This post is titled 'Killer Mountain Challenge 2010 - Part One'. The Killer Mountain Challenge part of the title is self explanatory, but the part that says 'Part One', implies that there will be several parts to the particular story. As with the challenge itself, this story seems to be growing of its own accord, and has become multi-faceted. Thus, I had to chop it up into parts. There is alot of info to write, so let's get going with Part One.
Big Al and I were sitting on the terrace one evening in late February, reviewing our guest calendar for March. I noticed that during the last two weeks of March, Casa Nora was full with hard-core athletes, all of whom are major mountain bikers, with names like Super Dave, Radical Radu, Wild Man, and Superman. Hhmmm.....I said to Al. We should do something fun for these guys. Al said, Yeah - we should get them all out to the Killer Mountain to see if anyone can beat Superman. After we caught our breaths from laughing so hard, Al said, 'As if anyone can beat Superman.' 'Yeah', I said, 'But let's put something together, ok?' 'Okey dokey', said Big Al.
The next day I was booked to have a beach massage with possibly the world's best massage therapist, Yomana. During our usual pre-massage chat, I mentioned that Al and I were thinking of organizing a little bike challenge. 'Yeah?', she said. 'When?' 'I don't exactly know, but sometime at the end of March, I said. 'Cool', she said. 'I'd like to offer post-race massages to the racers.' 'Really?', I said. 'Really!', she said. And so, the Killer Mountain Challenge 2010, had its first sponsor.
During our discussion Tom asks me for the Killer Mountain Challenge logo, rules and regulations...... Yikes! I don't have anything prepared, I say. He says, no problemo. Email it to me when you have it. Right.
When I finally get home, Al asks about my massage. Well, I say, Yomanahasofferedtosponsorfreemassagesfortheracers,Tomwilladvertisetheevent online,Stefanhasofferedtransportation,holycrapolaIambusy,needalogo,rulesandregulations, andneedtopickadate. And my massage was awesome!
I immediately pick a date, and email my buddy, my webmaster, and all 'round go-to-digital-guy, Antonio Franco for a logo. Two hours later, he produces this:
While I am working the logo and the sponsor logos etc, I notice a flurry of activity from Al's corner of the room. What's up, I ask? He says to me that Diego (the manager of the newest restaurant on the beach called La Chiva Loca), has offered to sponsor the post-race evening meal - pizza and beer, while we watch a slide show of the challenge. Muchas gracias, Diego and La Chiva Loca! Sponsor number 6.
It was nearing the end of the day, and we were out of beer for our weekly Casa Nora Happy Hour. I jumped into the truck and raced off to our local bodegon, owned by a pal of mine, William, also a biker. What the heck! I mention the event to him, and he offers to sponsor us with snacks, lots of water and ice.
And so, at the end of Day One of planning this event, we were offered 8 sponsorships, a judging committee, several volunteers, and were receiving emails from around the world from our previous Killer Mountain Challenge participants, most notably from the defending World Champion, John Kalhovde, otherwise known as Superman, who posted the following on his Facebook site:
...with the following profile status:
My friend and neighbour, Nancy, also came over to help Lii paint the banner. And her lovely boyfriend, Alessandro Ferrari, kitesurf instructor extraordinaire, and Margarita Island's distributor of Sea Specks sunglasses, sponsored us with a pair of awesome sunglasses. Many many many thanks to both Ale and Nancy. Sponsor number 9.
Here are the girls working on the banner.....
... as Wildman (aka Herb Loeman) looks on and offers support .....
... before assuming his duties as Race Commentator. Thanks Wildman! You did an awesome job!
While Al inspects the banner......
... Kathy, Yomana and I make the racing bibs.....
... display the trophies.....
....and start prepping the refreshment table.
Kathy, aside from helping with the race prep, and aside from being our Vela sponsor, also had the most important job of being the judge halfway up Killer Mountain One.
On the left, Imants (el carpintero) Zakis from Latvia was a judge, and Lii on the right helped paint the banner, and took photos of the event. Thanks guys!
Colette, aside from being the wife of Deigo (major contender for the Killer Mountain Challenge) was also a judge mid-way up Killer Mountain One. Thanks, Colette!
On the left, Lucy's boyfriend, Mike was stationed at the summit of Killer Mountain Three, on the right, masseuse extraordinaire and judge, Yomana, and in the middle, our judges, Sarah (the Missus) and Dave (the Guv'nor) Reynolds. Gracias!
THE KILLER MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
Ok - so, you may ask, what exactly is the Killer Mountain Challenge? And why all of the hoopla, chicanery and highjinx?
It is a little difficult to explain in words, but I will give it a go.
Despite living in the desert here in El Yaque, not far off in the distance there is a beautiful .... rise in elevation. Some call it a mountain (I being from Canada and having skied the Rocky Mountains, am reluctant to call it a mountain....), others call it a hill. I guess it depends on one's perspective. However, that is neither here nor there.
The initial rise in elevation is perhaps some 350-400 meters long, and has a 35 degree of incline. This is Killer Mountain #1.
I know, it sounds ridiculous. However, full on Hawaii Iron Men have tried to summit this, ... and failed. Big, muscular Germans, the size of tanks have tried, ... and failed. Folks training for triathlons have tried, ... and failed.
Until Superman, from Norway. This dude, scampered up Killer Mountain #1 like some kind of a gazelle! And he didn't stop there. He then discovered and added 5 additional summits - which Big Al then dubbed, 'The Six Summits of Superman'. Al then rolled all six summits into our "Killer Mountain Challenge 2010".
The object of this challenge is to a) actually make it up Killer Mountain #1, b) and then see how many of the other summits one can climb.
This is not a timed event. Take all of the time you need.
If you put your foot down, at any time during the challenge, your ride is over.
Each challenger has three tries, all of which must begin at the bottom of Killer Mountain #1.
The challenge must be completed using regular sneakers, and regular pedals. No clips, no baskets, no cages...or whatever those things are called.
Before all of you riders out there send me emails about the insanity of this, I know, I know. Using clips you can generate 30 - 50% more power, etc etc etc. The reason for this rule is that Superman, the guy who set the bar for this challenge, made it up Killer Mountain #1, #2, #3 and mid-way up #4, using our crappy bikes, with regular sneakers and pedals.
And so, there it is. That is the challenge.
..... and listen to Sarah and Dave, our judging committee, as they explain the rules...
... and the registration of the challengers begins....
Super Dave, from Calgary, but soon to be resident of El Yaque, signing in.
El Yaque local, "DNA Diego" (thus named as he has left more of his DNA on that mountain than anyone) signing in.
Above photo - Stefan, our neighbour signs in, while in the below photo, Super Dave, and Bad-ass Bidu (from Switzerland) discuss strategy....