Alchemist Updates and Photos

29 08 2013

Some Team happenings going on.  Here’s the skinny:

Paul wins Pikes Peak Marathon

Paul defended his Pikes Peak Marathon crown. Winning the 50+ cat. Coming from third place to crush the competition on the descent. Those aging knees just couldn’t take it. Awesome, Paul!

Laurie on Glen Haven Gallivant 200k

Laurie on Glen Haven Gallivant 200k. This was a short one for her, having done 400 and 600k this summer. What!?!?  What’s the female word for animal? . . . . Animal?
Photo from http://coloradobrevets.blogspot.com/

John W. in Wyoming

John W. rode 3800 miles across 23 states. Here he is in Wyoming. Being hunted by jackals.

Is that the Grand Canyon?  John crossed it on a tightrope on live TV.  I think I got that right.

Is that the Grand Canyon? John crossed it on a tightrope on live TV. I think I got that right.

Coast to Coast, Baby!

Coast to Coast, Baby!  John W., du bist ein fickende superfreak! Strong work.

Austin contigent, Tommy F. and the fam relaxing in Philly after racing a Vermont Stage Race.  Tommy, I think that's the Delaware. But if it's the Schuylkill, do NOT fall in.  I used to row in that muck, and headless dogs were commonplace floatsam.

Austin Team contigent, Tommy F. and the fam relaxing in Philly after racing a Vermont Stage Race. Tommy, I think that’s the Delaware, but if it’s the Schuylkill, do NOT fall in. I used to row in that muck, and headless dogs were commonplace floatsam.

Luke won the Boulder Short Track Series for 10 and under. He’s only 9.  Booyah!

Sean B. took second at the Vail Amateur Time Trial, which is a part of the US Pro Challenge, of which Sean is the lead Doctor.  Saving lives AND Podiums.  Need a pic Sean.

Drew went out and rode 24 Hours of Poorman’s/Chapman.  Over 200 miles. 25,000ft of vert.  Self supported.  Why, you ask?  Because he can.

What’s new in Alchemist apparel ?  Baggies and compression socks.  Yeah, you heard it right.  We like it loose, but we also keep it tight around here.  More on that to come.

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Cycling News makin John A famous!

18 08 2013

Check it.  Way to go Johnny!

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/breck-epic-2013/stage-6/photos/276690





Breck Epic Stage 6, Gold Dust

18 08 2013

Final stage of the Epic.  We were 7 minutes out of third in the overall standings.

As Mike Mac puts it, today is the reward for the hell he put us through yesterday, and every day before that.  Gold Dust is a loamy, curvy water channel on the other side of Boreas Pass.  The turns are banked, and the trail is great fun.  But to get there, we have to climb over Boreas.  We started at the Ice Rink today.  We had every intention to start at the front. But as per our usual M.O., we showed up a minute before the start.  Stuart and I lined up with the overall 3rd place team at the back of the pack.  But we needed to make up 7 minutes, so it wasn’t a neutral race.  My legs felt more like their old self, so we hammered it right away, passing most of the field, and working our way up to the top quarter of the field.  Today, we raced.

Coming back from The Gold Dust is a long, railroad-grade dirt road that climbs for 45 minutes.  At the top is Aid 2, and then it’s downhill almost all the way home. We slowed down to share a PBR hand-up before heading home.  On the way home, there is one section of trail in which the river essentially runs along it, down the middle.  A couple years ago, I remember eating sh*t right into the river.  So naturally, as we approached it, I thought, “Do NOT take a bath here again.”.  But which line was the good one?  Right or left?  I chose right.  Or wrong.  I planted my front wheel into a large river rock and took another bath.   Stuart had a good chuckle as he pulled up to find me sputtering Giardia-flavored mountain water.

The rest of the ride home was uneventful, but hectic, as we weren’t sure how much time we had on the third place.  We finished 2nd on the day, just ahead of Dean (on a singelspeed) and Kyle.

Another Breck Epic in the books.  The most Epic of weeks, ever.  Leadville on Saturday.  Breck Epic on Sunday-Friday.   We started the week off in DFL, but got stronger and faster.  The 7 minutes we needed to make up on Stage 6 was won and then some, as we ended up taking almost 30 minutes, and clawed our way back out of a huge hole for third in the overall.   Riding with Stuart was awesome.  We made a great team.  Not the least of which because he didn’t ever complain about how much he had to wait for me the whole week.  Stuart has taken it to another level this year.  I’m pretty sure he’s doping.

It will be nice to not have to sit on a saddle for a good while.  My ass needs a break.

Stage 6. 2nd for the stage

Stage 6. 2nd for the stage

Breck Epic 2013. Walsworth and Wu, 3rd overall.

Breck Epic 2013. Walsworth and Wu, 3rd overall.

Stage 7. Chris C made this ridiculous meal for Stu and me after the final stage. 1/2 pound of herb rubbed beef, bacon, blue cheese, arugula. Yeehaw!!

Stage 7. Chris C made this ridiculous meal for Stu and me after the final stage. 1/2 pound of herb rubbed beef, bacon, blue cheese, arugula. Yeehaw!!

Castillian sandwich.  As Chris puts it, he's the meat of the Team.

Castillian sandwich. As Chris puts it, he’s the meat of the Team.





Breck Epic Stage 5, Wheeler

18 08 2013

” . . . if you’re reading this, you faced the rabid Aqueduct stage down, met its stare and made it look away.  You stood your ground. Well this old bitch has one more card up her sleeve, one more knife in her boot and one more cruel sucker punch to throw before she’ll kneel before you.  And its name is Wheeler.”

-Mike Mac, Breck Epic 2011

Breck Epic Stage 5, Wheeler

Breck Epic Stage 5, Wheeler

David B focused on the Wheeler start

David B focused on the Wheeler start

Ah, yes. Wheeler.  Wheeler.  Wheeler is a special stage.  We start from the Peak Nine parking lot on the west side of town.  From the the gun, it starts climbing, and climbing, and climbing.  Eventually, we turn onto a narrow goat path, and the view to the top of the pass is unobstructed.  You can see a line of ants marching in front and behind you for miles.  The trail is too steep and narrow to ride, and almost too narrow to walk with your bike.  But walking is the name of the game here.  Miles of it.  The view at the top is as breathtaking as the hike up.  Last year, we had fresh cooked bacon waiting for us at the top.  The baconators were there again.  As we rolled over the top, hot, greasy bacon was inserted directly into our gaping mouths, and it was spectacular.

The descent off Wheeler is rutted, rocky, narrow, windy, disorienting, and dangerous.   It took out the overall Singlespeed leader, Dax Massey, with 2 broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Fortunately, we survived.  Rolling into Copper, we turned on the afterburners and pace-lined it all the way back to Frisco.

Mike added a new piece of “trail” called Miner’s Creek Gulch, which was supposed to bypass the busier sections of the Peak’s trail.  This road was steep and full of babyheads, adding to the hike-a-bike for the day.   Between the hike up Wheeler, the descent down Wheeler, and the hike up Miner’s Gulch, there were plenty of choice words for Mike Mac on the stage.

But the legs felt better today.  We took second for the stage, and almost 30 minutes on the 3rd place overall podium.  Just 7 minutes out.

Chris C and his Bday cake. Chris celebrates his birthday each year by pounding the crap out of his body at the Breck Epic

Chris C and his Bday cake. Chris celebrates his birthday each year by pounding the crap out of his body at the Breck Epic





Breck Epic Stage 4, The Aqueduct.

16 08 2013

Been a hectic week.  We are slowly clawing our way back onto the overall podium.

Stage 4 is the Aqueduct stage. This is the longest and hardest stage.  With climbs like “heinous hill” and “vomit hill” (both aptly named), the climbs just keep coming at you. The long Keystone climb after Aid 2 at 24 miles lasts an hour, but you aren’t done because the groin shot after Aid 3 at 36 miles is even worse.

Breck Epic Stage 4, The Aqueduct

Breck Epic Stage 4, The Aqueduct

But I finally found my legs. I cleaned Heinous hill and mostly cleaned Vomit hill.  We finished 7 minutes behind second place, which we likely would have taken except for my little foray onto Middle Flume when I should have been on Upper Flume.  Coming down the new Slalom track, which has high banked turns and swoopy flow, I followed a couple guys off course.  About 9 of us ended up losing 10 minutes or more with that detour.  But on the bright side, David B was with that pack, and we ended up riding with him for a good bit of the race.

The Aqueduct is named for the large corrugated pipe that splits the trail going into Aid 2.  David and Stuart were ahead of me leading up to the pipe.  I tried to call out that the left line was the line to take, but we were separated by a rider, and they had a small gap on us.  David, took the right line and tried to hop over the Aqueduct, but his front wheel didn’t clear the pipe, and he went down hard into a large bush, narrowly missing a dangerously jagged rock.  We stayed with him for several minutes as he gathered himself.  Except for a bruised hip, he was okay.

Third on the day.  36 minutes out of the overall 3rd place Team. We got work to do.

 





Breck Epic Stage 3, Guyot Loop

15 08 2013

Guyot Loop Elevation Profile. That red hot poker at mile is Guyot

Guyot Loop Elevation Profile. That red hot poker at mile 12 is French Pass

Stage #3, Mt Guyot Loop.  The notable feature of the day being the death march to over 12,000 ft.  Approaching it is like doing the Firecracker 50 course backward.  So we got to descend Little French Gulch instead of climb it.

Along the way, Stuart had to see a man about a horse

Along the way, Stuart had to see a man about a horse

I thought this would be the day that I found my legs.  It wasn’t.  I still felt sluggish and winded, but on the bright side, we came across Chris after cresting French. He was using some choice four letter words as he struggled with his CO2 and a flat tire. We stopped for a bit and got him fixed up.  We all stayed together down the rest of the rocky descent, since Chris only had about 15 PSI in the fixed tire.  We made it down fine though, and he was able to fill up at aid 2.

Disco, Chris, and I on top of Georgia Pass. Chris and Stuart crushed the climb and had to wait for me. They were chatting with tourists when I got there.

Disco, Chris, and I on top of Georgia Pass. Chris and Stuart crushed the climb and had to wait for me. They were chatting with tourists when I got there.

We rode most of the rest of the stage together, snapping photos, and enjoying the day. Well, as much as you can enjoy having a red hot poker shoved up your a$$,

Shower Cap Boys

Shower Cap Boys

The weather was intermittently rainy and then sunny.  So we stopped to put on or take off our jackets about a dozen times.  At aid 3, we donned shower caps as the weather seemed to be getting serious.  But of course, as we climbed American Gulch, the sun popped out, and we roasted under our jackets and shower caps.

Podium!

Podium!

Despite my crappy riding, we still managed to get on the 3rd podium spot. We are still over an hour out of 3rd place in the overall.

More photos below.

Riding up French Pass

Riding up French Pass

Little Marching Ants. This was a false summit.

Little Marching Ants. This was a false summit.

From the top of French. Whole lotta this going on.

From the top of French. Whole lotta this going on.

Welcoming party at the top of French.  They were handing out Skittles, which I promptly aspirated on the way down.

Welcoming party at the top of French. They were handing out Skittles, which I promptly aspirated on the way down.

Big Johnson. to be more precise, a smoked, nasty Johnson.  Named after Tim Johnson. Bread, marshmellow fluff, Nutella, potato chips. Pickles makes it nasty. Bacon makes it smoked.

Big Johnson. to be more precise, a smoked, nasty Johnson. Named after Tim Johnson. Bread, marshmellow fluff, Nutella, potato chips. Pickles makes it nasty. Bacon makes it smoked.





Breck Epic Stage 2, Colorado Trail Loop

12 08 2013

Colorado Trail Stage.  See that fang at around 11 miles?  That one hurt.

Colorado Trail Stage. See that fang at around 11 miles? That one hurt.

Aah, what a difference sleep makes.  And Albuterol. And food. And time.

I felt loads better today.  Still at around 70%, but a big improvement from yesterday, which was a uniquely strange and terrible experience.  Today was the Colorado Trail Stage.  Probably the most funnest stage.  Steep climbs and long, flowy descents are the signature features for the course.  Last year, I was soaked and hypothermic, and barely limped home.  I enjoyed none of that ride.  But today was perfect conditions, and my lungs were staring to come back around.  It was also nice to not have to stop for directions, since the course markings were up.  Funny how starting on time with the rest of the field makes for a more productive day.

Mike decided to throw in a couple new sections this year.  A long, bumpy ridge trail, which felt like a rock-strewn tightrope.  And a 17% grade road climb before getting to the fun stuff.  But the sweetness that is the Colorado Trail and Blair Witch Trail makes the grunt worth it.

We made the stage’s podium in third today, picking up about half an hour on the current overall third place team.  We forgot to get a podium shot. My lungs are recovering, so Stuart is only waiting minutes instead of hours for me.  We have about an hour and a half to make up for the overall third spot.  4 more stages to go.  Guyot Loop tomorrow. Over 7K’ climbing.  Better get some rest.

Time to dine!

Time to dine!








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