Monday, August 17, 2009

Darkhorse 40 race report

Crossing the finish line in 4th place never felt so good.When Scott took this picture he was like "this didn't turn out too good" I was like "ya, probably because I just raced 40 miles in 90 degree heat."
Right to left #1 Sean Smith, #2 Thom Parsons #3 Nathan Kraxberger#4 me#5 Brian Kelly

As you can see I didn't win. But I sure had fun trying. When I got a flat at mile 4 I wasn't really that pissed. I tried to seal up the puncture with the amazing Stan's sealant and it didn't work. Then I shot 1 of 2 co2's into the tire and it just blew the sealant out the hole. I guess the stuff was old and I don't know how long it had been sitting around before I bought it from the "let's make a deal" bin. So learn from me. Always put fresh Stan's sealant in your tires every month or 6 weeks which ever comes first. ha ha Finally, I put my spare tube in and used my last co2.

I figured out a trick while I was out there. As soon as I realized that I was going to have to tube it I flipped Selma on her back and unseated one side of the tire from the bead. Luckily I had one of those valve stems that have a rubber grommet that screws on instead of having to take the whole tire and rim strip off. The valve stem was easy to remove and store in the jersey. I pulled the wheel off for a second to put the tube on the inside of the fork then I cinched the quick release back on. This way made a good stationary working position. Popped the tube in and pinched the Ignitor tire around the rim, and filled it with the co2, and I was done.

When I was fixing the flat it was really nice for everyone that knew me to check on me and encouraged me to keep going. Thanks guys that really meant a lot to me. Wouldn't it have been nice to just get handed a wheel with your size tire and air pressure?

I wasn't the only one with a flat. Josh Wilcox flatted, Colin flatted, Single speed Gerry flatted. Tons of people flatted. Thom P lost some air but it sealed. Oh ya, and my rear tire burped twice and I was left with about 10 psi for the last lap. I was praying for sure that it would hold because I didn't want to get almost to the end and have to run to the finish like I did at channel 3 last year.

I figured about 5 mins for trying to seal the tire and changing the flat. So if you knock off 5 minutes of my time I would have gotten 2nd. Except T-Pain would have schooled me at the finish and I would roll in 3rd.

However, flatting might have saved me from blowing up entirely. What I mean is that with the heat and humidity being over 90 degrees it was easy to go too hard before you had to recover. By the time I fixed the flat I was stuck all the way back to the 50+ crowd. So I would catch guys and have to slow down to pass because of the single track. Everyone was good about me passing but sometimes there wasn't an option to pass. Like on a rideable climb with no where to pass going insanely slow I just kept reminding myself that I was conserving energy for the last lap. Once I was into lapped traffic it got worse. At one point I remember seeing a cluster of riders walking up all of the lines of a short punchy climb. I got so frustrated that I cut into the woods and made my own line past everyone. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that had to deal with lapped traffic.

The real winner of the day was Scott Feltmate from Bethel Cycles. He was handing water bottles to 10 riders including me. Every lap he was totally pro and handed me 2 bottles and a word of encouragement. Great job Scott! I owe you one! Without him I might have not have placed 4th.
He also took the shots above.
The new bike rack works really nice.

Successfull trip to NY in the Focus.


  1. When I was fixing the flat it was really nice for everyone that knew me to check on me and encouraged me to keep going.

    Haha, my method of checking on you was to yell "jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaames" as I rode by. I'm sure it was very helpful.

  2. Darkhorse, thanks for hosting such an amazing race! You guys are over the top. Sorry I was being a bit of a pill waiting for the awards to begin.

    Sean, Great job schooling us all. Amazing time. And all done on a Selma. I was telling my team mate about how I wasn't sore the next day all because of selma.

    Colin, Just hearing you call out my name lifted my spirits. I was suprized to see you fixing a flat but since I didn't have any co2's left and someone was helping you I figured you were all right.

  3. Baby you are so sweet.
    He was being a "pill" because he said he'd be home by 3 but wasn't until 6 but our plans still worked out ok!
    Why were there so many flats? Did a dark horse spread nails on the track?
    Remember going through the woods making your own track is how you broke your arm! Be careful!
    You are AWESOME! Loveeeeeee

  4. Thanks for hosting such an amazing race! You guys are over the top. Sorry I was being a bit of a pill waiting for the awards to begin.

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