Steve, Craig, Wester, and myself all set out to do the Rattlin 50 mtb race in Lykens PA. Last year, Craig. Steve, and I rode the race for fun, had an awesome time, and still finished with respectable placing. We ride this like a TSE Duo/Trio/ group ride thing and don't drop one another.
The start takes us on a short paved climb and right into the wood for a brief but painful hike a bike. Being a jackass, I took a fake flyer on the road. Cole Oberman came with me, so I immediately sat up. As dumb as it was it got us to the singletrack in the top 5 and we missed the bottleneck. We rode a little harder than we normally would have for the first hour. I wasn't pumped about this, but we were doing ok. Eventually one of us would mess up and we would slow down.
That person was Steve. Steve's trusty 10 year old Shimano pedals went into "Imma release.... NOW. mode" Sadly "now" was during a turn... over a log... through a rock garden... basically any time you didn't want to unclip. Over a larger log over Steve's pedals let go and he landed square on his man pieces. We stopped. People passed us. Steve took a short walk. Steve sat down. Steve then pissed to make sure blood didnt come out... Giving his teammates a play by play every step of the way. Remember communication is key to racing.
We got going again, cut the throttle a bit, but still were moving. We realized in typical fashion Kuhn's race distances were off. We hit CP1 a few miles past where it should have been. No biggy, the next trail was like 20 minutes of awesome swoopy DH. We all rode it and had a ton of fun.
About 30 min after and say 2.5 hours into the race, we all took a turn for the worse. Nothing happened, we all just stopped having fun. Nobody talked, except to curse at something. Craig crashed hard, tried to quit. Steve unclipped at random, I endoed into a pile of rocks slamming a knee on the ground. A bee stung Craig in the ass. I sucked the poison out.
We also realized all of the doubletrack in 2012 made the course fun. It was absent this year due to a conflict with a horse jamboree... thus making the race basically 95% singletrack. Rocky singletrack. It also made the course sort of a 2 lap race, so we knew exactly how much rocky goodness was left.
The last few miles trended DH, so Craig and I ripped that, me basically holding on for dear life. We hit the final section of trail, which is -28% and the same hike a bike from the start. Craig went full #yolo and I followed, trying to perfect our TSE Duo form.
We rolled the last few hundred meters together and crossed the line 3 wide I tossed an epic bike throw but the blind officials awarded the "win" to Craig. 14th, 15th, 16th. Not dead. 5:16 moving time 50 ish miles. 4400 ft of climbing. Our finish time last year was 35 minutes faster... doubletrack...