The Juggernauts Crossing Lethe

…of bikes, Juggernauts, arachnophobia and lovelorn bullfrogs in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  A very thin allusion to high brow literature from a low brow MTB racer.

The Juggernauts’ Crossing the Lethe: Trying to explain how the Juggernauts’ collective memory could be so inconceivably short”

To be fair, it’s a bit heady to draw too many parallels between a back-country bike race and Dante’s epic journey with Virgil, but there is something to be said for the predictable manner with which the crew’s collective memory is revised, or thoroughly erased – oftentimes within minutes of finishing a plunge through infernal hardship and suffering – only to begin planning anew for the next assault.

As in the past, the Juggernauts endured molten lakes, frozen rivers, monsters, treachery, deceit, gigantic arachnids, and predatory and promiscuous bullfrogs to once again cross the river Lethe as memories of Mt Whoville and root ladders faded on the porch of the Brevard NC race lodge … beers and Maker’s Mark support selective memory or willful ignorance (or both) immeasurably.

So I’ll walk the Pisgah 111k backwards … from Finish to Start.  It sort of represents the slow devolution of memory … get it?  Anyway, I’ll try and illustrate, and thus help to understand why the Juggs just. keep. coming. back.  Sort of like that one golf shot, but very very different …

The beginning of Forgetfulness.

  • beers;
  • two miles of final ripping downhill;
  • high fives at the top of the last 100 meter bike push – real or imagined;
  • the last 100 meter bike push;
  • Pilot Rock downhill and switchbacks;
  • Mt Whoville death march and root ladder field (a.k.a., My Own Private Idaho and multiple Quit Bikes moments);
  • most of the ride – actually some of the best 80k of race course ever, except it’s a 111k race – sooo;
  • the start;

Boundless hopes and expectations

Until next time.

– Fang

Juggernaut ESF Travels to Land That Time Forgot, Races Well at Inaugural Pisgah 111

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Beastly. White D, Olsen, Fang, and Thor drove for days if not weeks to the Pisgah National Forest in Western North Carolina for the inaugural Pisgah 111k backcountry mountain bike race. Mike Hudson, friend to Juggernauts, who lives in the greater Asheville area and was kind of enough to bring us finish line brews from the one and only Highland Brewery, suggested that each of the five segments of the race were basically a great day of riding on their own. So when you string it all together it’s like this:

1 great day x 5 = better. Or something.

We wavered greatly between hoot and holler bliss and end it all plunge off the nearest cliff despair. Awesome awesome trails. Huge river crossings. Big 5500+ foot peaks with rocky switchback descents. Lots of berms and jumps. Perfect weather.

White D was all but dead on the first climb but soon began burning all of the alcohol out of his body and shot past David and Thor around the 50k mark never to be seen again. He finished right around 8 hours. Fifteen minutes later, David finished exactly 1 second in front of Thor after pulling a particularly awful and snakelike attack during what should have been a triumphant high-five amongst teammates but became a dark moment that will most likely never truly be forgotten and will fester indefinitely. Fang was in around the 9:15ish mark looking very calm and casual at the line.

We then did what we do best – post-party – even though we were staying in some sort of land of the lost region populated by prehistoric frogs, spiders, and insects. The villagers in the region have lost generations of children that stayed out after dark to the legions of gigantic toads that populate the woods in the Brevard outskirts. Olsen was at one time carried off into the woods by luna moths and violated. He begged us never to speak of the incident and we all agreed to that.

Dyno Uncorks a Win at French Creek

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Our man White Dynamite loaded up the Panzerwagen and headed to PA for another year at the MASS French Creek race. Race report to come, but suffice it to say, the bikram yoga instructors in the podium picture went home first and second loser. Didn’t hurt that Dyno was riding his brand spanking new 29r weighing in just shy of 6.4 pounds (1.8 stone). Well done Dyno.