Archive for August, 2010

Rattling 50

Posted in Must do Races on August 26, 2010 by rogeremasse

My decision to skip NUE race #7 The Fools Gold and transfer my entry to Sue Haywood, so that she could have a hard race to get ready for Shenandoah, turned out to be a good one. After two miserable rainy 100 mile races at Cohutta and Mohican, I really didn’t want to endure another 100 mile mud-fest.  It’s not that I don’t like racing in mud, because I actually do, but replacing bearings, cables and brake pads after every race gets expensive.  As bad luck would have it, horrible conditions for The Fools Gold forced a shortened race. Specifically, the gritty crystalline structure known as fools gold has an unusually abrasive effect on brake pads when muddy racing conditions spread it around. With 14,000 feet of  fast descending, the racers had no brakes after 30 miles or so… In hind sight, no thanks.

I instead joined 29er Crew teammates Chris Beck and Travis Saeler, stayed in town and raced the Mid Atlantic Super Series Rattling Creek MTB Marathon in Weiser State Forest.   Like Sue, I was looking for a long hard effort to prepare for the Shenandoah Mountain 100 early September. Since my 2010 results have been lacking and I was looking for a win, I opted for my geared Superfly and the Masters 45+ division rather than duking it out with what looked to be a pretty competitive Single Speed category.

We stage at the bottom of a hill on a short road section. I line up next to 2009 NUE Masters Series champion John Williams who rides for Bike Line. I also see Mike Laub in the 2nd row on the other side of the road. Since we’re doing a mass-start, other than John and Mike, I have no idea who the 22 other registered Masters racers are.
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The 101

Posted in Must do Races on August 2, 2010 by rogeremasse

The Wilderness 101 trek29ercrewor simply “The 101” as it’s called was stop number five on the 2010 National Ultra Endurance Series (NUE) calendar.  Starting in the small town of Coburn and looping through Bald Eagle State Forest and Rothrock State Forest in central PA, the 101 has some of the best back country single track riding on the east coast featuring killer climbs and fast, fun, rocky descents. With 60 registered single speed riders, the 101 promised to be one of the most competitive races all year.

I was really looking forward to this race having miraculously placed 2nd here last year in the single speed category with the race of my life. I was somehow hoping to capture some of that 2009 magic that seems like so long ago now.  Even though I was going to be riding my sweet twenty pound SRAM equiped SuperFly Single Speed, I knew deep down even a podium appearance was going to be a tall order.  I actually received a small bit of press in cycling news, which provided motivation to do the best I possibly could.  Somehow when your name appears in the pre-race hype article talking about favorites, you have to try to do SOMETHING to make it seem like you deserved the mention.

It remains to be seen whether Roger Masse (Trek/Gary Fisher Collection) will be up and running after an unfortunate tragic illness kept him away from his commuter training regime for the past six weeks.

Unfortunate, yes. A three week training interruption in the middle of the racing season definitely sets you back. But Tragic? Now a mother who’s lost a child or a person living with a debilitating illness like Cystic Fibrosis, OK …but a temporary bout with an infectious disease? Seems like a walk in the park.  Just sayin’

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