We had a great weekend in Kaslo at the Sufferfest.
The highlight had to be the weather which was spectacular.
The whole family raced with Doreen doing a 25km run (sick with bronchitis), the boys doing the 6km bike race and me doing the 100km bike race.
This year the 100km Sufferfest had me suffering in a whole different way... it was mechanical suffering, more on that in a minute. This years race course was significantly different from last year and I think it was an improvement. Consisting of approximately 12,000' of vert gain it took me just over 7hrs on the singlespeed. There were some pretty burly climbing sections, one of them had us riding out of an abandoned mining town to the top of Jackson Basin, a non-stop slog of 3,300-3,700' vert (depending on whose GPS you look at) at an average of 11-12% grade (the grade % is dependent on whose GPS is right). It was a hard climb but made for a good opportunity to reel the geared racers in. Then they got to beat on me during the flatter sections of the course. I felt great and raced really well, losing 1st place singlespeed by 10mins.
Now for the mechanical suffering portion... I had three flat tires and an oddball mechanical that combined cost me about 25mins. The first flat tire was a slash that my tubeless Stan's wouldn't seal, so I went to tube. I'd already put half a small cartridge into the tubeless setup when I realized the gash was the leak point as I heard it pouring out of the hole and so I immediately stopped inflating and tore the tire of to get the tube in. I inflated the tube setup with the remainder of the CO2 cartridge and opted to ride it with low psi so I could save my remaining CO2 'just in case'. Turns out that was a bad decision as it had me babying the tire on approx 15PSI for about 15mins as I rode conservatively over roots and rocks trying not to get rim smacks while simultaneously still reeling back all the people that flew by as I changed the flat. Sure enough I ended up getting a pinch flat just before the neutral feed station, uugh. I put a second tube in and got after chasing back again. I was feeling good and happy to be clawing my way back up the results board when I got hit with a third flat. I was quite annoyed by this point so I dropped 400mg of caffeine and lit it up, reeling in all those same racers again. Thankfully my tires cooperated from this point onward, I only had one mechanical left, and it was a dumb one.
By now I was well into the race and along the way I had picked up some rotor rub on my front disc and it that was bugging me. I figured I would grab my multitool out of my little parts kit that I keep in my jersey pocket all the time and then screech to a halt to make a quick rotor adjustment. Here comes the dumb part, I'd forgotten to zip up the tool pouch in my haste of changing the last flat tire and as I pulled out the pouch my multitool tumbled out as I was riding along the trail, uugh. I've had that multitool for half a decade and it was my 'lucky bike tool' and I don't like losing lucky things or losing things in general so I slammed on the brakes and proceeded to start scanning back and forth up and down the trail and in the grass. I wasted 10mins looking for the tool and still never found it. The people that raced past me while I was looking for the tool probably thought I was delirious as I walked up the trail towards them without my bike, moving bushes and logs. The delirious state was confirmed as I went on to pass them all with drool, sweat and snot flying everywhere in a desperate attempt to try and claw back more positions for the fourth time that day.
If not for the flats and multitool I would have had a great day on the bike as I felt good and rode a dab free race. Pretty sure I will have to go back and nail that course next year!
Outside of racing and training, the Rossland trails and weather have made for some good times. Some Deadgoat racers dropped by to do some riding.
As a family we've been getting out on some easy trails.
I went looking for roots and rocks and steep technical descents, and found some.
The boys continue to look for rocks they can scramble up.
My best ride this year happened on the weekend when Evan and I got to go out for a ride. He's riding pretty well for an 8yr old so I took him out for a big one. Most of the terrain we covered was singletrack and pretty gnarly in spots. We did Moe's, Larrys, Kootenay/Columbia, KC Ridge, back of KC Ridge, Milky Way, Miner's School, Cemetery and Happy Valley. If you've ridden these trails you know that was a pretty big ride for a kid. He did awesome, I was super proud of him. Here's a shot from the top of KC Ridge and one happy kid.
Here's some Android footage from that ride.
It's been a couple of really good weeks and there's more to come. Tomorrow I'm flying to Denver to hook up with my buddy John so we can check out the GABF:
578 breweries, c'mon, that's going to be unbelievable! After a few days in Denver I fly back for a couple of days and then start driving down to Austin to do a 24hr Solo just outside of Austin:
I've done this race a couple of times before and both times it was really well organized and had a great grassroots vibe. I'm going down with a couple of Canadian racers, who should do really well. I coach both of them and their numbers and performance leading up to this event are looking really good. I'd like to get on the podium but there may be a direct cause and effect result coming out of the GABF a week before a 24 Solo. Even though the GABF week is an imperfect training approach to a 24hr Solo I'll still race as hard as I can. Regardless of results, the weather in Texas will make for some good racing conditions, I'll get to bump into some Southern USA racing friends and I'll get to hang out with John Russell at his place in Austin, which I'm really looking forward to.
We had a great weekend in Kaslo at the Sufferfest.