Lumberjack 100: Badger rolls with me to 9th

The race for me has to have been the single hardest ride I've ever done. And yet, it left me feeling really good. Having met my major goal (making the distance) and one of my minor goals at the race was a huge plus. Finishing 9th (and had I been paying attention it would have been 8th) was a super bonus. In some ways I think making it to the event and completing it this year meant more to me than it could have in prior years. It was a great day and a lot of the Badger and Founders Ale crew were there. Rick Plite : Mr. Kisscross once again organized a stellar race. He does a super job. He's already getting the CX series lined up. Dennis was my stellar pit crew. Kept me fed and cleaned up each lap. Was ready with the ice water for the head each time through too.

One Liners:
- Solo sub six road century on Tuesday and then the Lumberjack ultra Saturday
- Chris Eatough/Trek: rolls through finishing three laps not too long after I've finished two. He's an animal at 6:49 for the race. Danielle Musto/Slingshot at 8:47 for the women!
- I must have a sign on my butt that reads "draft me" based on how many guy's took a long draft
- 65% completion rate for all riders
- One blister from shifting so much for so long
- Triceps that I hope become strong in relation to the degree of ache during and after the race...BUMPY day and one slightly sticky fork.
- Sit bones that are a bit sore. The Badger 29er did a great job taking the sting out of it
- Longest I've ever spent on the bike in one day, let alone a mountain bike

The bike was just a bit dirtier than me when it was over.

One very cool experience. I think I'll have to do another one of these.

Syd (Badger) took 4th including almost a 30 minute time out after leading into the pits after her second lap. Lack of fluids got to her. She rallied back and hauled to make a great finish. Sydney has been tearing it up both on road and off. She should be flying by CX season.

(Founders) railed on the SS. She's been doing a bunch of the 100s and it shows.


Badger / Cannondale Caffeine 29er head to head

Last week the Cannondale demo truck was working its way through the state. The ever welcoming and cheery Jason E. was manning the truck. I'd popped over to the trail and ended up taking Jeff B. on his maiden Burchfield loop. He selected a Rush for his tester and I took out C-Dale's 29er offering. Have to say that Lefty fork is sweet. The demo bikes have WIDE bars on them so that made things a bit unusual for me in the handling department. Shod with Nanos this bike flew. I rode the rock garden and more. It is a very nice riding bike. I was quite impressed. This rode and handled lighter than it lifted. The front end was easily brought up over things and the rear stayed hooked up.

Next loop it was back onto the Badger. This bike has a slightly shorter wheelbase (matches my 26" bike) and higher bottom bracket. These are nice advantages on a trail like Burchfield with its tight/twisty sections and logs. The Cannondale rolled that stuff wonderfully but I had to watch for catching the chain ring.

My body position is also better on the Badger (better weight distribution) and I'm more comfortable on it. Part spec is better too. The C-Dale 29er is an able ride in want of a couple of upgrades. But at the price point is one fine ride, a custom frame alone can surpass the cost of the trail-ready Cannondale. If I was shopping for my first 29er today, they'd get serious consideration. The ride of it was much nicer for me than the GF29er.

Thanks to Cannondale, Jason E. and Jeff B. for a fun ride. Props to Rob Pennell/Badger for the fine frameset he built me.

Next up; FS 29er review or Lumberjack 100 report. Check back!