Tuesday, July 23, 2013


By Bob

         A couple of weeks ago, Peter – along with Bob as a sidekick – drove to Sun Valley, Idaho for the USA Cycling Marathon National Championships.  A report - that includes a little catching up: 
1.    THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN.   In early June, the Superman Canyon Triathlon returned after a multi year hiatus.  The Superman Tri combines an outrageous run course that descends through the White Cliffs, an 8 mile loop on Gallup’s first mountain biking trail and a set of 10 bouldering and top rope problems at the Barnyard bouldering area.  Andy Stravers decisively won the run and bike legs of the Tri among soloists but got narrowly edged out for the solo title by Nate Bia who had apparently been living full time at the Barnyard for the preceding month and had all the climbing problems wired.  Ben Fredrickson came blasting into town to take third and the always solid Alan Philips was fifth in the Male Solo category.  Chuck Van Drunen (who teamed with Nate Haveman and Tim Bruinus) put in the fastest bike time on a powder dry course as part of the first place Male Team.  Lloyd “Sandbagger (yes, were still nursing a grudge a full year later)” Ellis, Jen Witt and Ben Landry took first in Coed Team and Holly Herr, Jessica Mickelsen and Naomi Brunius took first in Female Team.  Dirk Hollebeast and Ruth Lynch & Andy and Autumn Newell tied for 2nd in the Co-ed Team category.  Here is some of the gang after the run: 

2.    LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION.  A couple of days before 24HIEF, Bob, Chuck and Greg Cavanaugh took a film crew from the New Mexico Tourism Department to do some filming at the red rocks in the forest.  Here is the film crew getting an aerial shot of Chuck descend into the bowl with a remote control helicopter and also a shot of Chuck down in the bowl:

3.    SAMURI CHUCK RIDES INTO BATTLE ON THE GREAT PLAINS.  Here – completely unedited – is Chuck’s email as he drove up to Brian and Melanie’s wedding in Canada:

I am in North Dakota. Did a darkside yesterday in black hills.  Short but very pretty in the rolling grass hills.  Took kids on cave tour of wind cave.  In the afternoon we hit this cool waterslide park in rapid city.  This morning we went thru spearfish, sd.  And to my dismay neither bike shop in town was a salsa dealer … trek & specialized … total bs.  You name a bike after a town and they don’t carry your brand?  Currently in route to Fargo.  When there I will see if there is darkside group ride …. where like a roaming samurai I will battle with regional heroes in hopes of vanquishing their souls to the halls of despair and shame … and perhaps then they will consider mountain biking. 
       More on our attempts to find out how Chuck’s grand adventure turned out later.

4.    CHUCK’S PRERACE ADVICE TO PETER.  While in Sun Valley, Bob was thinking about Chuck’s unconventional pre-race D2D routine – that has yielded dominant performances for the last three years.  He sent Chuck a text pretending that Peter was copying Chuck’s prerace D2D routine: 
Peter started watching Braveheart  late last night.  Then he was in and out of the hot tub.  About 3am he started redoing his front fork.  Now, he is glassy eyed and swilling Red Bull.  I don’t know what to do.
      Chucks reply:
Sounds like he is primed to kick some ass.  Peter is top of the food chain.  Tell him to act like it and be a bit of  dick … just like he is in surgery. 

5.    THE BIG SHOW.   Peter took 13th out of 35 in 50+ class at Sun Valley on a course the consisted of two 24 mile laps with an epic 10+ mile climb and a heinous, narrow, exposed descent on each lap.  It’s hard to convey how elite the competition is at the marathon nationals.  It’s just off the charts.  Tinker Juarez who won the 24 Hour Nationals on our home course at 24HIEF didn’t even enter the Pro category.  He sandbagged and rode with Peter in 50+!!  Cameron Brenneman who rode on the first place 4 man team at 24HIEF was 19th as Sun Valley.  Nina Baum who was 1rst at 24HIEF was 8th at Sun Valley.  Bob who put in 5 laps at 24HIEF for 100 miles was DNF at Sun Valley.  Although Peter has had better results in past Marathon Nationals, take my word for it:  13th was a great result!!
Here is Peter the day before the race at the start/finish:
The Pro Poduim:

Tinker (center in white) waiting to go on the 50+ podium:

Bob with Todd Wells of Durango (first place pro in red and sitting on his bike) and Stephen Ettinger of Bozeman, Montana (second pro in BMC kit) in the background awaiting the awards:

A ski resort dog checking out a mangy rez dog (the one without a collar): 

A CONCLUDING QUESTION.   So what ever happened on Chuck’s darkside group ride in ND?  In spite of persistent efforts, we have been completely unable to get the scoop on how this played out.  Every time we try, Chuck goes into an eye glazed trance and starts mumbling about how some 6’3”, 250 pound Viking woman in Canada forced him into personal servitude for 5 days -all the while telling him she could beat him on a bike.  This is one question for which we may never get a straight answer.   

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