Saturday, July 4, 2009

Epic Rides - C2C 2009

What started out as a question from my brother Darin (think we can ride to Mom and Dad's house?), has turned into an annual "adventure" of epic proportions. Now that sounds impressive, but the C2C is not so much about "great" mountain bike riding and more about coming together and having fun and testing yourself.

The 2009 C2C Invitational Ride was no different. It was full of fun, challenge, and beautiful views of the coast range. This year was also full of new things like flats (and more flats), a lost rider, and many lessons learned. The course winds through a lot of gravel fire roads, some pavement, a little single track with lots of climbing. It requires about 6.5 hours of saddle time, 64 miles, and a little over 6,000 feet of climbing or as I like to say, "30 miles up and 30 miles down."

The weather was perfect as we left Corvallis at 5:45 a.m. with a sunny sky and a temperature of 51 degrees. We avoided the traditional "event" in the first mile of past years (lost cleat screw, broken chain, etc), which gave us a false sense of security. In three past years there has never been a flat, but this year changed that as was a record (never to be broken we hope) of 10 flats! And not just in one area, but all along the route by different riders

Another change this year was a record 12 bikes and 14 riders. The two extra riders resulted from one of our members riding the coolest mountain tandem. He road the first 30 with one of his sons (I think he was about 6) and the second 30 with one of his other sons (who I think is about 8). Amazing.

The C2C is an invitational, but that is loose definition. Our only requirement is that a person be in shape (we have test rides leading up to the C2C to check on that) and that you fit into the "spirit" of the ride. This isn't a race, but a test of "team" and "endurance" and it is not a place for egos. This year was no different. Even with 12 adults and a number of delays (including our lost rider), there was nothing but support, encouragement, humor, laughter, and some great riding. It always amazes me (or I've been lucky in choosing my riding companions) the special people mountain bike riders are (I guess I would have to say in my case, cross country riders). I just don't see the egos, but I'm sure they are out there.

The "lost" rider lesson came when the group got ahead of one of the riders, then didn't do a head count at a major intersection and headed off. There was a buddy system, but it more out of fun, and we learned a few things about large group rides and what to do if you are the lost one.

All the flats and delay from the "lost" incident and regular rest stops pushed us past our goal of making South Beach by 2:00 p.m. as we rolled in at 4:15 p.m, not as slow as the first year, but not as fast as our best year. But who cares, it isn't a race remember.

Lessons Learned 2009
1. When you assign buddies, make sure people know each other by their face, especially when you two or three with the same names.
2. If you are going to assign buddies then use them
3. With a large group, always to head counts at each major intersection
4. If you get lost, stay put, and let the rest of the group come to you.
5. Tubeless tires and Stan's is the only way to go.

Harris Covered Bridge 10 miles

Starker Forest Park 20 miles

I hate "Stinging Nettles" 25 miles

Stinging Nettle Lane 25 miles

Riding "The Nettles" mile 26

Lunch on top of the Randall Saddle mile 35

The "Crew" South Beach, Oregon mile 64

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