Monday, August 15, 2011

Spoke Pony Showdown, Done!

Headed down to Swope on Saturday morning for the Spoke Pony Showdown 3/6 with the goal of improving my technical riding. Figured 6 hours of riding all the rocks at Swope park is exactly what I needed, as if you have read this blog, I whine like a little girl after every race that has rock technical sections.

This also was not by first rodeo, so I basically just wanted to put it in cruise control and try to stay in a groove for the long haul. We all started at the bottom of the exit drive, which is a steady paved climb. I don’t mind climbing; actually my results usually improve when the course has a bunch of climbing involved. Rock sections, the exact opposite.

Headed to the singletrack behind Tony S. as we both had the same game plan of staying behind the super fast guys but ahead of the slower traffic. Which really did not amount to much, it got bottlenecked almost immediately after we hit the first rock section. When we hit the section it was mass carnage, guys off the trail left and right, Tony went down right in front of me (decided to take a different line myself, rather quickly), looked like that one hurt a bit.

The rest of the first lap was more of the same; every technical section had riders everywhere. But I tell you what, once the smooth single track hit you, it was fast as hell from that point on. I especially liked the little ramp on one of fast downhillish sections.

After a short refill it was off for the second lap. Riders were a little more spread out by this time which makes going through technical sections a little easier. About the time I thought to myself “you know, riding these rocks are not that hard”, BAM, hit the deck. When I say deck, I mean a effen rocky ravine!!! After getting unclipped, checking to see if the all my body parts were still intact I climbed out and got back on track.

Left a piece of my ear out there! Got to love Swope!
Third lap was pretty uneventful other than I started to feel a little fatigued.  If it weren’t for being behind SC (2nd? nice job dude!) and watching himself go completely sideways and making a right hand turn down another ravine. The lap would have been pretty boring.

I really need to dial in my nutrition for these things because the fourth and fifth laps SUCKED… I suffered like a dog out there…I was suffering so bad on lap five I contemplated just calling it a day. Once I rolled back in I started to feel good again. I guess I am a little behind on my food/fluid intake.

Went out on lap six and (brace yourselves) actually started to have fun through the rock technical sections. I started riding sections that I have never ridden before. I even had a dude behind me tell me that he should be following my lines, which is hilarious to me. All be damned!

Headed through the last technical section and finished up the lap with teammates Travis and Jesse (who both had lapped me I might add, 2nd time for Travis! SOB’S are fast! ).  Finished the lap with an Ethos train, back-to back-to back, was actually kind of cool.

Last lap went pretty well also, just hammered along. I actually was feeling so good about my new found confidence on the rocks I was trying to put in a 100% clean lap. I failed at that, but it was fun trying..
My legs were feeling surprisingly fresh and It would have been a real pleasant lap if it were not for the bottom of my feet and my hands screaming at me. All my hours training on the road did me a disservice in preparing for bombing rocky downhills.  

All in all, I am satisfied, I accomplished what I wanted, which is to improve my rock riding skills and gain some “endurance” fitness.

As usual, Heartland Boys put on one hell of a race. Well ran, well organized, top notch! Even had a dead hooker section (Don’t ask, you should have been there)..We are lucky to have them in the Midwest.
On another note, Ethos Racing was again well represented! Jspell came down from Joetown, Travis, Jesse, Burnsy and Sarah all killed it like usual! Especially Travis and Jesse, they were unbelievably fast Saturday…G-wiz would have killed it like usual, if it weren’t for throwing himself into another ravine, in spectacular fashion from what I hear…. I am pretty sure he is okay, went on to win the SS Championship on Sunday…


  1. Nice work JDoug, especially considering the absolute absence of rocks up north. I'm happy to read that you actually started to enjoy the rocks. You'll have to make it down to KC more often for "rock training." You know when you find all that free time from marriage, baby, work, sleep.......

  2. Free time? What is that? Ha! Thanks Jesse, you killed it Sat!!