12 Hours of Temecula June 6th 2015

12 Hours of Temecula Moots RSL Solo

Going to be a long day…

…and sometimes the lightning fizzles. Not a great day out there folks. Fast start and leading the solos after the first lap until disaster struck 1/3 of the way through lap two. Continentals have been my go to tire for the last few years but today the bead completely separated from the sidewall on my Race King (the same thing happened to my friend Brian on the exact same tire a few weeks ago so it must have been a bad batch). Of course once I put a tube in and inflated it, the rubber bulged right out of the rip and popped like a balloon a few miles after I got rolling again. I lost an hour hiking back to the start and changing tires. At that point I was out of the running but it would at least be a good training ride. Fifty miles in on lap 6 disaster struck again when I heard a loud bang from my drivetrain on a punchy climb. Shifting ceased and my crank locked.

Shimano broken XT cassette

Snap!

I looked back and my chain was wedged between cogs on the cassette. Weird. I tried to get back riding but nothing could force the chain loose. On closer inspection the XT cassette spider was shattered. That was the last straw. Some days things just don’t go your way. Until next time friends.

Kenda Cup Big Bear Endurance #1

Due to some kitchen painting we had to get out of the house so I brought the family along for the Kenda Cup Big Bear #1 Endurance Race. It’s time to get serious about the distance so the XC was just a little short. We found a sweet AirBnB cabin close to the starting line and decided to make a weekend out of it. It’s always fun to travel to races with my wife Ali and little man.

Bear Pause Cabin

Bear Pause Cabin

After a more than relaxing day on Saturday and a walk around the depressingly dry lakefront boardwalk it was time for race mode…margaritas and enchiladas. Yum! I was feeling the altitude a bit before the margarita but it sure didn’t help. Hacienda Grill sure makes a mean one!

Hacienda Grill Big Bear Margarita

I need to see some ID

Sunday morning finally rolled around and it was time to roll down to registration line and the start. The legs were feeling pretty good but with a 50 mile endurance day on the horizon, you never know. We lined up at 10am for 2 laps of the XC course and we were off. The pace was quick and the field immediately separated off the first climb. I was doing some pulling up the hill and trying to set tempo with John Nobil, Greg Gibson and Stuart Gonzalez sitting close behind. John kept leading the charge on the descents and about halfway through the first lap he put the pain down and begin to slip out of reach.

Ryan Steers Pedalers Fork Kenda Cup Big Bear Endurance 2015

Lead out train

I managed to pull ahead of Greg and Stuart and was sitting pretty comfortably in second until Skyline where my lack of sandy/technical skills cost me some time and Greg came flying by me. Not much changed for a while and I just tried to keep the speed and wattage up through the rolling singletrack. At the start of the second lap I grabbed my bottles and slammed some bottles and was immediately hit with a second wind. I’ve been trying this high fat/low/no sugar plan that coach Billy has been working with and I didn’t have to eat once. It was the first long race without a bonk, low blood sugar, or need to slam a gel. I must say it was pretty liberating. Just a little Skratch in the bottles and some beet juice powder and I was rocking.

Moots RSL

Toward the end of the second lap Stuart came flying by on the Skyline trail and looked strong. We traded places a few times on the fire road and I really didn’t want to settle for fourth. As we neared the singletrack toward Pirates Stuart slowed down and waved me by and off I went. I tried to put some separation between us at the expense of slipping and sliding my way down Fall Line and Fern Trail. It felt great though. After 3+ hours of racing that singletrack at the end was brutal. I was so happy to finish and see Rex and Ali waiting for me at the line. I promptly collapsed and Rex used my giant Moots as a jungle gym.

After a shower back at the house I was getting ready to head to the awards and messaging John Nobil, only to find out that he’d had to drop out due to a flat. Looks like I was second after all. What a great surprise (sorry John). Well, time to rest up and get ready for a long 12 hours at Temecula next weekend.

Ryan Steers Pedalers Fork Kenda Cup Big Bear Endurace

Settling for second