April 13, 2013

Bakers Dozen 13 Hour Relay Race 2013 - Race Report

Event: Baker's Dozen 13 Hour Relay
Date: April 13, 2013
Riders: Jeff Dickey (Duo Co-Ed team with long-time relay and adventure racing teammate Terri Spanogle)
Conditions: Possibly the best I've ever encountered for a mtb race.  Sunny, but cool.  Fast, but grippy. Early spring perfect.
Result: 2nd

Terri and I headed to Leesburg, VA for our 6th Baker's Dozen (and our 6th time racing together as a duo team and 7th time racing this event).  This is one of my favorite early season races -- the course is nearly 100% fast swooping singletrack.  Plus, a rainstorm on Friday had packed down the trail so it was dust free and faster than usual.

At the start, I had a major mechanical incident.  You can see it around 40 seconds into this video.

Jeff taking the outside line at the 250 person start

Afterwards, I ran back to the start to let Terri know she might have to ride, then headed back to our camp.  We were pitting with Terri's team, Veloworks-Spokes, and they were gracious enough to lend me a singlespeed.

After a lap of learning how to ride a singlespeed (I'd only ridden one once before, 5 years ago) and losing 15 minutes on the lap, I handed off to Terri.

Terri waiting for the baton handoff to start her lap
Our plan had been to do, one on, one off laps until we started to get a little tired.  Lap times were ranging from 34-35 minutes to 40-45 minutes, so there wasn't much of a break after completing your lap.

Jeff between laps
Terri rode a fast lap, and I put in two faster laps on a Specialized S-Works Epic set up with some awesome parts that John Kromis let me borrow.  It was set up with a SRAM XX drivetrain.  Having ridden on a modified SRAM XX1 setup, it was odd to have a front derailleur again, so I didn't bother with it.  The course was fast enough not to need anything other than the big ring!

My borrowed bike
After three sets of two laps each, Terri and I were getting a little tired. 

A fun rock section that was possible to jump up and over, then jump a second time on the way down

We'd moved up to second place after posting consistently fast laptimes and no additional mechanical issues.

Great blue skies and green grass
The first place team, Team CF, was possibly out of reach, but we decided to put in a final push to see if we could catch them.

Our camp at night
I put in two nighttime laps that completely turned me inside out -- I started hallucinating a bit in the woods -- and Terri completed the day with the last lap, finishing around 10:30pm in second.  A very long day.

We rode 19 laps overall, which would have placed us 5th in the Duo Male category, 11th in the 3-person Male category and put us as the 37th team overall (out of 262 teams).  A fine finish!

Here's my data from Strava:

A few major thanks to our sponsors Zevlin and Stuffitts who kept me going through this race:

  • Zevlin for keeping me from having any saddle sore issues after riding an odd-fitting bike for 6+ hours at race pace.
  • Stuffitts for drying out my helmets between each lap.  There's nothing so awful as putting on a stinky, wet helmet again and again.  No issues for me this race!

Also, a very big thanks to the Veloworks team for helping me out so much over the weekend with two loaned bikes and awesome mechanical support from Phil from the Belle View Spokes, Etc. shop, who checked over my bike after every lap.

Next up is the Greenbrier AMBC/Mid Atlantic Championship/MASS Series opener at Greenbrier, MD.  Hope to see you out there!

- Jeff

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