Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Copper Harbor SSUSA

This past weekend at Single Speed USA in Copper Harbor, MI was an awesome weekend of single track, excessive drinking, and fun people who love riding bikes. A group of us caravanned up to the event on Friday and got into town just in time to sign in at 8pm. That night we got a little rowdy after the long drive as we were pretty excited for riding the next day.

Houghton, MI only 1hr to Copper Harbor
Saturday morning we got up and had a big breakfast and coffee at the local cafĂ© and shook off our hangovers.  The race wasn't till 10am so we had plenty of time get into our gear and dial in bikes. I was riding my everyday race rig the Foundry Broadaxe that I had set up single speed with a Surly singulator.
Pre race with appropriate SSUSA gear
Single speed USA is a race but it's not really a race with the biggest prize going to the DFL rider. I decided with amount of fun we were having I would just ride the event instead of  race it. As we started a 2-3 mile road lead out before we got into the trails I was spun out and when Jesse and Josh put in an attack I didn't really have the gear to follow, plus I was still liking my idea of just riding... The first few sections of single track were some of most technical with large roots, boulders, and sheer rock walls that left your ass dragging on your rear tire. After all the descending we rode up the flow section of trail, and with single speed I found myself having to go at my own pace. I was feeling pretty good and somewhere up that climb I started racing to get clear of the group I was in. I made my way up to Josh who was on his first or second flat which is a bummer because he was riding really strong. At that point I knew there were two riders in front of me and some 20 miles of trail to go.
Photo by Ollis Photography

This was my second time riding single speed and my first time riding the Copper Harbor trails and I was having a blast with both. I was running a 34-19 which worked great for the 3000ft of climbing we did. My Foundry Broadaxe worked great as well being super nimble and quick in the rough technical terrain. I was able to pick the best or sometimes the worst line at the very last second. The only thing I would of changed was my tires, I was running the super light Schwalbe Thunder Burt 2.1 which I somehow lucked out and didn't flat. I should have put on my larger volume racing ralphs to handle the rough sections of trail.  So right before the last section of flowy single track I caught the 2nd place rider and made it down for a 2nd place finish.
Swimming Pier

After the race we had many drinks, pasty's, bike derby's, more drinks, and watched the competition to decide where SSUSA will be next year which included a swimming relay, beer, BB guns, and a bucket. Wisconsin will be hosting next year and I'll definitely be there!

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