Wow what a great event, Dark Horse cycles up in Montgomery, N.Y. really went all out for this one.
With riders coming from all over the northeast some as far as Canada (god bless you man) this race set up to be a barn burner from the start. As far as the competition some of the big names showing up were Emile Smith (Bethel cycle), Sean Cavanaugh (Bethel cycle), Thom Parsons (Gary Fisher 29er crew) Jesse Jakomait sporting his new team kit (Cannondale factory)(pic above), James Harmon (503 cycleworks), Terry Blanchet (Cannondale factory) and "the professor of singlespeeding" Rob Stine (Bikers edge). These guys I consider the Singlespeed cream of the crop, racing their single geared bikes week after week against pro geared riders and often winning.
Lets get to the race. I went with a pretty large gear (34x16 on a 29er) because I knew the downhill start was going to be a factor and I was right. Roger Foco (Vicious cycles) was the only one willing to smoke his legs at 160+ rpms to stay with me on the start so I backed off right before the singletrack letting him take the lead. He took the bait and I let him pace me up the first climb. Shortly after on the descent I passed him back knowing the fast flat doubletrack was coming up and with my huge gear it would be my time to shine. About 2 miles In and I'm totally alone with 18 to go and now its time to settle into a sustainable pace. For me a sustainable pace is about 170bpm (some pace huh). When you get alone off the front you have to try to ride as smooth as possible minimizing mistakes all while holding back ever so slightly just in case you do get caught, You want to be able to respond if you do. At about mile 8 it all came together, I was unconscious. Now if your a single speeder you know exactly what I'm talking about, the zen like feeling that you get when your riding well. It goes like this the pedals tick over effortlessly at a high cadence the tires grip the trail perfectly your breathing is perfect even the climbs feel effortless. Frankly Its why I ride. So anyway I rode in a zen like state till about mile 19 when I took a look over my shoulder to see if anyone was chasing me down, nobody was in sight and I got extremely happy. Coming over the line I did my best Sabine Spitz impression from the Olympic games (lifting my bike over my head) ecstatic and relieved I had won.
The post race party was awesome with just about everyone hanging out for the awards ceremony.
Major props to Jesse for 2nd place (in daisy dukes and a Curt Cobain flannel shirt). And for first year pro Roger Foco for 3rd Way to step up Rog.
Also thanks to all the guys over at Darkhorse Cycles, The most competitive all around fun races ever....can't wait for the 40