Sunday, June 27, 2010

DCMTB Crushes the 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey

DCMTB took 1st and 2nd overall at's 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey. DCMTB also took 2nd and 3rd in 40+ three man and 2nd in three person co-ed for a strong showing at the June 26th event at Quantico Marine Base.

My 40+ 2nd place team would also have likely finished in the top five overall had we not quit (i.e. I did not want to do another lap). 2nd place in our category was secure with thirty minutes still left to start a new rider so, given our large lead over the 3rd place team, we sacrificed our overall position so I wouldn't have to flirt with heat stroke on a 4th lap.

The DCMTB teams were:

1st overall and 1st in 3 man open: Ian Spivak, Mike Tabasco and Calvin Cheung

2nd overall and 2nd in 3 man open: Matt Donahue, Evan Ellicott (fastest lap in the whole race and on a singlespeed too!) and Kevin Stapleton

2nd in 40+ 3 man and way up there overall: Marc Gwadz, Tom Vaughn and your humble narrator

2nd in co-ed 3 person: Tyler Newby, Ilana Knopf and Leland Godwin

3rd in 3 man 40+: Mark Drajem, Raul Rojas (so fast this year!) and Mike Stoll

Somewhere in the running for 35+: Joe Foley, Vince and Jamie.

More than 400 racers faced temperatures in the mid-nineties plus high humidity on the hilly and challenging ten mile course. The heat made the race a grueling affair. Here are a few photos of how it happened.

Lots of DCMTB riders at the front of the starting run for the bikes:

Mike Tabasco rolled in 2nd overall after the first lap:

Matty D was 2nd for DCMTB and in the top five overall:

Raul had a great first lap and was really fast the whole race:

Tom Vaughn brings it home for our 40+ team:

The main venue for resting riders:

Home sweet home for 12 hours (my bike is in the middle):
Stay out of the sun:

Marc Gwadz shows off his cyclocross skills on one of his scorching laps:

The women's solo podium demonstrates the health of the sport:

DCMTB overall #1 and #2:

DCMTB Co-ed Three Person 2nd Place:
DCMTB 2nd and 3rd Places 40+ Three Man:

So my team was fast but I was not. Such is life. I didn't collapse in the heat and I'm happy about that.

I need to fix the photos so they all can enlarge but no time for that tonight. Only the first and last enlarge now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day: 21 Route Salute

Aimee has gone to Sweden reading Stieg Larson out of order. She says it's good that way.

AnnaMaria and I went to Spruce Knob with Langston, my son, and his friend Will. We met Sandy and his friend Gina as they were gearing up to ride up the road about 2,000' to the summit.

After unpacking, we walked to the cliff. AnnaMaria had her first rappel. It went better than Langston's from fifteen years ago which involved a desperate grasp around a tree, patient negotiation and, finally, the application of dad's full weight and capitulation to gravity. AnnaMaria was excited, then briefly alarmed, and then happy as she realized she was attached to dad.

The afternoon went well with AnnaMaria content enough and interested in her surroundings. We cleaned and led two new crack routes of high quality, although short like all the routes at this crag. I reclimbed the second, easier, route with AnnaMaria attached to my harness and she thought that was good fun.

Gina made a great Korean meal for us. The weather was perfect. We had a campfire in the pit beyond the tended grounds.

The next day, Langston and Will left for Seneca while Sandy and I returned to the new crag. The first order of business was a body length roof with a finger crack splitting it. Hard 5.10 pulling the lip followed by some more technical clean crack climbing. Nice.

About 20 feet left was another mixed crack and face route which was probably 5.9+-ish.

We cleaned (cleaning with wire brushes is a big part of the experience here) another thin crack with a hard face start. It went at 11+.

Finally, we did a route with a steep start through a roof to a thin crack/face gig. Also 5.10 and very high quality. Sandy and I both thought the rock and moves here were exceptional even if the routes were small.

Soon Ben, Jim and Paul arrived with Harper's Pizza. We had some leftovers from the Korean barbeque and Disney. AnnaMaria and Gina got on well.

The last day, Gina again volunteered to hang out with AnnaMaria while Langston, Will, Sandy and I went back to the new cliff. After walking a short bit (maybe 50') from the routes we had done the first day, we found another clean crack and a proud arete. We did both these routes at about 5.9. The direct finish on the arete would be a good bit harder but we did not place any artificial gear on this or any other route yet.

After cleaning, I led a very classic 5.7 corner and we finished on a 5.10 face route which might need a bolt for a lead.

So, ten more new routes at Spruce Knob crag for a total of 21 routes. It will never rival the taller crags in the North Fork Valley such as Seneca or Champe but it has a lot of quality in its short pitches.