Friday, November 7, 2014

XXL 2014 MORE MoCo Epic

It’s hard to do a write up of a 20-40 person ride, over 50 miles in length, and through no less than 8 Montgomery County parks. But to start and stop with our (XXL) ride doesn’t really do the MoCo Epic justice. The event, now in its fifth year, is really better described as a festival and celebration of all things mountain biking in Montgomery County.

Scheduled in the fall, MORE strings together more single track every year, and at this point the festival stretches over two days, through no less than 11 parks, and with a full metric century amongst other ride options. MORE does a stellar job of showcasing and linking each trail system together. The end result is a nearly full county tour, leaving even the most die-hard of bikers in awe of the riding possibilities throughout the county. After all, you don’t really get to ride any of the different parks in full, but you get a sampling, and you learn how to string them together in a seamlessly unending parade of fun.

So how did we do it?
MORE rounded up over 100 epic volunteers and 750 epic riders, not to mention all the epic aid workers, sponsors, families and friends rounding out a full community of support. We thank you ALL here! Without you, we wouldn’t have had such an epic day!

What you do the day before an epic ride is of course almost as important as what you do the day of the epic event. So in preparation, here are some of our XXL recommendations for easing your pre-Mo Co Epic jitters.

XXL’s Pre-MoCo Epic To Do List

  1. Lead a ride and/or flag.
  2. Hit packet pick-up! There’s swag, clinics, rides, raffles and vendors.
  3. Hit the pump track! It sits right next to the venue tents. Only your kids won’t leave. I never saw it empty.
  4. Do Not realize the ground is going to be tacky. Your legs are going to be wasted, way more tired than would be usual.
  5. Over beers, debate. Debate your ride choice. Debate your bike choice. Debate who will have the best aid stations. Debate which route has the most singletrack.
  6. Debate what to wear. - Really? Yes, and know you will still be out dressed by the Single Speed Outlaws.
  7. Try to figure out who’s doing what, when, how and why. Plan to change it in the morning.
  8. Reserve the Bikenetic Bus.
  9. Check your bike and pack your bag that you will forget in the morning.
  10. Have a Vassago Build Party!
  11. Fret that the ride will be canceled due to rain. Threaten to cancel the ride, then keep the ride on in spite of the rain! (Seriously, great call guys!)

And then before you know it, it’s the day of. The moment you’ve been waiting for. All your friends are semi-assembled, or at least somewhere in the area. And if not, it’s not a lost cause. They will probably catch-up. And it’s only 15-30 minutes after we said we would roll. But wait, we still need a picture! Thank goodness for No film photography! You really should check out some of the photos, but be very careful, I think there are more than a thousand. That Ty Long was everywhere!

XXL’s MoCo Epic 50

For the 50, we pulled out in two groups. There was a slow group, and then a faster group that claimed to be at “party pace.” Well, by the end of the ride let’s just say some of the fast were slow, and some of the slow were fast. There were complaints in the first couple miles that our slow pace couldn’t be stood for even another mile, and later in the day that we were killing people. Well, we tried. But the amazing and happy part is that we still managed to keep everyone in go or tow. I believe all finished in very good form, though they might not say it for themselves. Some flat tires and a bar grip were the extent of the mechanicals, though we passed one poor soul within the first few miles hiking out with a trashed derailleur. There are rocks after all, though most of the trail was somewhat forgiving, and only a little wet and slick in the early a.m.

The XXL 2014 MoCo Epic 50 Top 12

  • 12. I’m cramping. You’re cramping already? Don’t worry, someone’s got a flask.
  • 11. We lost them. Where did they go? Back to the tent to drink beer. They’re earning ‘Gnar’ points!
  • 10. You and I got this thing! We can podium this event!
  • 9. Careful, this bridge is slippery. Hah, told you!
  • 8. (Dejected) I had to walk that hill. (Happy) I looked at that hill and said, I am walking that hill!
  • 7. (Ride splits). You guys, you missed the turn! (Turns around) You guys, you’re going the wrong way! (Turns around) It’s this way on the road. (Turns around) But there’s the marker. (Looks around) Where? On the kiosk, right there. (Bobble Head) Oh! (Turns around) This is single track, it’s more interesting. (Turns around) That was more interesting.
  • 6. Whack! What was that? OTB, hitting a tree. Is he OK? He’s up! (OTB later, smiling) Look, I wrecked my grip! I think it was the codeine. No, I’m pretty sure it was the tree.
  • 5. We’re splitting? I’ll go with the slow group. No, you just got delegated to the fast group.
  • 4. Let’s wait here for the slow group. Let’s just stay here. (Germantown Cycles Aid Station) They have corndogs, hot sausage, pineapple and beverages.
  • 3. What aid station is this? 4.5. Want a beer?
  • 2. Those guys in the orange jerseys had their own aid station with beer. Well, why didn't you ride with them? No way, they were way too fast for me.
  • 1. Do you guys always drink this much when you ride? This is more than normal, but it is a special occasion. We don’t usually ride this much when we drink.

It was Epic!

MoCo Epic photos by Ty Long and No Film Photography

MORE MoCo Epic Website

2014 MoCo Epic GPS Routes

Team XXL Facebook Page! More pics, more fun!


1 comment:

  1. #1 was my favorite. Great writeup Badger. Thanks for bringing the party (as usual) XXL!