Thursday, October 4, 2012

BIG UNIT Meets Council Bluff

Finally, a weekend away with the hubby and my new bike, KONA 2012 Big Unit single speed.  Our destination is Council Bluff.  Why the hell not?  Super 13 mile lake loop, a plethora of trees to sleep in, and Johnston Mountain views.  You had me at Super 13!  The Burnin' is less than two weeks away. Twelve hours of riding.  Holy hell, what was I thinking?

Love our KUAT rack

We arrive at the campground and hang our ENO hammocks, crack a couple of beers, and sit by a campfire.  Does it get any better? No, it doesn't.   No phone, NO Tv, and no kiddos to keep track of.  And tomorrow, we get to ride our bikes until our legs fall off or our lungs blow out. Ahhhh, this is the life.  I am looking forward to introducing my Big Unit to my favorite trail. Hope we all get along.

The next morning, Jim and I goof around a bit and barely make it on the trail by 930am.  I had wanted to be riding by 8am.  As we are riding, we see the Berryman Adventure 12hr and 24hr racers paddling and biking.  Both of us hooted and hollered through the trees to our friends racing.   Jim decides to drop me and I am on my own.  What a beautiful day!  Not too cool, not too warm.  I can do this all day long.... and then my Kona throws me.  Two and a half miles in I eat shit.  I fall where I have never fallen before. HARD.  I get up and inspect my elbow and my thigh.  I am bleeding slightly from my elbow and my thigh immediately sports a baseball size bruise.  Seriously, that hurt.  I hop back on my bike cursing, I just started for goodness sake.  My mind starts to screw with me now.  I have 10 more miles to go and I am shaken.  It takes time to shake off a fall like that. As I pedal, I realize I have fallen on my right side.  Amen.  Finally, I have learned to fall on my right side. Yes!  The left side of my body has been through hell, maybe now it can recover properly.

Big Unit's
I catch up with Jim and he shows me a special spot where a possible church may have been located.  Its absolutely beautiful, the stone the builders used is incredible. We pose our bikes for photo ops.  I tell him about my stoopid fall, my injury, and he goes to work on it, pressing firmly into my bruise,  massaging it out.  Painful yet effective. I tell him I am having problems riding.  He tells me to relax and just pedal.  The miles tick off and I begin to feel more comfortable.  Jim gets a flat and we are stranded trail-side  for a long f'in time.  Luckily, a guy named Hunter came along and saved the day. He told us that THE Emily Korsch said he may meet TTM today. Flat repaired, Hunter and Jim takes off.  The next few miles feel awkward and I just want to finish. I just want to be done. Passing the boat launch I am almost there, almost home free.  At the sadistic one mile climb to the campground I make a deal with myself.  I will complete the climb without stopping and redeem this lap.  Three pedal strokes and I hear... PSSSSHHHHEEEEEWWWWWW. Seriously, are you fuggin' kidding me?


Apparently I ran over a thorn.  Stans is spewing from my tire.  I do not have a plug and put my thumb over it.  WTF now? I am puzzled.  Eventually, I remove my thumb and  let the rest of the Stans empty and the tires goes flat.  Clad in cycling shoes,  I put the bike on my back and head up the climb.  Seriously?  Maybe I am not a mountain biker anymore.  I have been running a lot more than biking lately.  Maybe I am a runner now.  I have been lifting weights too.  That doesn't help with biking.   I should take up CrossFit. I would be an asset in a bar fight but, riding a bike not so much.  Jim meets me as I am rounding the last turn,  just before the finish with an Ice Cold Pabst.  That's my man!

As I drink my Pabst I fight back tears. (I am not allowed to cry in the kit)  WTF happened out there? That was the worst lap I have ever had.   I am in the middle of beating myself up when my hubby tells me not to be so hard on myself.  He reminds me that I have ridden my Kona a handful of times, changed the handlebars, grips, saddle, etc... Those changes take a minute to get used to.  I finish my Pabst and find my Ipod.

MINE, all mine

I decide to ride a lap by myself.  I don't want to chase anyone or eat their dust.  I need a moment alone with my bike.  I leave the campsite and hit shuffle.  The first song is Queen, "We will Rock YOU".  That is a good sign.  As I pedal the tension starts to melt.  I relax my shoulders and breath deep.  Please let this be a good one.

Within a couple miles I start to see some 12 hr teams coming at me.  I get out of their way quickly and give them props for being out there.  By this time they had been racing for six hours.  Some looked good, some didn't.  I remember adventure racing..... That shit was hard but, I enjoyed it.  I was more of a follower and was in charge of superior attitude and reminding my race partner to eat and drink.

I make it to the boat launch without incident and see some 24hr racers.  These guys have a long way to go and I didn't want to be in their way.  I offer for them to go ahead of me.  The next few miles are fun and I relax even more.  Maybe I was being too hard on myself.  There have been a lot of changes and I need to take time and adapt, get to know this bike.

I ran a  32x19, which is a good gear for a few laps, not for twelve hours. I ended up running a 1:45, no stress and a fun-filled lap.  Maybe I am a mountain biker....

I wanted a third lap but the boys had other ideas....

Hiking up to Johnston Mtn

Just missed sunset


  1. I was really hoping to see you guys while we were down there racing. Council Bluff is absolutely beautiful, during the adventure race was my first time riding there, but look forward to riding it again. Do you think you guys will do any more adventure races in the future?

  2. I knew you would love the trail Travis. You guys had the perfect day for suffering. Jim is trying to talk me in to racing Castlewood 8 this year. I am still thinking about it. he kinda hurt my feelers when he replaced me with my brother last year as a partner. LOL So, we shall see how it all plays out. Ya know, Council Bluff will be a great place to take your boys next year!

  3. Yeah he did kinda trade you out for your brother. LOL. I already told Crystal that I wanted to take her and the boys down there sometime next year. It is such a beautiful place, with a little bit of something for everyone.