A Dirt Sweat And Gears Race Report

Posted on May 2nd 2007 | Bike Life, Blog,

Lee Unwinn has spent the last few seasons trying to break himself and a few handfuls of our products in the insane arena that is Endurance racing. We listen to his feedback to help design better products for you.

This season, aside from being sponsored by us, Lee is also riding for Van Dessel bikes and Ergon grips. Here is his race report from this past weekend’s Dirt Sweat and Gears race down in Tennessee:

Dirt Sweat and Gears is in the books for 2007. The DSG was a race that gained huge popularity in the past few months because it offered big money, lots of prizes and a party atmosphere. The race was literally a who’s who of pro riders that had come from around the country. A few of the many highlights of the event included live bands, free beer and a helicopter that dropped in on the action.

The course itself was a 10.5 mile loop with over 1500 vertical feet of climbing per lap. It was a mix of fast open terrain, steep climbs and rocks that wanted to do nothing more than break you and your bike. I decided to race my full rigid single speed for no better reason than I wanted to see if I could do it. I learned that I could, in fact, do it even if my body told me not to.

I kept a watchful eye on my Planet Bike computer all day to try to maintain a constant speed. I was doubtful that it would survive the horrible shaking and the water I kept pouring on my head, but it never stopped working. On that same note, I decided to run water bottles in my PB Button cages instead of using a hydration pack. I wanted to keep the weight off my body and be able to have water and energy drink available at the same time. I was again doubtful that I would keep all my bottles in all day, but I never lost one. I know my PB stuff is bomber, but everything has its limits.

Despite getting the snot pounded out of me, but I rode hard all day and was only off my bike for a total of two minutes. By the end, I had posted 90 miles and 12,500 feet of climbing with no mechanical or physical failures. I finished 5th in the pro single speed and 10th overall in the pro open. Although the race was tough, it was made easier by having really good equipment that didn’t let me down.