No need to look at the map. Just pedal pedal pedal. El Guapo claiming the top of the podium and the big gold belt buckle that goes with it.
Despite it being the monsoon season in the Mid-Atlantic, the Juggernaut convened in Asheville to once again do battle on the Pisgah 111 course and to drink the town dry.
Let’s start with the important stuff. Guapo, the King of Pisgah contender, knocks out a 4th place masters finish at the 111 and then follows up the next day on the podium with a third place finish at the 55 (while everyone else slept in, rode Bent Creek, drank beer, and had a religious zealot try to save our souls which it turns out cannot be done). On the podium he showed off how much beer he was going to drink at the Wedge later that evening by palming a half barrel of beer.
Fang rode off course at aid station 2 and time trialed to Nashville to record a single with Loretta Lynn before regaining the course and wrapping up on Black Mountain/Whoville/The Root Ladder. Only part of that is true. Bad day for Fang, great day for country music fans.Dyno pulled off the most Juggernaut move of all time and flew from the serenity of southern California to the nasty Pisgah 111 race course unannounced to the rest of the Jugg team. An epic level of commitment to the brotherhood. The rest of the Juggernaut should wallow in their shame for eternity. He was unaccounted for on the course for over one hour and was likely grappling with a hellbender salamander which is a real and horrible creature that lives in the bottom of mud puddles. All that aside, we really did spank this thing. Guapo 4th Masters at 111. Thor 7th Masters at 111. Guapo 3rd Masters at 55. Records were set at the Wedge.
Guapo proves again to be the strongest of the Juggernaut. New kit looks freaking nice descending over the rocks and roots in the nastiest of east coast cycling locales. In a post race interview with Univision Guapo was quoted as saying “No podría haber hecho esto sin la ayuda de mi burro de confianza y mi escondite secreto de tequila”.
The now infamous haikus:
Otro día cola dura
Caído al cuarto lugar después de la etapa dos
Aún cuarto lugar después de tres
Más largo día más difícil hasta el momento
Laurel piloto próxima
Etapa de carrera favorita
En tercer lugar hoy con cargo Laurel
En cuarto lugar Masters gato
El amor y la raza Pisgah Pisgah
Los hombres fuertes también lloran
Strong men also cry. Strong men… also cry.
El Guapo pretty much made the entire Juggs squad look like a bunch of squirming little zygote piles of wussbag nothingness by completing the epic journey from mere man to King of Pisgah. He had to do a ton of awful sh*t to accomplish it including the Double Dare last weekend where he got on the podium with a Dale’s Pale and said “suck on this universe.” He also won a belt buckle.
Post race, sitting on a burro and drinking from a ceramic jug with three x’s on it, Guapo laid out the DD format:
“The race starts at 12 noon on Saturday and you have 12 hours to reach up to 10 checkpoints,” he said in mangled English barely comprehensible to a modern human. “But first you must complete a time trial to even get your passport book (this year’s time trial was just over 13 miles and took us 1h:37m). Once you have your passport, you have the rest of the day to reach as many checkpoints as you can. This ends at midnight and then starts again at 6am on Sunday, where you have another 12 hours to reach 10 new checkpoints (but no time trial on day 2). And in case you’re worried about not getting enough sleep in between, there’s a short track race at midnight worth an additional 0.5 checkpoints. There’s also music and beer and a selection of fine Guatemalan women to dance with.”
“Unlike PMBAR there’s no map clues provided, just a description of the checkpoint (like a trail location or intersection). You can reach the checkpoints in any order just like PMBAR, but here there’s nothing at the checkpoints to tell you that it is actually a checkpoint. You need to take a picture of the trail sign or landmark to prove you were there (and hope it’s right). The team with the most check points wins flat out, not fastest time with bonuses like PMBAR. Time is only used if there is a tie with number of checkpoints.”
Checkpoint totals after 2 days = 19.5 checkpoints (9 CPS’s day #1, 0.5 for short track, and 10 CP’s day #2).
Stats: 137 miles, 20,500 ft of elevation, 22h:23m elapsed time
Mention the words Pisgah 111 in Juggernaut company and you will get a mixed set of reactions. Some will tell stories of a land that time forgot and root ladders that ascend into the clouds. Others will crack a wry smile and tell you of punishing climbs, fast technical descents, and bottomless coolers of burritos at the finish. All will visibly cringe when recalling a finish line stunt that may prove to outweigh the greatest misdeeds against humanity that history has ever witnessed. Bottom line, the 111 is a nasty mofo.
But quite possibly the only thing nastier than the Pisgah 111 itself is having to race its little brother the Pisgah 55.5 the following day. They call it the Double Dare. Although the 55 is only half the distance, it packs more than ¾ of the climbing of the previous day’s 111. In total the two races equal over 100 miles of distance and 18,000+ feet of elevation in the unforgiving Pisgah backcountry — including back-to-back days finishing on the horrific Laurel Mountain/ Pilot Rock/ Black Mountain route of death and despair.
Guapo was asked in a pre-race interview what he thought his chances were for finishing the back to back challenges:
“It is much easier on a bike than say on a burro, or an old mining cart. I’ve got this,” he said in a voice that sounds like Tuco from the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Although there were some dark moments in the primordial forest, Guapo was able to bring glory to the ESF with bike and self physically, if not mentally, intact. Another step in the quest for King of Pisgah bragging rights.
El Guapo Results:
Day 1 – Pisgah 111K: 22nd place overall, 4th place Masters (7hr 56min)
Day 2 – Pisgah 55.5K: 13th place overall, 3rd place Masters (5hr 18min)
Editors note: Proper podium technique. El Guapo is too busy drinking beer to get out of the blackout kit.
Editors’s Note: This site is mainly comprised of plagiarism.
Bicycle racing is nothing without sacrifice and in the 2015 edition of PMBAR Thori “Fang” Wolfe set the standard in an incomparable “beau geste.” Starting the race as a support rider for the legendary El Guapo, Fang proved to be the revelation of the race. Easily the day’s most thoroughly chamois creamed rider, Fang drank several beers after midnight the night before the race, rivaling his leader El Guapo. He also had a cooler backpack than Guapo. When El Guapo destroyed his bike on the descent of the Pen de Turquie, his chances to win “King of Pisgah” appeared over. But Fang came to the rescue. While eating a Baybel cheese, Fang, who once dreamed of winning PMBAR, handed his bike to El Guapo and said “No, no, you must carry on. Win PMBAR Guapo. Bring glory to the ESF. Also, FYI, the front brakes don’t work.” He then sat on a stone fence, waiting for help to arrive and wept, knowing his own PMBAR chances were over.
And as Fang wept, the remaining four Juggernauts rode off into the wilderness for another 7 hours, each wishing that they had been wise enough to sacrifice their bike and spend the afternoon drinking beer at the HUB.
Race report: Guapo, Thor, Dyno, Gorka – two man teams, 15th and 16th places out of 75 with a little over an hour of f’ing around with broken stuff thrown in there. Respectable. This is where we went:
…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.
Boundless hopes and expectations
Until next time.