I couldn’t see anything.
I was Driving to Lockhart early Saturday morning for The Spinistry’s Lockhart Breaker event in the thickest fog I’d ever witnessed. The temperature was a cozy 70 degrees but the 300% humidity made me feel like I was walking into a sauna. I rolled into City Park around 7:00 am to a crowd of 150 eager and sweaty participants. There was disc brakes abound, tubeless carbon wheels and file tread tires lined the staging area. I pulled my trusty steel Independent Fabrications Planet-X out of the back of my little car, and rolled over to the StemCaps tent to catch up with Jason and Phil.
The organizers of the Lockhart Breaker had us make them some custom covers to commemorate the race. We spent the 45 minutes leading up to the start of the race fitting the free systems on racers’ bikes and showing them how they worked! Once we got the riders set up, Jason and I grabbed our bikes and headed to the start line.
Jason had the idea to race the “Run What Ya Brung” bike in the Lockhart Breaker, and we all thought he was going to crush it! To be frank, Jason is an incredible athlete and one of the those guys who could not ride for 6 months… then average 20mph on his first century back on the bike. He decided on the 50km distance, which would give him plenty of time to get back and help work the tent. It was easy, things surely would go as planned.. Unfortunately Things did NOT go as planned. I’ll let Jason explain:
“I started off without any intentions of going fast, but when the flag dropped that race mentality kicked in. After giving Andre my phone so he could navigate his way back, I set off in chase of the Win.
I basically time trialed the next 15 miles, hopping from one group across to the next, until I joined up with 4 guys who joined me in pursuit of the leaders up the road. At the 15 mile mark we turned onto the aptly named Sand Hill road- full of wheel swallowing pits of quick sand. I was feeling good, sitting on the front of the group when one of those pits reached up and grabbed my font wheel, almost completely stalling me out, the guys behind saw my error and stayed up out of the soft stuff, just like that I was dropped. I fought for the next 2 miles to rejoin the group… But that effort cost me dearly.
It was about this time when I started to wonder where the 50K turn was. I asked the others and no one had seen the turn off. So I kept riding. At mile 25 it was pretty clear I had missed the turn. Right about that time one of the guys decided to drop the hammer, and the 25 mph pace up a small incline on gravel proved to be too much for me and my steed.
I was alone, no phone, no food, no water, no idea where I was.
I came out onto a main road and decided to wait for one of the guys from the Lockhart cycling club that I had seen earlier. He kindly stopped and gave me the fastest route back to town. My legs were completely blown. I had only taken enough water and food for 50K and had ridden like I was racing 50K so I didn't have much left in the tank. I rode for about an hour with no water before I came across a water jug oasis. I sat in the shade of the table for about 5 mins and took in as much water as I could before rolling out for the final stretch to town. Fighting cramps in both legs I limped back into town and back to the StemCaps tent, only 2 hrs behind schedule.
I finished the day with 55 miles. It may not sound like a lot, and if I had prepared both mentally and physically for the 100K race I'm sure I could have completed it in a reasonable time, even on the "run what ya brung" bike. This was also the longest ride I have done in at least 2 years.
So there you have it. A DNF for me, a disappointing finish to an otherwise great event, and some of the best back roads Texas has to offer.”
You can’t win em’ all, y’all! Sometimes you get lost, sometimes you run out of water, and sometimes you run 2 hours behind schedule and get roasted in the sun. We’re incredibly proud of Jason here at Stemcaps HQ, though. He is a stout competitor, always has a good attitude, and never gives up. Jason truly embodied the “run what ya brung” spirit, and he had a damn good time!
Thanks to the fellas’ at The Spinistry for throwing one of our favorite events in recent memory. Congrats to all the riders who rode hard and had fun, and we’ll see y’all soon!