annual "Bike for Bender Tahquitz 6hour Race" Angelus Oaks, CA
The brain child of
fellow racing veteran Allan Laframboise resulted in an amazingly well organized
endurance event. The non- profit organization honors and continuous the
path of southern California Pro Mountain-biker Robert Bender who lost his fight
with cancer in 2010. The 26 year old was known through out the area for his
love of cycling and support of the local cycling community.
Tahquitz sold out
with 175 participants and even started on time. The format consisted of
solo and two person teams battling over a spanking new 7 mile ~45 minute loop (http://app.strava.com/rides/19733600)
and 1,000' of vertical on the Boy Scout camp in Angelus Oaks/ San Bernardino
Forest. 90% of the track was singletrack ranging from steep, off-camber
bandersnatch to smooth flow through the ferns. Making for high heart
rates and a very slow ave speed, but you were never daydreaming.
I started near the
front and immediately was displaced as the field took off like it was a 75min
XC race. Elevation of 6,500' wasn't helping us from sea level either.
175 people on singletrack can be an issue for passing, but fellow riders
were often willing to yield and there was a good vibe on the course. I
settled in riding with SoCal XC racer Chuck Jenkins and we had a blast mobbing
the DH's then trying to maintain a reasonable pace on the "camp
tahquitz" singletrack climb. Chuck wisely took a lunch break and I
proceeded to pedal strike a log on the smoothest part of the course, resulting
in a different sort of meal- all in time for the paparazzi. Not having
any friends in the pits, I never had a clue where I was placed. Not that
it mattered by 4 hrs most of us were in survival mode on the climb.
Apparently the top three open men were only separated by 6 minutes at the
finish. Then again Tinker wasn't there. The timing/ logistics was
well run with the help of Jason Ranoa from SocalEndurance.
1 Danny Munoz 8 laps - 5.43
2. Guy Sutton 8laps -
3. Kevin Smith 8 laps -
1 Hawke 5 laps 5:04:08
2 Fabbro 5laps 5:22:57
3 Tien 4laps 5:10:40
The race organizers
somehow managed to get volunteers by the dozens and even provided hand up cups
of water and Gatorade at two areas on the course. By the end of the race
I was stopping at these every lap to refuel. I hope they achieved their
goals for bringing awareness to the "Bike for Bender" cause and
continue working with the Boy Scouts in developing some more good trails.
Don't miss this one next year!