Breck Epic, day #2

23 08 2010

Ken made it into the Mountain Flyer gallery.  Sweet photo of him on his way to the Clydesdale win yesterday (thanks, Matt).  It’s not often that Clydesdale’s get much press time.  But I guess Ken looked so good in the Alchemist kit that they just couldn’t resist.  He took the top podium spot again today.  Handily, by 15 minutes.  The third place guy to Ken’s right is saying, “Dude, you ain’t no 200 pounds.”  Then he looked down and saw the calves and went, “Oh, I see.”

Ken is now a world champion, short track champion, Breck Epic stage champion x2, and male model.

Today was the Colorado Trail stage.  7300 feet of climbing.  But overall, was more enjoyable than yesterday since most of the descents were through amazing, flowy singletrack.  This is the stuff that bike-savvy tourist come here to ride, and that locals show their intrepid visitors.  It’s that way for a reason.  The Colorado trail section is stupifyingly fast and fun.   As long as you are comfortable with going really fast, you can do a ton of it without touching your brakes.  It is laid out so that the twists and turns are subtle enough that you can throw your bike around and still maintain just enough control to not face plant into a tree, though the possibility is certainly there.  You eventually go screaming out into a gorgeous meadow with views that would be really nice to soak in if you weren’t riding a tightrope at 30 mph.   The climbing today was a lot of shorter, punchy climbs.  Though some of them seemed pretty sustained, and I did a fair amount of walking. 8th place again.  It’s my lot in life.

The day started off a bit auspiciously for me.  I left the condo late and then couldn’t find the start right away.  By the time I found it, the race had started, and I could barely see the last of the pack, about half a mile from the start.  So yeah, I started the race in last place.  Fortunately, I could see the tail of the pack. They made a bunch of turns, and I would never have found the route if I had gotten there a few seconds later.  I finally caught up to the peloton right as we hit the dirt.  I got to ride briefly with Wendy Skean, who did the race last year, and who is back rockin it again this year, at the age of 63!   On the first descent, I heard a clunk from the front of my bike.  You know, the kind that makes you go, “That ain’t right.”  After the second clunk, I realized that my fork had blown up, and was almost fully compressed.  It had about 10mm of travel left in it, and it kept bottoming out.  I locked it out, which didn’t do a whole lot.  Needless to say, I descended the rest of the day with extra caution.  I took it in after the race, but I’m not sure it will hold.

But overall, it was a good day.  I Leapfrogged with Peter from Misfit Psycles.  Check em out.  Cool frames and gear.  As I recall, he did some custom frames for the Epic winners too.  Peter and I went back and forth most of the day, encouraging each other up the nasty stuff.  This is his second Breck Epic, on a single speed. Fully rigid, no less.  He’s fast, and I’m riding well, but jeez, I feel like both of us are just trying to stay off the bottom of the list.  These singlespeeders are wicked strong.

And hairy.

I’m working on the hair.  I’m hoping that by day 6, I might have a shot at the podium.

Day 3 tomorrow.  Guyot (pronounced Gee-oh) loop.  This is when the race gets harder.  44 miles, 9400 feet of climbing.  We go over 12,ooo feet and cross the continental divide, twice.  It was a bear last year when Jon and I rode it geared.  I’m hoping to survive it this year.

More tomorrow.



3 responses

23 08 2010
Vivienne Palmer

Less bikes, more guts.

23 08 2010

Sounds great! Strong work Ken.

24 08 2010
head nut

That’s 75 pounds of ripped muscle per leg! That leaves only 50 pounds for the rest of him to make the 200 pound limit. Yikes!

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