Hot Dang! Frankenbike was rad. A lot of people have been asking about this awesome race so i’m going to break it down for you. Basically this race was started in 2010 as the last big fun hammerfest of summer. The Cap City Cross boys throw an awesome time every year. Most Notably Mason Morgan and Spencer Hackett put in tons of work so we can rip it. The race covers 50+ plus miles of South Eastern Ohio’s most beautiful state park, Scioto Trails. The race is a mix of long steep gravel climbs, blazing fast single and double track, tough paved climbs, mellow long road sections.
I headed up to Chillicothe the day before to get my camp on and help the guys get the race sorted. We did a little pre riding the day before after we set up camp and started cooking. The night was filled with fire jumping, bourbon drinking, and bike talk. I had never met any of the guys but they were super welcoming and hospitable.
We rose pretty early around 7:45 and cruised out to Bob Evans for some food. After having my fill of toast and meat, I changed into my kit and waited patiently for the arrival of Thom McKenna and Mike Chewning. Luckily the boys brought the High Life so I had second breakfast if you will.
The race kicks off at 12 sharp with a neutral roll out for about 4 miles then a blazing right turn immediately into a fire road. I was on my Single Speed so i couldn’t hang with the group on the road. I imagine there were about 75-100 people. Chaos happened as soon as we hit the gravel. People crashing, yelling, hollering, laughing, just getting rad. I knew I had to get back in the front. Hangover Hill is about 4-5 miles winding up the mountain. I ride computer-less but i’d say grades were always in between 10-18 percent. It was brutal. The gearing i was running was 39-17. Perfect out of the saddle climbing. I’d say I made up about 30-40 places on the climb. It was a 40 minute climb. I just kept over taking people. I catch up to Thom. Hang with him for a bit and kept trucking on. I reached chewning too.. who had dialed it down a bit to wait for thom. I told them i’d wait at the top.
We finnaly make it to the top and reach a checkpoint. The guy says go left down that single track. Litterally the most sketchy mountain section i’ve ever ridden. My brakes were squeaking and shuddering. Crazy. Thom and Mike blew by me as they were on 29er suspension bikes. The single track was maybe 2 miles long. I’d estimate droping 1,000 feet too back to the valley. It was nuts. Our first road section I find myself alone trying to mash my little gear and keep it around 15mph. I lost a lot of time in the dirt with all the mountain dudes passing me.
At this point I see Thom and Mike roadside doing a repair. Turns out Thom had some sort of derailuer failure. Chewning just make that beautiful XT pivot into a single speed. Thom is back in action. I ended up taking off early after I knew they were fine. I linked up with Sarah and Tom Swallow and rode with them the rest of the day because i figured my day was over and i’d love to hang with 2 of the best people i know instead of turning my self inside out for 20 more miles alone.
We rode on… more long gravel climbs, single track sections, long hike a bikes, and beer. After the halfway point we were about 30 minutes into a new section and I noticed my crank arm was about to fall off. My day was over. Its BB30 so no easy roadside repair. I found the road and soft pedaled back in. Mike and Vick Nurrenbrock from BSM rolled in shortly after. Dead tired. Sara and Tom rolled in to finish.. super stoked. We were just waiting on Thom. We ventured out solo with big visions of finishing on a thrashed bike. He rolls in about 30 minutes after Chewning. Ripping the injured bike for the last 20 miles. Nice Work!!
It was such a rad day with some really rad people. I’m laying in bed writing this because i’m so shattered.