Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spank The Monkey Race Report (Crank The Shield Race Report 2010)

Crank The Shield was "Wee Todd it. Sofa king wee Todd it." (say that three times fast)

I've been contemplating how to write up a positive race/ride report for Crank The Shield that I just took part in this past weekend up in and around Haliburton. I've been reading the past couple days the forum over on MTBR.com and was a bit surprised and shocked . . . . everyone was glowing at how great Crank The Shield was.

Now if there is a guy to throw a wet blanket on a circle jerk of "wasn't that fun!", then I'm your fella. I don't get it . . . . what was SO "awesome", "a great day on the bike", "another fun day", "funnest time yet" ?????? HELLO?!?!? Was I at the same race?!?!?!

Don't get me wrong . . . I did have fun (alot!) seeing old friends and meeting new ones, hanging out at the cabins, lolly gagging and the tomfoolery. The social aspect of race/ride events keeps me coming back for more and keeps me searching for new events to go to. But the two things go hand in hand - riding my bike AND socializing. If I only wanted to have an "awesome time . . . . the funnest yet" then I might consider renting a van, throwing all my buddies inside, driving to Montreal, eat a shit load of poutine, and go stuff loonies and toonies down strippers g-strings (not that that is my idea of fun.....hmmmm, or is it?!?).

Yes, fun is paramount to me when it comes to riding my bike, and socializing is right up there in priorities for a bike event, BUT I AM GOING TO THE EVENT TO RIDE MY BIKE . . . . not push it through mud. A bike race/ride should be just that - I should be riding my bike.

To me, the photo above sums up Crank The Shield.

What about the "rock'on single track" you ask? There was awesome single track? I must have blinked and missed it while trying to wipe the mud out of my eyes. Okay, okay . . . keep your panties on. There was some single track, and some of it was indeed fun. But for a race of this distance, I was disappointed at the amount and the quality.

I perhaps should have considered this as a weapon of choice for Crank The Shield.
Dear Riders,

Just a few notes leading up to the event.

1) Course Conditions

Realize going into this event that course conditions are far from optimal (Northern Ontario has had record rainfall July/August). Haliburton has been hit with a ton of rain in August with no reprieve for September. This is a wilderness mountain bike experience, so the less than ideal conditions are just part of it. Come in with a positive frame of mind as it is part of mountain biking.

Stage 2 has the most difficult conditions and will require you to dismount to cross puddles and a few swamps. There are lines marked around some of the puddles, as well as re-routes where possible, to help you.
- an ominous e-mail from Chico Racing the Wednesday before the event began

The weather was the biggest culprit. To be fair to race organizers, it rained a shit load this past month and as recent as Thursday evening the Haliburton area got a 20-30 mm dumping of rain. Every Chico Racing event that I have taken part in since beginning to race in 2002 has been nothing but stellar. It's a shame that they had such bad luck with Mother Nature.

Despite the horrid conditions, I finished . . . feeling a little dumbfounded nonetheless.
Yes, I poached this from Race Day Rush, but I am buying it for my Christmas card this year.

I was hoping to wrap up my thoughts and experiences in one blog post but like the mud and silt that still lingers in my clothing (even after soaking it and washing it twice) I think I have some more ramblings left in my head about my first, last and only CTS experience. More to come in the next couple of days, then I can get back to my Colorado trip.

Peter delivers the goods to CTS.

Keep laughing . . . you have no idea of what mud infested torture that awaits.

My fuzzy warm kiss blanket wasn't used to keep me cozy at night so much as it was used for a gas mask to filter out Dickie's stink ass farts which permeated every square inch of our cabin the first night.

"Dear Diary, I am having and awesome time . . . the funnest yet. Hugs and Kisses, Peter."

My shoes on the "driest" day. Pffftttt. My shoes were wet the entire race.

My bike on the "driest day". Pfffffttt.

Kenny Rogers (Guy) and Kim. Me and Kenny Rogers were duk'in it out . . . the old 'Guy' had legs.

Mark eating some post race food or a mouthful of mud.

There were good look'in people (Kari) everywhere.


The Evil MGE! said...

and there was a reason I elected the right to not race the Elephant's Penis this coming weekend but to go back to the Butte and enjoy me some more of the 401 and Strand Hill while leaving the Dyke for hiking with the family. Oh, and I did not ride this past weekend but enjoyed Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park with the Missus. Goat enjoys while the Big Ring suffers, racing is overrated, I'll stick to my adventuring.

WPG said...

I raced the first CTS and had a very similar experience from what it sounds like. Stage 2 in particular sounds very much the same from what I've read so far (mud, and some more mud, and some ATV trails, and more mud). Thanks for the input, the race had shown back up on the periphery of my radar for next year. Now it's fading away and the Pisgah MTB Stage race is coming into focus.

Kim said...

This race grows on you - just ask Ms. Vagabond. Her first year race report sounded just like this! Now look!

A surprising number of the bogs were rideable on Day 2. There's something remarkably fulfilling about making it all the way through something that looks impossible. I really did love day 2!

Also, you and Dicky might have had more fun if you'd emerged from the stinky cabin and joined in the scotch drinking in the lodge (even Mr. Dermont partook - a lot). Just sayin'...

The Anti-Race will be fun start to finish, I'm sure.

Kark said...

Good write up. I'm even more glad I did Pauls. If you read between the lines on MTBR you can figure out that while it was a great event in all other respects, the actual riding sucked.
There probably was a time when days of slogging through mud would be a interesting test of mettle for me, but now.. nuh-uh.
On top of which is the consideration that I'd have taken a dual susp, with 16 gears all of which would be roached out & trashed from grinding through three days of mud.

Still, the social aspect is huge and thats a shame to miss. Just not worth destroying a bunch of equipment for.

Anonymous said...

probably more of a drink fest???

I like the hundies!

too much mud up north and bugs...

"driving to Montreal, eat a shit load of poutine, and go stuff loonies and toonies down strippers g-strings "

when the hell are you going to do this? I'm in!

I'm sure you get enough of those in the cells though...