27 August 2006
Last weekend we went to Stockholm Sweden for the SingleSpeed World Championships
Here's a link to our pics from the weekend
Kera's and my pics
Lot's more at HappyMTB.org if the site ever comes back up. I think it crashed when eveyone got home and started downloading pics.
In any case, Stockholm was very cool. We wish that'd we'd realized how cool the city was as we'd have stayed a couple of more days. Very much a combo of Amsterdam & Munich with a large underground scene. Seems that almost everyone has tats (young and old). Might be the sea faring culture or something. I'm not sure.
The vibe at the event was good. The only downer that I can think of came in the form of liquor laws similar to Kansas City. You had to be within a tiny area if you were carrying a beer or drink. Unfortunately, that area was full of people eating dinner at tables. Essentially, that meant that you had to dodge wait staff all night or stand inside where no one was.
As far as the actual event went, that was cool. After one of the promoters removed a huge viper (snake) from the course we laid our bikes down in the grass and began to wait for a signal of "all clear" from out on the course. Suddenly, we were off. Up the ski hill we ran, picked up our bikes and then all the way to the top of the hill. Around a corner and down a sketchy gravel hill. After that, it was about 90% singletrack and 10% gravel/dirt road.
Almost immediately, people began to stack up at the singletrack. Hurl Everstone (former Surly guy) passed me in the rocks and grass and I stuck to his wheel. We got to the one hike-bike section on the course, maybe 20' of vertical rock and off I went. On the rest of the course, I just kept passing people in the technical stuff.
About 4km in to the race I came upon the beer stop. Just a couple of people there so I had to stop. Couldn't make the guy feel lonely you know. Downed a beer after chatting a minute and off I went. Just a fabulous course. Lot's of roots, rocks and nicely done singletrack. I honestly think that I probably didn't quit smiling the whole time.
I managed to get lost twice on different parts of the course and both times ended up at the same intersection. How strange is that? Then I'd see one of the guys that I just had passed and would hop on the course and go again.
The first lap ended with me pretty much by myself. In to the singletrack I went with no stack up's and then another stop at the beer area. Must've been 40+ people out in the woods drinking beer. The Shonky gang affiliated with Singletrack Magazine were hanging out. A couple of guys pouring beer over the heads of those not willing or able to stop for a beer.
In the end, some guy with a Porn 'Stache from Norway won. He got the tattoo as you can see.
We picked up Kera's new bike from Curtis Inglis of Inglis & Retrotec who had drug it all the way from California for Kera. I ended up staying up until 2:00 a.m. the morning before the race putting together both our bikes in the hallway of the hostel.
Other than that, I suppose my job is about done. I, at the most, have two more days of work. After that, i'll have to look for something new. Wish me luck.
Guess I'll have plenty of time to train for the 24 hour race. Turns out that they almost doubled the course length. It's right at 7 km and it should be a good SS course. Solo people get their own pit area away from the teams and crowds. That might be good.
Here's a link to the Course Map & the Profile
I'll leave you with a couple of final pics from the SS World's...