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Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
Saturday in Santa Barbara started amusingly enough, with us packing the car at 6 AM. The Ramada Inn parking arrangement allowed for Deb to throw the stuff down from the second floor balcony to the sidewalk below. Waterbottles, gear bags and luggage. Almost did the bikes, but we decided against it.

Deb won her race and would've placed second in any of the other female classes. It was nice and cool for her race. The marine layer started burning off as mine started. The usual big field and we started out, very, very fast, with me on the K2. I had prerun the course the previous day, so I had a good idea of what we were up against. Hit the switchbacks and I geeked a couple of them, losing ground to the small pack in front of me. The top of the hill is a huge, wide-open area and they laid out the race course like a maze across the flat areas. You often saw your competition going the other way.

I kept losing ground and started getting passed. Gawd, was I doing poorly. I was giving it all I had and then the 50+ year old guys started passing me. The first hill climb was way harder on me, than the pre-run. I went over everything. I ate right, slept right, trained right. What was wrong? I must've got off the bike at least three or four times, spinning the wheels, checking for brake rub. Nope, no problem there. Get back on bike and finish first lap.

Second lap, I'm thinking to myself, I really, really suck. I granny up the fireroad climb in the bottom of the bottom gear. I middle-ringed it yesterday. It's just a bad day. But every so often, through out the whole race. I heard the rear tire hitting the brake pads. On some of the quieter climbs, I can hear the rim hitting the brake. But everytime I got off and spun the back wheel it was OK. A suspicion started building up and I looked down between my legs at the backwheel as I was climbing. I could see both rear brake arms moving in and out, about a half inch! The rim had to be touching!

I climbed the long paved climb back to the starting area and my sponsor was there, I told him as I passed, that I was cooked. Went through the finish line area and then I stopped and looked really closely at the bike. I pushed against the side of the rear wheel and I was amazed that I could push it over three inches either way. First thoughts in an XC daze; blown Chris King Hub, trashed spokes. My sponsor came over and he figured it out instantly.

The carbon fiber seat stay on the Razorback had cracked all the way through on an old weak spot. Every time I put my weight on the bike, it forced the rear wheel against the brakes! OK, this is my first DNF in seven years of MTB racing. What a drag. I'm not going to detail how I finished the third and final lap, but I did and got dead frigging last. Beats no points for a DNF and I only dropped one spot in the top ten. The photo's of me during the race weren't pleasant. I looked distressed, thrashed and beat.

I have got a line on a very low mileage XC race frame that has seen nothing of the abuse that the K2 Razorback went through. In fact, it almost looks brand new. Regarding the K2, ride and race an XC bike heavily for 4 1/2 years and you get the idea. Time to hang the old warrior up on the garage wall (the bike, not me!). The parts will simply be moved over, as the wheelset is perfectly fine, having just been rebuilt and Chris King hubs just last forever. I am running a new fork and found a guy selling OEM overruns, specifically a 2001 Rockshox SID for $99, brand new in the box. That's all I need and I've got the Fox F100x if that doesn't work. Details on the new bike will be forthcoming as I put it together. It ain't new, but you see many of them at an XC race, that's for sure...
Posted by STP a 48 year old Racer riding a A deal in the making... from P'Dale on 06/06/07

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  • Re: Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
    Way to finish the race STP. I heard through the Crossmaxvine that you had some bike difficulties.
    Glad you decided to hang up the Razorpig. 4 1/2 years is a lot of time for a race frame. Luckily it was only the seat stay. Funny how carbon is highly touted and aluminum is so passe yet it still holds up!
    No racing for me for a while. Fractured the right femoral neck on a ride 2 weeks ago in a freaky slow speed wreck. I had surgery. They put 3 four inch Ti screws to secure the neck(only fractured). Apparently it is a best case scenario break but it still fockin' hurts. Started PT this week and am on the road to recovery.
    Hopefully I'll be out there on the trails soon. Was kind of a bummer, I was in some kind of shape.
    paz afuera
    Posted by Papisimo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Gary Fisher 29er mofo from the recovery room on 06/07/07
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  • Re: Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
    Heya Papo!

    I'm sorry about your injury! Man, I believe you, when you say it hurts, I can't even imagine what an imbedded ti bolt feels like. The freaky wreck you describe, must've been pretty unusual, especially because it was slow speed. I had one like that a couple of years ago, when I was playing around, while I was warming up. Riding by the railroad tracks by my old house, I bunny hopped a bowling ball sized rock at a very moderate speed. The back wheel caught the rock and somehow, I went ODB and pile drove into the ground, head first. Man, I was afraid to even go to the doctor! My neck was jacked up for four months!

    I hope you're feeling better soon and can get back on the bike!

    Regis
    Posted by STP a 48 year old Racer riding a 02' Specialized FSR S-Works from P'Dale on 06/07/07
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  • Re: Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
    STP - you get a bike that works right and you'll slay the competition! Hope the new frame works out for you. Give me a call tonight. I'll try to haul my fat @ss up Mt Emma or whatever punishment you got planned this weekend.

    Papo; I heard through the grapevine that you were in killer shape. Some friends saw you tearing up the road a while back in the Santa Monicas. Maybe the time off and rest will work out in your favor though (thinking on the bright side). Hope you heal up quickly!
    Posted by FFW a 48 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a MPB from Palmdale on 06/07/07
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  • Re: Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
    Thanks guys for the well wishes. I've never been hurt before while riding. I've walked away from many a wreck since '92 so I guess it was time to pay up. No regrets either way. I was doing something I love.
    The crash was weird because I was making a right hand turn going down J drop. I was going slowly(5 -10 mph) and my bar clipped a branch. I started falling toward my right side down slope. Problem was that I couldn't get my right foot out of the pedal and my mometum pulled my leg taut and BOOM, landed right on the hip. I knew something was wrong. I couldn't put any weight on the leg so I was in a bit of a dilemma. I was solo and had my phone, but I couldn't walk back up J drop. Those of you who know it is a very technical trail when on an XC rig. I didn't wanna call for help so I tried ridng down the trail. I managed to get all the way down. When I was on the bike I could pedal so I kept on going up the hill and rode home 8 more miles. I thought maybe I slightly dislocated or separated my hip. After a couple of beers the pain came back so I went to the ER. Doc took one look and knew something was wrong. Blah fockin' Blah.
    FFW, keep that road thing under wraps ok!!! We are mtn. bikers here. While in the hospital, the nurses kept running into the room because the HR monitor warning was going off all the time. My resting HR is 35 bpm, a sign of the shape I was in.
    Oh well, hopefully I'll come back hungrier.
    Keep on riding and sharing the tails!!!
    paz afuera
    Posted by Papisimo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Gary Fisher 29er mofo from the recovery room on 06/07/07
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  • Re: Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
    Papo...

    No worries! I have the exact same injury (call me '3-pin Tom' - and that's not a reference to telemark bindings!). Was on the indoor bike in about 2 months, and had my first outdoor road ride in 4 months. Now, 11 years later, it's good as new. Also, it doesn't set off the metal detectors, so I breeze right through security.


    Sad news about the 'Pig, STP. I had one Easton cf bar for a while, but was scared s#!+less of the thing... "When will this thing break and skewer me?!?" Aluminum is the Minimum, and Steel is Real!


    Posted by Dr Wellington Yueh on 06/07/07
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  • Re: Tanked: Ellings XC, Santa Barbara
    Papo, Deb sez Hi! She says that you (believe it or not) lucked out on the break, as it wasn't a 'displaced' fracture, which is super serious and takes even longer to heal. Also, she said that you can't afford to risk re-fracturing it, while it's healing, because that'll lead to some very, very serious pulmonary complications.

    I'm pasting in her email reply.

    "Wow, what a freaky thing to happen. But remember when I broke my foot. That stuff catches you off guard!
    I have a feeling Papo is going to recover in 2 mos and be on light trails for awhile. He may recover enough to ride hard in the next season. A combination of light rest and recovery with physical therapy...no impact.

    His good health and physical fitness is going to get him thru this one. He doesnt have much body fat to protect him like I do....ha ha. When muscle contracts it sometimes places a lot of torque on the bone, like with my foot. It's a wonder I didnt break a hip with all of my falls.
    I feel bad for him. But I really think he is going to come back strong. "

    Deb


    Posted by STP a 48 year old Racer riding a 02' FSR S-Works from P'Dale on 06/07/07
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