The 12 Hours of Tsali has come and gone, not really much different from last years race except that we had to secure a pit this year as we didn't camp at the Tsali campground. Once again we registered in the Sport category and once again there were some ridiculously fast teams. We ended up 10th in our respected category, not a bad finish but nothing really fantastic about it either. I had a good time racing, the course was fast, smooth and well fast, that pretty much sums up Tsali.
I started off the race for our team again with the run, my only real goal was to try and keep up with Mr. Dillon, a fast rider and fast runner. I did for the first couple of miles but he slowly pulled away from me on the fireroad climbs. I pretty much knew this would happen so I'm not really surprised and once we were on the singletrack there were just too many people between us to make up any time, not that I had it in me anyway. The run and fireroad sprint always really take it out of me, by the time I hit singletrack I'm red lined and all over the place but backing down just can't happen.
My lap times were a few minutes slower this year than last year. I'm going to blame it all on the craft beer and my focus on building trail over trail riding. Sounds like a good excuse to me.
There were no mechanicals to blame my performance on the FROG, it performed flawlessly. I did notice a bit of creaking coming from the EBB but I swear I think it went away after a couple of miles.
As I entered the bike staging area of the run I began to think I'd passed up my bike but as bright of green as it is I kept going thinking I couldn't have missed it. Sure enough I found it laying in the weeds right next to Melinda who was snapping away with the camera.
I caught alot of flack from this photo, I swear I wasn't trying to shove this guy off the trail. He was standing right in the middle of everything taking his sweet ass time getting on his bike. Everyone else was running up grabbing their bikes and taking off running with them, usually jumping on with a cyclocross mount of some fashion. Not this yay-hoo, he was in no hurry and in my attempt to squeeze into the river of racers I lost my balance and leaned into him. I did apologize as I sprinted off trying to chase down David Dillon.
My first 2 laps were on the FROG and I felt good on it not sure if I wanted to ride the JET or not. After my first lap I had noticed the new Conti tire I'd mounted up had gone flat without a single ride on it. I pumped it back up felt and listened for leaks but and left it sitting to see if it would hold in case I needed to call it into service.
As soon as I rolled in off my 2nd lap it began to rain and the following 2 laps my teammates were coming in covered in mud. I had a feeling the knobbier tires, extra gears and more squish might come in handy as rumors of a peanut butter course started coming in. I checked the psi on the Conti and it was holding so I took the JET out for my final lap. Sure enough the first 6 miles were a sticky momentum killer but the farther I went things began to dry up allowing me to pick up a bit of speed but not enough to help me advance much in position. It turned out to be my slowest lap not surprisingly, just a hair over the 1 hour mark.
I'm pretty sure there is a small gash in the sidewall of the new Conti tire causing the slow leak. This morning I noticed it had gone soft again but not completely flat as I rolled it out the door on my way to work for our weekly Tuesday ride at Warriors. I guess I'll pull it off and patch it, maybe throw it in the back up parts bin if it continues to leak. That's the 2nd Conti we've got with a gash in the sidewall, undoubtedly getting sliced by a heavy handed box cutter.
Speaking of slashing sidewalls, I pulled the George from the Saguro and washed the Stan's off of it so I could return it back to it's rightful owner. Thanks Mr. President, you served my tire and your country well.
As promised the FROG will return to a singlespeed this weekend, I kinda wished I'd had time to convert it back before tonight's ride but I didn't. I watched alot of singlespeeders crank past me on the climbs last weekend not too mention local badass David McDaniel pulling off a 2nd place finish in the 12 hour SS solo category. Nice job dude!
Just in case you missed, my video recap from Bike @ Bays.