Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
To complete a Half Iron Man is a goal I've been working toward for a while. I'd planned to tackle this 70.3-mile triathlon in 2010, but a metatarsal stress fracture forced me to downgrade to Aquavelo.
|Name||Location||"Savage" Category||Length||Avg Grade||Max Grade|
|Toothpick||0.5 mi||4th Savagery||0.25 mi||9%||16%|
|Westernport||18.5 mi||Hors Savage||1.2 mi||12%||31%|
|Big Savage Mtn||23.4 mi||1st Savagery||2.4 mi||6%||21%|
|Savage River State Forest||30.0 mi||4th Savagery||2.8 mi||4%||7%|
|McAndrews Hill||32.8 mi||2nd Savagery||0.6 mi||9%||19%|
|Otto Lane||35.1 mi||2nd Savagery||0.6 mi||8%||17%|
|Killer Miller||38.1 mi||Hors Savage||1.3 mi||8%||22%|
|Maynardier Ridge||43.8 mi||3rd Savagery||0.25 mi||12%||23%|
"Welcome to Westernport! Check your pride at the door. The Westernport Wall is the steepest climb in all of road triathlon. At just four street blocks the Westernport Wall is not particularly long, but it starts steep and gets steeper, culminating in a final block on a stretch of road so steep that it has long been closed to traffic.
With its poor pavement, an average grade of 25% and a max pitch of 31%, successfully getting up the final block of the Westernport Wall takes a bit of skill, a bit of luck, and a lot of True Savage determination! All savages who conquer the Wall without putting a foot down receive a special "Brick In The Wall" prize. Those savages who choose not to tackle the closed block have the option to take a slightly longer, more humane route around the block.
"The Westernport Wall takes no prisoners and respects no pedigree. The Westernport Wall has laid claim to many victims, and not just your everyday triathletes. Multiple Ironman pro podium finishers, including a second place finisher at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships, have attempted the Wall and had to unclip and walk to the top."
Just Another Brick In The Wall
"While the Westernport Wall may have claimed many victims in the SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon, many Savages have attempted and conquered the Wall as well. And those solo participants who clear the Wall without unclipping and walking and go on to complete the SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon are rewarded with triathlon immortality: personally engraved bricks laid in the Wall for future Savage triathletes to ride over and perhaps fall onto."
"Step aside, "The Beast" of St. Croix, there is a new toughest climb in all of triathlon and it is SavageMan's Big Savage Mountain. At 7.1 miles long with 1950' of elevation gain including extended pitches in excess of 20%, Big Savage Mountain lives up to its name. It is Big and it is Savage.
Starting in Westernport, Md, at 900 feet the low point of Garrett County, riders are immediately presented with the steep and daunting climb through and out of town, culminating in the 31% Westernport Wall for those who choose to attempt the direct route straight up. The Westernport Wall, however, is just the start of the long, hard climb over the Continental Divide at Big Savage Mountain. The first mile out of Westernport gains over 700 feet at an average grade of 13%. Unlike "The Beast" of St. Croix, which descends after it's 600 foot climb, Big Savage Mountain keeps climbing, although much more gently for another 5 miles. As the summit nears, Big Savage Mountain does not go gently as the final mile is nearly as savage as the first with the final pinnacle nearing 20% grade and summitting at 2850 feet.
Big Savage Mountain is the arguably the toughest climb in all of triathlon, but riders are rewarded for their efforts with breathtaking rural vistas, and, of course, what goes up must come down....
Are You Savage Enough to Ravage Big Savage?
The Westernport Wall and the subsequent climb over Big Savage Mountain will challenge any cyclist no matter how accomplished, but any cyclist with adequate gears and adequate patience can handle the climb. It is recommended that strong cyclists have a 25 tooth rear cog, and a minimum of 23. Average cyclists should have a 27 tooth cog, and weaker cyclists should have a triple front chainring or compact cranks. Any athlete with adequate gears and adequate patience can complete the SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon bike course, and indeed, those athletes with more patience are sure to enjoy the day the most. The Westernport Wall and the climb over Big Savage Mountain is a stunningly beautiful stretch of road and an exhilarating experience unique to all of triathlon. It takes a true Savage to Ravage Big Savage!"
"Thank You, Sir. May I Have Another?"
Big Savage Mountain? Please.
Welcome to Killer Miller. Strategically located at the 40 mile mark, Killer Miller is the final epic climb of the day and is the culmination of the most savage 23 miles in the sport of triathlon.
At 1.3 miles and an average of only 8%, the specs of Killer Miller underwhelm the savage reality of the beast. The first 0.6 miles of the climb shoot seemingly straight up at an unfair pitch, forgoing switchbacks to head straight up the hillside at an average of 13% with stretches over 20% before leveling out to a more gradual summit.
Cyclists should be sure to take stock of their surrounding as the rural farm views and mountaintop vista are simply stunning. Whether it's the steep pitch or the remarkable views, Killer Miller is sure to take your breath away!"
"Why do SavageMan? This is why!"
While not as savage as the bike course, the SavageMan 70.0 Triathlon run course is far from easy with tough hills through the campground and a challenging climb to the turnaround on the Thayerville Fire Tower Road."
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I'm cyclin' in the rain
Just cyclin' in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again.
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready to do what I love.
Let the stromy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I speed down the lane
With a happy refrain
Cyclin' in the rain