The Rattler. The devil is in the details.

The Rattler MTB series takes place in Bear Creek Park. The next race is on August 14th, go here to learn more about this race and all the races put on by Rattler Series…click HERE

By Rob Quinn

The snake has always been the villan. The comparisons to the devil are as old as the notion of the devil itself.

I felt that something was amiss at the Tuesday night pre ride of the 2019 Rattler course. But my daughter is undefeated when it comes to technology based assumptions, when she stubbornly pointed to her phone and said “This is the right way. It’s on the web site.” Nuff said. The other groups of obvious cross country types also seemed to be a bit confused on the course. At the end of the pre ride we said…2 laps at 5 miles a lap. Tomorrow will be a short one.
The next day an email appeared from the promotor saying that for the last 364 days, the wrong map was on the web site and the course is actually a more standard 8 plus miles a lap.

Ironically the tech queen did not read that email and showed to the race with a single water bottle for a 10 mile two lapper. Judging from the questions / talk in the lower lot, a lot of racers did not know the course was changed either. The devil is in the details.

When we got registered and saw the 1st wave of racers off…we were taking a leisurely warm up when a guy passed me carrying a giant bag of stuff and he was pedaling like he meant it on the main road in Bear Creek, my curiosity was piqued so I followed.

Seems that nobody got out to Marshall the first wave of racers as they blindly crossed the main Bear Creek road while after work road riders wizzed downhill headed west for their after work rides. The situation was handled quickly with less than a dozen racers crossing. Without sounding like Aunt Bea…it’s a blessing nothing happened. The devil is in the details.

The group gathered at the bottom of the hill in the parking lot in Bear Creek to start. 6:15 PM. Long day of consuming liquids. Men’s classes over 40 and 50 years of age. You gotta think some folks are going to need to pee before the start. They did, but one problem. No porta pottie. If you and your family were fishing that night…sorry about that…

No problem. The race started and we were off on a classic Bear Creek race loop that was well marked and rode great. It was hot! With my truck showing 95 degrees in the lot. It was great to settle in with some quality mid week racing. Although I’m not imbibing, the talk near the rear turned to the after-event beers supplied by Jackass Hill Brewing company. With the group I settled in with…this was a big deal I could tell. When we rolled through the finish (16 miles not 10….) the announcer informed the racers that the event has been so awesome and the early racers such incredible party animals…The beer was all gone. The Jackass Hill gang made a quick and quiet exit as the hot as hell old bitchy class racers rolled in. In my perverted value system I experienced a little Schadenfreude since nobody would be racking up any free ice cold IPA’s if I wasn’t! Needless to say… if a post-race beer or two is big on your list and you were a slow old fart last week. You rode away a little disappointed. It’s in inexact formula when planning beer for an event. My advice. Bring more than you think you’ll need and don’t let the early fields suck ya dry. The devil is in the details.

In spite of a few big lapses in planning and operational execution….the event was a blast and I’ll do it next year.

A midweek race in the summer is just what the doctor ordered for that new found summer form. I hope to hit a few more before the season is over.

3 thoughts on “The Rattler. The devil is in the details.

  1. I am sorry that we didn’t meet all of your expectations with your race experience. As a long running volunteer of this race series, I take your comments both personally and seriously. Therefore I’ll address what I know. By the way, I’m the fat guy at registration that will gladly help you with any questions at any time.

    As far as the course goes, there were maps posted at registration, I know for a fact as I set them out. The course was the same as the one run last year for the last race. There may have been confusion with riders as this was the 2nd race due to the reschedule of the May race. Still, asking me at registration can fix the confusion.

    As far as hydration and only having 1 water bottle, just ask. Not only did we have a jug of Tail Wind, but also a jug of water. We had plenty of water bottles if you needed a spare.

    I can’t talk about the marshal as I wasn’t out there, but knowing our crew, we bust our butts to make sure everything is safe.

    As far as the port a potty, there is a facility at the top of the hill, another facility near the boat launch, and another one in the boat inspection parking lot. All should be within a 2 minute ride to the start.

    With the beer, unfortunately they ran out. The brewery, on there own time and dime, brought a keg. The barrel ran dry. It was a hot day. There were other hydration product available. Sorry you missed your beer.

    We are definitely not perfect, but we also want everyone to have a great time. If we don’t meet your expectations, come to us. We are out there busting our butts to make it enjoyable for everyone. If you feel these are big gaps, then by all means come and help us out as well.

  2. Rob, great write-up and review. Well, admittedly you caught us! While our posted maps never changed on the website, it is true we neglected to put the actual mileage in for the Pure Venom lap. The update to lap mileage was made late on the website as we were reminded when someone else emailed us. The course itself never changed, it’s only that we failed to put the mileage in.

    If you could please clarify with us regarding your comments about the downhill cyclists on Bear Creek road, we can work to fix it. We had 2 marshals stationed there, including our course director, for the entirety of the race so we may just need clarification on what you mean. Perhaps you are suggesting we need marshals for folks pre-riding?

    Beer, the most important part of a mountain bike race for sure! This will be remedied and the folks at Jackass Hill Brewery felt terrible about running out. Our first race they brought 2 full kegs and our racers barely went through one. The last race was much hotter and I think more people were in beer mode, but Jackass Hill brought less thinking they wouldn’t need as much. Problem solved though for our August 14 event.

    Quite honestly, we never thought to put a porta-let at the start area. With the 2 toilets at the top, a porta-let near the marina and in some of the other lots, we figured that was adequate. However, as we grow, this may become a consideration.

    We work to make every race better, and you’re absolutely right that the devil is in the details. Your comments are incredibly helpful to keep us at our best and not become complacent.

    Thank you for the review, and hope to see you at a future event!
    Rattler Series

  3. Rob,
    I see that Dave has replied to your post and I echo his sentiments. As course director it’s important to me that I have clarity on any issues with course setup and marshaling, so if you could provide a little more feedback, I would appreciate it. Depending on which race group is out, there are three potential road crossings for the Pure Venom race. Please let me know which crossing you are noting above and the start time of the group that had the issue:
    1. Park Rd. (paved road into the park to access the venue) and the dirt road that we use to send the racers up at the start of each race. This crossing includes both auto and road cyclist traffic.
    2. The downhill trail on the East side of the dam where it crosses the service road for the golf course. This crossing typically only has road cyclists to contend with.
    3. Park Rd. and the entrance to the Mountain View Lot. This is east of the venue and is where the riders returning from the Mount Carbon portion (Long Loop) of the race cross the road and reenter the main course. This crossing also includes both car and cyclist traffic

    Everyone that is involved with the Rattler Series wants to ensure it’s continued success, and we appreciate your time to help us with that.
    Thanks, Paul Raemer

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