Murphy for winning their categories this year at the Fiesta Island Time Trial Series that ended last Sunday. Larry Murray won his category, even though he is injured and missed the last event yesterday. Greg Fenton turned in a great time, under very good conditions, that was the fastest in his age group for the entire year. Cindy Fenton also won her category. By the way, the 20k course record was shattered by Sam Boardman, a pro from Washington, D.C., who averaged 31 mph! Well done!
OZ Trails mountain bike race was held on October 6, 2018. The race started with a neutral rollout from downtown Bentonville, Arkansas into the foothills of the Ozark mountains. The course then entered the shade cast by the forest’s expansive pine tree canopy, where over 400 racers converge on a selection of the finest Northwest Arkansas (NWA) singletrack, occasional double track, and paved segments.
Racing or riding in NW Arkansas should be on everyone’s list. Our contingent of four consisted of:
Guy Sutton: 50 mile, men 45+
Pascal Bonaventure: 50 mile, men 45+
Dan Mahlum: 50 mile men open
Ben Jones: 50 mile men open
Layne Sutton: 35 mile junior men
The hardest part(s) was American Airlines flight delays and FedEx not finding our vrbo rental in Bentonville. After getting situated finally on Friday night we had some fun at the bike expo downtown, Walmart capital of USA. Racing Saturday started out with a fast 8 miles of road and bike paths before hitting miles of rad single track. Dan was amongst leaders until his group made a wrong turn. The mistake was costly, but he was back to passing the rest of us in short order (albeit a few matches spent). The OZ trails were deceptively rough on our EXO Maxxis tires. Rain during the race reduced dust to zero, but created a bit of anxiety at a few rocky areas and wet leaves. Temps and humidity were surprisingly high for October.
Layne had a non restorable sidewall tear and had to get a ride back. Dan’s virgin rear tire looked like it lost a fight with a sushi chef- mechanical issues costing him well over an hour and much running to get patched up but he remained positive and didn’t whine or quit. I flatted (tire plugs and CO2 to the rescue) and made a few wrong turns but hung in there and was very close at times to fighting for the top step. I’m still removing Stan’s and mud from my exterior.
Pascal was not feeling his best (only way I can keep him in sight) and finished behind me for 3rd. Maybe he should have had the bacon and IPA at 30 miles. Ben “I’ve only ridden a few times this summer” Jones had a phenomenal day, crushing us on titanium hardtail with aspen tires. I think he was 5 overall. Thankfully for us grey hairs he races open men.
The luscious trails are constanty undulating with a good degree of flow turns, doubles, optional lines and a sprinkle of technical. I would classify as intermediate terrain.
The vibe here from Uber drivers to MTB vendors and locals was very friendly. Despite some setbacks we all escaped with minor injuries, free stuff, tall tales of adventure and full bellies. I look forward to more good times on the MTB with my friends.
Hi all. Twelve of us, including one of our sponsors, Don Melucci, rode the Laguna Triangle ride today. Nice social pace, until the climb up Sunrise Highway where many of the group could not resist going hard. But we all took a break at the Laguna store before continuing on. There were some good crosswinds on the ridge leading down to Lake Cuyamaca that a few of us did not like (like me). The rest of the ride was pretty nice, with brand new pavement on Highway 79. Half of us then had lunch at the Descanso Store/Restaurant. It was nice to ride with others and chat about how things are going. Let's do it again! Thanks to Tony Darr for organizing this one. Who would like to lead another one?