Sunday, June 21, 2009


My helmet cam can only shoot for 56 minutes and since my race would last about four hours, I knew I couldn't shoot the whole thing. So I waited until I'd made it to the top of the biggest hill--an 8-mile killer that started at about the 20-mile mark and which featured several sections (Bonk Hill, Rock Bluff Hill, Lava Flow Hill, etc.). When I reached the top, I hit Record.
So what you've got in this four-minute excerpt are the upper reaches of Lava Flow Hill, the Ring Creek Rip and the Powerhouse Plunge, all of it known to me as the Cramp Inducing Descent from Hell. (Note abandoned car on the side of the trail and a part where I bash into another rider at a tricky corner.) After an hour of climbing you've got about 40 minutes of downhill, much of it of the tense-up and hold-on-for-dear-life variety, so when it comes time to pedal again one's legs (as in mine and just about every rider I talked to) seize up rigor mortis style. (See yesterday's video blog entry which shows me being knocked down for the count.)
On the open dirt road feed station section, you'll see I meet up with son Baker and wife Jen who run alongside for a while, a real morale boost. Then it's into Crumpit Woods where I rolled off a bridge into a puddle (camera had unfortunately run out of power by then) and later bashed my shin into a rock. Please enjoy!
Below are some photos:
Sweet rig. Me (left) and Bellingham's Steve Noble before the start.

Above, bikes lined up before the start. Below, riders rarin' to go.


  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Thanks for posting this footage!

  2. Mike.
    Wow, this sounds just to brutal. Glad I didn't try this race. I've crampped up (extreme pain and discomfort) on less that 30 miles.
    Wish I could the Helment cam video to work, keep getting a real player error messages saying unable to connect to server, any suggestions? George

  3. Hey, thanks for posting those videos. I had a great time doing this race and I was amazed riding those trials, those are nothing compared to what we have in the flat land "Wisconsin".
    Our little hills here climbing time is not more than 3 minutes.
    I hope I can make it for 2nd time next year.

  4. I was wunnerin' why the cramps but now it figures. Ouch again. You finished well, though, dintja, you little whippersnapper,you.
    Proud sister.

  5. Mike, thanks for posting the videos! I recall going across the bridge on S&M Connector and seeing someone drag themselves out of the swamp and seeing a helmet cam on his head. Such a fun day and truly memorable. Fortunately I didn't get hit with the nasty cramps. Thanks again for sharing the videos!

  6. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Thanks for sharing, that is very motivational! Congratulations on your finish.