Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stumpgrinder Update! (from August 25th)

With all due respect to Kimberly and Chicken, I must say that there might
have been a more enjoyable way to spend your Saturday....... You could have
made the short trip to enjoy Mike Hecker's Stump Grinder Dirt Club XC race
in Los Olivos.

Since Hecker is still working on perfecting his marketing techniques, the
numbers were low enough to allow all cats and ages to go off in one mass
start. Yes, Pro through beginners of all ages went off at once, staged in
descending order of Cat. This led to the only real downside of the event,
because the dry conditions and big field size meant things were crazy dusty
for the first mile or so. There was a long stretch where I couldn't see
anything except Fastrack's back tire and I was just hammering ahead on faith
(thanks for not running us off into a ditch or a bull by the way, Dave).

Other than the pig-pen effect on the start, the event and weather were
nearly perfect. The laps went opposite direction on much of the usual
Firestone course, with each loop being just over 8 miles and 900 feet of
climbing. It was about 50/50 fireroad vs really fun well groomed single
track. There were a few fun new sections thrown in that I had not ridden at
previous events, but it all seemed new in a way, due to the backwards
effect. Beginners did 2 laps, sport class 3 and Experts/Pros 4 laps.

We had 4 + 1 Chickens all racing Sport. We made a show of force hanging
pretty well together for much of the first lap before Fastrack and Nick
Davis eventually dropped Iron Mike Abbott, Big Rob Higgins and myself like a bad habit toward the end of lap 1. (BTW - Nick Davis, the +1 Chicken, was looking good in CR colors now that his signing by Chicken has been approved by the league commissioner)
Not far into lap 2, Iron Mike did his best Alberto Contador impression,
leaving his embittered domestiques, Rob & I, in the dust to fend for
ourselves half-way up a wind-swept Col.....

In the end, after 24+ miles and 2700 feet of climbing, the Chickens put up
some respectable results. Two of us even came away with prize money (at
least enough, or maybe nearly enough, to cover a Tri-Tip Ranch Burrito).
Rob, Mike and I did cap off the race-day with lunch and refreshments back at
Cody's in town by about noon, priceless!

RESULTS (from memory)
Sport 40+
Big Rob Higgins - 8th
Iron Mike Abbot - 5th
Fastrack Lettieri - 4th
Nick (don't call me Platinum) Davis - 3rd - prize $

Sport - under 40
Paul (Formerly Freeride) Donohoe - 2nd - BIG prize $, see attached

I strongly encourage anyone who can possibly make it (even if you've never
raced MTB before) to come out to represent Team CR at the Stumpgrinder
Summer Race Series Final on Sept 12. ( )
A cool $35 entry fee and no racing license required. I'm not trying to be a
shill for Hecky, but rather this is the type of low-key event that I'd
really love to see thriving here locally. The racing was tough, fun,
cheap, near-by, on-time, good humored (and nobody got DQ'd, not even Rob).

Ride On!

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