with John Petrylak

the rumblings of a mad man
I don’t remember everything about every race but certain moments have stuck with me from every race. This is a list of my 2017 races; every one of them was an unforgettable experience.
Bring on 2018!!

February 5th...Bedford Mountain Cross: This was my introduction to short track. I remember the morning was cold but warmed up into the low 60’s. During this race I set a few top 3 all time efforts for heart rate and power.

February 12th...Pantani Ride: (not really a race but it might as well be. I remember riding off the front on the first big climb after Bryan Lewis flatted. When we started going up Simmons Gap I was looking down at the switch backs and could see my lead growing (I was thinking finally I could win this thing). But not so fast I’m a mere mortal! Just before the insanely steep start of the Shifflett Rd. climb Bryan caught me and proceed to show me why I work a 9-5 and he’s a professional cyclist. ________________________________________

February 19th...MonsterCross: As I came through the start/finish for my second lap someone yelled out “leaders 5 minutes up” I proceeded to ring myself inside out and caught up to the star studded lead group. Unfortunately I burnt every match I had and then some just to catch them. After J. Bishop attacked on the climb out of the bottom I was popped but thrilled with my race overall.

March 5th...Stokesville 60/40: This race is an instant classic. Every year it’s getting bigger and faster. My memory from this race was coming down Lookout mountain trail and taking some risky lines as I was praying to the mountain bike tire gods not to flat.

March 11th...True Grit 50miler(Utah): I remember riding through the desert 🌵 going down this trail with huge drops and basically riding off of cliffs wondering when my luck was going to run out. I had a terrible race but a wonderful trip to Utah with my wife.

March 25th...Tour de Pocahontas; During the 50 mile stage I got s small gap on the field. Going full out through some single track my front tire lost grip and I rammed my face into a pretty large tree. Ouch!!

April 9th...USAC Race Dark Mountain N.C.; Not my best race of the year. Actually driving to the race was the hi-lite! I rode down with John Witherspoon and laughed the whole way in both directions. A true example of the journey being better than the destination.

April 15th...Conquer the Hill; Rest is Best I needed to get over a stomach bug but I’m a hammer head and I raced. By the final lap I barely had enough to turn pedals over. Miserable day ________________________________________

April 29th...Big Frog 65 (NUE Marathon Race); I’m back! After a blah start I stayed on the gas and caught back up to 3rd place. During the last few miles of single track it seemed to last for an eternity. I just wanted my first NUE podium. Once I could see the tents in the campground I knew I made it.

May 21st...Bootleg Blitz (VA State Championships); rain turned this typical Virginia clay based trail into peanut butter. No matter how hard I tried or how fast I pedaled I wasn’t going anywhere. Maddening!

June3rd...Mohican 100k; why did I do that? I spent a lot of matches in the first 10 minutes of the race. I blew up🔥and had to soft pedal for a while (like 30 minutes) I went from 3rd place to 103rd place and there was nothing I could do. Eventually I came back around and raced up to 5th.

July 9th...The Sizzler; USAC XC race in Greensboro NC. Statistically this was one of my best races. A stacked field made for intense competition. I rode damn near 100% effort for 20 miles and it was still only good enough for 8th place.

July 15th...Carrabassett 100k in Maine; I could write 3 pages about the drama that unfolded during this race. The thing I remember most is the sense of relief after I descended off the final super rocky mountain without a flat and I knew the finish was just a few minutes away.

July 21st...USAC XC Nats; Snowshoe VW Silver Baby! 🥈

July 30th...Chimney Chase; ouch 🤕 Perfect example of running out of talent at the worst possible time.

August 19th...Crotchet Mountain 100;Back to New England. Rocks-roots-repeat

September 3rd...Shenandoah 100; standing on the podium with guys I used to only read about, amazing day🤗

September 17th...Hill City Hootenanny; Definitely the surprise of the year as far as courses go! Super fun single track and a very well run race. I’ll be back

September 24th...Battle of the Quarry; I should have sprinted up the final climb😬

September 30th...Big Bear Lake C.A.; leaving with my first National title(NUE)! We did it ✅

October 7th...RVA 24/6; I had to opt for the short race this year(6 hour solo). As I was leaving the campground about 15 hours before my brothers and sisters would be finishing their final lap of the 24 hour race I definitely felt guilty but relieved.😌 (thanks for helping me out Wusksyat)

October 21st...Paranormal 6hour Solo; This is a memory forever. Broken chain 30 seconds in.......after a broken chain I raced from dead last and won🏆

November 5th...Tidewater; I was thinking if I could just get on the same straight away as Adam and Keck I could get on their wheel. (Thanks for all the great photos this year Chris T.)

Thank you to everyone who made 2017 a successful year:
Bike Factory Charlottesville
ESI Grips
Tifosi Eyewear
Bishop Training
Scott Sports
A new and exciting adventure this coming year is going to be riding on a Norco. 😍
I’m wishing everyone the best in 2018, I cannot wait to see you out there.