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Gorey Hollows IV Ride and Race Report

By :James Johnson 0 comments
Gorey Hollows IV Ride and Race Report

As is the case every year, this edition of the Gorey Hollows race was the hardest yet! We mixed it up this year and made a point to point route, rather than a loop. The racers were called to rise even earlier, meet at the old sugar house HQ at 4:30 AM, load up the bikes in a couple big pick up trucks and a funky bike trailer. At 5AM we headed southwest to the foot hills of the Green Mountains between Pawlet and Dorset, VT.

Ever the punctual crew, we missed our 5:30AM whistle and the race began precisely 20 minutes later at 5:50. 

After a few minute pavement to gravel grind we ducked under a gate to our buddy's hunting camp off of Sykes Hollow and we began the first of many, many climbs. Ride with GPS claimed we had 15,100 feet of climbing ahead of us over the next 88 miles. My track in GAIA put me at 90 miles and 14,100 feet of climbing over 13 hours and 47 minutes, the truth lies somewhere in between.

The trees were in full peak display, and the hillsides caught the morning light like fire. What a joy and pleasure to spend the entire day out in the woods and on a bike! 

We opened 25 spots to only the bravest of souls, lost a few contenders before the race even began, and on the morn' of October 8th, 2022, 16 fair riders set out to conquer the beast. Of those attempting the ride, only 13 were qualified to claim the golden, crispy, prize: a locally sourced apple pie. Second and third placers are awarded apple cider donuts with sugar, of course, not too shabby a treat. 

This year some new rules were implemented

  • To podium, the following stuff is banned:  Aero bars (sorry, Andrew), suspension forks, suspension frames, suspension seatposts and stems (sorry lots of folks).  E bikes are of course banned (not sorry).  You can race with any of this stuff, but your results will not count toward the official record.  
  • Race time cuts will be reinstated so we are not up till 11pm waiting for you to come back (sorry, Jimmy)

Only 4 folks fully completed the route with out any bails or modifications, and of those 4, only 3 had qualifying bikes! Here is your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place champions of the Gorey Hollows IV!

 1st Place, returned 7:12 PM

(no rider image was submitted, so here's a quick sketch)

1. What is your name and from whence do you hail?

My name is  Hardeaux Sniggleman and I hail from the land maple trees and fresh cow pies (AKA Hardy Avery, Poultney VT)

2. What bike did you ride (feel free to be generous with the details on gearing, tire size, etc.)

I rode my Tanglefoot Moonshiner size large with mountain bike riser bars and a dropper post:)

650x3” tires - a worn out Schwalbe Rocket Ron on the rear an old AF Surly Dirt Wizard on the front. 

Luckily no flats since I left my plug kit on the workbench at home. 

32 chainring with 10-50 cassette. 

3. What was your secret weapon (the thing that helped you most throughout the day)?

Well it wouldn’t be a secret if I told you now would it? 

4. What was your biggest regret (what would you do differently next time)?

No time for regrets…

5. What was your favorite thing that you ate?

My favorite food of the day was my PB, honey, granola and raisin sammich.  Also coffee maple shots are great! 

6. What was your darkest moment (if you had one?)

 No dark in my day…

7. Will you be back next year?

Durn yeah! 

2nd Place, returned @ 7:19PM

 

1. What is your name and from whence do you hail?

 Candice Passehl, East Poultney VT

2. What bike did you ride (feel free to be generous with the details on gearing, tire size, etc.)

 Tanglefoot Hardtack Small 2021 Prototype. 650b/2.8 wheels with WTB Rangers and Mariposa Tyreinvaders (used those suckers a lot!). Drop bars, Ratio 12 speed brifter mod, 10-50 cassette, 32t chainring. 

3. What was your secret weapon (the thing that helped you most throughout the day)?

 Copious amounts of anxiety

4. What was your biggest regret (what would you do differently next time)?

More caffeine! 

5. What was your favorite thing that you ate?

 My brother's lovely girlfriend (Melanie) made me sandwiches one roast beef/cheese/avocado/mayo/more cheese, and one super yummy gooey peach jam/almond butter one. Sooo good!

6. What was your darkest moment (if you had one?)

I had a near bonk at mile 56-60. But that aforementioned almond butter sandwich with some coffee and some magical spring water and I was back up and running! 

7. Will you be back next year?

If they'll have me!

 

3rd Place, returned at 7:25PM

1. What is your name and from whence do you hail?

 Jon Rowe from Bennington VT, 50 miles or so south of Analog headquarters  

2. What bike did you ride (feel free to be generous with the details on gearing, tire size, etc.) 

Tanglefoot Hardtack that I bought off showroom floor at Analog two weeks before the race. Gorey was my fourth ride on the bike. James said I was set up great for Goreys and I had no time to make any changes to it anyhow. 27.5 x2.6 tires 32t chainring I think with a 9-46 11 speed cassette, oh and it’s pink!! 

3. What was your secret weapon (the thing that helped you most throughout the day)?

Patience, I took the time to eat while riding and to make sure I was following gps route. I did go off course at like mile 86 missing a left hand turn into woods and I was 3 tenths of a mile down the road before I realized I was off course.  

4. What was your biggest regret (what would you do differently next time)?

 I had my phone in a pouch on top tube of frame which was hard to see while riding so I had to stop at most intersections especially the ones out in the woods. Getting a good phone mount for the handlebar would make a big difference. Also the extended hikes up the mountains started to wear the skin off my heals while wearing my clipless mtb shoes. A more comfortable shoe with some flex to the soul would probably be better, lesson learned! 

5. What was your favorite thing that you ate?

 Honey Stinger waffles, or the plain doughnut?? sad but true, or maybe  it was the Coke I drank.

6. What was your darkest moment (if you had one?)

Climbing up the river bank after the taking pic of the decaying bridge. The river bank was steep and covered with slippery leaves. I think I fell like three times climbing that bank (again maybe my shoes?) and my bike was tangled up in the trees. I felt like a fish out of water on that one. 

7. Will you be back next year?

 I hope so!! Thanks for putting on such a fun event! 

Finished 4th but did not technically qualify. Returned 9:27PM

 

Let me start by saying, holy shit, you guys are nuts. I knew it was going to be hard. Really hard, and I guess it was. It was just harder than I imagined really hard being. But it did make accomplishing the entire route that much more satisfying. Also, Candice, you're a beast, I think I saw you for about 1 minute on the ride out of the starting lot. I'm not sure if I got the correct control point photos towards the end. I had mileage alarms on my computer set but had a hard time locating some of the things in the dark and hazy state of mind.

1. What is your name and from whence do you hail? 

Connor Wallace, from Wakefield, RI, the smallest state with the longest name. 

2. What bike did you ride (feel free to be generous with the details on gearing, tire size, etc.) 

I rode a bike that earned me a frowny face (meaning he did not qualify to actually be racing--i.e. had suspension!). It was made by a little known boutique manufacturer called Trek. With 2.6" tires on 29" wheels, and a bunch of squishy bits and posts that drop.

3. What was your secret weapon (the thing that helped you most throughout the day)? 

Most definitely the people. My biggest fear going into the ride was not being able to keep up with the lead group but being too quick for the second group. I ended up riding for 9 hours with Welcker and not only got to know a cool dude and have someone to talk to, but I also had someone to share the pain with. After we split ways at the chasm, I was running low on water around mile 66 and walked up to two ladies sitting on the porch of their farmhouse and asked to use their hose. They were very lovely and took my camelbak into the house to fill it up, which definitely saved me. Then, somewhere around mile 70 after just finishing a climb, I sat down against a tree and broke out my special treat of peanut M&Ms and considered calling it quits when the dude with the huge beard came up the hill and convinced me to keep going. That was definitely the motivation I needed in that moment to keep pushing. And finally, flying down the road into the Gorey encampment and screeching to a stop after 89 miles and 17k' of climbing to everyone around the campfire cheering and my buddies Jim and Caitlin coming over with sandwiches and beer was the perfect ending.  

4. What was your biggest regret (what would you do differently next time)?

I don't regret riding my full squish bike, but it definitely made me an instant outsider. Next time I would get my ass on a fully rigid machine. 

5. What was your favorite thing that you ate?

Peanut M&Ms, and all the other food that was offered to me by other riders that I was not shy about eating and was a nice break from Gu and Tailwind.

6. What was your darkest moment (if you had one?)

Darkest moment was stopping at the cabin at mile 45 with Welcker and trying to decide whether pushing our bikes up the hill to the control point just for a photo was worth it, especially while riding a bike that I knew wouldn't qualify for official results and being so close to the timeline for the first mandatory bail out. I ultimately decided that if I was going to finish this thing, I had to finish all the things, and so we did. It was agonizing, see photo (above!).

 7. Will you be back next year?

Possibly. Do you have any Moonshiners for sale? you know the answer to that one, Connor;)
 

And we got some Q&A's back from a few folks who didn't make it through the full course, here are some of your DNF'ers: 

DNF

1. What is your name and from whence do you hail?

My name is George Whalen living in Shushan, NY.  

2. What bike did you ride (feel free to be generous with the details on gearing, tire size, etc.)

My ride within a Tanglefoot Moonshiner size small, brooks b17 carved saddle is my creature comfort with 2.8 WTB Ranger tires, SON front hub for charging and lighting, ritchey beacon bars wrapped in tanglefoot wool, for gears I use sram rival brifters and deraileur with 11-50 garburuk cassette and 30t chainring to hope evo cranks(165mm), Paul Klampers keep the speeds and panic moments in check with my feet firmly planted on Chromag Scarab flat pedals.

3. What was your secret weapon (the thing that helped you most throughout the day)?

 Pacing and keeping the food intake aplenty for the long day is key for me  

4. What was your biggest regret (what would you do differently next time)?

 No regrets, all just more experience for learning and fine tuning what works and what would work better. Cache battery for the phone charging will be with me from now on   

5. What was your favorite thing that you ate?

 Hmmm  I think my turkey sandwich I brought or possible the half a bag of dill pickle lays chips I bought from the store.  

6. What was your darkest moment (if you had one?)

 The moment I realized I was way off course and could not find my way back to any sort of trail in the dark. I think my lights worked against me in a way. Could’ve been the 14 hours of crazy riding before hand too,  haha.  I was totally blairwitched and had to bushwhack intelligently for an hour. The critters of the night heard some solid cursing as I remembered the exact spot I missed my turn and was feeling strong physically for the last push to the easy dirt road finish.  The bleary brain is tricky to deal with and I was most concerned about contacting James to tell him I’m ok. The phone was dead and couldn’t be charged. Ah well, still one of my favorite rides ever!   

7. Will you be back next year?

Absolutely, I would be back next week if there was another ride. Thank you to everyone for the cheers upon my arrival home and to the Analog crew and others to make this course and wonderful people come together! 

 DNF

1. What is your name and from whence do you hail?
Jonathan Taylor, East Poultney

2. What bike did you ride (feel free to be generous with the details on gearing, tire size, etc.)
Tanglefoot Moonshiner Prototype

3. What was your secret weapon (the thing that helped you most throughout the day)?
Wild, blissful, idiotic IGNORANCE and regular sacrifices to the fickle gods of Beginner's Luck

4. What was your biggest regret (what would you do differently next time)?
Not sticking with my original Sisyphean Birdseye training plan of walking up Birdseye and Herrick at 4 AM with six truck tires tied to my Moonshiner—  :-). — which is to say no regrets!
 
5. What was your favorite thing that you ate?
The smoked salmon and Jarlsburg onion roll I had at Mac's Market when I bailed after coming off the 5th big climb & descent in Danby.
 
6. What was your darkest moment (if you had one?)
Knowing that I just couldn't trudge up one more f-ing mountain-- but it really wasn't that big a deal/low a point-- I just knew it and knew there wasn't enough day left, and I was fine. Finishing all 88 (or actually all 90!) was only in my wildest dreams. My realistic goal was 70 miles, which I only got to 48, but then again I did 5 out 8 of the big climbs and 9000 ft of ascent— my highest one day total easily. Plus, even more important, whole new regions and amazing new trails and places have been opened up to me, and I felt like a great explorer of old, so you know, win, win, win in my book!
 
7. Will you be back next year?
Hell yeah!
We also offer up two other routes for those who aren't ready to bite off the full vigor of the race: A super challenging 45miler and a mellow 30 mile loop. These rides feature a more leisurely pace (the 30 mile ride has a lead and sweep, the 45-ers are on their own for navigation), don't start before sunrise, but certainly could extend well beyond sunset. 
Camp fire hangs, brews, and recapping tales of the day follow well into the wee hours of the night. 
Thanks to all who came out, training for next year starts now!
Yours,
C
P.S.
The photos the follow were submitted by a smattering of folks, thanks for sharing!
categories : News

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