If you’ve ever ridden or volunteered for a Spinistry event you already know that Kevin Lee (Spinistry’s founder) is notoriously guilty of putting on some of the most grueling cycling events south of the Red River. Texas Chainring Massacre, Red River Riot, Hell on Wheels 100, and Midnight Massacre are just a few of the races in his repertoire; but none come close to the insanity that is the Sansom 66. To the untrained eye, the Sansom 66 looks like any other 60ish mile endurance race, but to the frequenters of this trail this is 66 miles of pure agony. Marion Sansom Park is 11 miles of rocky, loose, technical, and fast descending single track located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is also infamously known for having near the edge, fall off a cliff, super fast, flowy trail. If you’ve never had the chance to ride here, I highly encourage you to make the trip, preferably with someone that knows the trail.
Earlier this year three of our very own Bearded Women Racing members Randy Davis, Braden Barnett, and I took on the challenge of the Sansom 66. However, being only mere mortals, we only signed up for the 33 miles option, which proved to be more than enough. The day started with cool temperatures and brisk winds that seemed to cut through even the best of windbreakers. As riders dawned their layers of long sleeve shirts and thermals the anxiety started to compound as it does with most race days. A few minutes before the race began, Kevin Lee gathered the racers around for the traditional racer’s meeting in which they gave a moment of silence for the late, great Ray Porter, a Dallas racing legend. In honor of Ray, his #1 race plate was retired from Spinistry events… a genuinely respectable act by Kevin.
Soon the race began with a short start loop that shot the racers straight into the racecourse. The degree of difficulty was quickly realized when racers began to bottleneck on technical sections and climbs that weren’t cleaned by the less experienced riders. Thankfully the field of riders was small and the traffic diminished within a few minutes. At this time, Bearded Women Racing was pretty well spread out. Braden and his Ti Lynskey bike were making great time and were in the lead pack. Randy was also doing well on his scandium/carbon Salsa and was staying competitive in the middle pack. Meanwhile, I was trudging along in the back of the pack on my Niner carbon single speed because of a flat tire late in the first lap. I eventually recovered from this and fixed my puncture, but never really got back into the race because I had lost so much time.
3 laps later our racers slowly started crossing the finish line looking beaten, but elated at the same time. Braden absolutely crushed the race coming in with a time of 3:57:07 which earned him a place of 17/28. Randy also had a strong showing earning a 22/28 placing with a time of 4:28:29. I, despite the mechanical troubles I encountered with two flat tires, earned a 25/28 place with a time of 5:10:50; respectable time for a single speed. Perhaps I would have had better luck if I had registered in the single speed category.
See ya at IDB! JB
Here are the overall results from the Samson 66 in Ft Worth, TX:
- Braden Barnett, 17th place out of 28th, 3:57:07
- Randy Davis, 22nd place out of 28th, 4:28:29
- Jesse Bernal, 25th place out of 28th, 5:10:50