01 December 2013

Thanksgiving Trifecta..... Half Marathon, 10 Miler, 10K in 3 days.....

Getting a little help from a KTC Endurance/Team Commie honorary racer in Plano TX....  
We run all night....

13 November 2013

That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger...... An interview with the late Jure Robic, the greatest endurance athlete of all time....

On many occasions when motivation is lacking for training and the weather is bad and dark, I like to pull out this old interview with Jure Robic, the 5 time winner of Race Across America.

Link to article is  - That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stranger...

Have a good read.  My favorite quote is:

"He pushes himself into madness" says a journalist from Slovene TV.  "What Jure does is frightening".
Robic seems to regard his racetime bouts with mental instability as one might regard a beloved, but unruly pet:  awkward and embarrassing at times, but impossible to live without....

11 November 2013

new one from Doleful Lions that have accompanied many a Commie Bar Ultra Race....

03 November 2013

Bayden Sled Skate.....

My son comes and asks if I think the sled would work on the fallen leaves.  I say "no".

He says if that won't work then could we take bungie cords and put it on a skateboard?

My interest piques...........

Something about bungie cords and skateboards is enticing......  

So.......... Dad and son rig a sled on top of a skateboard.  We attach it with bungie cords.  We don't know if it will work.  Bayden says he needs some type of brake.  I respond that Evil Knievel never concerned himself with a "brake".  It went over his head.  

He thinks he needs a brake.  I suggest the boat anchor but it's in storage.  We settle on a traffic cone.  I ask Bayden do you think that will work?  He says "no, but it will bounce around once I launch it off with another bungie cord and that will be cool".  I nod in agreement.

Finally, Bayden asks "do you think this is crazy?".  My response is if it wasn't then why do it?  He smiles...

It's okay to be crazy but be a smart crazy (wear your helmet and knee/elbow pads....)

And off we go......  

Halloween Break..... Featuring TCOPE & The Slashers....

Team Commie Bar stepped off the trails for a night and into the throes of Halloween....  TCOPE & The Slashers featured at the bash......  We're the scariest band in the world......

31 October 2013

Season Results Are In..... Team Commie Bar #1 ranked 3 man adventure racing team in the North America.

Press Release for Immediate Distribution

Todd Copley captains Summit Adventure Racing to 3rd place finish in National Championships of Adventure Racing
Todd Copley, the Executive Director of Deep Creek 2014, the event production company for the 2014 ICF Whitewater Slalom World Championships taking place in McHenry MD next year recently participated in the United States Adventure Racing National Championships held in Brown’s County, IN.  Copley was lead navigator and also captained Summit Adventure Racing to an overall 3rd place finish in the country.  Adventure Racing involves teams competing in expedition length races involving mountain biking, trekking/running, paddling and usually some type of climbing/ropes element.  The course is not set and teams are required to strategically plan routes and navigate over the entire distance to predetermined check points.  Racers are entirely self-sustaining and carry all gear to include food and methods for water replacement. 
This year’s National Championships were set in the deep wilderness of Brown’s County, Indiana and held over the weekend of October 4-5.  After 30 STRAIGHT hours of non-stop mountain biking, navigating, trekking, rafting, and paddling with portage sections over 3 miles, Copley’s team emerged from the wilderness with 22 checkpoints which was good enough for 3rd place overall in the three-man team open division of the National Championship.  Summit Adventure Racing/Team Commie Bar has been a steady force in adventure racing over the past 3 years and leads the North American Adventure Racing Series points division for 2013.
Copley was extremely pleased with the effort.  “I thought our team performed exceptionally.  Navigation is so important and we nailed the check points even at 2 in the morning during a monsoon rain downpour.  Going 30 hours straight is always tough but we covered a lot of miles efficiently and did not have any physical issues or bicycle mechanical problems.” 

The National Championships is the culmination of the adventure racing season.  To even participate in this prestigious race, teams had to qualify in a regional sanctioned race during the year to be eligible. 

24 October 2013

The Hangmen - "Last Drive" Acetate Records

Team Commie Bar relies on power music to get through the cold mornings......
We're into the Hangmen.....


It is snowing in the Epicenter of Adventure Sports.....

Team Commie Bar trains year round....

Snow to Sun

 Dark to Light...

 We also love great food, great beer and great friends..... A celebration of the changing of seasons.... Here in the epicenter of adventure sports we welcome that celebration.... A great video from our friends at Blue Moon Rising depicts that emotion......

Go check 'em out.....  Blue Moon Rising.....

In the meantime do a snow dance.....


09 October 2013

2013 United States Adventure Racing National Championships

Coming into this years National Championships, I must admit I was a bit anxious.  Less than two weeks prior to the race I had been having I.T. band issues to the point I had to have crutches.  Thank goodness I was able to get past that and by race day I was feeling pretty good albeit I had not trained in a couple of weeks.

Here's how the race unfolded.
I got into town on Thursday night and met up with the guys at the Abe Martin Lodge in Nashville Indiana.  A look at the google satelite images showed some awesome wilderness in the area and we were psyched to not have to deal with 5000 foot mountains like in the east!  We checked in to Race HQ and hung out getting gear ready and our bikes outfitted.  At 7pm there was the briefing and it lasted WAY too long and we got out of there at around 2030 hours.  I was starving so we went into town and I had a couple of beers and a plate of lasagna.  I then went back to the cabin and got the rest of the gear together and hit the sack around 2330.....

Race morning was hectic....  Up early for final gear distribution and then to race HQ to get the maps and course books.  We only had 2 hours to get our strategy and maps ready from 0600- till race start at 0800.
We also had to plot the points ourselves so we got the UTM protractors out and dusted off our plotting skills and got to work.  By 0730 we knew we should quit plotting and get outside ready for the start.
Right at 0800 the gun went off and the National Championships was underway....  Take a deep breath knowing that for the next 30 hours I'll be going strong.  Can I do it?  Always nervous....

Race Start and The Prologue -
The race started with a 2 mile or so run on some of the trails in the park.  This was done to separate the field from the mass bike start to come.  What can I say.  Jogged the course at probably a 10 minute mile pace and got back to the bikes and saddled up.  The bike transition was fine and we knew the next biking segment would be a long one.....

The Mountain Bike -
The MTB started off on a marked course for the first 15 miles.  It was amazing single track riding dipping up and down and swinging through the hard forest area of Brown's County IN.  It was cool to not have to worry about navigating until we got to CP 1 and I think we all enjoyed the ride on absolutely amazing single track.  As good as anywhere.  Chris had started us off a bit faster than what I wanted but without the need to navigate I just held on to the pace and cruised with him and Bait.  After CP1 it got serious.  We knew the next segment would be close to 35 miles.  The navigation wasn't particularly tricky but on bike you really need to pay attention.  We nailed CPs 2-5 and had a long road section into the Transition area and CP 6.  It was probably about 1500 when we got into the transition area and we got ready for the so-called "paddle" section.  We had stopped at a small store for ice cream and potato chips and cokes which always brings a smile.

Much talk abounded about how long it would be before we got back to the bikes.  That determines how much food to take and what gear we wanted to leave with the bikes.  Ultimately I made the decision to carry 12 hours of food (good decision) and to leave all extra clothes with the bikes and lighten my pack (bad decision).  We got saddled up and grabbed our paddle gear and PFDs and went and grabbed a canoe.  The question was "where's the water?"..........................

Canoe Portage Section
The answer to the previous question was there was barely any water.  We slid the canoe down a steep embankment to a very small creek bed with maybe a 6 inches of water or so.  We looked at the map and determined we had probably close to 4 miles of pushing, tugging, carrying, lifting, sliding the canoe along this stream bed before we would hit the lake.  Slog, here we come..........
At times we were dragging the canoe across dry land (and over bridges) and other times the water would get to our waists and we'd hop in and paddle for 20 yards before having to get out again and push.  The worst part was getting all the silt and sand in our clothes and shoes.

Finally after CP 7 under a railroad trestle the stream began to open up.  After 4+ miles of portage we began a slow steady paddle past what we called the "redneck yacht clubs"  These were basically pontoon boats at docks along this small river!  Out into the main portion of the lake we made our first big navigation error.  We overshot completely CP 8.  When we finally pulled into this small access pond we were looking for CP 8 but soon realized we were actually in close to CP 9.  Oh well......  no time to go backwards.

We paddled through a culvert tunnel leaning back in the canoes to pass through and beached the canoe close to a large RR trestle.  From there we humped up the mountain to get CP 9.  By this time it was getting dark.  The sun was beautiful setting over the lake and when we got back to the canoes it was pitch dark.  Going back through the culvert tunnel with our head lamps on staring at the ceiling of the tunnel we saw literally thousands of spiders and I was quietly hoping none would drop on me!.
On the lake in the dark requires shooting precise compass azimuths and we followed a straight line into the transition area in crossing the lake in the dark.

Transition Area 2
After beaching the canoe, we had new race instructions that offered the chance to get two additional CPs but also required paddling the canoe back across the lake while towing a raft to the canoe drop off point.  We could split the team for this so we decided on sending Bait back across the lake and Chris and I would pound out the points.  We rigged up a tow rope for Bait and he headed out.  Soon he would drop the canoe and paddle back in the raft.  Chris and I headed out on the orienteering course.  We estimated it would be about 5k/3 miles or so....

We got both points and the only thing bothering me was the amount of sand in my shoes and shorts which was causing pretty severe blistering and chafing.  Once back we linked up with Bait and Chris and I took some time to take care of ourselves by jumping in the lake naked and beating the sand and silt out of our socks......  Remember when I said bad decision above?  Here's where I could really have used a spare pair of socks and a new shirt.  Thankfully Bait gave me some socks or I would not have been able to complete the next LONG, LONG trekking section.....  We headed out of TA2 a little after midnight.

Trekking Section -
We had made a strategic decision in the TA to try and get all the trekking points and subsequently not go to TA3 by bike for the additional orienteering segments.  We passed on trying to get CP 12 and moved instead to the area where we could get 13-16 before heading back to the bikes.  The night was clear and we passed a house where there was a party in progress.  They invited us to join them in beer pong but obviously we declined.  We did each accept a very, very cold Bud Light which went down very refreshingly as we humped the road to the trail head.  On the trail there was a team ahead of us we kept playing leap frog with.  One of their team members was very sick and puking the whole time.  We were successful in nailing the points along the way.  About 4 in the morning or so I heard a massive whooshing noice coming thru the trees!!!  I thought it was perhaps a tornado coming thru but instead it was a monsoon style rain beating down the trees and leaves and soon dumping on us.  We changed into rain gear and it actually got a bit cold.  Fortunately it didn't last long and it only rained for a couple of hours.

The late hours of the night are always when I get the most sleepy.  As we were waiting for dawn to arrive both Bait and I were falling asleep while walking.  Bait was the funniest as he kept pitching forward and would hastily catch himself before falling.....

We ended up in a reentry streambed looking for CP 17 and I found a discarded lost tube of Glide.  I didn't care where it came from and I quickly began applying it all over my chafed areas.  We found the CP and then moved back to the road for the long haul back to the bikes.  By this time my legs and crotch were raw and bleeding and each step chafed me worse.  I was walking with my legs spread apart as much as I could.  I won't even say what Chris was doing to help alleviate the pain.

Mountain Biking Section
We arrived at the transition at around 0900.  By making the decision to not go to TA3 and spend more time on the trekking section we were almost the last bikes laying around in the lot.  We got saddled up quickly and I plotted a route that would take us past CP 18 back into Nashville.  We had a decent climb on the road but then the road rolled pretty nicely back.  We nailed CP 18 and then back to the single track for CP 19.  We had some difficulty with CP 20 but ultimately got it.  Each time on and off the bike I grimaced with pain because of the chafing on the bike saddle.

Finish and Optional Points
After CP 20 we rolled back into the finish area.  It was about 1215 or so and Dan/Bait and Chris were intent on heading back out to use the remainder of the time to try and get another point.  I was adamently opposed but the majority said to go.  I was very scared about missing the time cut off and I was also in a ton of pain from the chafing.  Walking, or even worse running, another 3 miles was not appealing to me.
I became a follower at this point and basically a straggler to the team.  I knew in the back of my head that time-wise we should be okay (barring an injury or something worse) but I really was not mentally prepared to continue after coming within 5 feet of the finish line.  We moved out and up a large climb about 2k from the finish and rather quickly nailed the optional point and started back.  I was mad and it was a bit of a drag to finish this way when the team had performed so well throughout the past 28 hours.  That said we crossed the finish line with 29 minutes to spare.  I signed and validated the points and it was over.....

Immediately afterwards we started drinking beer at the car as we loaded gear.  Unofficially the word came down that we were either 2nd or 3rd.  I watched as Team Skye came in with only 9 minutes to go.  That solidified their 2nd place and I was praying that the 3rd slot still held.

It did......!!!

Team Commie Bar is the 3rd fastest three man team in America.  Only two teams can navigate and cover more ground further and faster than us.  It's a good feeling....  And a lot of hard work....
Below is the video I put together about the race....


20 September 2013

Prague & the Canoe Slalom World Championships

Todd Copley
Executive Director, Deep Creek 2014

The 2014 International Canoe Federation’s
Whitewater Kayak Slalom WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Deep Creek 2014 Accepts ICF Flag at Closing Ceremonies of
2013 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC–  September 18, 2013 –  Deep Creek 2014 formally took charge of the International Canoe Federation’s 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships earlier this week by accepting the ICF flag at the closing ceremonies of this year’s World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

Todd Copley of Deep Creek 2014 and Joe Jacobi of USACK accept the ICF flag in Prague, Czech Republic
Accepting on behalf of Deep Creek 2014, the State of Maryland and the people of Garrett County, Maryland were Joe Jacobi, CEO of USA Canoe Kayak and Todd Copley, the Executive Director of Deep Creek 2014.  The flag will now travel back across the ocean to the United States and will remain in Maryland through the completion of the 2014 World Championships scheduled for September 16-21, 2014.

This will be the first time the Canoe Slalom World Championships will return to the U.S. in 25 years and only the second time in the history of the event. In 1989, Garrett County, Maryland hosted the 1989 world championships on the Savage River and will once again play host at the Adventure Sports Center International whitewater course located in McHenry, MD.

“This is an amazing moment for Garrett County,” exclaimed Todd Copley after the ceremony.  “I am so proud to accept this flag on behalf of the United States of America, Maryland and the Deep Creek 2014 Host Organizing Committee,” he continued. “Canoe Slalom is an Olympic-level event showcasing world class athletes and those athletes are going to be competing in Garrett County, Maryland. This year the Worlds were held in Prague and next year they will be held in London.”

The largest inbound sporting event to the United States in 2014, the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships will bring tremendous international focus on Maryland’s scenic western-most county with 300 athletes from over 40 international countries competing and an estimated 21.5 million international broadcast television viewers around the world. More than 30,000 spectators are expected in Garrett County to watch the event and provide an approximated $20 million dollar regional economic impact.

Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Sports, agreed, stating, "The 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships coming to Deep Creek is a tremendous opportunity for ASCI, Garrett County, Maryland and the entire region.  The Worlds continue to enhance our efforts to ensure Maryland has a significant presence in the sports space regionally, nationally and internationally. In addition, the World Championships positive effects and legacy on Maryland and Garrett County's economy, quality of life and brand positioning will be felt for many years post 2014 as well.”

Deep Creek 2014 along with the United States World Championships delegation have spent the past week as observers at this year’s World Championships. The purpose of the delegation was to validate Deep Creek 2014’s planning up to this point and receive approval from the ICF with regards to the competition schedule.  Another objective was to create awareness in Europe about the 2014 event and market the United States, Maryland, and Garrett County as a great place to come and spend time next year as part of the event. 

Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest fresh-water lake and is Garrett County’s most well-known feature. For those looking to visit the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County during the 2014 event, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is offering special Book Early, Stay Late lodging packages for those wanting to spend extra time in Garrett County before or after the event; please see the full list of lodging options in our Book Early, Stay Late brochure available online at www.visitdeepcreek.com. At the visitdeepcreek.com site, visitors will also find information on Garrett County activities, attractions, dining, shopping and more. Visitors may also 1-888-387-5237.

For more information, about the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, please visit www.deepcreek2014.com. For more information about Adventure Sports Center International, the host site of Deep Creek 2014, please visit www.adventuresportscenter.com.


14 September 2013

Team Commie Bar to #1 in North America in 3 man open division!

For the 1st time ever Team Commie Bar has vaulted to the top ranked 3 person open team in all of North America.

We will be #1 going into the National Championships in Nashville Indiana coming up on 3-5 October.

The team for the National Championships will be:
Todd Copley - Team Captain
Chris Farrell - Lead Navigator
Dan (Bait) Schaefer - Hump dog....

23 August 2013

Summit Adventure Racing/Team Commie Bar Promotional Video from Lionheart 24 hour Adventure Race

All video and photography shot during American Adventure Sports 24 Hour Lionheart Race at Ohiopyle State Park.

Photo credits:  
Mike Serro/Extreme Prestige Worldwide Photography

Todd Copley of Team Commie Bar....

We race all night....

21 August 2013

Some more pics from Lionheart....

 Bait in the woods....
 Bait Paddle
 TCOPE slacking in the back

 Up and over the railing.  Don't mind the 70 foot drop

19 August 2013

Team Commie Bar at the Lionheart.....

Note:  Most of the professional looking pics in this blog are credited to Extreme Prestige Photography and Mike Serro.....

I guess I could say "what Bait said"......(copied below)

Here's my version:

Got to Ohiopyle around 6:30.  Both Bait and Dan Kazup were onsite and we checked in and grabbed the maps.  It took a while to transpose the GP coordinates from the master map.  If you screw that up you're screwed so we spent a bunch of time with me saying "Bait are you absolutely sure that CP is on that road or 10 yards off it"....

After the transpose we went to the damn bar.  I highly recommend having chicken burritos from the Falls City Pub before racing 24 hour races so we sat in there and drank beer and stared at the map.  Dan Kazup It was pretty straight forward until the navigation between CP 7 to 8.  We spent a bunch of time scouting out some possibilities before calling it a night.
Me and Dan went back to the Lodge at Chalk Hill.  Bait was camping..

Met at the race start at 0630.  Coffee and visits to the bathroom.  We hopped on the bus at 0730.  It seemed the Casselman river was running too low so there were changes to the race.  They pulled off at the top of SugarLoaf Mountain and it started from there.

We had a pretty easy 12K run down to the paddle put in at Ram Cat.  We got on the river by 0915 and me and Dan K we're in a ducky and Bait navigated the Class III by himself.  The river was running good and Bait was hooking it riding the high profile lightweight boat.  Dan K weighs about 200 pounds and we were dipping on the front but he did a hell of a job in paddling while I slept in the back (just kidding).

No matter if the water is high or not I run the MIddle Yough in 1 hour and 45 minutes.  That's what we did.  We then had to carry the boat damn near a half mile on the portage.  Me and DanK carried the one and Bait balanced a duckie on his head.  Actually that was pretty tough.

We dropped the boats and ran back across the Allegany Passage to our gear and changed into climbing gear.  Then out to the rappel.  I nice 75 rappell always get the blood going so we dropped off the railroad bridge and then linked up to go chase a point over the whitewater overlook.

We then moved back to the transition area and did a complete change of clothes and loaded up for what we knew would be the rest of the race.  All food, and new clothes got us started.   I drank a Coke and brought my Subway sandwich with me.  We punched out of CP 5 and started the slog up the Baughman to the top of the mountain.  This climb NEVER stops.  DanK kept asking is it over?  I jap-slapped him and said it is NEVER over!  Get it out of your mind that while in Opyle we will stop climbing.

We made it to the first CP on bike and then had to push over the ski hill.  DanK asking is it over?  No
From there we tried to hook up with the Pressley Ridge Trail and it was difficult to follow.

We screwed around on navigation on CP 7 but finally got to the point.  There was a solo guy there and a two person coed.  The next point from CP 7 to 8 was critical.  This would be the differentiation point.  We started and it soon became an exhibition bike march thru the bush.  I had to keep the azimuth going southwest and finally we ran into a trail that led to a reentrant.  We had to push down the trail in the stream bed for over 2 miles before popping out and cruising into CP 8.  I ate the rest of my Subway Philly cheese steak.

Now the slog.  Lot of road movements but LONG distances.  We head out.  We had picked a special route that went through the Nemacolin resort to cross the national road in one of the designated corridors.  Bait ended up busting his chain and we fixed that in route with minor stoppages. After navigating thru the resort of Nemacolin and fucking up the road out we turned around and came back to the casino.  I was ready to stop and play craps but there's not enough pain in that.

We finally found a way to cross the National and get on a lonely road up to CP 10.  Soon after crossing Bait decides to stomp on his gear shifter and totally shear off his derailleur.  If it would have happened in the woods after hitting a rock or something I would have been okay.....  but on a country road?

Okay, what to do?  I broke the chain with the chain break and took out links to make it a single speed fixie..;....  Ride that mofo....

Seriously we had a strategic decision to make.  Do we continue with this set up further and further away from the finish or do we turn around and just gimp our way back to finish.

We decided to continue on.  We timed ourselves out to CP 10 and got there okay.  We busted out an optional point in the dark and then headed back on the Grist Mill trail to the bike drop.  A friend from the race organization met us on the trail and we drank a Pabst blue Ribbon.

Back at the bike drop we started the long journey to the finish.  We got back to where we repaired the bike after about 2 hours.  We then met some other racers and got their blown tubes to build a tow system.  I started towing Bait back because the single speed solution began locking up.

We still managed to nail CP 11 up in a meadow besides a big stream.  What a night!!!!
We hit the road and got back up to sugarloaf mountain and finally started down!!!

We nailed CP 12 and cruised into the finish at about 3am.  We left over 5 hours on the table which if used in the field could have helped us WIN the race.  That said, we persevered thru some difficult mechanical situations.

We finished strong.  We drank a beer.  I fell asleep.....

Bait Banjo's Report

Met up with TCOPE and Dan (new guy) for check-in and pre-race team meeting (3 hours of beer and maps) on Friday night. Had the customary chicken burrito at the local beer hall and crawled into the tent for a few hours sleep. Woke up early Sat morn, nice hot shower, then to the T/A whre I made fianl gear adjustments. There was electricity in the air. I was so pumped to be doing this race....my first 24 hr AR! We boarded a school bus that drove us to the top the mountain (about 2600'). Always nice to start at the top and work your way down, which we did with a 10-12k run to the kayak launch. We grabbed our inflatable kayaks and hit the water. I've been doing a good bit of paddling this summer and felt strong so I opted to run the solo boat.

TCOPE and Dan were in a tandem. In case you've never raced with TCOPE, he is the master of everything. He gave Dan a 2 hour paddling lesson as were flew threw some awesome class III whitewater. At the takeout, we had to carry our boats, along with all our gear, across the town of Ohiopyle to the checkpoint. I balanced my boat on my head an was told I looked like an inflatable banana....not the first time i've heard that We dropped the boats and headed to the rappel. This was the biggest rappel I've done (other times have been about 30 feet indoors).

This was a 60-70 foot rappel off of a rail road bridge. Fuck Yeah! It was pretty cool, TCOPE and I went at the same time, side by side. I was a little nervous but he made it look easy so I said fuck it, and down I went. Once the team was at the bottom we grabbed another CP--running in climbing gear was a new experience...By now it's around noonish and we are getting ready for the hard part--40-50 mile of biking. We change into dry clothes, grab all the gear we will for the rest of the race and head off on the infamous Baughman trail. It's about a 1200 foot climb to the next CP--lots of hike a bike up steps and rocks. Within the first ten minutes of the ride my rear brake breaks. Not sure what went wrong but I still have the front so on we go. That rear brake is only 20% of the stopping power anyway, right?? We continue on some awesome MTB trails and nail two CP's at the top. Then we head into the abyss. The route to CP 8 is described as "expedition biking'. AKA bushwhack with a bike. We ended up riding down a creek and found the trail TCOPE is an expert navigator and got us through some really tough terrain.

We got to CP8 an refilled water bottles in a creek (with a pump). The route from CP 8 to CP 9 was incredibly long (30k?) and that's when I started having all sorts of problems with my bike. To make a long story short, my chain broke. Then my rear derailleur broke off (not the hanger the actual derailleur!) TCOPE never lost his patience as we spent about 2 hours working on my bike. We ended up shortening the chain and turning my bike into a single speed. It worked OK on the rolling hills of southern PA. I’d push the bike when it got to hard to pedal, then coast like a banshee as far as I could on the downhills. And repeat the process over and over until we got to the Orienteering course. It was about 2100 hrs when we got there and we decided to spend 2 hrs trying to get some of these optional CP’s.
TCOPE let me navigate this section and I really enjoyed it. He kept a watchful eye and took advantage of every teachable moment. None of the CP’s were close to the trail and it took us 2 hrs to get just one of them. We refilled water bottles in the creek again (ice cold mountain water makes me strong) and headed out. Since my bike was slowing us down, we wanted to make sure we finished in time.
Looking back, I wish we could have grabbed more of those CP’s. Heading up to CP 11 my chain started to bind up and I could hardly pedal on the flats. It was brutal, I’d put all my weight on one foot to push the crank down, then repeat the processo n the other side. I pushed the bike a lot until we came upon a group of other racers. They were lost, exhausted an just kind of spaced out. Fortunately, they’d had lots of flats so they gave us 6 inner tubes and we made a tow harness. TCOPE TOWED for the last 2 hours of the race! The guy is unbelievable. Never once did he complain. Just so we’re clear, I’m 6’2 195#. TCOPE is 5’10 (?) 165 (?) anyway, I’m bigger an heavier, but he’s a fucking beast! Never once did he complain. It’s hard to describe in words what it was like, but the last few hours of that race were pure magic.
Dan, the other guy, was starting to bonk—he only drank this custom liquid stuff that was basically nothing but caffeine and sodium, he had no real water. Finally, I forced him to drink from a spring that we had been told about. There were two pipes—one came from direct from the source—the other was just in the creek. So I’m telling this guy that the water is safe (he didn’t trust the filter earlier) and I look down and he’s drinking from the WRONG pipe! I didn’t tell him, he needed the water too bad and giardia takes a couple days to kick in!
Anyway we finished strong, and ended up 2nd place in our division. This was great race. Racing with TCOPE is like nothing else. He’s a consummate professional, and every time I race with him I learn a lot. My only regret on this race is that I wanted to help out more with navigation, but the bike troubles kept me distracted. I was worried about my endurance on such a long race, but I felt strong the whole way through. Ate a total of 5 clif bars, 2 honey stingers, 6 gels, one tube of perpetuem solids, 4 water bottles of HEED, and a pack of pop tarts. Going to kill my bike mechanic. After the post race breakfast and awards, I dove 300 miles home. Hit the pillow at 2000 and didn’t wake up til 0500. Overnighters with TCOPE are exhausting!