The 18 Hours of Scouts Honor was my Single Speed debut. I went into this race with a goal of gaining experience on this crazy platform of one gear. I just got the Lynskey and had only amassed maybe 10 hours of ride time on it. I would be doing more hours during this race then I have total on any single speed bike. A bit crazy some may say, but I say if you are going to go for it GO BIG!!! I recruited my main PIT BOSS, Trevor Hepler, to come out and stay up all night to provide me a swift kick in the derriere when needed, which can be quite often. Trevor kept me rolling through out the race and I’m very thankful for the many races he has helped me with over the years. He has been solid every time and together we have a pretty solid record of getting on the podium. Thanks also goes out to a little lady that brought me some cookies wrapped in red, white and blue. A big kiss to you my dear.
The weather was predicted to be wet, but it turned into Woodstock out there. The only thing missing were the bands. I knew that the competition in the Single Speed category was loaded, but that’s the way I like it. The challenge is what I seek. I figured I might be able to get on the podium if I was firing on all cylinders. At the start there was a light drizzle, no worries. I chose a gradual pace at the start in order to avoid the adrenaline blow up that can sometimes overwhelm one on the first lap. I came off the first lap in 4th place and by the end of my second lap, I had moved into 2nd place. I knew the first place guy, Allen, was only 1-3 minutes ahead and I settled into maintaining my pace. By the fourth lap, the rain started to come down in force, TORRENTIAL. As the mud started to cover every surface of my body and I mean every where, I let that little smile of mine begin to grow. I like it when the conditions are less than appealing. By the sixth lap, I was dodging frogs that were stranded in the rivers that had formed in what was a trail during the first 3 laps. I caught Allen during this lap and took the lead. He was having problems as we all were with brakes. I literally had no pads left at the end. I decided to pick it up and keep going or as I like to refer to it as putting the HAMMER down. The seventh lap was a slip and slide affair. The mud had now built up to several inches of muck that stuck to the tires creating a bumper car adventure through the woods. Good times were had and the race crew of ASR put on another great race in conditions that were less than favorable. After 8 hours, the race was stopped due to safety concerns and I didn’t notice anyone complaining, surely not me. In the end, I took the win in my first ever single speed race. Hats off to the great competitors I faced out there. This race was one you had to earn the hard way with a shovel full of grit, just the way I like it.
The Lynskey Single Speed bike has officially been broken in now and it performed phenomenally in adverse conditions to say the least.
I head to South Carolina this weekend for the Hell Hole Gravel Grind Stage Race. This will be another first for me, racing a cross bike. New things and new challenges, always growing.