Thursday, November 10, 2011

12th Annual Dakota Five-0-A little ride with 600 Friends

Another great year of racing and riding in Spearfish! The weather was nearly perfect with a clear sky and cool start. Smokey Bear showed up on schedule for the 7:15 start.
Racers were lined up and smiled big for the money shots with Smokey Bear, and high fives.
At the drop of his hat Racers were off the line for the neutral roll out led by myself on the ATV.
I slowly led the riders out of town, and released them onto the 2 mile gravel climb which eventually converged onto the tight and flowing single-track of Tinton Trail.
Oh yeah, I needed to get back for the second wave of riders! Before turning around for the second wave start, I snapped a couple pics of the riders cranking out of town, jockying for position, for the single track that awaited them.
Back at the park I met up with Smokey and the front row of the Riders in Wave 2, for a another round of High Fives. This wave was substantially smaller but still had over 200 riders. The lead out was laid back, with no riders trying to draft the ATV... Up on the gravel I headed up onto the course to check the action and it was ON.

I buzzed up to Big Hill Aid Station #1 Mile 10, where RMS local wrench J.Etzkorn had it all under control.....time for a quick back rub?
After catching the first 12 riders or so I shivered onto Big Hill trails to check the course and action. I cut a couple trails and caught up with Phil Busching, a long time veteran and top finisher of the Five-0. I followed him down through the trees and into a big open meadow all white with what? Heavy Frost blanketed the grass with a dirt trail slicing thru it.
Onward to Iron Cr. drainage I found some sun. I warmed up and watched riders dip through the drainage wondering if they knew that Cardiac Climb lay ahead... A beautiful 3 tiered steep climb followed Recovery Ridge Trail to cool your lactic filled legs.
Onwards toward mile 22, Old Baldy Trailhead Aid Station #2 was getting busy. The small parking area was busting with overflow and spectators cars lined the gravel road to the entrance. There must have been a couple hundred fans awaiting there riders arrivals. Cowbells were going off as well as the volunteers keeping the water bottles topped off and feeding the fuel needed to finish the back half of the Five-0. Local Ridge Rider Mark Gould and Family have staffed this Aid Station for over a decade of Five-0's and know how it flows and goes, Thank You Very Much...
Riders mustered up the energy and headed out onto the trails of Old Baldy, Crangle Connection, and Taco Alley before pulling into Sheep Flats Aid Station #3 mile 28. It is a relatively short pull loaded with some of the more technical singletrack of the Five-0.
Here you see Kim Eppen first women thru Sheep Flats Aid Station #3 Mile 28. Kim went on to win the overall fastest women title!
Out of Sheep Flats riders have to crank up and over Beaver Ridge and from there navigate some fast rolling snowmobile trail to the Ball Park Aid Station #4 at mile 35 in Higgins Gulch. Here riders are treated by fine young felines. They have all the nutrition to get most riders thru the next 2 mile hard climb to the Bacon Station. You may even be treated to a Biker Wash where the rider is washed instead of the bike?...
Gear down, if possible and or Bear down on the pedals and crank out the pig of a climb for 2 miles and you will begin to hear DJ Kelly and the Baconators cheering you into the Bacon Station Location. This is the "unofficial station" #5, home of the originator not the imitator Mr. Baconator Christian Baird. The man behind cooking 50lbs. of perfectly cooked country peppered BACON. Besides Bacon by the handful you will be served up a PBR from his assistants!
There was even a celebrity appearance from Bacon Man I got to witness!
The Bacon Station was a sight to see for sure. It is at the top of one of the Five-0's hardest climbs and above the most treacherous downhills, DakoTA Ridge, 2 miles of smiles.
Only to be followed up by the last two miles of climbing before cranking out to the fast and flowing Tinton Trail to town....
After enjoying the Bacon Station it was back to town to check on the Strider World Cup races.
Their was 69 Strider Riders 5 & Under. Their was a class for each age between 2-5yrs. old. Behold the future of the sport, "Families that Ride together stay together."

Crow Peak Brewery poured the microbrew up, while Barbacoa's had the riders lined up for the Taco Bar. In the meantime friends reminisced about this year's Five-0 memories while music from Six Mile Road, Hank Harris/Jamie Lynn, and Dan Sherrills lion den filled in.
With Riders set up with good Grub and drinks it was time for the awards ceremony.
Thanks to headline sponsors Sram and Quarq Technologies, Salsa Cycles, Twin Six, and all the local sponsors the prize tables ran over. Cash prizes ran 8 Deep in some classes and all top finisher were awarded graciously.
Beside all the fastest racers getting rewarded, all riders were eligible for many great prizes such as Jenny Braig painting and Salsa Spearfish 2 complete!

We will be doing it again for the 12th Annual Dakota Five-0 Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012! Mark your calendars for 2012 registration opens April 1st, No Fooling, it could fill fast...