Before I recap, here is a link to a 10 minute youtube vid that shows many parts of the race and many folks from the 612.
There are many time gaps and details left out and people left out and plenty of bad grammar below. You've been warned!
About mid week before the race I was starting to toy with the idea of riding a ss in the race. But, for the most part, up until Saturday night around 7pm, I was still riding gears. Tommy and I did a short pre-ride up the first long climb and some single track. Ben said it was close to 100 degrees while we were out there and I won't argue with that. I rode my geared bike and along with Tomac on his ss, two other riders were with us on ss. I felt slow and lazy on that ride, but in that, saw how this race could be good on a ss. 7pm that night, I rode my ss over with Tom to the sign up coffee shop and the bike felt great. Bang. I'm riding ss in the ss class. Done deal. The race started and the roll out was not super fast so keeping up on the ss wasn't an issue. Being out of breath in the first mile was. The two lead guys were gone. a Second group formed with I think Tom was in and I broke off that group early and hung on with a third group. I think I entered the single track about 30 to 45 seconds behind Tommy. That was the last I saw of him. SR was in a small group between mine and Tom. 1st goal of the day was to keep SR in sight. After the 1st five miles of twisties, my back was already in trouble and I was walking pretty much every climb that would of taken some effort. Bad news for me with 40+ miles to go. Scratch goal number 1 and move onto goal number 2....finish the race. After maybe an hour or so, I saw SR up ahead and got a little burst of energy. I tried to move up to him, but every time we hit a sharp incline, I faded and slowed to a snails pace. SR was gone after a bit and that was the last I saw of him. At the top of a nameless climb I walked up, I was standing on the side taking some kind of pill to make me better when Sean Burns comes along. I didn't want to get back on the bike yet, but riding with someone I knew sounded good. Only problem was Sean was killing me on the climbs and I couldn't really stay with him. Finally it flattened out a bit and I was able to catch up. Sean was riding super smooth and riding with him helped me get back in the race for sure. Through this area of the race, there were some downhills and some long somewhat level singletrack areas, I started feeling better. I was able to climb on the lesser grades in the saddle pretty well. Standing and hammering up anything steep was another story. I walked a ton in this race. After the last aid station, you immediately start this super rough, rocky climb. Sorta double track, but in spots there was really only one line to take. I knew this was the "long climb" Tommy had mentioned. I walked the whole thing except for a short 100' section I was able to ride. I think it took me about 15 minutes to climb it. Maybe 20??? Does that sound about right Tom? Maybe it was 10, but it seemed like it was never going to end. After that climb I came upon Ben, Adam and Crazy Dan...that was actually about the 3rd or 4th time I'd seen them that day. They were kicking ass in the Superfan department. I stopped, leaned on a tree and down a whole can of High Life supplied by Ben. It tasted really good. I was a little worried how it would effect my stomach in the last 10 miles, but if anything, it just made me stronger. Plus, I felt like I was in such bad shape already, how could a little High Life hurt? Another burst of energy hit me as I knew that was the last big climb. As I started descending to the gnarly downhill area, I heard Ben say "be very careful of the downhill coming up...it's really sketchy". Yep, it was. The first pitch was very technical and I'm not really sure how I didn't eat it. A guy ahead of me did eat it and was having a yard sale as I went by. I wish I could of offered help or even asked if he needed anything, but he was standing collecting himself and I was so focused on not crashing, I don't think it even entered my mind until after I was past him. Then it flattened out onto some super fast double track with some of the scariest eroded areas I've I've ridden over. I got lucky twice and decided to slow down because if felt like my luck was running out. Enter Gene O. After all that descending there was a long gradual dirt road climb before some more double track and singletrack descending, Gene caught me. We rode together for about 5 miles maybe. I was able to stay with him until the tighter singletrack at which point he was all moto and all gone! I tried to keep him close, but in doing so, overshot a sandy left turn and pitched into a tree. Luck ran out. The rest of my ride was slow and painful as my wrist and leg hurt from the crash and I had major foot pain going on and my confidence was at an all time low for the day. Turns out, being all tense standing going downhill is about as hard as going up after 45 miles. I rolled in alone at 10th in the singlespeed class. Tommy was right. I didn't look or feel happy. I wasn't angry or mad or regretting I did the race...well, at that point maybe a little. Mostly though I was just fully blown. Upon entering the finish line area, Zito handed me a High Life and slapped my ass really hard. If my body wasn't so numb, it would of probably stung pretty good. I solo'd back to the van and sat in the ice cold creek. In hindsight, the choice to ride single wasn't very smart on my part knowing my body the way I do. Everyone told me there was a lot of climbing, but until I was in the race, I just didn't get it. It was easily the hardest race I can remember. I think my body may have been more worked after my first Ore 2 Shore, but at O2S, you don't have to really worry about falling into a 8' deep washout when your body isn't cooperating. Or descending at 40mph down dirt roads that are open to cars on your way to the finish. Or climbing for 3+ hours before any of that. It is a mountain race for sure and it kicked my ass but good! Silent Richard had the ride of the day finishing 8th overall. Gene got third I think in the 40-49 class and I think he was on flat pedals. Sick fucker. Tommy got 7th overall in the Singlespeed class on a rigid bike. Tough guy for sure. I think I would be wolf food if I hadn't of had a shock. Next year (if I go), I will hopefully get there ealier and stay later and I'm getting a shot of that Tequila.