Paris Mountain Wild Turkey Enduro ~ video ~
(updated: Dec 17, 2012)
The 2012 Paris Mountain Wild Turkey Enduro - A downhill race which took place Nov 19 in Greenville, SC at Paris Mountain State Park. According to South Carolina Parks, Paris Mountain is a monadnock, which is an isolated rock hill, ridge or small mountain that rises abruptly from an otherwise level land area. As a result, it’s got some good DH on it. There were two other events that same weekend – a cyclocross race downtown on Fri, and a Super D race on Saturday, with parties and contests in between. A lot of the planning and organization was handled by Brad, who did an outstanding job along with the other organizers. I was only able to do the Enduro, and just for that event I think I must have called or text’d Brad a dozen times when he was super busy, so for that I apologize. I’ll have to make it up to him next time I’m in Greenville (or G-Vegas as the locals call it) and buy him a few beers.
The Enduro was a 4-stage race where only the downhills were timed. They did a Le Mans style start with a climb to the top to the start of the first stage. However, since there were so many racers (125 or so started I think), if you wanted to get finished in a reasonable amount of time, it was wise to get to the top toward the front of the pack. That’s because each rider would start 30s apart. It was going to be a minute, but again since there were so many of us they had to run it faster. But if you had 60 folks in front of you, that’s 30 min of wait time. So I got up top with only a dozen or so people in front of me. By the time I got to the start of the third stage, there were still folks still at the first stage so we had to wait like an hour freezing in the wind and cold because part of climb to the second stage became the downhill for the third stage, or something like that. All I know is, I’d never ridden in Paris Mountain State Park before, so I had no idea where the trails went, what they were like, or the layout of the place. They just pointed me in the right direction and said 3-2-1 go.
Now I had been riding every day for the last seven days, including a monster climb in Pisgah the day before. Needless to say, my legs were shot. And a lot of the downhill involved actually pedaling. I don’t know if you’ve ever done a downhill race before, but you still have to pedal like crazy, even going downhill. So I didn’t even think I was going to make it. All I wanted to do was finish.
And now comes the part I where I screw up. The third stage started off flat, so there was a lot of pedaling necessary, of which I didn’t have the legs for. It was just not happening for me. So the Pro class guy behind me, Harlan Price, is coming up on me really fast. But where he caught me, was right at a technical feature on the trail which was a large rock with a tree on either side. I couldn’t tell how far back he was, but I figured I would just hop up this rock since I had the momentum and then move off to the side to let him pass. But things did not quite work out that way. What happened was I slightly hesitated before the rock which caused me to not clear it and actually get wedged between the trees on top of the rock, which caused Harlan to get stuck behind me while I flailed my bike trying to get it out of the way. So he’s pissed, and this is the same guy I was going to give a ride to I-95 before he got other transportation sorted out. So he gets past me and I’m pissed because I can’t believe I just screwed up on that. So then a little ways up he runs off the trail and has to get past me again. This is all on the video, by the way.
Ok, so no problem, that won’t cost him the race, right? Well, after they posted the results I see that he took fourth place, about 30s or so behind third. Now I’m thinking … Why? Why 4th? Why couldn’t he be a few places further back, like 6th or 7th. Or further up, like 3rd or 2nd or 1st even? But, no, he’s right on the cusp of 3rd, and maybe the reason he didn’t palce was because of me. By the way, I’m nowhere near the top 10, 20 or even 30. So here’s another guy I gotta buy a beer next time I’m in Pittsburgh, although I think he may rather just kick me in the pants yabbies if he ever sees me again.
For the final stage he just went in front -- he was having none of that again. Final stage had the most flat to climbing, and it sucked the worst (too much climbing), but then it was over, and I headed home immediately before my brain figured out what my body had just done and revolted by shutting it down into a coma-like state before I could get there.
One thing peculiar about Paris Mtn State Park … they make cyclists wear cowbells at all times. This is for two reasons: (1) to alert hikers who may be on the trail, and, (2) to annoy the shit out of you. And since they would not close the trails for the event, we had to wear these things on us the entire time. So that’s why on the video you can hear cowbell. It’s like I’m my own cheering section. I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is … no more cowbell.
By the way I don’t know how they categorized me as a Cat 3. One look at me or my site and they would have written "Clown with video stuff on his head" on my placard.
Someone went down hard on the final stage. I guess he got knocked out, because he said to me, “I got knocked out”. There was a guy already there with him, but I stopped and said I’d go find the bike patrol. Later I asked my brother what you do if someone wrecks bad in a race, do you stop? And he said, no, that’s when the rest smell blood and take off. So the moral is, roadies are cruel, and don’t wreck in a road race, because you’ll be left behind for dead. Either that or you’ll be ripped to shreds and devoured by overtrained roadies looking for lean protein. Well, better think twice, I’m high in cholesterol.
Paris Mountain Wild Turkey Enduro race results
Paris Mountain Downhill Race
If video above no longer works, click here
No cowbell? No race for you!
The starting climb. I was preoccupied with trying to figure out how I was going to get towards the front that I forgot to turn the camera on and missed the start.
The rock I got stuck on. Doesn't look like the 3ft high boulder that I remember.
Waiting to go. Stage 4.
They got a nice course here. Stage 1.
Now I am confused ... It's not hard.
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