Monday, September 15, 2008

sswc08 - day two


Stayed at Nic’s in town Friday night. Got up early and got my stuff together and found a Whole Foods for some groceries. The next two nights I will be camping up in Napa.

Saw my car in the city. Well, the hardtop version (I have a convertible). And the same color too!

Slowly made my way up towards the Skyline Park campground in Napa (whilst listening to some bearing). This is where the festivities would take place. Arrived somewhere mid-afternoon. Ran into Travis and Lisa. They just got back from a ride on the ‘course’. Said hello to DeJay, Fuzzy and Buck. Wandered over to pick up my number plate (a very nice paper plate written in crayon) and other misc stuff. Then got the bike together to head out on a ride of the ‘course’.

I had a 32x19 for riding on the east coast and around San Fran. Decided to bump that up to a 32x20 for Napa. I also cleaned the bike up a bit and ‘she was all set to go. Decked with the latest BKB garb, ready to kill some dreams, I headed out for a nice spin to see what Napa Valley (and California) mountain biking is all about.

First impression: A lot more climbing than I anticipated, however the 20tooth was working well for me. Ran into Fuzzy along the way and he kind of played ‘host’ and ‘tour guide’ as I tagged along with him. He and Dejay arrived earlier in the week so they’ve been riding the area for a few days now. Climb up this beautiful singletrack ascent. Climb up that beautiful singletrack ascent. Descent this narly meandering singletrack (lots of tight switchbacks) and repeat some more. All in all, it was quite fun but most of the course was exposed to the sun which made for a hot ride. I quickly figured the 21tooth cog would be better suited for a race that consisted of three laps of what I just rode. The 20tooth worked well but I knew it would hurt a lot with some fatigue. So, the 21tooth it was for race day.

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out with the NC Pisgah crew amongst others. Late afternoon / early evening was the decider for the 2009 SSWC. Four gents stepped up to the plate:
One individual from the Phoenix Arizona area
One individual from Paris, France
‘Doom’ from Durango Colorado
‘Fuzzy’ representing the New Zealand peeps

Curtis made it be known that 2009 would be decided through a round of bowling at the local Napa bowling alley. Saddle up! We’re riding into town to take over the bowling alley (and town). Many of us mounted up and rode the few miles into town. It was such a cool thing, seeing so many cyclists riding and having a good time. We overtook that bowling alley including half the parking lot filled with singlespeed mountain bikes.

Durango (aka: “Chainsaw”) came out hard from the gate setting some high points (many, many strikes). While sporting the Denver Bronco’s trucker hat and a John Elway jersey. Fuzzy was in hot pursuit with Paris a bit a-ways and Phoenix holding on for dear life. Part-way through the round Paris broke out the Nacho Libre’ mask and popped his pink polo shirt’s collars up ala: Gotti-style. This brought about even more participation from us spectators through the channels of heckling and cheering on. More pins fell. Durango would have none of that! As a result the Elway jersey disappeared for the remainder of the round.

Once all 10 frames were bowled it was Durango taking the win with Fuzzy right behind. That was not the end. Curtis had one more trick hiding in his mustache…. Final, Final decider via a head-to-head game of Miss Pac-Man. We all mosied over to the arcade in the bowling alley and watched ‘Chainsaw’ and ‘Fuzzy’ go at it. I think this was the best part, partially because I had front-row seats. Haha. In the end, ‘Chainsaw’ beat out Fuzzy. Durango Colorado it is for 2009!

‘Ohio’ Rob and I rode around town a bit jumping from party to party and found our way to a bike stack-up at one of the local watering holes. Sometime thereafter we headed back to camp. At some point that evening I grabbed my thermarest and sleeping bag and laid out under a tree to go to sleep. I slept so well that evening.


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