Monthly Archives: July 2006

Bluff Point Beginner Ride

Riders: Andy, Dave, TracyWe started out doing the Haley’s farm loop, and this time I decided to try some of the obstacles that I would usually walk. I tried the whoop die-do, but didn’t quite make it up the other side, and I almost made it through the rock section that leads to the road at the end of the loop ( I hit the brakes too early). It wasn’t that hot and I kept up with two of them. Dave made the suggestion to go another way out to the point instead of going up that awful hill, and the new way I have to say was much better. It still had a climb, which Dave crawled up slowly(he said his legs hurt from doing two races over the weekend). I actually followed Andy right up the hill, I think he was surprised that I kept up with him up the hill. This trail we took lead us to the same trail we usually take, just minus the awful trail. We made it out to the log, which they wanted me to try, and I lost my nerve when I got up to it. Maybe next time. From there we went out to the point, and stayed there for awhile, before heading back to the parking lot, just as the sun was setting. It was a good ride. — Tracy

Tyler Mill Race

Race Results Race Video Race Pictures

Racers: Steve, Jonathan, Rick, John, Dave Fierro, Jill, Cliff

Support: Tracy, Vicky, Allyssa, Lauren, My Dad, Mike

I can’t even express how happy I was that the expert women were racing at 9:30am. My Dad was visiting from Florida, he was trooper and got up early with me to head down to Wallingford. We put up the tent and banner and I got ready to race. Did a couple laps on the “orange prologue” course to warm up and headed over to the racer meeting at 9am. The men were doing a prologue lap to spread out the field and the women were heading straight up the hill. Said Hi to Tom from Vernon Cycle and chatted briefly with Cliff who introduced me to Jeff the new owner of Central Wheel ( Lot’s of women on the line, this is a favorite race for a lot of people. Michael gets there just in time to wish me luck then the whistle blows and we’re off heading up the windy, narrow, steep, new single track section. All of the riders in front of me get off their bikes and I do as well. The girl behind me is still riding and asks to pass but I have nowhere to go, I apologize and keep moving forward. Amazingly she cleans the whole thing, the only one I’ve seen make the climb so far. Down the creepy, steep, rocky hill on the other side and pop out onto the road. Long, long stretch of road and pop back in to the “old” course. Great single track, lot’s of fun stuff. This is the kind of race where you forget you are racing because the terrain is so varying, challenging, and just plain fun. Over Doug’s bridge, around the double jumps (Did Mar do the jumps???), through the switchback section that I don’t care for then back into the fun stuff. More bridges, rock gardens, and loose rocky descents. I am behind a girl I don’t recognize but she is super courteous, warning me about upcoming tricky sections and mud. Get to the end of the lap and my Dad hands me a water bottle but I start heading up toward the field where the old trail used to go, realize my mistake, suck down some water, give the bottle back, and the girl passes me. Crap! We get to the new section and she starts to pull away, it takes me too long to get up the hill this time and I lose sight of her by the time I finish up on the road and scoot back into the woods. Uneventful 2nd lap, I’m having to dig deep to keep the pace steady in the heat. I see Justin again on foot heading out with another flat! Every time I let up I think about the girls behind me catching me and pedal harder. After the 2nd lap I unload my camelbak and grab the water bottle from my Dad. At the top of the 1st climb I drink most of it and worry about getting through the rest of the lap with little or no water. But I feel a lot lighter without the camelbak and I concentrate on pushing out another steady lap. Michael shows up as I come out of the loopy section with a beautiful, ice cold water bottle so I throw him the empty one, grab the new one and push on. Every time I pop out of the woods he is there with the video camera. He has a way of seeing the course in his head and knowing which shortcuts will get him to each spot (a skill I definitely do not have). I saw the girl behind me in the switchbacks so I knew I had to keep pushing because she wasn’t that far behind. My left calf was feeling a bit tight but I have never cramped at a race before so when I stepped down with my left leg to push off a log I wasn’t prepared for the kind of pain that I felt. I couldn’t stop myself from screaming but I just kept pedaling, the finish line was less than 10 minutes away. As Michael said when I popped out of the woods, just suck it up and keep going so I did exactly that. This race was challenging but fun, I really enjoyed the perfect conditions of the trails. There was hardly any mud, it was nice just being able to ride without getting stuck in huge mud bogs and getting your bike all mucked up.

After the race I met Jonathan’s Mom. I never did get to meet him but he was out there racing with the beginners along with Steve. Rick, Dave, and John were getting ready for their sport race so my Dad and I headed out to the course to get some good video footage. The sport racers were not doing the new steep section so we hoofed out to the first climb and waited. Got some good footage of our 3 sport guys and hiked over to the rocky uphill after the road section. This was much more exciting because Dave was the 3rd one by and Rick followed soon after. We got John and a tiny bit of Tom and headed over to the rocky downhill for the end. Got a great shot of Tom doing a wheelie before the descent and headed back to the parking lot to congratulate the crew, break camp and scoot home. My Dad didn’t care so much for the hills (no hills in Florida!) but he stuck it out for the whole day, worked the feed zone for me, and didn’t complain when I dragged him all over the course to get some good video. Thanks Dad!!! -Jill

Tyler Mill Ride

Ride Pictures

Bluff Point Beginner Ride

Ride Picture Ride Videos

Riders: Juliana, Tim, Sierra, John S., John A., Mark, Evan, Tracy, Dave Fierro, Nathan

Time: 6:00-8:45

We started out by doing the Haley’s Farm loop, along with seeing the Amtrak train zoom right by us. This time we saw horses on the trail (at least for my first time). We came to the second parking lot, took a break, and then went on to the big rock that is possible to climb, although some of us didn’t want to take the chance of not making it. We then went on to get back on a trail road. Just before the road, I started to lose control. Andy squealed his brakes (he wasn’t using his Truth this time) and waited for the fall. He was surprised about what next; he later called it crashing without having any part of the body touch the ground. I had wiggled my wheel in just the right way that it had prevented me (at the last possible second) from falling. Everyone caught up, and we continued the rest of the loop. We took another “loop” after that one, one with a long hill up. We all climbed our way to the top, had Andy take some pictures of some us going of a big rock, took another break, and continued to the log section. The medium size log that has no trail around it was one I made when I walked it last time. Everyone else also did a great job on it, too. We went onto a trail with some rock walls in it, finished that and took another trail to the point. We hung out there a while, and then took another trail that retraced what we did a little bit. Then we encountered a rock wall and another route to go around it. Some of us went one way, and some of us went another. They both met up just past the rock, so it really didn’t matter. By then the sun was starting to set. We started downhill, and came to an intersection where we saw two trails leading to the same spot (the parking lot). We rode one trail and ended up right next to the parking lot. By the time everyone left, the sun had set (my opinion: I like late sunsets. It means more riding!!.). I think this was another great ride. –Nathan

Nutmeg State Nor’Easter

Race Pictures Race Results

Racers: Shelby, Evan, Doug, C. Shirmer, D.J., Andy, Dean, Dave Fluckiger, Sarah, Dave Fierro, Steve, Garth, Randy, John Stockford, Rick, Kyle, Jill

Volunteers/Support: Kevin (marshal/kid’s ride leader, Matt (expert promoter), Geoff (canopy!), Jen and Tom (registration), Tracy (water station), Arch (marshal/first aid), Jan, Cyndi and most of the racers also helped with marshaling, set-up, clean-up, break-down and about a hundred other things.

Our riders, racers, and volunteers showed up in droves today with tables, chairs, pop-ups, 4 wheelers, and every other item needed to make a bike race happen. What an incredible showing, there were Nerac Earth jersey’s everywhere! I started helping with registration until the start of the first timer/beginner race. Cyndi, Tom, and Jen had it under control so Matt gave me a ride on the 4 wheeler up to the course to marshal. This is my favorite part of Channel 3 and Nutmeg races because I get to see most of the riders, take pics and cheer for them like a crazed person. Just got finished sending the pics to John and had to delete a bunch of them. Dean, Evan, and Andy do you think you could slow down next time so I can get some non-blurry pics???? The Nerac Earth riders all seem to be having a great time. Doug is smoking the field and Evan and Andy are not far behind him. D.J., Evan and Shelby are looking like pros instead of first time racers! Dean, Dave, and Steve are having way too good a time in all that mud. Nice jump off that log Steve! After the 2 beginner laps Matt comes to get me on the ATV to get ready for my race but the sport race is about to start so run down to wish everyone good luck, yap with the beginners about their ride, then the kids race is ready to go. Kevin is leading the kids, there were quite a few of them including Sarah and the Shirmer’s 7 year old, got some pics of them then awards for beginner’s start. Got a few more pics then got ready to race. Yap some more with John, Rick, Dave, and Randy about the sport race, conditions, etc. There are 2 competitor’s in my class today, Laura and Leslie. At the start line Arch is called to treat a sport girl that fell on the last stretch of single track, hope she’s ok. The race starts and as usual my legs start to burn and I end up behind Leslie and Laura and we stay this way for a while. After the track widens, I pass both of them and Laura follows me. It stays that way the entire first lap, Laura is right on my wheel. At the beginning of the 2nd lap she starts to pull away and I don’t worry so much at first but then I realize I don’t have the legs to catch her so I try to ride steadily but I can feel the slowness creeping in. At the top of the climb on lap 2 I turn back and see Leslie about a hundred feel behind me. Craaapppp. I snap out of my slow, steady, pedaling and start taking some risks in the single track and pushing the speed. Poor Sarah tries to hand me my water bottle as I ride by but I’m on a mission now trying to stay in front of Leslie and maybe catch Laura. The 3rd lap flies by now that I’m back on track. I see Juston running with his bike – he’s got a flat. Bummer! Every time I come out of the woods there is a posse of Nerac Earth members. Doug, Dean, and Dave Fl. are on the ATV screaming from location to location to cheer for me and Kyle, they are having some serious fun. The finish line looms up finally and I congratulate Laura, she rode smart and fast today as did Mar, it sounds like they finished together. -Jill

Wednesday Nutmeg Ride

Riders: Doug, Arch, Evan, John, Rick, Juston, Mike, Andy, Jill, Jay, Freddie
We started on the sport/expert/pro course and about a mile from the split of the beginner course Andy got a serious mechanical and decided to head back. Michael hooked him up with Dave F. who was out there with Matt doing some trail maintenance and dropping off the fencing for the race. We continued on and ran into Freddie – actually he ran into us. He was watching his son play lacrosse and saw us riding and ran over to his car, got his kit on and his bike and pedaled after us. So we lost Andy but gained Freddie. Kept climbing, the trails aren’t in bad shape considering all the rain we got the night before. A few small puddles but if we don’t get too much rain before Sunday we should be ok for the race. Lot’s of stories being swapped about the Holiday Farms Race and the Pat’s Peak race. Andy appears as we get ready to ride the new whoops that Matt added last week and it’s all downhill from here. Another lap but this time we split up so Evan and Doug can ride the beginner course. Mike offers to lead this one and takes Andy, Freddie, Evan and Doug with him. The rest of the crew bombs through the next few sections. It was a lot more spongy than when I rode with Mary Lynn on Thursday. I felt like I was riding with a flat tire at times. The two groups meet up again at the whoop trail, Freddy headed out to pick up his son and the rest of us finished out the loop and back to the parking lot with the farm dogs. Hope I can pull out some better laps on Sunday, my legs were lead tonight

Elm Knoll Farm Beginner Ride


Riders: A new DJ, Jill Nugent, Sarah Fluckiger, Dave Fluckiger, John Sattar, Nathan Sattar

Time:6-8 o’clock P.M.

The heat combined with humidity on this ride was brutal. Stay in one place too long and the mosquitoes come to get you. This was mine and DJ’s first time here. He seemed pretty ready for this ride, but I had no idea what was coming. Everyone could tell Sarah and I were a little tired at the “top.” It wasn’t called the top for nothing. The rest seemed to be almost all downhill which was really nice. I was the only one that crashed in parts of the trail, so everything went pretty smooth for the most part. Sarah and Dave took a shortcut to meet us at the Christmas trees while we went in all the whoops. A few tight up hills, whoops and sharp turns was all that was in it. It was a great section. Then in another part like that we went up steep hills that were single track and hard to get up, we got into some more whoops (big ones this time). Finally we came out onto the field. A few of us almost got caught in some sand and had to snake through. Sarah and Dave decided to go back down and meet us by the cars, while we went on a long uphill to find a trail that leads to one of the fields. Then we turned around and headed back to the cars and saw Dave and Sarah watching a lacrosse game. Dave and Sarah decided it was time to go home while we did some road riding. We went down the trail leading to the cars again (all downhill) and packed up to leave. –Nathan

Bluff Point Beginner Ride

Dave and I pull into the parking area at Bluff and it is surprisingly empty, everyone must be trying to stay out of the heat. We see Andy at his car getting ready for the ride and park next to him. We get ready and it is approaching 6 and it is still just the three of us, so we figured everyone was afraid of the heat and decided to head out. As usual we head out to Haley’s Farm. It wasn’t too hot, there was a little breeze coming off the water. Dave and Andy went a little ahead of me but I kept them in sight all the way out to the rail road crossing. Dave pointed out a cute little bunny along the way. We stopped there for a breather and then continued on. Andy and Dave went thru the whoop-de-do and I walked it. We took another small break in the grassy field. Dave suggested going to the rock climb to see if he could finally make, and he did it on the first try. We followed the trail from there and Andy went ahead and took the right turn at the “Y” in the trail while we went left. We could see him sprint down the trail to meet us at the rock wall crossing. I was getting tired because of the slight up hill so we took another break right before my favorite trail. The break was good, I was able to make over all the obstacles out to the gravel road, I was so proud of myself. On the way we ran into on of Dave’s roadie friends Jay riding a cyclocross bike, and he decided to tag along with us for a little while. He insisted that I go in front of him, so I warned him that I was really slow.We then went into the woods up the never ending hill onto the trail that takes us out to the point…….I hate that hill. I almost fell three times after that hill because I was so exhausted by hill and the heat. We get to the end of the trail and I tell Dave I want to head back to the car, Andy says he is going to check out the new trail and we head back………and as usual Dave doesn’t have the best sense of direction and takes me back the long way.

We run into Andy riding back and he said if went the other direction on the trail It would have been all down hill and shady……….Dave says not worry it was good for me….I’ll get him for that. I liked the small group because I felt like I wasn’t holding everyone up, but Dave said I rode pretty good for not being on the bike for two weeks. Hopefully next week isn’t as hot.

Riders: Andy, Dave and Tracy.

Pat’s Peak 12 Hour Race

July 15-16 2006 Race Videos Race Results

I followed John and Shelby up to New Hampshire Friday and we got to Pat’s Peak around 2:30pm. The heat was brutal. We set up camp after finding a nice shady spot (with a huge sinkhole from all the rain), registered for the race and headed out for a pre-ride. The first climb was short and turned off into a half circle around a scenic pond and into a quick piece of technical single track before encountering the first of the mud bogs. We lumbered through it and headed down the mountain a bit before looping into another rocky slick single track and out into an open field which had the largest mud bog in the race. John and I got through it but I heard an oompf behind me and turned around to see Shelby flat out in the mud. It was at least 5 inches deep and 10 feet across. Yuk. It was so hot it immediately dried, her face was the only part of her body not covered in mud. We kept riding, the course traversed across and up the mountain with sections of single track and grassy climbs. There were 2 very long climbs with no tree shelter. The 2nd one just went on forever climbing the mountain and at the top was a stretch of trail that was mostly mud and standing puddles. But after this section the real fun began. Fire road downhill to what was some seriously fun freshly cut stretch of single track that made you forget all the climbing. After this section another fire road to a slick narrow bridge and back to the resort for the finish. We were pretty bummed about all the mud and estimated laps would be around an hour despite the course only being 5 miles. The heat and the climbs would be a large factor for lap times. Robin, Kyle and Danielle arrived in the evening and we hung out playing cards until bedtime. Saturday morning was overcast and less humid than the day before. Arch and Evan showed up and set up their gear, Kyle and Arch registered and we relaxed until the 1pm pre-race meeting.

Arch and Kyle flipped a coin to see who would ride first and Kyle won and wanted to do the first lap. I volunteered to do the first lap as well. This was my first le mans start which means you start on foot and run to your bike location when the horn blows to indicate the race start. Fortunately the run was only about 50 yards. Kyle did the run last year at Dalton when we had a 3 person team but the run was much longer. Running in bike shoes is pretty awkward. As I get on my bike and start the 1st climb I look ahead and see Kyle is the 1st rider up the mountain, I’m about 20 riders back and we stay in single file for the 1st quarter of the race until racer’s start bobbling in the technical sections or falling back on the climbs. I am ecstatic to see that some of the mud has dried up and get a huge rush because the course was so crappy on Friday night but I am absolutely loving it now. I note on the 2nd huge climb my heart rate is 197 but I’m feeling pretty good so I keep the pace steady. The guy in front of me tells me I should slow down but he’s doing a solo ride and needs to be more conservative so I keep my pace and pass him in the single track. Got to the lap tent in 43 minutes and Shelby is standing there with some ice cold water. I take a couple big sips and off I go for lap 2. The big mud bog gets me this time. I tried to muscle through it but my front tire sunk about 5 inches and me and the bike ended up buried in it. It took a few tries to get myself out of the mud and my bike didn’t want to come out either but I try one huge pull and I’m on my way again. Another good lap and John relieves me at the lap tent. I quickly tell him the conditions are better and he’s off. With 40 to 50 minute lap times that doesn’t leave a lot of time to get ready for the next set of laps. Evan takes my bike to wash all the mud off and I head back to camp, refill my camelback, take a quick shower, get my kit on and head up to relieve John. He and Kyle are doing sub 40 minute laps and setting a tough pace for themselves. Laps 3 and 4 are both good, my legs are fine and the conditions seem better with each lap. When John relieves me he says he might do 3 laps but I should be there after the 2nd lap in case he changes his mind. So run back, Shelby cooked me some soup so I ate that, cleaned up and headed back up there to see how he feels. He comes through and wants to do the 3rd lap so I head back to camp to put my feet up for a while then go up for lap 5. Michael got up to camp and immediately went to work cleaning up and put my lights on my bike, checked it over to make sure the bike was functioning properly and sent me out. John comes in and it looks like he’s happy to finish. The 5th lap I am still feeling incredible, I sucked down a Gu called Espresso Love that must have had a serious caffeine kick because when I came through I told Shelby I would do at least 3, maybe 4 laps. It’s nice and cool now, the night riding is so much better than riding in the heat. I feel like I could ride forever with these temps. John is there after lap 6 and wants to go and we go back and forth about who is doing how many laps. I can’t believe we are arguing over who gets to ride next and for how many laps, we are insane! We decide that I will go out for a 3rd lap, John will do the next 2, we calculate that that will bring us to just before 2am when the race ends and I will be ready to do a last lap if he comes in before 2am (The race started at 2pm). Michael cooks me up some Beefaroni, I munch on some snickers mini’s and a pop-tart and we all go up to the lap tent to wait for John and figure out where we are. John and I are the only co-ed team so we know that we will win that bracket but we are personally competing with the 2 person men which is why we are pushing for that extra lap at the end. We figure out if I get that last lap in we would have come in 2nd place in the 12 hour 2 person men bracket so when he comes in just before 2am I head out again for that last lap. It’s very quiet out there now, I only encounter one other guy riding. We chat for a while then I’m alone until the end. The crew is waiting when I finish the lap, I thought everyone would be in bed so I was psyched to see them. We recap some of the highlights and head back to camp to clean up and get a couple hours of sleep. This ended up being a great race, a great time. We had some incredible volunteers. You absolutely cannot do a race like this on your own. Every time I completed a lap Shelby was there with an ice cold bottle of water, Evan took my bike to the bike wash, Robin patiently answered every “what time is it?” and calculated what time everyone would be finishing their next lap so the next person was always ready, Mike supplied bike and light support (and entertainment!). When Arch got there on Saturday he told us Jeannie read his horoscope (Taurus) and it said work as a team and watch out for a side of a person you have never seen before. We figured out the team part but the other part is still a mystery…-Jill

1st place 2 person co-ed with 15 laps: Nerac Earth 82 – John Stockford (7 laps), Jill Nugent (8 laps)

1st place 2 person men with 16 laps: Nerac Earth 64 – John Arch (8 laps), Kyle Stockford (8 laps)


Robin, Shelby, Danielle, Evan, Mike

24 Hours Of Pats Peak (another perspective)

Sure enough as race day approached the forecast calls for temperatures to be in the mid 90’s and as if this race held at a New Hampshire ski resort with an elevation gain of 850 feet per lap wasn’t daunting enough, over coming the heat index would be a challenge in itself. I have to say I would srrive race day with an extra case of the pre- race jitters having been diagnosed with Limes a week before the race I was instructed by the infamous Dr. Squatrito to stay out of the Sun and to be aware that the antibiotics will cause havoc with the proper absorption of nutrition due to the fact that the antibiotics kill the healthy intestinal flora as well as the bad bacteria. So in layman’s terms I could expect to feel like crap is that what your trying to tell me Doc? The thought of trying to find Kyle a new teammate crossed my mind because I would hate to let him down with a bad performance but being that the race was a few days away, time dictates that I just try and get through it.

Race Day: Looks like the Sun God might show us a little mercy with the skies being intermittently overcast keeping the temperatures slightly lower than expected. After a riders meeting and a team chat discussing little to no strategy, it is 2:00 and time to start. I shoot some video of the Lemans style run/ start a dramatic beginning to an endurance race. Time to check over the bikes and get ready to relieve Kyle. Our plans are to do two laps respectively and we assume the field will ride conservatively being that it will be a long 12 hours. Kyle and I go out pretty fast and put down lap times in the mid to low thirties, yea maybe too fast but time will tell if we have enough to hang on or not.

Fast-forward to the end of my 4th lap and it seems the law of psychosomatics is rearing its ugly head. I had no sooner been thinking about the lecture on healthy intestinal flora when my stomach chimed in and suddenly it felt like I had just downed an 80 lb bag of mortar mix. Then my legs followed suit doing some funny twitching and as Jill was kind enough to point out I didn’t feel good or look good. I make my way to the tent where Kyle is ready to go. I head down to camp to hydrate. Solid food is not possible at this point, so gu , sport beans, and an orange is all I dare to eat. Robin Stockford sees I’m stressing and comes to the rescue and gives me a (strictly therapeutic leg massage) With some ointment that contains an ancient Chinese secret that smells like Ben gay. I have to ask, was it as good for you as it was for me Robin? Moving along I hijacked some of John’s electrolyte pills and with my legs on fire I made my way to relieve Kyle. Before I roll off Kyle asks how I’m doing and offers to do another lap to give me some more recovery time. I felt inspired by his team spirit. Hypothetically speaking of course, we could have been arguing about how many laps we could do as to look good on our individual resumes, but it seems we are looking out for each other. Into my next lap I’m feeling much better thanks for asking, and as day turns to night, the riding has become less stressful and actually kind of fun. The H.I.D. light I borrowed from Jay was the bomb and a must have for the technical downhill section of this race. I passed many a six- volt halogen light on the way down making up valuable time. I was elated when I rolled in at 2:05 and Mike informed me that Kyle and I took first place and I was so relieved to have finished.

Closing Thoughts: In a day and age where especially in the competing environment. The art of being egocentric seems to be the prevalent mind set it was a refreshing end to a long day when 17 year old Kyle approached quietly and humbly and without words we just shook hands on a job well done and called it a day

The Event: A grass roots effort in the building process that had a welcoming feel with great promoters happy to accommodate the rider’s needs.

The Course: Lots Of elevation, Many lengthy muddy sections that would suck the life out of you, Great technical single track downhill to reward the weary and a section of Cheering campers into the wee hours of the a.m.

Recommend? Yes indeed

Thanks: Evan, Mike, the Stockfords, and Kyle a great rider and teammate. –John

Holiday Farm MTB Classic

Race Picture Race Results