Monday, June 30, 2014

Sweat Shaker 2014, first time for everything

What started as a car load ended with a loner and his bike driving north from Allegan County at 5:40am on Saturday Morning. It's okay though....I enjoy 2.5 hours of alone time.....and I pretty much was. Once I got to US-131 I set the cruise and never touched a pedal again until the S-curve in Grand rapids. NICE! All I was doing was thinking about my strategy on a course I have never ridden before. Don't start fast....Don't repeat the State Games race. Just find the guys in your class and hold on to the lead pack. Simple.

I got there early enough that I kitted up and rode the first part of the trail, just to get an idea. If I had to describe it in one word....bumpy. Niel S. came out of nowhere and we talked for a bit and eventually turned out onto the road and headed back to the starting area. I didn't have any teammates there, but I did see quite a few friends. That always makes me relax when I can talk bikes and just see people I know.


So....10 am start. Jordan, Matt and the rest of the fast guys tore off the line like freaking rocket ships. I chatted with Tom S. while we waited for our start....then it was go time. The Sport Clydes lined up with Sport Men 60+ and the Fat bikes....so it was kind of hard to determine who was in my class or on a fat bike. I just knew there were at least 6 of us. The start was pavement and pretty fast....so I marked two guys in my class and jumped on one of their wheels. Another guy rocketed past me but he was on a fat bike so I let him go. As we hit the singletrack I was confident I was in the top 3. It got really congested as the trail closed in around us. After a mile or two and a lot of people passing from the classes behind things started to settle down a bit and I was riding alone. Then about 5 miles in I got passed by a guy in my class. So....either 3rd or 4th at that point. Keep plugging on.

The first lap was rough because I didn't know the course. I came through and started my second lap. I was feeling pretty good and I was still thinking I was top 5 in my class at the worst. I was alone though. Nobody passing...nobody to pass. I did about mow over a rider that was coming the other way down the trail, just out for a ride. I was more surprised than she was...and she was very apologetic...but she didn't slow me down at all. I was flowing pretty good now. Comfortable. Punchy climb...no problem. Tight and twisty...no problem.

With about 5 miles to go I caught the glimpse of a jersey. Hmm....that guy might be in my class. I got another spark....and started to reel him in. This is something new for me.....so it took me a while. I passed him with about 2 miles to go and left him in my dust! Then I started to think....none of the Elites have caught me yet......and then it happened. With about 1/2 mile to go I hear a voice....never heard his bike....but it was Jordan. He shot past and I was thinking...sweet....I will get to finish with him. That thought was short lived as he disappeared as quickly as he rode up behind me. Fast is an understatement.

So I ripped across the finish line and figured I was maybe 2nd or 3rd....but I really didn't know. I asked for the results and the promoter told me I would have to wait and it would be a surprise. lol. Well ok then....let the suspense build a little. Subway got there and I picked a spot at the table with a few other sport clydes and waited for the awards. Down the lists they went until they got my class.

"And in Sport Clyde....our third place finisher is.....Sean Evans"  

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I have never finished higher than 6th place in a Sport race and that was only because there was only 6 of us...and that was the Sunday before at the State Games race. SO.......I got a freaking medal. So stoked because I really didn't have any idea where I finished. I could have been DFL for all I knew....I was just hoping that I was top 5....and I hit the podium! So....naturally......the question was how many people were in my class.....8. HOLY COW....I RACED AND BEAT 5 PEOPLE.


If you follow along at all you know the bike in the above pic is not my Epic. It is indeed the bike I raced at Yankee with the original wheels....and it now belongs to me! FREAKING LOVE IT. I will do a review on it this week....because I think it deserves one.


So here is my awesome bronze medal. They didn't have a podium to stand on...so we collected our medals and sat back down. No worries....didn't want to put that nasty sweaty thing back on. HA.

Below is a pic of the official results.


So.....A huge shout out to Dan from Custer Cyclery for setting up the Trance for me on a moments notice. I actually picked it up from his house around 9 pm on Friday night. A huge thanks to my loan officer too.....or I would not have been on the trance. lol. It was a fun day for sure!

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