Race Report: Whiskey 50

I was completely relaxed going into the Whiskey 50.  This year’s edition was an experiment of sorts.  I ran a 32×20.  I was tempted to run a taller gear, but I’ve been in the midst of learning how to spin better at higher rpm’s for some events later in the year.

I’m a masher not a spinner.  I’ve been working pretty hard to find a better balance and I wasn’t going to let my competitive juices get the best of me at Whiskey.  I was sticking with my plan, eager to see how my spinning would compare to a stacked field of insanely fast single speeders.

I checked into the Hotel Vendome on Friday evening and walked down to the expo. I bumped into the DC crew and we ducked into a fine establishment on Whiskey Row for a cocktail.  After sharing some good times, we took off after only one drink.  At least I only had one drink, I’m pretty sure Dirty and Cupcake didn’t stop at one.

I made my way over to the Ergon tent to meet some of the hardest working badasses in the bike biz, Jeff Kerkove and Sonya Looney.  For their work on and off the bike, the Topeak-Ergon team have been a steady source of inspiration for me since I started racing 2 1/2 years ago.  It was a thrill to meet them face to face.

Ergon introducing the SM3 saddle

After milling around for a while, I staked out my spot to watch the insanity that is the Whiskey 50 Crit.  Crazy stuff.

The DC gorilla executing a perfect PBR hand up

That’s Deejay Birtch next to the gorilla in the red hat.  I think I snapped the only picture of Deejay during the crit with his pants on.

Yuki Ikeda getting on the gas!

After the crit, I grabbed some dinner at the Raven Cafe and called it an early night.  I got a great night’s sleep and made my way to the starting line around 7:15am.  Most of the 600 racers were already lined up by this time.  I was pleased to not have to stress about getting lined up early because I was racing singlespeed and singlespeeders get called up to the front. I was about 5 rows back and ready to go.

I had a blast on the course, except for the insane conga line that formed on the first section of single track.  Other than that brief moment, my day was filled with smiles, hoots, hollers and a beer hand up from the DC and Sunday Cycles crew.   Fast and flowy singletrack, long climbs, a near perfect day.  My nutrition plan was executed without any issues.  My bike was running perfect.  I did not become Cramp Hill’s bitch and I had zero flats (thanks Stan’s NoTubes)!

Brian Leddy Photography

Zazoosh Photography

Zazoosh Photography

Zazoosh Photography

I ended up placing 30th, but I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.  I was 92nd last year, so I’d call 30th a solid improvement and a result I can build upon.  The knowledge gained will serve me well for the rest of the season.

After the race, my fun was just getting started.  I got to meet this animal

Justin Mann – photo by Jeff Kerkove

When Justin’s not shredding on his bike or cooking up awesome goodness in his slow cooker, he’s support for the other half of the Mann Adventure, Allison Mann.  It was a thrill to meet both of them in person.  In fact, that pretty much sums up my post race experience.  Hanging out with great people including a wide variety of mountain bikers.  Those new to the sport as well as accomplished professionals and everyone in between.  Antics in the beer garden ensued.

Joe Berman, Dancer

Next up, 12 Hours of Temecula #2 in June.

Final Results: 30th Place, 47 miles, 6,040 ft total climbing 

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