Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Barking Spider XC Race - Nampa, ID

Based on my experiences, there are now two mountain bike races I will never do if the forecast is calling for rain: True Grit in St. George and Barking Spider XC in Nampa, ID.

The mud from the Hemingway Butte OHV Park is by the stickiest I have ever seen. My garden hose and spray nozzle wouldn’t touch it after the race. I finally had to load the bikes back up and find a self-serve car wash with high-pressure warm water to get our bikes clean. The real damage won’t be known until I pull the cranks off and check all bearings…I am expecting the worst. Oh well, shit happens.

Michelle and I were having good days until about 1:10:00 into the race when the rain started to come down.  We had good warm-ups, the temp was pleasant, and we both felt pretty strong after our respective first laps.  Then Mother Nature dropped the hammer and the course turned into a sticky mess like that of which I have never seen.  If you poured peanut butter, maple syrup, flour, gravel, and sand into a big-ass mixing bowl you might be able to duplicate the mud that we encountered.  Both wheels on the bike were locked in place and you had the choice of carrying or dragging your bike.  I DNF'd after my second of three laps and Michelle pulled the plug after 1 3/4 laps. 

Lessons Learned: 
  • Even for short races, throw a light jacket in your jersey pocket if it looks like rain.
  • Skinny tires are your friend in the mud. 
  • The rear tire clearance on my Scott Scale29 is very poor and not mud-friendly. Grrr.
  • Gore Sealed Shift Cables work amazingly well. It is a bummer they are discontinuing them. 
  • Being able to push fresh grease into a Chris King bottom bracket after a race like this (using the Chris King BB grease tool) makes me happy. 
  • In contrast, trying to service Press-fit Bottom brackets after a race like this does NOT make me happy.


Hamilton said...

Ouch! I haven't seen a front tire like that, well, since the last time I rode in Boise! I gotta check your "around the block" next time I'm in town. Looks great, good shoulders? More or less potential for motorist conflicts relative to our block? Hard to beat Pine Creek Pass, and those exceptional shoulders, no?


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