Waxed in Washington
Question: What happens when a mangy crew from Misosula loads up a wagon and rolls over the Leavenworth Washington for the annual Bavarian bike and brew fest? Answer: We get totally whooped up on and partake in some serious après race tom foolery!
Friday evening Joel brown, Sophia Kirkos, Meg and I loaded up the wagon, spooled the turbos and pointed the nose into the setting sun. We arrived in Leavenworth around midnight and met up with Phil “pippo” Grove, Adam “terminator” Jensen, and Allen Adams. The race venue, camping and beer fest were all located a couple miles out of Leavenworth on an organic farm. You can only imagine our excitement as we pulled into the farm found our posse camped next to a large piece of old logging equipment. Pippo immediately handed everyone a cold brewski.
The morning of race day was anything but stressful. The open race started at noon and there was a serious injury in the sport race so it was pushed back till one. Soph, Meg and Joel started at ten in the beginner and sport classes. If there was one negative of the weekend it was the course; more or less a buffed dirt road climb for two miles then ultra smooth single track for the next four. Total elevation gain was 1800 vert per lap and open racers did the loop three times, sport two, beginner one. The descent was smooth single track with thick vegetation on both sides and huge water bars every few hundred feet……..LAME! I don’t know exact placing at this time but Joel, Soph and Meg all did pretty well. Unfortunately Pippo and I cannot say the same. Phil was riding his hammered single speed with a bent ridged fork that the wheel would not sit in properly and I rented a big full suspension 29er thinking the course was going to be steep and technical. Anyway when the gun went off I was off the back and Pippo kept crashing and breaking his bike. The climb was pure misery as expert age groupers that started minutes back of the open racers started nipping at my heels. The anvil I was pedaling up the hill was quickly draining my tank and I was starting to feel a major bonk coming on. About every ten minutes Phil would pass me then I would pass him back as he cursed and spit on the side of the trail while fixing a broken bike or patching himself up from a crash. Adam Jensen used his climbing skills to stay in range of the leaders but unfortunately he is the worst bike handler on the face of the earth and everyone including the ladies that started twenty minutes back would catch him on the descent. Overall the race was brutal and our placings were anything but impressive. To make matters worse a kid with braces won the whole thing.
On the plus side the brew fest was anything but miserable. Most of the racers stuck around and local breweries from all around Washington poured beer till the kegs were kicked. A live folk band and some serious hippie dancing and bongo drums set the tone as debaucherous tom foolery ensued. The great thing about hosting a race on an organic farm is all the free range farm animals. A few dogs kept most in hiding but once the sun set a few rouge bulls and some adventurous chickens started to make a ruckus. The party lasted till the wee hours of the morning and was followed by a freezing night where I was on the verge of hypothermia. All in all a fun weekend with hard racing and the company of good people. A little course work and it might just be the perfect race.