Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Long Fun Weekend

I guess the title says it all. It was a awesome, pain full weekend with a new team. The weekend consisted of eating, sleeping, bikes, nerf guns, ice, tunnels, oh yeah and did I mention ice. Gunnar, Jacob, Jeff, and I car pulled up to Zach's farm with Tom at the wheel of The Crafter. When we arrived we all expected a little hut in the woods but it was a "Palace" as Tom put it. Zach and Jake had already started dinner and it would be done soon. We brought all our stuff in, got the grand tour and then ate. The fun began after cleaning the dishes. Tom had brought some nerf guns and it started out as one person with a gun, then all of a sudden people were scrambling for the guns and diving and fighting for the balls. After about 20 minutes of war we decided we would take a hike and we went up the hill behind Zach's house. We laid down for a while looking at the stars. Then all the lights were taken from us and we had to chase Zach and Jake around in the woods. Finally we came to some huts sitting in the woods and Zach said run down the hill. Gunnar, Jeff, Jacob and I got a head start and started running down the hill. Actually it was more like rolling and sliding. We finally made it to the bottom with Jacob limping out he said he had rolled his ankle really bad. Luckily it didn't really bother him for the rest of the night until the next day. It was a nice relaxing morning with amazing waffles made by Tom and cartoons chosen by Tom and snow. It may have been a little too relaxed because by the time we got out there the snow had accumulated to about an inch. Luckily the roads weren't to bad and we got going. I felt phenomenal on the first few big climbs. Jacob said his ankle was really bothering him after we had crested the second or third big climb. So we decided that we would stop at this parking lot area. Tom rubbed on Jacobs ankle and Legs for a while, while we all got fueled up. We got going again and went down this icy road. Zach fell hard bleeding through 3 layers. He walked it out and decided not to go down that road. But we would see the ice again soon enough. We road back out to the intersection we just came from and went up a hill and it basically flattened out for a lot of the time. We stopped again about 2 hours and 45 minutes into the ride. Jacob was feeling terrible and cold so Tom, Gunnar, Jake and I all rode the rest of the time back to the Cabin. I think then was the worst I ever felt on a bike. It was almost all uphill and I was struggling with every pedal stroke. Luckily Tom, Jake, and Gunnar were feeling strong and helped me out a lot. Thanks guys! But once we got to the top It was all downhill from there 3 miles off fast downhill. It was so much fun. But I was feeling to terrible to enjoy it to much. Tom went ahead of us and drove back out to pick up the other guys. Me and Gunnar got showers while Jake started heating up lunch. We were going to go out and do time trials after but it was already 2:30, Jacob wasn't feeling good and the rest of us were pooped so we all took nap watched the X Games and heard Tom say Butter Box for the rest of the night. We all went to bed and had just the relaxed morning as before. Thankfully Tom had cleaned all our riding clothes the night before and they were all clean and ready to go. We left a little later then Saturday and were all excited to see "The Big Secret!" We left on the ride starting with a nice rolly road. Then came the first big climb and the last of the day. Zach and Jake pulled away from the rest of us and just kept going. Once all of us got to the top of the two mile climb we went down a decent and pulled into this completely ice covered dirt road. It was horrific we had to ride in the drainage ditches or in the high grass, stick, covered section above. After multiple crashes, and taring of tights we made it to our destination. There was a bridge over top of the road we were on. We hiked up on top to find an old abandoned high way. I later found out it was the old Turn Pike that had been abandoned since 1968. Then we all saw the ice, and lots of it. It was very treacherous and terrible on road bikes. Make the smallest turn, brake, or loss of concentration you would go down and go down hard. Luckily the ice stopped for a while and we could just ride. Then all of a sudden we see a big black hole and finally we all agreed that this was Zach's "Big Secret." We all got to it and started looking in the doorways it was very creepy with rust and trash everywhere. Once everyone was inside Zach led us up a set of stairs into the first big room empty with graffiti all over. Then up another set of stairs into the big fan room where there were 2 huge fans. Into another doorway we found holes and train tracks and darkness we figured out we were above the tunnel where the lights would have been in. It echoed about three times at anything you yelled. It was even weirder when you would jump up and at the end of the tunnel you would here BOOOOOM like thunder. We all went back out of the tunnel still amazed and then got to ride through it Tom had brought his lights and the tunnel seemed to go on forever. When we got to the other side we rode a little further then decided to turn around. We went through the tunnel and back through the ice. Gunnar fell really hard then slid into pavement. Once he got up we were off again and went pass where we had gotten on. It seemed to be even icier on this end. Then in the distance there was something again, another tunnel once up to it you couldn't even see the other end. Looking inside all you could see were two pillar like objects. Once inside you could see that they were ice pillars coming out of the light fixture holes. You could barely put your arms around them plus it was like a ice skating rink all around them. We got all the bikes through and started riding you still couldn't see the end then we all saw a little light at the end and rode and rode and rode finally we go to the end hoping to find a none icy way out, but there were none to be seen so we went back through the black abyss. Once on the other side Tom checked his GPS and saw a road about 400 meters to the left of the Tunnel. We decided we would see if there was any way we could get to the top of the steepest part of the hill through the tower above the tunnel. We got to the top and saw a few ways out. We brought all the bikes up through it and put them through a window and all follow out. When we got up to the top we were all expecting to see a road. No road, we had to hike our way out, with bikes on shoulders we started walking up the mountain. It seemed to go on forever but finally we heard some cars and got out. It was all downhill or fast flat from here. We started using drafts a lot more and were really pushing it and going really fast. We all got back to the "Palace" and started getting cleaned and packed up. We ate hot dogs and vegetable soup and a lot of it. Got out of there quick and missed cleaning dishes. We got home around 6:00 and boy was I tired. I can't wait for the next one.

Check out more about the team here:


And here with a full team write up and hopefully a ton of pictures:


Check out this nice early season endurance race The Michaux Mash: