Monday, May 11, 2009

Fort Ritchie and Another Dam Road Race

1998 Another Dam Road Race (which was really the name)

What a great Ideal it was to go to the race in the desert early. Without hesitation, Chris Baumann turned off the road and we made our own path with the sand kicking up behind the van billowing into a cloud behind. Our bicycles which hung on the makeshift bike rack on the back of the 79 VW Van were being pelted by all kinds of debris - but we didn't care because these four friends were going camping.

Luckily we were not only 20 miles from the race course, but about that same distance from the local Search and Rescue. After a night of beer drinking and story telling around a fire, we woke to find that the van had sunk into the desert sand. Ryan Smith and I thought it was funny, but realized after several hours of failed attempts that we were screwed. We even tried various twigs and rocks and placing them under the tires to gain traction, but to no avail.

We pulled our bikes off, kitted up and headed for the populated area. Luckily, the first building we came to, in big black letters on a red wall said "Search and Rescue".

The big red neck dudes who followed us behind our bikes had no sense of humor, and apparently this doesn't happen all the time. Also, our fire was illegal.

2009 Fort Ritchie.

Fort Ritchie is a cool coarse. The weather was great, and Joe Jefferson was spinning records and yapping up an exciting commentary on each race.

When we walked up, he said over the load speaker ," Uh-oh, is that Chuckie Hutcheson?, Look out Chuckies in the house", so I waved and felt all special. Then he did it to Dave, and that made me feel less special. Then I noticed he knew and recognized EVERYONE, and I was just one in several hundred! Joe, I thought it was just "Chuckies in the House!"

Dave Fuentes and I decided to do both the Masters race and the 1,2 race as training for all the big races coming up.

I didn't warm up, and just hoped in my bike and started racing. The plan was to sit in and maybe sprint at the end and then really race in the 1,2, but we ended up in a break on the 2nd lap. On the 3rd lap Dave was away from the break. On the 4th lap I jumped across to him and we were gone. We pulled half laps each, and that jerk made me pull on the down hill and tailwind sections! We lapped the field and started to pull in the break, but when we got pretty close, decided to save some for the 1,2 race. When he asked me who gets the win, I said 'Me, you got it last week', but he heard ,'let me win for my kids', or something.

The 1,2 race was a blast, pretty big field and tons of attacks. Josh Frick went from the gun, and I bridged up a lap latter. We were out there forever, but by the time the field caught us it was pretty small. Although there were some promising breakaways which were comprised of some strong riders like Jason Meidoff (aka Chewbacca) and Mark Sommers (the Ferret), they all got pulled in. In the end, Dave ended up leading out Todd Hipp and Dave Bozak and another DC Velo (not sure who it was - took a weird line and disappeared). I was next and coming out of the turn let some space open up, and as soon as I was sure Todd was clear started sprinting for what I thought was the line. Right before I got to that line I got swarmed, but apparently the real line was sooner and I got 3rd in a photo finish with Jared Neiters. After bouncing around in some pot holes on the outside of the coarse, Dave ended up 6th.

Payout at this race was trippy.
$300 to 6 places for the Masters
$300 to 8 places for the 1,2

We made much more money in the Masters.


  1. Yeah great you guys rock is a bowl of cherries especially if you fill the race with the best riders...soo hard to win...becomes hardly even worth posting about unless jerkin off gets old..but yeah I am cool with always saying nice things unless you always race sorta ruthless..

  2. Funny story about the VW van.
    Congrats on your win, you deserve it! However, beating up the 35+ guys is too easy for you. Glad I wasn't there to take the beating.
    Great 3rd place on the 1,2 race.