Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Saturday Training Ride

Written by Leisha
We went for a training ride last weekend.  We were planning on riding from our house to Sunderbruch park, ride the single-track, and then ride back.  It's about 12 miles from here to the park so that would be about a three hour excursion.
We decided not to get up at 0'darkthirty because I'm a little possessive of my Saturdays.  It's my only day to sleep in.  As it turned out, Dave got up at 0'darkthirty and ran 10 miles.  It is part of his training for the 50 miler he will do in the fall so he had to, right?  He wasn't quite sure it was a great idea when we got on the bikes and his legs were toast.  He drafted me all the way to the park:)

We wanted to get on the road at 8:00 so we could get down to the park around 8:45 and have 15 minutes to relax before we started the single track.  Well that was Dave's plan anyway but he didn't really articulate it to me so I had us leaving here at 8:15 instead.    I felt great on the way down there and was looking forward to seeing my friend Lori who was going to meet us there. 
 She loves single track so she was anxious to meet us there to practice.  I was looking forward to getting to practice the single track but I was dreading it at the same time.  Since I'm not very good at it, I figured I would just go slow and steady and it would be fine. 
About 10 minutes after we started, I hit a big root.  My tire went one way and my body went the other way.  I flew through the air and hit the ground face first.  The first thing that flashed through my brain was that I  hit my face and I would be all bloody and have to go to the hospital and would scarred forever.  So I said, "Oh my gosh, I hit my face."  What Dave says happened was that I partially sat up and said something about my face and then laid back down on the ground in the mud.  He still laughs to this day when I bring it up.  I don't see what is so funny.  Here's what happened to my eye.

The bruising eventually spread around my eye.

My sunglasses gave me a black eye.  I guess all the dirt on my face was just dirt.  Not all the abrasions I imagined in my brain.  The first thing Dave said to me was, "That dirt in your mouth is bothering me.  Are you going to get it out or should I?"  Well excuse me!

After I sat up, and I will say that Lori sounded very concerned about me, Dave said, "Oh wow, can I take a picture of that?"  Darn blogger anyway.

So after I got myself back together, I was able to continue on the ride.  When I landed, I felt something go in my neck and knew it would hurt later on.  But I wanted to continue, so we did.  We kept riding and I kept falling over and we rode about 5 miles, all in all.

Dave and Lori rode over this bridge but I chickened out.

I think Dave was wanting me to ask Lori for a ride back to Walcott but I thought we could make it back home.  So home we went. 
That night, my neck started to hurt a little bit.  By the next day, which happened to be Mother's Day, I was hurting pretty bad.  By Monday, when I could finally be adjusted, I could barely move my neck.  Turns out I had given myself whiplash by landing on my face.  I told Dave I needed to learn how to tuck and roll since I have now landed on my face twice.  (The other time is a story for another day.) But now, a week and three adjustments later, I am feeling pretty good.  Finally.  That was pretty bad. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bushwhacker-IRVOC race report

Posted by Leisha and Dave
Weather!!  The week of the race it rained nearly everyday.  Some of the storms dropped huge amounts of rain so we were nervous about the amount of mud we were going to encounter, especially on the single track.  But by Friday, they had taken it out of the forecast.  The weather was perfect.  We got a little warm but I'll take that over rain. 

As I mentioned in a earlier post, my sister joined us for her first race ever.  She came over from Iowa City the night before to bring her bike and discuss last minute strategy and packing ideas.  Race day we picked her up at 5 in the morning from my mom's house, then to Lori's house to pick her up.  We got all four bikes on the bike rack (barely) and then we were off!  I will be getting a new bike rack very soon.  Don't have the extra money laying around but I hate cramming our pretty nice bikes on that POS bike rack.  Looking to get the Kuat NV, with the add-on. 


We were all a little nervous at the start.  Tracy's first AR.  Lori's first race in two years.  Dave having to race with 3 girls:)  Didn't know what to expect here!  And me because I always get nervous at the start.  Mostly because I fear the unknown and if I'll be able to handle what is required.

So just prior to the start, they walked us to the start line.

I thought it was strange that we didn't just start at HQ but whatever.  So the first thing we did was trek. We had to get 4 CPs in order, then the next 11 could be in any order. 

All 5 of my team mates...sorry it's blurry I was walking backward
 As the navigator I love it when we do a race with the orienteering type maps.  The detail is incredible and makes my job almost...shall I say...easy?!?  We were flying by our standards.  We had the first four CPs in about 20 minutes.  From the beginning and through these four points it was pretty obvious that we were about the same speed and on the same strategies as team C2.  Chad and I decided that we should just team up and work together.  Chad and Cortny were great!  It made it so much fun hanging with them and I think that I said about 20 times that day that it is nice having another navigator to bounce ideas off of.  All 15 points went pretty smooth and quick.  Split time 1:14 in 8th place at 10:14am

Then we transitioned to the bike. I was extremely nervous because we all assumed this would be single track and I hate single track.  Actually, that is putting it mildly.  I am terrified, horrified and really wimpy about single track.  So we start going on the bike and I insist on being in the back.  But what it turned out to be was a wide grassy trail.  I was totally fine with it.  In fact, I was feeling a little silly about making such a big deal because it was fine.  I kept saying to my sister, "By the way, this isn't single track. I'll let you know if it turns into it, but this isn't it."  I'm sure she wondering what the heck my obsession was with it because she had never done it, but I really hate it.

Courtny and Lori waiting while we punch
 No problems with this section, we had some slow going in a couple spots just because it was wet soggy grass due to all the rain but we just kept chugging along.  At the end of this section we would find a TA and get another map and clue sheet.  We had no idea what to expect.  At the TA with clue: "end of road" it is at a rather swollen river/creek.  The volunteer said take everything off you don't want to get wet, put on a PFD, and grab a caribeaner.  We had to hold onto the short webbing attached to the caribeaner that is clipped to the rope and wade/swim down the river about 30 meters to punch our e-punch before we could get out map and clue sheet.  At one part I couldn't touch the bottom so I was floating in my PFD.  It was SO cold that it took my breath away...literally.  I was breathing very short, very quick breaths, the only thing I can compare it to is the way they teach women to breath through labor.  It was fun though!!  Split time: 1:26 at 11:41 am we had lost a ton of time here 10 of 18 teams already through that put us 11th and 12th. 

We don't know these guys but this is what we did!  About 3 steps further for the front guy and it drops off, I couldn't touch the bottom!
We got our maps and clue sheet and found that we had a huge section of trekking/biking. We could get the CPs in any order and could decide which parts we wanted to bike and trek

Obviously route choice and travel method was a huge key in the next section.  We had a few minutes of confusion about what to do next.  The team didn't know whether to put trekking clothes back on or wear biking gear...I said yes.  I didn't know what to tell them we would be doing both.  Chad and I finally formed a plan and said we would be doing a short bike, short trek, short bike, short trek, short bike then a longer trek.  So we kept with the bike gear until the longer trek section.  In hind site I think we lost some time here and I take the blame for that one and not pulling the trigger faster.  

The short bikes and treks were pretty easy and quick.  The longer trek section went well but our moving speed was slowing just slightly as some.  The only other issue that I can think of is when we were about half way through the long trek I was running down a steep hill after punching the cp when I heard a very loud bang and a sharp pain in my ear.  I went down and was feeling a little light headed.  I quickly realized that somehow a stick made it right into my ear and hit my ear drum.  (I am pretty sure that it ruptured my ear drum.  When at home, Leisha checked it out with her otoscope(the ear thingy doctors use) and said she saw some bleeding but didn't notice anything major.  Maybe because as soon as she got into my ear far enough I screamed like a girl and pulled away and said that is enough looking.  Today is Thursday, 5 days later, and the pain is getting better except when I burp, cough, sneeze, blow my nose or anything else that puts pressure on it.) 

At the top of a huge hill.  Click on the picture and check out the little dude on the sign. 

The trek ended up with us on the same grassy path we biked before but we had to work our way back to where we left our bikes.  We attempted to do some jogging and towing but we soon realized that too many of us were out of, or very low on water, and beginning to hurt a bit.  It was way hotter than I had anticipated.  We still kept a quick hike going and made it back to our bikes.  Once there we had 4 quick cps to get on our way back to the TA for some kayaking.  Only 7 teams now ahead of us!! Trek/bike split 2:39 done at 2:32 pm.

I know that some of us were a little nervous about the kayak section, myself included.  I don't think any of the four of us from Tardy Rooster have kayaked before, only canoe...I don't know about C2??  We had to stick to our teams of 2 and do this like a relay.  One kayak, the other run to a relay point, then the second one kayak while the other runs back to the take out.  While kayaking, we had to go to the cps and look at the letters on the cp and report back what the word was when we get back.  I was really confused when the letters I got were  C, then VO...what the heck?  

Leisha was going to go first in kayak and said she wanted me to boat at the same time, and Chad also decided to boat first, so that put Lori, Tracy, and Cortny together on the run. Actually, Tracy, wasn't into running in her bike shoes. I also heard that the first leg of the kayak was longer. So I figured I should go first and do the longer section and then run in my bike shoes. Didn't much matter to me at that point so I did it for my sister:) I helped Leisha get into a kayak and sent her while Chad got in his.  I turned to the "safety boat" and asked which one is fast?  He pointed to one and I took it.  Stupid me didn't realize that meant it would be longer and narrower...more easily tipped.  It was very wobbly (no I didn't tip...unlike "the six pound burrito brothers" and "team parking lot" in previous races) I figured it out and started digging a little bit, he was right by the way, that boat sailed like crazy, although my wife will point out that she beat me because she was the first out of the boat (only because I helped her and by the time I found a boat and paddle and got in she was literally out of site...then at the take out I let her get out first...but she won!). 

At the end I was helping Lori get out, Courtny in background
The first leg of kayak only took about 12 minutes then we portaged and partner two took over and the first group ran back.  The other three girls did a great job and I heard that Lori found the letters I, and R...DUH the "word" is IRVOC.  I thought that this was a excellent way to do this section great job IRVOC it was fun!  Kayak split was :28 it was now 3:07 only 1:53 til cut off.  Side note:  The safety boat guy followed me the whole time on the kayak and Chad and I got to talking with him and somewhere in there I ask if he follows every group and why he followed us.  And he said something along the lines of he heard me talking about it being tippy and saw me almost loose it, so he wanted to be close...NICE!

Chad and Cortny had to leave after the kayak.  Childcare issues, I think.  We were really bummed because we had a ton of fun with them. We've already connected with them on facebook and hope to race with them in the future.  Loved racing with you guys, thanks!!

We got our third map and clue sheet only to find out it is a single track section with 10 cps none of them marked on the map.  We were to just follow the route marked on the map and you will come to them on the track and must collect in order.  I asked Rachel from Bushwhacker how long it has been taking teams and she said about an hour.  Crap!  I mentioned that we are very slow especially on single track and she said you can come back any time to make the cut off.  No way!  We have to finish...lets GO girls!

To get to the trail head we had about .5 miles in an open field and I didn't know what to expect.  I had one girl excited to do single track (Lori), one who is dreading it because she knows she HATES it (Leisha), and one who has not been on a mountain bike much let alone ever been on single track (Tracy).  For me I couldn't form a opinion, I was focused on trying not to mess up the nav and push the pace so we don't miss the cut off.

Within the first 100 feet of single track we had stopping and looking to see what was ahead.  I was trying to keep my cool and make it very clear that I don't care how you do it, but the bike must keep moving.  Walk or ride but don't stop!  I hope my team mates didn't think I was too hard on them I was trying to be patient yet motivate at the same time...(not always a strong skill for me).  I think that we were all getting nervous because it took a very long time (I would guess 20 minutes) to find the first cp.  We had nine more to go and we would not make it at this rate.  I was struggling to keep track of our position on the map so I couldn't tell how far we had come and how far we had to go, but I was hoping the later cps were closer together.  I think that all of the walking made it much, much slower.  About a third to half way through I noticed that we were riding much more and picking up cps a little quicker.  At one point we had about one hour left and 4 cp and I realized that the 4th cp was at the trail head at the finish...ONLY 3 LEFT!!  I mentioned it to the girls as we crossed a open field and picked up the pace to the last loop.  We took a right and started the loop and had to walk a pretty good hill.  At the top we met another team.  I don't know who they were but I am greatful we met and thankful for the help.  After looking over maps together he said that we had made a wrong turn that was obvious when pointed out and I also realized that I missed a small section all together. 

Turn around girls we are goin back!  I don't think that I had too many fans at that point but I knew it didn't cost us too much time.  We went back and picked up the small section missed got a cp then headed to the point where we took the wrong turn.  It was tough becase the path had 4 or 5 turn offs.  We hit the right one and rode really well.  Found a cp and now we were down to 2 left (one at finish).  We made our turn at the back of the loop and were heading back hopeing to see the last cp.  We made it back to where we started and it was obvious we miss something.  Another wrong turn at the back of the loop.  To fix it though we could ride the correct path backward to find the last cp.  When I figured it out I took the lead and was going to hammer ahead.  I got around the bend about 100 feet and slammed on the brakes with everyone coming up behind...FOUND IT!  Turn around and get us home!

I figure it was only about  a mile or so of double track, pretty flat and easy to ride.  I mentioned to Leisha at one point that we had better get going because Lori took the lead and in past races she has almost dropped me at the end when she knew we were done.  We managed to make it back punch the last cp and get to the finish line.  Finish time 4:33...we had :27 to spare. YES!  That put us in 6th and 7th place of the 18 teams.  I am extremely proud of my team.  The teams that were ahead of us were very good teams.  We had a great race and great time doing it.  The single track that seemed to take for ever took us 1:26 and was actually about :07 faster than the two teams in front of us 4th and 5th.  Great job ladies!!

A huge thank you to all of the volunteers and IRVOC/Bushwhaker folks.  This was a great race, very well organized with incredible route.  I will be keeping this one on my calendar!


The Boonecrusher Race Report

Written by Dave with comments by Leisha
In the days leading up to the Boonecrusher we were doing normal prerace planning.  Looking at gear, equipment, food, but now that we have started blogging our race reports I was feeling the itch to take pictures to go with the stories.  We don't have a camera suitable to take racing with us so we decided to by a disposable waterproof camera.  Man that thing took me back to before junior high school.  You had to look through the hole, wind it manually, and when you take the picture it is just a click and nothing else.  Really hard to get used to in this world of technology. 

So I was allowed to leave work one class period early, Leisha had just gotten home from a field trip with our oldest girl.  On the road for about a 3 hour drive.  The plan was to arrive at Seven Oaks Recreation area about 6:30 check in, get maps, clues, etc and find a restaurant back in Boone to eat and plot maps.  We didn't know where we were going to eat so we found what looked to be a main road through town and would try and find good food and maybe a beer.  As we drove we saw all of the typical fast food places but nothing was looking like what we wanted, until I saw this big building that looked like a bar with a parking ramp next to it.  As I rolled along I saw the name and that it was a bar and grill I said, "this is it!"  Then I attempted to parallel park our Ford Excursion aka, "The Bus," with the bike rack on the back.  Leisha got out to help me not hit the other cars.  I think it only took 3 tries and we made it.  We grabbed our map gear and went into the "Giggling Goat" bar and grill after a photo op with the Tardy Rooster member with the looks.

Perfect place to eat for the team with the rooster name.
I don't know if I had ever been in a race where we had to plot every single point but we did for this one.  I like plotting but I also get a little nervous because my error could cost us lots of time and effort if there was one.  Knowing all of that, I knew plotting 32 points was going to take a while because I was double and triple checking most of them as I went.   Anyway it took about 2 and a half hours to eat, plot, plan routes and laminate the map.  Then we were off, back to Seven Oaks to set up camp.

When just Leisha and I race, we use the back of the Excursion to sleep in. With the seat folded down the area is about 7 feet by 5 feet.  Very spacious compared to some tents.  Man I am glad that we have that option because it rained, poured and stormed like crazy that night.  Before lights out we double checked packs for gear, laid out race clothes and made a morning check list.  It was around 9:30 or 10 when we laid down.  We were glad to have the opportunity for lots of sleep.  Then the storms rolled in.  I woke when the rain started and I don't think I slept much after that.  Oh well another AR on little sleep.

We got up about 5:15 finished last minute preps, took bikes to bike drop and did our prerace rituals (see CAC report, "Race day" for details).  There was a meeting at 6:30 before the 7:00 start time.  One big thing in the prerace meeting was the option to do the single track.  Because of all the rain that week and especially the night before it was really muddy and we could ride/push as designed or we could do it on foot.  I think I heard my wife sigh out loud.  She HATES single track!!!  I knew that we were going to trek it because of this and it would have to be way faster. 

Race started at 6:55 and we had some options.  There were 2 smallish trekking sections and the single track/trek section.  We could do either trek first but must do the single track/trek in the middle of the two.  At the start we started in a jog because it was flat and on road.  We all are passing a team that is very adamant about walking and not wasting energy, our friends, Orange Lederhosen.  I believe I heard Kyle yelling to everyone to "slow down we have all day!"  Those two are great!  We get to the woods and many teams are in front of us. We are somewhat just following at that point...which I don't do unless I am lost.  So I stopped, oriented and checked the map.  My brain must still be fuzzy at the beginning of races because the first point is always tricky for me.  But anyway, Leisha, who is just beginning to learn navigating says something along the lines of, "what is so tough, there is the trail, there is the creek, we are facing North we have to go to the right not left."  Alrighty then!  I don't know if I was more proud of her for figuring it out or more pissed off that I didn't see it quicker!!  Well we found the first and knew we wanted to use the road to get to the next two, because of preplanning and scouting the road the night before. 
One big hill then all flat or down hill.  We were able to run lots of it.  Right to those cps and back to TA for the single track/trek.  Plan looked easy and again were able to avoid all hills except one major hill that we had no other option.

Then TA for next trekking section.  Long flat road run to the woods found first right away then we over shot our second and lost about 15 minutes wandering for it.  Stumbled across the pond that was given as the clue while back tracking (we went too far).  
IN the pond...of course!
Then to the last cp of this section and back on the flat road to the cp.  First trek took 1:10, single track/trek, :34, and trek 2 1:50.

Next a section of biking on soft gravel and some paved roads.  There were a couple crazy hills but no walking...yet.
 It took 1:29 to get to the canoe section, very middle of the whole group.  Upon arrival of the canoe section  we see that we are using the orange life vest around neck and canoe paddle (could bring own if we wanted to carry it).  But the bigger issue is the 300 meter portage to the water down a fairly steep hill.  I am pretty sure that Leisha was thinking that she couldn't make it to the water with the boat, but I immediately was thinking how the heck are we going to get back up when we are done (we will worry about that later).  Leisha made to to the water without stopping once to adjust carrying the canoe but she was pretty close to tears. 

Side note:  nearly every race we have done, the canoe portaging brings on the moment that Leisha has her "soup sandwich."  For those of you who don't know it is a term coined by the best woman adventure racer in the world, Robin Bennincasa.  We have used it ever since we heard her talk in person at a camp.  The soup/sandwich refers to the point in a race when you reach your limit and break down.  You are exhausted or hurting or both and you just want to be done.  Usually involves tears.  Just to be clear, I DID NOT cry about carrying the canoe down the hill.
Anyway the canoe was pretty easy for us and straight forward.  We gathered the 3 cps and hammered away on the paddle.  I knew that the end was near and we were going to have to carry that boat up that hill.  I was feeling pretty good at that point.  So, like I always do leading up to a transition I verbally went through everything we needed to do.  I said that she would grab our packs and paddles and get her butt up the hill, I would get the boat.  I think the biggest problem for me was getting the thing onto my shoulders, but when I did, I started up the hill about 50 steps and realized I was on my own and I couldn't see.  I was yelling for Leisha but I got no answer for the first couple attempts.  I finally tipped the canoe way back so I could see, realized that was more comfortable anyway, and I hammered to the top.  Later come to find out Leisha was worried that I would beat her to the top of the hill so she took off.  Canoe time:  :54 only 9 minutes slower than Wedali, one of the best teams in the country, too bad they were 2 hours ahead of us already.

Then to the bikes for a 8ish mile ride to another trekking section.  We hammered it out passing 2 teams and taking :36 to get there up and down some more big hills, still no walking though.  This trek looked pretty straight forward on the map and we could stay on the flat top until dropping in for the cps clued creek and, draw.  When we got there we were in 11th place and doing well.  As we were heading in we were seeing some very good teams coming out and they looked to be in rough shape and had nothing good to say other than, "have fun"  (and I am no genius but I don't think that was "good").  But my confidence was still high and I was planning on nailing it.  Holy crap was I WRONG!!!  I messed up something going to the first point and had to do the up down and all around looking for it.  No luck!  It is very deflating mentally when you realize you have to move on and were not going to clear the course.  I decided maybe I was one ridge too far south and decided to go north up and over the next and if no luck then it was toward the direction of the next cp anyway.   At this point I was becoming very intimidated by this park.  The hills were bigger and steeper than any I had seen or raced on.  I don't know how to describe it but I would guess there was 600 to 800 feet in elevation change in a very short distance in some of these places.  If anyone says that Iowa is flat and that racing here is easy I would love to take and show them this place.

I have to add here that we had heard 'rumors' all day of a guy doing this race barefoot.  There were two guys in Jesus-type sandals (just a flat sole with leather straps) and I thought that was what they were referring to.  But no, there was actually a guy barefoot on this course.  Barefoot. I was in awe because I have embraced the barefoot running method but I still wear shoes. I think I could imagine going barefoot on the road but this was woods. Thick brush.  Sticks poking everywhere. So at one point, I was resting with another team when the barefoot guy showed up (with pink toenails).  I will call him BG and he had a conversation with another guy. 
Other Guy: Dude, are you barefoot?
BG:  Yep.
Other Guy: Let me look at those things.  (You know I had my head in there gawking at his soles) Don't they hurt?
BG: No
Other Guy:  How long you been running like that anyway?
BG:  Forever, I was born this way.

Anyway after the up and down to the north we found another team coming toward us looking for the  same cp coming from the one we decided to skip to.  They gave us a clue or two and we had nothing to offer other than, "good luck."  We did find the cp in the creek without any problem other than the hills.  Then off to the 3rd and final cp for this trek.  In the back of my brain I was still considering taking another shot at the first one if this one doesn't take too long.  I don't know what my problem was but I got completely lost.  I was trying to use the compass and take a direct route so that I wouldn't but it didn't work.  The flat top was so big (bigger than I thought) and very thick that I didn't have any reference points to move across it so when we got to the next re entrant or ravine I didn't know which one it was.  At one point I stopped and said to Leisha, "I don't know what to do."  I don't know what she was thinking but I seriously started to get scared that we were going to get seriously lost and not make it out for a very long time.  When I got it together I decided to get a compass reading and head in the direction I knew there was a jeep road and a fence intersection.  I held the compass in front of me and made a bee line for it.  I didn't vary from that compass heading at all only move slightly to go around a tree but other wise I was going over and under everything in the way.  The good news is we made it back right to where I wanted to but the bad news was it had been 1:45 and only 1 of the 3 cps.  I again considered going in again with a different attack plan but we were both mentally and physically drained from those crazy hills.  Plus we knew we had about 16 miles of biking and another trekking section left.  So we agreed to hit the road and get away from there.  Official time 1:50 and 2 missed cps.

We had about 5.5 miles to the next trekking section that was again very hilly.  We actually had to walk one monster.  It seemed to take FOR EVER but our time was :45 and the best teams were around :30-:35 so we again were not that slow.  The last trekking section we knew was also very hilly will 6 cps scattered quite some distance apart.  We were beginning to feel wiped out and knew it would be tough to make the 13 hour hard cut off.  So we made a plan that involved cutting off the two furthest cps.  By that point we had already missed 2 so we didn't seem to care much about missing 2 more.

We started off on our plan and crossed a gate which we didn't think much of it because the race director said everywhere you will be going will be public or we have permission.  The camp for that trek has lots of private property signs but we are ok to be there.  Evidently, we didn't take a route he was expecting because the property owner we came across wasn't mean but made it clear we were not supposed to be there.  He gave us the go ahead to continue but said come back a different way, so we walked a little faster.

After we left the home owner we thought we saw Big Foot, that rock is about 17 feet tall   ;)
We heard about 30 seconds later that he turned two other teams back.  We continued down a scary big hill and found one cp quickly and headed to the next by following a creek. 
It was pretty flat but very rocky and not very quick but found the next one about 500 yards off the creek straight up another monster hill.  Our plan then had us go back down to the creek and back up the other side to the camp, another huge climb!!!  When we got there we were going to grab one that was up on top on the opposite side of the TA.  We were so tired when we saw the TA we said screw it one more miss won't kill us.  So we checked in and geared up for the bikes again.  Official time 1:15, 6 minutes faster than the leaders but we skipped 3 cps.

On the bikes we had to ride down the monster hill we walked before into the valley and then back up one just as bad down the road after one cp.  Another side note:  When transitioning there were a couple other teams there, one we had talked to earlier the guy said they had not gotten 1 of the cps but when they checked in the girl said yep, got them all so far.  We were wondering what was going on.  Well at the bottom of the monster hill and around the corner were the two cps that we cut off because they were about 1.5 miles from the TA.  We saw them there with there bikes on the shoulder.  I said I bet they got a flat.  Wrong...they were changing their shoes to run up to get the two that we cut off.  I was then getting mad. 

We continued on with 3 cps on the bike back to the finish.  By the way, we walked for the second time on the monster hill back up out of that valley.  We managed to pass two teams along the way and were stopped at where we thought the last cp was, off by 100 meters.  But when the cheaters flew by us Leisha swears the girl said, "your loss."  I thought I heard, "on your left," If you know Leisha you know that she is NOT confrontational and not too competitive in general.  But she was about ready to throw down!  When ARing, she is worse than me.  She often gets frustrated with me for sharing info with other teams.  I checked the results and I remember this team was 911 and was 4th of 17 teams in our division and 10th of 30 overall.  Disappointing...

Riding to the 2nd to last cp we just passed team as spec in back!! 
After punching the last cp we had a mostly downhill or flat 4.4 mile course so we hammered home.  We were glad to be done.  I am not exaggerating when I say this was the hardest, most hilly course I have ever seen or raced on.  We ended up getting 27 of 32 cps in 12:04, 12th of 17 in our division and 20th of 30 overall.  I am still kicking myself we left 5 cps out there with 56 minutes left.  I always go out wanting to clear a course and if I had been on for that 3rd trek we would have made it because we would not want to have missed those in the final trek.  Any weekend racing is a good weekend, but I will always have that pit in my stomach. 

At finish

Friday, May 4, 2012

Race Tommorrow!

Posted by Leisha
Dave and I are excited to be racing again tommorrow.  We are doing the Bushwhacker IRVOC Adverture-O near Peoria, IL.
We will have two teammates for this race. Our friend, Lori and her husband Todd, are the ones who got Dave into ARing several years ago and then they got me into it.  Todd has been out of racing due to knee surgeries so Lori will be joining us and we are excited to have her back. 
My sister, Tracy will also be joining us an AR newbie! She is excited and nervous but I know she will do well.

Race report to follow...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CAC non-race report

Posted by Dave
For the last couple years, I have been working on recruiting new members to the Tardy Rooster.  Well, one of my best friends, Tim Adams, had been hearing it from me and had purchased a bike in September 2011 to race sometime.  So I knew I had him, I just needed to find the right race to start him off. 

I have been following Virtus’ blog now for some time and I heard about a “non-race” they were hosting.  Now, I have never officially met the guys and their followers in person, only cyber stalking, as my wife would claim.  So in the back of mind, I was thinking: a. 4+ hours is a long way to drive for a 6 hr non-race, b. are these Virtus guys wacko? and c. can I talk Tim into being gone for 3 days?  After thinking some more I figured what the heck this non-race is free (WHAT? Only costs food, gas and time), 6 hrs is a good race to start with, and Tim and I both love to camp so I went for it and asked.  After talking it over and showing Tim and Teri, his wife, the Virtus blog with the info (as well as some of the other funny high jinks) they agreed that this would be a great chance for Tim to loose his AR virginity.    

I then proceeded to sign us up.  A comment to Luke of Virtus on their blog to tell him to put us on the list was all it took.  After checking in with Virtus a few days later, there we were, signed up: two person male team Tardy Rooster, Dave Huntley and “TIME” Adams.  To the fellow adventure racers out there that little slip up in typing created a great nick name that is very appropriate for this sport. 

As time got closer, Tim and I met to go over some details for the camping and what gear to take.  I believe it was 5 days before we were to leave.  Now those of you who don’t know me that well don’t realize that I am a very detail oriented planner.  I want to have everything that we are ever going to need, especially being almost 5 hours from home.  In the days following the meeting I had copious amounts of planning and packing to do.  A little stressful, but like always I was up for the challenge. I am sure that Leisha was tired of hearing “have I forgotten anything?” 

As the day of departure got closer Tim and I moved up the time to leave each time we talked.  I think that originally we were going to leave about noon or 1.  When we both realized that I was taking the whole day off work and Tim didn’t have and jobs to be at, we kept moving it back until we decided to meet at my house at 9 am.  Great! I could get the kids off to school and be ready right at 9.  To say I was excited would be an understatement. 

Departure day:  In the back of my brain I was trying not to get too jacked up.  I know that Tim has been known to be late from time to time.  So I played it slow that morning knowing that if Tim showed up at 9 I would be ready.  Well at 8:44 I get a text that says, “Gonna be a little later than 9.  I’ll call you when I’m heading out.” Well 9 rolls around and nothing…9:15 nothing…9:30…9:45…10:00…nothing.  At 10:14 my phone rings and lo and behold Time is coming.  I was ready to wet myself; I was like an 8 year old on Christmas morning knowing that I was going to open my new Nintendo.  No big deal we didn’t have anything major to be ready for that evening just wanted to get camp set up. 

The drive was pretty uneventful.  I think it took us about 4 hours 30 minutes.  It included lots of guy bonding time.  The biggest surprise was the lack of smells coming from Teri’s van when we arrived. 

We had no trouble finding Pine Ridge Campground, but when we drove through we confused, surprised, and wondered what the heck is going on???  There were cars everywhere, all the campsites were taken and way in the back there was a group of about 50 men in camo sitting and listening to someone speak.  I was pretty confident that this was not our group and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how close I wanted to infringe on this group.  I didn’t recognize anyone that I have seen on my computer (after all, I have never met anyone that is going to be at the race) so we decided that we beat everyone there or the race group was there and was out riding.  We thought we would just kill some time and check out some of the single track, since we didn’t want to set up camp not knowing where everyone else was.

We changed into some more appropriate riding clothes and shoes, grabbed our helmets and were off.  There is a trail head right next to the road where we parked so we went for it.  We rode along pretty smoothly for a small section and I soon realized that we had gone all down hill and we still needed to get back with out wearing anyone out.  The trail started to get more technical and we came to some wet spots so I said to Tim, I think that we should head back, by now some one we were to meet may have shown up.  Tim agreed.  I was thinking, man I hope there is not too much single track or we could have some trouble.  Little did I know what was to come…

We made it back to the van after a small amount of hiking/biking.  We were looking around some more and trying to decide what to do.  We agreed that we need to check the Virtus blog or facebook to see if something had changed.  If we had driven all this way and couldn’t find the people we were there to meet, there were going to be some not so happy campers.  I asked Tim to check his smart phone (since I have a dumb one), but not a good enough signal.  Well, my dumb phone would call out so I called Leisha to try and bail us out.  Lo and behold, there was a post that the camp site would be moved, but the new camp ground was pretty full too.  I asked my beautiful teammate to text me the directions and we headed out again.  As we were packing back up, a red pick up pulls up carrying two muddy, scruffy guys with a beat up mountain bike, a kayak, dog and a bunch of other things in it.  I thought this has got to be who we are looking for.  It was Luke and Bob!  I didn’t know whether to shake hands, cower away or bow down to them.  I finally get to meet team Virtus. 

After meeting and greeting, we ended up following Luke to the new campsite while Bob went out to continue setting up the course.  We went ahead and set up our camp and unloaded our copious amounts of crap.  As we were going through gear and getting ready to cook supper I hear some crazy guy screaming at the top of his lungs from a small red Honda…”LUKE….LUKE!”  What the hell, Tim do we want to flag him down and let him know that this is the campsite but Luke is not here yet?  We did and found out it was the infamous team Whiskey Tango Foxtrot or WTF (another blog that I have stalked).  We met Brian and Todd and immediately began sizing up the competition.  Oh crap. These two are at least 6 inches taller than us and chiseled pieces of steel.  But man they like to give each other crap; I think that Brian said he was going to kill Todd about 13 times that night. 

As the night went on other teams began to show up, more introductions and shenanigans took place.  The night was filled with socializing and good times.  I believe it was about 1 am when we went to bed.  What the heck? We are supposed to be racing a 6hr race tomorrow and we were drinking and staying up way too late.

Race day:  Got up about 6:30.  Tim had warned us about his snoring, but I had no idea to expect THAT!.  We knew we had about 2 hrs to get ready.  Had time to get the fire going (man it was cold), and make a breakfast of eggs, hash browns and sausage.  Again, I am not sure that was a good idea on race day.  Loaded our gear back into the van and went to the starting area.  Pre-race rituals (making contribution to the privy, body glide, gear check) out of the way, we were good to go. 

We decided before the race that our goal was to clear the course and finish, speed is not an issue.  Well those of you that know me, know that I am very competitive and when the word “go” was said, I shot off to near the front.  Don’t know exactly what Tim was thinking but I bet he wasn’t happy when I decided to take off.  He was close behind though, ready to go, we got to the bikes near the lead.  The prologue was not supposed to be too long, but we just followed the leaders through the cow pasture down a long steep hill through the woods, crossed the creek and I rushed ahead up a very steep hill.  Then I heard a lot of yelling from the creek to come back.  Tim, as well as the others, were saying that we were told it was the wrong way.  I asked who told him because I didn’t want to follow anyone else.  Then I saw Bob sitting on a big tree like a troll, huffing and puffing saying we missed the turn.  Poor guy had to run to catch us.  So we went from second to second-to-last right then.  Ready to hike a bike back out to the cow pasture to find the right course.  We figure it cost us at least 20-30 minutes.  Finishing the prologue, we passed a team or two who had flat tires.  In the last tenth of a mile, Tim had a flat also.  No big deal, we can walk it to the van and change it using the floor pump.  All teams were within 26 minutes of each other, Tardy Rooster in 7th of 13 teams.

Trekking section:  On the map I found a fairly easy route to get all the cps.  It was open land and fairly flat so we were hoping to make good time at our pace.  We kept it at not more than a walk.  The first we chose to get was on a spur, which was pretty easy to find considering there was at least a 100+ foot drop off on each side.  Back out to the open land and a 2km hike to the next.  We walked right up to it marked it down and back out to the open pasture.  One was another km down the field and just in the woods with clue of waterfall.  We went to where we thought it was, walked in the woods finding 3 or 4 teams looking for the cp.  It was very steep, almost cliff like.  I said we have to get to the bottom and walk up the stream and find the waterfall.  I made it down quickly and kind of left Tim behind at top.  I walked the up the stream bed and Tim followed me from the top.  Found the cp without much trouble with all the teams there at the same time.  Next clue was rock cliff, so I was thinking to attack it from the top, thus climb back out the other side of the stream bed.  Now we tried to stay high to keep it flat.  Worked pretty well and I walked up to it as the other teams were taking photos (now that I am blogging I will be doing much more of that).  I believe it was Team Virtus/Rock racing, Lonesome Drifters and Off Road Medics.  Now, I knew that we were slower on foot than they are so I said to Tim that we needed to take a chance.  If we were to get down this cliff and go west about 100 meters it will be all open ground without much elevation change to a road all the way back to the TA.  It worked, got down out into the open, across the creek and down the road about 2 km and see the same 3 teams pop out of the woods just in front of us.  I knew that those teams were close to the front but now our strategy was no help as we were on the same road.  We made it back to the TA at 1:20 (with a 1:40 cutoff) so we knew it was pretty close on time.  Turns out we were 5th now, with those three teams in at about 1:08 and the leader in at 11:53.  At the time, we assumed we were near the back of the pack. 

On to the bike:  We started on a portion of single track that we had ridden in the other direction in the prologue as well as the short ride we had upon arrival Friday.  Not too big of a deal, I could tell that Tim wasn’t really comfortable, only to find out that this was his first real time riding single track.  I had a minor navigational error looking for the first cp too soon.  Thanks to Off Road Fixation for pointing it out to me.  The error was very obvious when I didn’t have tunnel vision.  Once again, the first section of single track was not too bad just slow going as we were being cautious.  However, I do think that Tim was developing a very strong opinion of what he thought of the trails.  We were both relieved to be out of the woods and onto some gravel.  It was decided I would tow Tim where I could.  We were able to move along pretty good until we got to the hill heading to the campground we stayed at.  I told Tim to unhook and he was on his own.  I made it to the top but had to grind pretty hard, at the top I dismounted and stood waiting for Tim.  As I waited, Bob pulled up and checked on us.  He said that Tim was looking pretty tired but was proud he’d done so well thus far.  We picked up cp 6 at the trail head to some more single track.  I was estimating that the length of this trail would not be too much longer that the first section.  I wish!!

The trail started off pretty smooth, but quickly was turning into a nightmare.  We were off and on our bikes every 50 feet or so.  It was so beat up with horse traffic.  We must not have been looking too good because out of nowhere, we see Bob sitting by a tree.  The reason I say we don’t look too good is because Bob says make sure you call someone if you pull out.  I said, not a chance!  Walked about 10 steps further and turned around to tell him we don’t have a phone number.  (So we wrote it down on our map). 

According to my computer we traveled about .7 miles when we stopped at an intersection.  I was not exactly sure where we were on the map, so in the back of my brain I was thinking this choice could be pivotal.  We looked at all options checked the map and decided to turn right.  This was the most beat up section of trail I could ever imagine.  We had to walk. And we walked, and we walked some more.  We began questioning where the heck we were going and I asked Tim, Are you seeing any bike tracks?  We saw one.  The more we went, the worse I felt.  This is when I lost it.  I got really pissed and was screaming. I am sure at this point Tim was questioning his choice (well I know he had already be questioning the race, but now his teammate).  I said we have to go back and regroup at that intersection.  Keep in mind that we had hiked our bike for about 30 minutes through these ridiculous trails, and now we had to do it again in reverse.  I was so mad I took off without Tim.  I was boiling over as I ran my damn bike back, back, back to the intersection.  I got there and to my relief I found some people I recognized.  It was Derrick of Orange Lederhosen.  He was sitting in the same intersection, looking at his map like I was an hour ago.  While talking it through with him, I hear more yelling in the woods and wouldn’t you know... it was Brian from WTF coming up to us.  He joined our conversation.  I said,"You can do what you like, but I would never go to the right".  As we agreed to go straight, Todd from WTF also joined us.  Then I realized that I hadn’t seen Tim in a few minutes.  Shit…Tim’s wife Teri is going to kill me if I get him lost out here.  Another minute or two and I hear “DAVE!” off in the distance.  I yelled back a few times and started walking toward him.  Finally I see him coming and I am relieved.  Now, back to the task at hand…as Bob overheard, “get me off this damn trail.”  WTF agree to join up with us and I am extremely glad that they did.  Our spirits were lifted and we were moving faster than ever (albeit on foot 80% of the time).  But the hiking was faster and we were on the bikes more.  I finally figured out where we were on the map during the hike and we eventually came upon cp7.  We now know we are very close to the road again.  I told Tim I would tow him again when we got to the road, as I could see he was running on fumes.

We got hooked up for the tow. I have been known to be like a sled dog, tie me to something and I pull until I am ready to go down.  I knew we had about 5 miles of road to cp7.5 and I was going to hammer it out.  (Side note for my wife:  I was just about ready to give up on the tow when Brian, riding next to me, said, “man you have nice calves.”  I told him that my wife says the same thing to me when I ride.  I take pride in that because it is the only place on my body where I will ever see any muscle definition!) 

Anyway, we do finally make it to the winery and I was expecting the mystery water event to be right there.  Nope! Emma, Orange Leaderhosen team manager, is there with another map and set of clues.  I almost started crying.  (We were the 9th and 10th teams to make it there with the last 3 teams dropping out so…LAST)  I said, "I'm sorry guys, but I am done towing and don’t know if I will make it".  Brian perked up and I could tell he was chomping at the bit to get the chance to tow someone.  I said, "I will give you my bungee and you can tow Tim."  We sent Todd and Tim down the road while we switched it over.  Little did we know it was only about 1.5 miles of mostly downhill to the Little Dixie Lake.  By the time Brian and I caught back up, we were almost there.  Todd and I now pulled slightly ahead as Brian and Tim hooked up the bungee. From about 100 feet back I hear Brian howl like a basset hound.  Later I find out Tim missed the hook on his bike and snapped Brian with 8 feet of eighth inch bungee cord.  I think by the time they hooked up, Brian was able to tow Tim about 100 feet, then we arrived. 

At the shelter, I looked down to the lake and saw one row boat and I was thinking, "this is going to suck".  But they said there was only one ore so we were done…I was thinking how the heck can we make this work…after all our goal was to clear the course and finish.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone running with another ore and I though what the heck, lets put all four of us in the boat and finish this thing.  We all agreed and we were off. 

To the spectators at the shelter, I am sure it was hilarious.  We spun the boat around at least twice trying to figure out how to go.  Eventually, we settled into a rhythm and we moved slowly up the lake.  It seemed like it would take forever to get to the last three cps, but on the clock I think it was less that an hour and a half.  I didn’t think that it was too bad for all of the love making going on in the back of the boat with Todd and Tim…then Brian and Tim while I rowed.  Probably the best part was when Tim figured out the navigation technique and got us “pointed” in the right direction.  I wish I had pictures but I am new to this so that will have to be next time.  We finally floated to the finish at 7:57pm.  What the heck…10:47 for a “6 hour” race.  I know for a fact that was way more than Tim signed up for.  I feel a little bad for that, but we had a goal and we made it!  We finished 1st out of 3 two person male teams, and 5th overall of 13 teams!  I don’t know if it is fair for “Time” to get a first in his first race?

I know that those that know me don’t think that I have a soft spot at all, but I do.  I felt bad for all of the people at the finish waiting for hours for us to drag our butt back in.  After finishing, it was great to see lots of the people who struggled through the same course we did.  But after about 20 minutes, I was ready to get back to camp.  I was freezing (actually shivering) ready to get showered and go to bed…wait we were camping, no showers and a whole lot of social time that I wouldn’t have missed for anything.  After retrieving our van from the start and getting changed, we were ready to relax.  I do believe at one time we had 18-22ish people crammed around the camp fire sharing stories, food, drinks (literally) and Bob was spreading some Virtus cheer of his own to Brian.  All that was left was another short night of sleep, listening to at least two people having so much fun they were vomiting (one in his tent), another early morning and good byes as everyone departed. 

I just wanted to add a special shout out to the boys of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  Brian and Todd, I am not sure we would have made our goal if you guys hadn’t joined up with us to suffer to the end.  You guys are great; we will catch you at the next race.  Let us know if you fellow Iowans want to meet up for some AR “training” or teaming up in another race sometime.   

I love to race and this non-race was tough but it was outstanding. But I would have to say the social time was by far they best for me.  Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but that is all I have right now.  The Virtus team and all the volunteers are the best!  I will never forget this weekend and will do all I can to get back every year. 


Well here we go!  I have decided to start a blog to document all of the trials and fun that we find out there in the racing world.  We are not the fastest or most funny but we will put the stories and adventures out there for anyone who wants to read them.