The much awaited, feared, loathed and loved endurance event 'Spoke Pony Showdown 3/6' did in fact go down as scheduled at the bad-to-the-bone trail system simply dubbed 'Swope'. Friday the trails were blasted with multiple thunderstorms, yet the course was ready to go race time Saturday morning. Those who dared to test his physical and mental strength showed face to rally and experience a sick course. The Trail Hermits spare no expense putting on the show, and they'd staged the trail with points of entertainment to keep you smiling from ear to ear throughout the entire event.
|Dead Hooker and The one and only Trail Asshole|
My plan was to show up, chill with my pals and ride bikes for six hours. I really enjoy being in the forest, albeit in the heart of a large city and still feel like your miles away. This trail system is indeed a gift to KC, and a favorite of mine for sure. I can't say that a bad time could be had, unless you just let a mechanical or a run of bad luck eat at you. I was in it for a good time, nothing more, and damned if anything was gonna change that.
All the usual Ethos suspects were there, you know the ones. The Manimal and I were going to battle it out in the 6hr Single Speed Open. Travis and Garet leading the fast train, Kevin rallying his usual carefree race ethic, JDoug pushing his technical comfort level on the slick rocks and Sarah throwing down in her usual bad ass style. We also met up with a few pals; Peat Awesome was there. Good ol' Peat will keep you smiling with his daredevil skills and topping off his typical shenanigans - he raced some real p.o.s. bike from the 90's that most folks would use as a boat anchor. As they say and as was proved ...it's not the bike, it's the person on it. We also met up with a few of the Team Seagal Jerk's, who were so kind as to give the one finger salute each lap and provide some tasty PBR's for post race rehydration. These fellas are all stand-up guys who seem to be on the same page as the Pirate - Just out for a furry good time!
The mass start lined up for a climb to separate the 'contenders from the pretenders'. I rolled into the single track in a good spot and did not really have to wait in any kind of heinous train of slow jackass riders like times past. I enjoyed watching crash after crash on the slick rocks and bike shifting tree roots. The dirt was great but the rocks...deadly.
My legs were feeling bombproof, my style and grace impeccable, my body temp however was rising and I was feeling like a prom queen the morning after; worn down and just plain confused about why my body felt weird. Each lap I'd stop a little longer at the pit area to run cold water over my core, rest and get my head on straight. I killed major time but as usual had toat the very least finish the race. At this point that was my goal and I was no longer worried about the time.
The course was, simply put, awesome. THE best course I've been on, ever. If you missed this race, you are going to die wondering. Heartland always kicks it up a notch and this was no exception.
After rolling into the gate with time for a last lap, I decided to accept a beer hand up from Shoffner and call it a day. I knew I had 3rd in the bag and saved my juice to ride another day.
A couple notes: there were two forms of good luck for my race. 1) My number plate was significant. 2) As I was prepping to race a sweet Vdub bus pulled up and made me smile. I knew it would be a good day! To top it all off my Wife and two boys showed-up to see me standing on the podium which really made for a perfect day.
|The Seagal Salute|
Ethos finished up pretty well, with the following podiums;
Burnsey 3rd 6 hr SS
Manimal 1st 6hr SS
Travis 1stSpecial Thanks to the volunteers and the Trail Hermits for putting on an amazing event! Mad Props to the Manimal for pushing himself hard and cranking out 8 laps on one gear...your a bad ass! Travis killed it with 9 laps, unheard of on trails this sick. Congrats fellas!