2018 Philipsburg 46
The historic town of Philipsburg with nearly 1,000 residence has many attractions that draw people from a number of locations around the state and country. However, on June 30 many visitors were there for the annual Philipsburg 46 mountain bike race. I had the honor to suit up and take the starting line with fellow teammates, Joe Hamilton and Joseph Edwards. The first portion of the race consisted of puddles larger than the road and deep enough to get the brake rotors nice and dirty for the eventual descend. Racing it on a single speed left me chasing riders until the climb began. Once the climb started, I got into a good group to fight the cold rain. Glad to say that after the first aid station that rain ended, but that is about the time the good climbing began. I knew I would eventually have to get off and walk but honestly had no clue when that would be. Around mile 25, I was stuck on the single track behind someone spinning up at a cadence around 110 and on a single speed; I was probably pushing the pedals at around 15-20 rpm. I decided that was as good as any spot to unclip and go for a hike. Funny thing was that within five seconds I could hear other riders unclip and begin their hike-a-bike as well. The climb seemed to never end, but like all good climbs they have to end sometime and I was pleased when I saw the second aid station that signaled the start of the descend. As I began going down I heard a bang, looked down, and saw my water bottle cage had broken and my water bottle was no longer on (zoom into the picture and you can see my green bottle behind me and the broken water bottle cage. I stopped and turned around to pick it up and put it in my bag to continue the race. Being on the single speed pedaling was not assisting me in anyway until I got back to the main road. All I was able to do was work on my tuck and count other racers pass me. Proud to say that once we crossed the main road with about three or four miles to go, and a modest grade, I was able to put the push on the pedals and get some power down. I caught the three riders that I could see pulling away from me just minutes before. I had a goal to dip under 5 hours and missed that by a minute (guess I will be heading back next year). The three HUC members that started the race all finished and finished well. Joe had a great day racing a strong group of riders in his category. Joseph missed the podium by one place coming in at a very respectable fourth place. Single Speed races do not normally take the start line in an abundance, with that said I did cross the finish line in first place. Glad to have done this race and even more so to have teammates around me along the way.
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