7.29.2008

NON-RACE RACE REPORT: The Liberty Jamboree V

it is mid-week... the past weekend is long gone and next weekend is rapidly approaching
two weeks ago the family went to The Beaver Dam Swim Club...
that experience seems like a century ago
while last saturday's WUSS Adventure seems like decades ago

just the same... I will try to see what I can dredge up to try and summarize the tone of the day
had I had the energy on saturday night I would have told a thousand stories
now some of those stories have drifted from the surface

NON-RACE RACE REPORT: The Liberty Jamboree V
an official WUSS event as all Washington Underground Single Speed events are unofficial!


somehow... not sure how... but last year I got on the invite list to the Liberty Jamboree IV.. not sure how I got invited... but I got invited... I was stoked to be invited
I was stoked I attended
I had a blast
so when the invite came my way this year via Jim at one of the evening races at Wakefield... I penciled things in

via email I got more information
the date of The Liberty Jamboree V approached and I made tentative plans with Cargo Mike to carpool up from DC
there had been talk with the family about me leaving out in the morning while they drove out in the late
afternoon with plans to arrive after the non-race activities had ended
it was all agreed... specifics were not shared... it was understood... but the reminders as the date got closer were too vague

the weekend arrived without actually confirming the dates with my wife lisa
there had been several vague mentions... but I had not emailed her the specifics
so on friday night on our way to get some mexican with the kids it took lisa by surprise when I mentioned that Cargo Mike was picking me up the next morning at 7:45
lisa was a tad aggravated

lisa's frustration was understandable
I understood that I had just derailed all the Saturday plans she had sculpted in her head
my early departure removed any opportunity for her to go to morning yoga
my early departure and day of riding meant that she was on full time mom duty
it is tough to keep those two boys entertained
it is tough to keep those two boys from killing each other

I felt like a heel... I felt a tad selfish... but I still did not want to deviate from the plan as I felt that the day would develop into not just a great day for dad but also a great day for the family

lisa did not guilt me

there was never a hint that I should not attend this event
nothing covert

nothing overt
never did my ever supportive wife make me feel that I should alter my plans

we ate our dinner and went about our evening with no more mention of my failure to keep her informed or my being a tad selfish

I felt a tad guilty
I felt a tad selfish
but I thought the day would work
I felt that it would be a good day all around

when we woke the next morning lisa was in a fine mood and was on board for a strong maybe for driving out to BBQ-gathering after the riding was done
directions were printed out and bicycles/helmets for the kids were out of the garage and ready to be loaded in the car
Cargo Mike arrived to pick me up with bagels for everyone everyone was stoked to get some fresh bagels
Cargo Mike hung out while we toasted some bagels before hitting the road
Cargo Mike and I drove northeast to the undisclosed race location
I felt good about the day and had no worries about abandoning the family
Lisa was not angry... but she was still not sure about driving out to the event after a day of children's birthday parties and brothers bickering
everything was set for her to drive out if she felt she could make it
Cargo Mike and I arrived at the undisclosed race location to see the area filled with so many familiar faces
cars were being unloaded and bikes were being assembled
people exchanged hellos as they suited up to ride


lots of friends and lots of familiar faces
it was a gathering of the usual suspects

the Single Speed Outlaw FACTORY TEAM had a strong presence as well as some visible vacancies
the Pedal Shop Crew had representation in and out of the jersey
there were number of people from The Bike Lane

no one from DCMTB but Cargo Mike and myself
Jim may have been the only rider from Coppi's
but really... this was not a formal race so many people were in gear minus their " kits"

for the most part it was a gathering of single speeders from the DC area
a good number of people from Northern Virginia, a few from Fredrick, then some from various parts of Maryland, and then a handful from DC proper

it seemed that everyone was pretty local
the furthest traveler may have been one of the Clayman Brothers who traveled from Charlottesville

the drive to the undisclosed location was roughly an hour fifteen minutes from door to door
no one got lost
we left on time and we arrived on time
when we arrived we had plenty of time for a slow assembly of bike and body before the games began

people rolled around on their single speed bikes and exchanged hellos
there was the usual banter
friendly exchanges... perhaps some teasing
excitement was starting to brew


most people had been here before
but for some there needed to be some explanation

so our host and leader jim casey gathered the riders and gave a brief explanation of what was to be expected from the day

being a good listener is not one of my strengths so I am unable to retell what was told
or perhaps I can not tell what jim said because my inability to listen is one of my many weaknesses?
either way I am sure that he said something about the multi-stage event that has come to be known as THE LIBERTY JAMBOREE
his words may have sounded like this...

this was to be a ten stage race in the woods followed by a game of BLACK JACK
the winner of each stage gets to wear the yellow jersey for the next stage
the top five finishers of each stage getting awarded points for each stage
in the end after the stages are completed the winner would be decided by one hand of BLACK JACK
each person qualifies for the
BLACK JACK game with the points they earned in the prior stages... the points earned would count as chips

there would be a men's and a women's category

in addition to the points scored by being a top five finisher each stage also has a yellow flyer hidden off trail
this flyer (called "an outlaw") being worth the same amount of points as winning the stage

there was also discussion of the YELLOW LEAD PONY JERSEY
the winner of the event gets to take home the Yellow Jersey
the Yellow Jersey is not to be washed... not between stages... not between races
the Yellow Jersey was not even to be worn in the traditional post ride swim in the reservoir
Joe Whitehair showed disrespect by breaking that rules some years prior
while Jonathan showed his honor to the jersey by hanging it in The Family Bike Shop for all his customers to smell

water bottles were filled and bikes were ready to ride
any unanswered questions would answer themselves as we rolled into the woods and started riding


the riding started on some dirt trails right off Jim's inlaw's horse filled backyard
the stages were short sprints up and down rolling singletrack through various levels of technical complexity
one stage had a leman's style start with a twist... that twist being that each racer grabbed another racer's bike
which of course was a riddle to find a bike with a decent match in frame size and a correct match of pedals
some of the stages offered clear markings but there were some wrong turns
other stages offered trail options
some of these trail options were wrong turns forcing you to backtrack
there was one or two opportunities in different stages for the racers to take either the clockwise or counter clockwise option around a lollipop
this of course giving the chance for head on fun!
I went the route with JoeP that took us head on into the madness

there was one of those last man standing games
where a dab pulls you out of the circle
and there was even two man trials competition between RickyD and Cargo Mike
they each pogo-ed about on a picnic bench as we took a piss break at one of the state park facilities that we passed as we rode a like a parade from the finish of one stage to the start of another

it was a blast!

it was intense dirt interval fun
it was competitive camaraderie
I tried not to run anyone over
I tried not to crush anyone's rear wheel
I tried to have fun!


I HAD FUN! IT WAS FUN!


the competition was high
Family Bike Shop Jonathan showed up with the Yellow Jersey from last year
I showed up with Cargo Mike... I figured if I could not bring the Lead Pony Jersey back to DC maybe I could bring someone who could

each stage starts as a sprint
like teenage boy on prom night I started fast and ended quickly
that same effort was repeated for each and every stage
fast out of the gate and slow into the finish
all I can say is... I tried

early on I scored a few points landing in various places in the top five
then I faded fast
the bagels were a good start... but I needed more
the 10am start had the day blending into noon
the body was calling out for a lunch break
hammer gels and cliff bars could not satisfy
had I had a bottle of Red Bull I could have made an attack like Popeye fueled with spinach
but I was empty

my tank was empty
I was running on fumes
in between stages I tried to make contact to my wife lisa to see if she and the boys were headed out for the post non-race bbq
cell service was sporadic
we made contact a few times but not a good enough connection to communicate
my last effort to make contact from the trails I learned that lisa was on the road I could hear the boys fighting in the background in the back of the car
but she was headed up... I was stoked
I was confident that lisa would head up with the kids
she knows how to have a good time
she knows how to entertain the boys

after people had some time to chill in the reservoir
bodies worked their way up to the house where
burgers and dogs were just coming off the grill
and beers had spent their day cooling

a short time later after a refreshing dip in the reservoir lisa rolled up with the boys just as I was stepping out of my cycling gear

the boys were ecstatic!
the horse filled staging area was a large grassy area that spelled FREEDOM!
it was some sort of meld between farm and suburbia
wives and children other families started showing up
there was a swing set, a cool swing hanging from a tree limb, a small inflatable kiddie pool, a long
drive way good for biking, and a pedal car that the kids needed to line up behind DC Tony to ride

nick's wife and children arrived as did family bike shop jonathan's
todd bauer and unholy roller jim's families showed up

people who were too hung over from the night prior in margaritaville started to show up
it was madness! kids were swarming everywhere!


margaritaville?

my boys were pushing to go swimming

but I delayed our approach to the water so we could attend the kid's race
the kid's race was a long straight not so technical section of trail which was perfect for this group of young riders
the length amused me... I dubbed it the SM100 of Kid's Races
there was a good group of kids on bikes
maybe more kids with training wheels than not

and even some fast pedaling young ladies

after the race the boys got their wish
we hiked down to the reservoir
by this time I was tired... but I did not give up on chasing the boys
I jumped into the water and did the requisite splashing with the kids
had they not been so drawn to the water I would have been content to stay seated on a chair drinking a beer while they ran around on the grass

but I knew how they would love the reservoir so we took them swimming
and well... it I am going to be that close to this glorious body of water
I am going to go swimming as well

they got thrown a few times

I swam under them and blew bubbles
grant took breaks from swimming by climbing on my back

I made sure I did not cramp up and sink to an early grave
then we headed back up to join the party for more fun
there were points were I just stood at a level where my it was just right so that my head poked out of the water

after a healthy swim we suited up and hiked back up to the party
the kids were still swarming around
the swing off the branch and the pedal car were in high demand

the boys had a blast
the whole family was having a good time


we were the last guests to leave
my boys wanted to stay the night
jim's inlaws
are so mellow thatI am sure that they would have allowed it
but it was time to go home
everyone left smiling
time well spent

it was a good day on the bike with good friends which added up to an amazing day
I may have bonked
but I was not out there to prove anything

it was riding hard and fast with friends
there was so much smiling going on you would not believe it
we were shoulder to shoulder or maybe my elbow was to other people's shoulders

it was fun... it is why we ride
we pushed ourselves
we pushed each other
I pushed Cargo Mike and bumped him out of a stage... well actually I grabbed his seat and pulled him to a stop at the top of a climb
while this year I refrained from pushing over JoeP and running over his delicate light weight rear wheel

IT WAS LIKE THE SHENANDOAH MOUNTAIN 100 OF KIDS RACES!


Todd Bauer's account of the day's events at wrenchout.blogspot.com Uholy Roller Jim of Coppi tells his tale over at unholyrouleur-jim.blogspot.com no words as of yet from RiderX of the Single Speed Outlaw www.singlespeedoutlaw.com not sure if anybody will add anything over at Bikecentric/bikecentric.blogspot.com l

ike a lift ticket on my ski jacket

images by todd bauer from Liberty Jamboree IV
also by todd images
from Liberty Jamboree V

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great non-race report Gwadz! Thanks for coming out and bringing along a few other DC riders to join the WUSS fun. It's always a blast to organize and it was great to hang out with you, Lisa and the boys. The pyramid watermelon slices will be copied for sure!
JKC

JKC1x1 said...

Great non-race report Gwadz! Thanks for coming out and bringing along a few more DC riders to join the WUSS fun! It was great hanging with you, Lisa and the boyz. Your pyramid watermelon slices will be copied for sure!
JKC

gwadzilla said...

jim

thanks for having us!

everyone had a blast!

you and your family are fantastic hosts!

and yes
the pyramid watermelon slices are the only way to go!

-joel