The 2010 edition of the Galena Grinder is in the books, and let me tell you, it was a fucking awesome time. Seriously if you have never had the chance to try this race out, mark your calender for some weekend next year in July, and plan a trip up to Sun Valley, ID to take part. The course is brutal, but will be a true test of ones man or womanhood, the sights are sublime, and the course is off the charts good. First things first, huge props to Greg and Rebecca for putting Self, Dejay, and Emma up for the past couple nights in Ketchum, Rebecca made some quality chow last night as a pre-race feed, and Greg is currently being kind enough to let us polish off his bottle of Rouge Dead Guy Whiskey, life don’t get much better than that.
Anyway, onto the race, we toe the line at 9 am for 45 miles worth of mountain bike racing, and while I’m not positive on the exact numbers, there is probably somewhere between 6000 and 7000 feet worth of climbing. Basically this course is fucking harsh, and no matter how strong you are, there will be some form of attrition and survival on the plate for each and every racer. We are told to go, and I somehow manage to grab the holeshot. Kinda pointless seeing as though this is a four hour racer for us singlespeeders, and I also have a tendency to go out too hard on longer MTB races. The course is a good mix of loose doubletrack and singletrack, with plenty of dust getting kicked up to help burn the lungs even more. I finish up my climb on “heart attack hill” on the first lap, then start the descent, and my problems on the day begin. I come out of switchback, and don’t recognize the right turn I need to make onto another switchback. I continue to descend down a double track road for a little too long, until realize I have gone the wrong way. Big ups to Evan Plews, who when I was going the wrong way, and asked him if I was off course, he said, “no”, that guy is a dick in my book, so in conclusion, “Fuck Evan Plews.”
After fixing the mistake and dropping from first to fifth, I put in a big effort to get myself back up to second in the SS group. Sure enough I will pay for this later in the form of dead legs and cramps. Yes, after riding strong for 23 miles, the Gods of cycling struck me down with a vengence, and I was beaten down like a rented mule. I spend the second lap fighting cramps, walking more than I should, cursing at myself for going out too hard, but still the whole time was able to enjoy my time on the course. In the end I wind up in 3rd place in the SS group, with traveling partner Dejay taking the big W. His prize was the “Beer” Hat that I have had the pleasure of owning for the past year, and a weedwacker. Following the race, we cool down in a creek, drink some hooch, eat some chow, and enjoy the awards ceremony. I was lucky enough to pick up a jersey from the fine folks at Club Ride Apparel, and am excited to test out how it feels on some long rides here in the Sun Valley/Stanley areas in the days to come. Enjoy the pictures below, a 12 pack of beer just got dropped off that we need to get to work on.
Grabbin the hole shot
Flying the colors at awards
Enjoying the finish
Presenting the Beer Hat for the SS victory
Trip back to town with Master of Puppets playing in the background.by