Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rocky Mounts does the Final Descent


09/10/11 Winter Park Co, The Red Bull Final Descent, a 12-hour Downhill race combines both endurance and lap after lap of flying down a mountain, does life get any better than this?

I raced this as a Solo Expert and knew I'd be in for a beating since I was racing on my Epic XC bike instead of a plush downhill bike. I don't want to hold you in suspense, so I'll spill it: I took 1st place!!!

The course was down Boulevard - a black diamond run that I was to do 26 laps on. I had a rough start and flatted 3 times in the first 5 laps, apparently XC tires on an XC bike isn't burly enough for this course. I finally got into a groove and consistently putting in 22 minute laps. I was settling into the aches and pains that were developing and feeling good. At hour 9 this wonderful thing called "arm pump" was starting. If you're not familiar, it's a soreness that develops on the underside of the forearm from all the jarring descents. This got worse and worse every lap, the brake chatter bumps at the top were getting really painful.

On lap 22 my derailer hanger broke! I had a replacement hanger but the bolt was frozen on so tight that we stripped it trying to get it off. Out of desperation I went to my backup bike: My hardtail Stumpy with shitty brakes. Riding the chatter bumps was more painful than ever! The ride was so rough and my arms hurt so badly that I was in tears. This ended up being dangerous because sometimes I couldn't grab the brakes because everything was so jarring and I could barely hold on. I went straight back to the pit because I couldn't do another lap on that bike.

There was only 2 hours of racing left, I needed to put in a few more laps, but what to do??? I went back to my pink Epic, broke the chain, disconnected the rear derailer and duct taped the cable to the chainstay. I'm going chainless!!! I was back in business on the pink bike and put in enough laps to claim my 1st place position.

I finished my race and grabbed an Old Chub to celebrate the end of an epic day and shared the OB brews with old and new friends. Thanks to Oskar Blues for your support! . Race Stats: 52,000' of descending, 3 flat tires, 3 chainless laps, 2 red bulls, 2 bloodshot eyes, 1,600mg IBuprofen, 1 broken derailer hanger, 1 sprained thumb, and countless sore muscles.

-Kim Godfrey

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