SinglespeedUSA 2012 is in the books. My house is empty and quiet, but the disorganization of my car, garage and house gives a hint of the chaos of the weekend. If you want to know what it was like, check out the ‘all’ posts on the facebook page or read some of the reports that have already surfaced, like this one or this one or this one. But my story is one of behind the scenes.
I took Thursday afternoon off of work so I could get a jump on some of the things that needed to be done as well as take care of my back at my sports guy and pass off my kiddo to my parents for the week. After the important errands were done I headed out to Sterling Valley in a light rain to get started on the course marking. Everything was wet and greasy and I was riding around hoping that we’d get a bit luckier with the weather for the event day. A couple of hours, 100 pin flags and 1 roll of red checked tape later and I rolled out and headed to town to catch up with the early arrival friends.
A late night, an early morning and a lot more stuff to do. 2/3 of the trail still to be marked. I spent over five hours on Friday covering the rest of the course, making some game time decisions to cut off a section that would have added more distance but a lot of difficulty and some sketch. In the end, the complete course covered about 28 miles and a lot of climbing and mostly, completely all singletrack. I really wanted it to be quality, for people to feel worked when they got to the end and for people who don’t live around here to wish that maybe they did.
Friday night was another late one with the registration party and catching up with new and old friends, I hit my bed around 2am. ish. And then 6am Saturday morning and it was go time. Arrows to place along the road. 40s to locate for the aid station. and all this had to be done in order to get to the start by 9am. We purposefully ran the event under the radar and selected an out of the way field to get started, asking riders to ride to the start instead of parking there. Concurrently, there was some sort of LAX practice going on in the same spot. Weren’t they surprised when a bunch of bikers dressed as unicorns and pirates and bananas and more, materialized at the field and then all rode off en masse.
We set up the drunkcyclist.com aid station and then I had to head out and place more arrows (looooooooong course, many arrows and much marking, i see why people run laps!) and buy more beer, water and cola for the aid. Riders coming through were smiling, despite enduring some feelings of lost at the lollipop section of the course. There was a plan that would have had the arrows flipped to avoid the confusion, but apparently the plan fell through and people didn’t know which way to go. They figured it out eventually though, we didn’t totally lose anyone up there.
When the last riders came through aid it was time to pack up and head to the finish. The fasted guys demolished the course in three hours, very impressive riding. The finish area party was strong and I kept overhearing people talking about how much fun they had on the trails and that the course was hard but excellent. That made me feel good. There were awards, the foot down derby for the belt, a syrup-chugging contest for hosting rites for 2013 and to end it all, a bit of a brawl. All cleaned up by 5pm and off for dinner and a nap.
I never really got up from that nap. Well, I did wake up enough to give my houseguests a ride to the after party at the Rusty Nail. But then I turned right around and headed for home and bed. I was totally and utterly sapped. I’m just not capable of so many late, late nights of being sober around drunk people so I could still drive home, followed by early, early mornings and the stress of event go-time.
There you have it. We lucked out. The weather was awesome, the riders were fun and embraced the spirit of the event to the fullest and the worst problems included 7 stitches for the pirate and a couple of melt downs in the woods that were handled with grace by our sweep. I’m handing the controls over to the Minnesota boys for 2013 and hope that we set a pretty high bar for this event for future years. I’m going to go crawl under the covers and complain loudly when I have to get up in the morning and go back to work.