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Whiskey Off Road May 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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There were over 500 riders in the 2008 Whiskey Off Road mountain bike ride in Prescott, Arizona this year.

My goal was to beat my time in the “25 Proof” (it’s actually 27.4 miles).  On the climb out of town on Copper Basin Road, my legs felt tight and like there was nothing in them.  Last year I made it to the Camp Perlstein turnoff with only about 20 bikes ahead of me, THIS year, I was weak and slow and probably had over 100 riders ahead of me by the time I got to the single track.  This made it slow going.

On the way up the trail 48 section, I found myself in a conga line of people all pushing their bikes.  No way around them because there were so many.  I am sure that I lost at least 10 minutes in that section of the course, as we all walked and pushed for the majority of a mile and a half.

Once we started the downhill section however, it was a different story all together.  I passed about 6 riders just before 48 hits the 260.  Here I found myself behind a female that was a downhill maniac!  I stayed with her as we passed rider after rider on the punishing descent.  She asked me if I wanted to go by her, but I said “Heck no!, you are riding as fast as I would care to ride this, and you are giving me a good line to follow!”  We bombed the whole section until we hit forest road 53.  I had no chance at keeping up with her on the 6 miles of climb that followed, as she probably weighed 100 lbs. soaking wet, and I am almost double that!  (That’s my story and I am sticking to it)

I suffered through the climb.  It was a hot day, and the road is mostly in full sunlight.  When I made it to the overlook, I stopped long enough to put some Heed in my bottle, then hit the final few miles of singletrack down to Thumb Butte.  I rode this section better than I ever have, but found myself on the edge of control a couple of times when I passed other riders and had to take a line that I really didn’t want to be on, and found myself bouncing over loose babyheads just before a big left turn.  Scary…….but fun!

When I finally dumped out onto Thumb Butte Rd. Shifted into the big ring and tried to gain some speed only to have both my hamstrings lock up.   After forcing my legs through a few rotations of the crank, they loosened up a little and I was on my way.  I caught up to another rider as we approached Gurley Street, and we took turns riding in each others slipstreams all the way into the final turn onto Goodwin.  Here, I gave it everything I had as I pounded through the finish.

Last year I crashed twice and had to stop twice with bad cramps, this year I kept the rubber side down and didn’t have to stop, so I figured I have a better time……..but alas, I was actually 3 minutes slower this year.  I think it was getting caught up in the bike pushing conga line that did me in.

Still, I am happy with the way I rode, happy that I lived through another grueling event, and happy to finish in 19th place in the Masters Division.

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