And the Winner of the Annual Juggernaut Golden Cobblestone is…

The Juggernaut Golden Cobblestone traveling award is given to the team rider who has most clearly displayed true Juggernaut qualities during the previous calendar year. The award is kept in the possession of the recipient for the duration of one year at which point it is passed to the next winner. The prize is typically displayed in a prominent place such as the dashboard of a car or in a metal cage attached to a rope chain worn around the neck. The value of the Golden Cobble is estimated to be in excess of $100,000*.

The 2016 winner of the Juggernaut Golden Cobblestone is White Dynamite for traveling under cloak of secrecy from California to North Carolina to the Pisgah 111 race course unannounced to his team mates. He didn’t have to do it. He could have just stayed in Laguna Beach where its always nice. But no, while many Juggernauts sat the race out, probably doing sad or socially unacceptable activities instead, Dyno got himself to the line and rode to glory. It was the greatest display of Juggernaut swagger this year and for that, Dyno is regaled with our highest honor.

Second place goes to El Guapo who was on the podium every weekend and continues to be the most legit rider on the team.
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Third place goes to Fang who made his hand look like his foot.
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To the runners up and the rest of the Jugg brethren, as they say in the place where everything rhymes, “tough titty little kitty”. Better luck next year suckers.

*Cobblestone value may vary by $100,000. Actual cobblestone was found in Rock Creek Park moments after Angry Cernich flipped over a log during a night ride and smashed his nuts.

Pisgah 111 2016 – This One Goes to 11

guapo_podiumDespite 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.fang+lorettaDyno 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. dyno_hellbenderAll 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.

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The Double Dare: El Guapo One Step Closer to King of Pisgah

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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)

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Editors note: Proper podium technique. El Guapo is too busy drinking beer to get out of the blackout kit.

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.