Levis Trow 100 , 3rd times not a charm!
Well for the 3rd year in a row, Myself, Ttocs, and Toscani escaped the blast furnace and headed north to Wisconsin. A few hours outside of MKE you have a IMBA epic trail system that has everything a MTB'ers heart desires, plus you throw in the chance to have much cooler temps than back home, well the choice to do this race each year is an easy one. We ended up leaving STL Thursday at 1pm, which put us at our Sisters apartment by 7pm. We unloaded our Big Units, busted out some showers, and hoofed it to Comet Cafe for Ttocs birthday meal!
Our attitudes at this point couldn't have been moar superior, as we ate our killer meals and crushed many a beverage we discussed our excitement to ride one of our favorite trail systems in a few days.
After the amazing birthday crush-a-ton we journeyed to Stubby's Bar for moar beverages and cheap thursday night special prices! Ministor, our Superior MKE soldier meet us there and we continued the discussion of one amazing trail system/race. We made our travels to IMBA excellence the next morning.
After some much needed sleep, we awoke to glorious temps and a killer breakfast at TROCADERO. We then headed back to our top secret mke HQ to load up and head out to Levis Trow Mounds. Holy shit it has begun...
We knew that business await in the Northern WI wilderness. We were prepared, we had a mini keg, we had our Kona's, and we had Superior Attitude. We arrived at our destination early enough to hand pick our base camp, and get our evenings dialed. It started to rain early and really never stopped. It was about this time that I (storm) started to notice some serious pain and swelling in my right knee. I retired to my hammock with hopes of IMBA's finest in the A.M.
We all got an earrrrly nights sleep to the sound of rain. Rain was coming down when we awoke at 6am for race preparations, but the rain was coming down steady while every 10 minutes it increased in rainfall. Storm's knee was still in the wrong place and spirits were not high. Nico was preparing for the 100 mile start time at 8am, rain was still falling. HARD! Knowing that it was worth the wait to see what the weather might do, the race was called back an hour-9am start time. Now we wait.
9am was coming, Nico was most superior and suited for the mission at hand- a 100 miles of IMBA goodness. It stopped raining at 8:50 while the racers meeting was being had and when the shotgun fired for the start- rain came again. About 24 give or say went out on the 9am start. Ministor and the Brothers Hoff waited in the rain. The 50 mile race started at 1pm. We sat through rain. Not just any rain storm, a fucking monsoon!
Holy shit! That was a crazy rain, and when Toscani came in after lap 1, he saw the damage:
1 wet ass camp
1 broken Kona pop-up tent
3 Kona's pushed over by the serious wind
The rain slowly died down after the monsoon fell and with the majority of the campsite being sand- it soaked it up fast! Nico rolled in another lap while the three 50 milers waited. We were very strategic in our damaged items. The broken Kona tent became the clothes line. Ttocs tent was opened wide for the rest of the day due to an inch of rainfall inside the hut. We entertained ourselves with discussion of other riders and their tale of zero brake pads after 1 lap! Really? We wouldnt beleive this until our turn into the woods was had.
The 50 mile race started on time with some serious sun above our heads. With the much cooler temps in the WI north, it was still hot. Ministor rolled out solo and Storm took lap 1 for the Brothers Hoff. Nico came through not too long after Ministor was going out for lap number 2. Ttocs waited for Storm. He soon arrived and confirmed that no more laps were in for him due to the swollen knee and pain that coincided. He said. "Have fun..." and Ttocs rolled out for his lap.
After Ttocs returned from his lap all of us and most if not everyone else had decided it was over, and we all cracked a PBR. Between the horrible trail conditions and serious lack of braking power it just wasn't our year. I couldn't believe that only after 12.5mi our brakes were smoked, I mean no meat on the bone.,...at all!
With our hopes and dreams of another great Levis 100 shattered we could only look forward to the evening ahead full of Braquitos, PBR, and a secret mini keg of Hopslam!!! Theres a reason the photos stop here from that night as I think the 4 of us could agree we barely made it to our beds. In fact it was so hot and humid that night Nico was found looking for cooler shelter in the early morning hours. This lead him to the visitor center where he found that he was locked in and had to break out via the front window. The next day we broke camp and hit the road with Saint Louis in our sights!
Even though the race hadn't gone as planned or hoped, like always we had a great trip and great time with our good friend Ministor, and of course our sister Claire. I plan on continuing this tradition as long as this race remains on the calendar! The trail, when not a river, remains one of the most unique systems I have ever raced and what better time to escape the Lou than in mid July!
The ride home was a breeze considering we were able to bypass MKE and head straight home via Rockford Ill, and in just under 7hrs we found ourselves crossing the old man looking at our hometowns gateway to the west. Another Levis in the books, and now its time to focus up on what the 2011 MTB season has left for us. Hope to see you all at Spoke Pony and then MWSSC August 13-14!
Storm and T Tocs