05 August 2007

SiS Report or how we spent a Sat. night in Pfalzerwald.

My ever glamorous bride being chased by a pack of men!

Aren't we the hot pair?

SiS is the acronym for Schlafflos im Sattel (Sleepless in the Saddle). In short, it's a dusk till dawn race that's located in a small town (Weidental) somewhere between Heidelburg & Frankfurt.

As a former race promoter (yes, I helped found this merry group), I have a pretty high standard for what I think a race should be & do. More often than not, races in Europe tend to exceed my expectations. Case in point as with the French Singlespeed Race in Piolenc, France that I wrote about a while back. This weekend's race was equally well done.

Another thing that I've come to love about singlespeeders the world over is the community that develops. It doesn't matter whether you're a fattie, a "Fit-Fucker" or someone that just loves bikes and the people, you're welcome to come and be there. It really impresses me. People get to know each other and will drive hours just to hang out with people that they may only see a 1/2 dozen times a year but still really consider friends. It's very cool. The rest of the world could learn a lesson from that.

There's this thing about singlespeeders and dressing in drag. Hmmmm.

Mind you, dealing with singlespeeders s very often akin to herding cats. Between the excessive amounts of beer & alcohol generally consumed and the sport cigarettes that many participants partake in, it's often tough to get people to be in the prescribed locale at the appointed time.

PHATY, Erik, Kylie, Stephan & everyone else did an excellent job with the weekend! We had fantastic weather (warm & sunny in the daytime and clear at night but chilly). The people were very cool, the food was great and so much more. Coming from an Ami. perspective, the course was on the edge of too short but I'm not complaining. It was great! Rolling single/doubletrack with a nice long uphill in the middle. The course ended with a rough, arm & hand killing downhill too.

Kera in front of me...preriding.

Anyway, we prerode the course with a number of other people on Sat. morning and then did the German SingleSpeed Championship race in the early afternoon. After that, we all hung out for awhile, ate some dinner and then people prepared themselves for the dusk till dawn part of the weekend.

Me at the start.

The race started well, I felt good and was in good position. I had to keep in mind that I would be riding for a long time and that I was on a singlespeed. In any case, I turned a couple of quick first laps even with crashing (not badly) on both of them. After that, I settled in and adjusted to night riding with a head light (which I hate as I can't see shadows for depth). Using the Digital Headtrip first turned out to be a good idea as I switched to the Digital 12 bar light later and actually speeded up a bit.

Me in the middle of the night.

In the middle of the night I started to get way tired and decided to stop for a bit and rest as I knew that I wasn't in contention as the SRAM guys were passing me like I was sitting still. I also knew that I was running low on a light that I liked and wasn't ready to switch to a borrowed light.
So, I slept for a bit and finally woke up and headed out again about 3 a.m. My thought was that I had enough light to make it till daylight. Luckily, I timed it perfectly. My light lasted until 1/2 way through my last lap. By that time, the sun was up enough to see all of the course clearly.

Me finishing.

For some reason on my last lap, I started to bonk but I knew eating with 2 km to go was pointless so I just rolled on. The finish line looked fantastic! It felt good to roll over say hi to Kera and thank her for all her help throughout the night. She fed & watered me like a kid and without that, I'd had have had a rough night.

Thanks hon! I'm looking forward to next year already. I think I place 24th in solo (regardless of geared or no). I'm not thrilled with it, but there were some really fast guys there and had I continued, it would have put me a lot further up in the standings. Oh well... more for fun and to fly the Boulevard/KCOI/BikeSource flag for awhile.

Kera with her feet up. Thankfully, she didn't do this the whole race. She was the only reason I managed to go as long as I did.

My buddy Marty took a photo of nearly every 29'er in Germany. You can check out our photos & the "official" SiS Flickr group.


Matt said...

Congrats, Mike! Sounds like a hellofa race. I like the 12-hours races....but not at night!

Damn good effort there for an old man. ;-)

Scott said...

That is one sexy outfit! :)

ojulius said...

Hmmmm, Kera looks great, but I suggest you put those blue shorts and orange socks away...in the back of one of your drawers...never to be seen again.