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Mudfoot Dirty Hundo

3 Apr

The Mudfoot Dirty Hundo must be one of the most well documented rides I’ve participated in (indeed, at times it seemed almost like a weird back-woods commercial with so many bike shops, bike manufacturers, and other taste-makers in attendance), so you don’t really need my ride report, but really I should keep writing, so…

Preserving this here so it will live on beyond a secret Facebook post or at least beyond my fleeting memory:

A very rough re-cap, sorry no photos (well, not from me, but here are a few from others):

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After leaving the shop, we watched the sun rise over a steaming avenue of freshly layed tar Caltrans was spreading in our path. They tried to turn us back, but all 110+ cyclists took to the sidewalks and went through the construction zone, much to the confusion and dismay of the laborers.

We rolled together (more or less) to Duarte, coasting along at 25mph, our giant motley group absorbing various packs of roadies, feeders to Montrose who failed to break away. Much urine was spilled at Encanto Park, where Al handed out rice/apple cakes and Leo passed around a flask of Whistle Pig. Al had a broken link and didn’t thread his repaired chain through the rear mech properly, so he quickly performed some surgery, removing the pulleys to get the chain back on without having to take out another pin – I was impressed.

We ogled other rider’s bikes while discussing “strategy,” which from my memory consisted of “bacon tastes good,” “hemorrhoids are lame,” “when are we going to smoke that doob,” and “hold on, wait up, I need to adjust my seatpost/headset/tire pressure/etc.”

Those who thought this was a race left right away, but we stuck around for a good 30 minutes.

We rode together up the 39 for a while, but when a roadie passed us and said something condescending, like “don’t worry, you’ll catch up on the dirt maybe” or something like that – I guess I took that as a challenge so I zipped past his team, and then the next team, and so on up until the turn off for the OHV area. Illy got there pretty shortly but after topping off our bottles and chatting with everybody that came up behind us, we didn’t see the other guys for about 30 minutes. We got worried that they missed the turn or something so we went back down to find them (“sheep-dogging” – a term Al taught me for that thing Troy is forever doing, scooping up riders who haven’t finished a climb yet). We found the team contending for DFL and they said they had seen some Bicykillers…maybe…back there, somewhere, flat tire…I dunno man. Then the rest of the crew turned a corner, and we saw them racing up a switchback, pursued by a giant orange snow-plough, which in his impatience, I imagined for a moment was Illy turned into a machine.

After topping off our water and just before the “mop up crew” started, we took to the dirt. It started off steep, loose, and exposed – and we stopped a couple times to take clothes off or put clothes on and so on. Illy and I rode together for a while, watching a girl come to a stand-still on a double-digit grade, then fall straight over like a felled tree. She was OK, I guess, so we kept riding.

Illy fell back a little bit, and I kept passing people, at first the slower guys, then big clusters of teams, then people with mechanicals and flats, then the faster teams taking a break, then fast guys/girls fighting cramps, or a bonk, or the terrain itself. Water crossings, 20% grades, big vistas, long forested canopies, sticky descents, rock gardens, sand, mud, bear scat, a hiker or two, a workman’s truck. Some guy handed me some endurolytes as I creeped past him, two of which I took and two of which I put in my pocket where they melted. Lots of downhill – enough that you could barely enjoy it ’cause you knew it meant you were either lost or that you would pay dearly for it on your way back up the Rincon. At the campground, 5 miles from Redbox, the climbing started again in earnest – a long relentless stretch, the last mile of which I had to walk parts of I was so shot – the sound of traffic on the 2 was both exciting and madenning.

I got to Redbox a little before 2PM (the fast well organized riders from Vive La Tarte and Cadence were there by 12:35PM), arriving shell-shocked, but to applause and high-fives. I recovered quickly thanks to the amazing spread of fried chicken, beer, Coca-Cola, donuts, bananas, water, potato chips, pretzels, PB&J, etc. all dished up by friendly attractive hipsters, what more could you want?

Illy showed up about 25 minutes later – we waited for Al for I think an hour longer? I think he was riding on pure anger by the end of the climb, making it to the top just so he could beat us up for leaving him to his own devices for so long. We ate, talked shit and stumbled around, waiting for the rest of the kooks to arrive – which they all did eventually, and around 4:45(!), having added Maceda, we started down Mt. Lowe. We hurtled down the mountain, trying to beat the sunset while staying upright (super rocky descent). Leo flatted. Matt flatted. I took a wrong turn briefly before catching back up.

City streets back to the shop where beer awaited. Good times. Dirty times.