Two weeks ago I went down to Steelville, Missouri for the 55-mile point to point off road BT Epic with 4 of my Kansas City bike buddies – Ed, Duffster, Bobbie, and Sarah. The venue was Bass River resort in the Ozarks and the event capped off the 2012 UFD endurance series. We got to stay at a nice cabin and i took a pic from the porch of the terrain we got to ride. The Ozarks are a rocky and eroded uplift covered in dense Oak forests, much like the hills flanking the Rhein Valley in central Germany. It was a cold start (right at freezing) and warmed up to a sunny 55 by mid-race. There was a dense leaf fall covering the entire course and it was hard to see most of the rocks and the downhills were prone to leaf washout on corners. There was a 10 mile gravel road section on the 4th leg, with 3 chances to grab something from the bag at checkpoints.
Overall a great event, no major mishaps, my Bergamont handled the terrain well and I had a number of queries about the brand from random fellow riders. Got to meet up with many of my long-time friends there and a few newer ones, like Garret Steinmetz – a young newly minted pro rider living up in St. Joseph Missouri just north of KC and Garth Prosser – a new friend living up north of Missouri in the Midwest. Duff, being an Enbev distributor rep brought along a cooler chalked full of great microbrews and one off special beers from all over the world for us to gnaw on the whole weekend – it must have been 500 bux worth of beers in just one cooler, or something like that. I posted a pic of the cooler where some of the beers were loaded from.
As for the race…Duff and I started together and saw each-other in the middle, then finished together in the 50’s at 5:51 with Ed and Bob at around 6:50. The winner, Steve Tilford, did it in 4:20ish and has a nice post about the race and course conditions on his blog, and the last place finisher was 12+ hours. There were 270ish racers I believe. This year’s time was 30 mins slower than my time in 2009, probably from the conditions because the winning course time also set by Steve is 4:09, so I guess I am in the same shape im was in during the 2009 season before coming to germany, thanks to BWRE for keeping races on my schedule and to motivate my riding in Germany. I only felt mediocre unfortunately, fatigued, and probably should have not ridden Sun, mon, tues, wed thur leading up to the event on Saturday morn, but it was a really nice week in Kansas the week before and had some great rides in the flint hills at my current homebase of Manhattan, Kansas. It was one of those where my legs felt like bricks at the start and end and I had about 50 minutes worth of big ring the whole day. Took about 5 days to recover from the event, with 6500 feet of climbing recorded by my Garmin. Its tough to do such a long event so late in the season, it will be nice to have a bit of a break to recover since I have lots of little injuries from riding with the young and fast Kansas State University team while ive been here in the USA, a story I will save for the next post.