The ResultsTurn out this year was about 20 riders, with 12 finishing.
I took notes on finishers:
Tom McFadden (sp?) blazed the course at 6:20.
The group I was in rolled in at 7:55. This group also included Michael Sullivan, Willy Keane, David Goode, and Ron Dykes.
Second group, Ben Tobin and Jake McBurns came in at 8:12.
Then Jonathon Hawkins and Roger Young at 8:21.
Then Jayce Robertson rolled in at 8:44. I think he came in from Spangle via 195, though that's not verified.
Dan Nortondale came in at 8:49.
DNF'ers that I know of:
Pat S: to Sands Road
Patrick S to Palouse
Glen C, Eric E, to ?
Noah S, Theo P, to Palouse
Tom to ?
Gus M, to Spangle
If you rode and have more info to share let me know. If you don't want your name up here, let me know that too and I'll take it off. FYI -- midnightcentury.com is pending as a place to provide ride details with gpx downloads and year by year finishers.
As I assumed I would, I had a harder go of it this year, though I beat my time by a hair. I've not been riding as much this year.
We left the Elk at 11:59. It was 83 degrees.
Right at the start the ride broke up. Tom (the 6:20 guy) just took off. The last I saw him was when he turned off of 1st Ave onto Bernard.
From there the ride broke into 3 groups. I was in the second group. As we got to state line some of the first group was waiting. I kept going. My plan was to stop at the top of either the first climb or the second climb and do food so I just kept on riding.
The group shifted members a bit at this point as we climbed the first hard dirt climb on N Idaho road. Glen was over geared and really had a hard time pushing up the steep grade. Another rider, Tom (whose last name I don't know, but he's a cyclocross guy) really hammered up this hill. My legs felt ok but my stomach wasn't right and it never got right. It pretty much felt like shit most of the night.
It was on N Idaho road that we saw the first of many smiley faces left by Tom. On this road the smiley face was made up of pine cones. I was never able to get a picture since my camera has to "think" so long before it fires.
The descent into Liberty Lake was great. It's a twisty steep hill. It's fun to go down behind a pack of well-lit cyclists and watch the various cyclists descend. Pat flew down this hill with amazing grace and speed.
At the cross roads of Liberty Lake -- right before we started the next climb up Molter, we ran across a couple guys (Noah and Theo) who were waiting. They showed up to the Elk a couple minutes late and we'd already left, so they hot-footed it out the Centennial Trail and hooked over Liberty Lake overpass to cut us off. As we chatted, more cyclists came down the hill from N Idaho climb and joined us. We must have been about a dozen when we started the climb up Molter.
At the top of Molter, I got a call from Erik, who was asking me directions. He mentioned some names I hadn't heard of and I wasn't much help. I told him to find Molter: go to the west side of Liberty Lake and find the climb out.
Molter is a long steady grade that pays off with a great descent. We pedaled through and down to Saltese and connected with Linke. At this point, the our group solidified: Me, Ron, David, Willy, and Sully. We climbed up Linke then down the other side, where we stopped for about 5 minutes and shuffled water and fussed a bit. The next stretch to Sands Road was uneventful.
Sands is always eventful because you climb and climb and then climb to Bruna. On the descent from Bruna, David pinch flatted. He was running 28mm slicks. Although he only had one flat, David's tires made the second half of the ride pretty hard for him. He's a strong rider so he was able to keep it going, but unless your small and super fit and super skilled, I think this course requires fatter tires.
Ron and Sully were both on cross bikes, running about 32 or 35 mm tires. They held up great. Ron is a super strong rider and comes from a mountain bike background. Watching him descend on Elder Road down to Valley Chapel, it's clear he's got some skills.
By the time we got to Spangle Creek climb, it was getting light out. I was really sucking on climbs and the other four guys waited for me (thankfully). We rolled into Spangle at about 5:30 where we sat and ate for about 10 minutes. This was our longest rest. The sign at the bank said 59 degrees.
The piece from Spangle, over Jenson road and onto the Fish Lake Trail was rough. Jenson was really rutted with washboards and had sections of deep gravel. The FLT is a mess right now and pushing through that deep rocky crap after 90 miles of hard pedaling was difficult. David finally gave up trying to push his 28mm tires through the rocks and deep stuff on the Fish Lake Trail and bailed at Marshall Road. Sully, Ron, Willy, and I continued on the trail to Sunset Highway.
It was glorious to roll into Marron's and have a meal. Unlike last year, where just 3 of us finished and ate our victory breakfast, this year, teams of guys rolled in as we sipped on coffee and carried on. Each person rolling in was greeted with applause. It was fun.
Tom's time was amazing. That's a really hard course and I'm going to stop saying it's not so bad. It's bad. There's a lot of climbing and a lot of hard dirt and gravel. But anyway, I think the "Whoa baby" award goes to Ben Tobin who pushed his single speed 29'er over this course. I can't even imagine. If I had a single gear that would allow me to get up the climbs I would've spun out at about 8 mph on the flats. Anyway, Ben was all smiles and happy.
Great job all. This is my favorite ride of the year and I look forward to next year. If you rode this and I screwed up a detail or messed up a misspelling or if I missed something important, please let me know so I can get the details right for midnightcentury.com. If you've got pictures, send them my way.