Saturday morning I got up and gathered all of my things, loaded the truck and was ready to roll. I then realized that I was a bit early to make the journey to Stowe. I ate breakfast and hung out at home for a little while. I rolled out feeling like I was forgetting something even though I had been over it a dozen times insuring myself that I was all set. The trip over gave me plenty of time to think of things and I realized that I had a tube in case I lost a tubeless setup. I also had a patch kit in case I lost said tube. As far as inflation, I only had a big air cartridge which would probably only cover one, maybe two flats. I got nervous and when I got to Stowe I promptly looked for a bike shop. I found one that opened at 8am and found a pump that I bought to have on hand just in case. Of course, as it goes, I didn't need it and I didn't have any mechanicals.
After the pitstop to the bikeshop, I headed over to the Stowe Polo Fields. I was still early and there wasn't any sign of a bike event to be seen. I headed back over to town and pulled in to the parking lot by the theater. I saw signs of other single speeders so I pulled in to chat a bit. I found a couple guys that were over from NY and they were chatting about trying to find a place to park. I told them if they wanted to follow me, I would show them were the closest bike path parking lot was. We got there and suited up and rode the bike path down and over to the polo fields. At this point there was a collection of bikes starting to accumulate.
|ready for the start|
I did this race because it came to Vermont. That was pretty much the single reason. I guess it was also a good excuse to ride trails in Stowe, which I had never done.
|man, this shit's hard|
Below is a picture of a stop that I made after the half way aid station where people were chugging 40oz beers and shots of whiskey and tequila. I stayed away from the festivities for two reasons. The first and one at hand was to maintain a level of survival in the race. The second is because I stopped drinking alcohol during my year long training session for Tour Divide. I digress. While I took a moment to clean some shit out of my shoe, someone that I later learned named Seth rolled back towards me and was thinking he was going the wrong. Mind you this guy was just at the mid station doing a 40. I got him steered in the right direction and I watched him trip all over the place falling and crashing. I was worried for him but they were always slow speed crashes and quite funny.
It wasn't long that Seth left me behind. Even drunk, he seemed to make light work of the trails ahead. I never saw him again. Matter of fact the only people I kept seeing were some riders from DrunkCyclist.com and the sweep that was on a full suspension geared bike. He helped two people that were riding in the vicinity of me get off the trail and back to town early. They didn't want to continue. Not much later he said to me that the section coming up is pretty technical and if I want to get out, now is a good time. I firmly told him that I wasn't stopping, he accepted and we made good of what we had.
|this was a pretty nice section of the course|
|a note from my daughter|
- I am not (currently) a single speeder - it is super fun but you have to be quite fit to pull it off
- I was last in a very large field but I beat everyone that pulled out and technically all those who didn't even do it. (for whatever that is worth)
- a single speed bike is fun, quiet, and simple
- know your terrain and choose a gear that is suitable for it and your abilities
- don't worry about anyone else out there.
- very easy to drain the tank when putting in a hard effort
- little to know rest or recovery while riding
- have comfortable shoes that allow hiking/walking (it happens)
- SS hipsters, although weird and different, are cool people and mostly judgment free
here are a couple of other perspectives of the event.