Rudolph’s Revenge

Written by racing member, Evan Blackard
IMG_2128Rudolph’s Revenge is a 30-mile or 40-mile mountain bike race held on the Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor, the road between the FM455 Greenbelt access point and Isle du Bois State Park (FM455), the road in Isle du Bois State Park (from the park entrance to the DORBA trailhead), and the DORBA Trail at Isle du Bois. This year, it was held on Saturday, December 20th, with a start time of 9:00 A.M. Temps were in the low 40s and it was overcast and damp.

The 30-mile version began with a mass start from the red bridge at the FM428 access point of the Greenbelt Corridor. The start was very “low-key” compared to many XC races, with very few sprinting from the onset. Even those that did, quickly realized that the open areas of the Greenbelt trail would be better experienced in a drafting pack, and let the main group catch up. Drafting was very important on the greenbelt and the initial road  portion of the trail. Riders that did this well had significantly more energy reserves for the upcoming single track and the return on the road and Greenbelt gravel.

After riding the Greenbelt and some road (around 9 miles) from the FM455 access point to the park, into the park, and all the way to the trailhead, the single track portion of the race began. Isle du Bois is a demanding trail both technically and aerobically, although more so technically. It is very well balanced with climbs and descents, and doesn’t have an abundance of “lung-busting” extended climbs or open flats to “pound.” The technical aspect of the trail is largely due to the short, rocky climbs and descents in the D and E loops of the trail. There are many and they are tricky. I walked 3 or 4 sections after putting a foot down. I got the impression that increased familiarity with the trail would help with that, although it would be technically difficult nonetheless.

The Isle du Bois trail is around 10 miles and is fantastically fun. It’s a great place to destroy your legs because you’re having a blast while you’re doing it.

The road and gravel on the return was NOT fantastically fun. It was the identical route you took to get to the trailhead but in reverse, except this time, there was no one to draft with. It was punishing for everyone, but particularly for those who were better in the trees than on the road (like me). It seemed like it went on forever and it was just flat-out suffering (I got reeled in by a rider that I had put around a minute gap on in the single track). Painful. 😊

The 30 mile version and the 40 mile version race the same course, but the 40 mile version did the singletrack TWICE. (Ouch… Ask Ben.)

Shawn McAfee and his family provided pancakes and coffee, and The Sock Guy provided some free socks for the riders. Shawn also used your entrance fee to work an arrangement with the state park to cover all the riders entries to the park. There were about 50 total racers in the 30 mile and 30ish in the 40 mile.
BWR had three participants:

Benjamin Leach, Nick Castro, and Evan Blackard.

Jesse Bernal from BWR is the trail steward at IDB and does an amazing job. There was rain leading up to the event that threatened to move the race to its backup date, but in the end, the race was a “go” and the trail was in fantastic shape. Thanks, Jesse.

I would highly recommend this race: multi-discipline, higher than average XC milage, in a “race void” time of year, held on a fantastic trail, and staffed by some really friendly people.

Rudolph may have had his revenge…

but I’ll be back.


30 Mile

  • Evan Blackard, 2:28:52, 13th
  • Nick Castro, DNF

40 Mile Singlespeed

  • Benjamin Leach, 4:10:19, 5th


Rudolph’s Revenge and a fire at North Shore!

The team’s 2014 season has been officially underway since December 2013, but through a few different race cancellations and postponements, we still hadn’t had a complete race with our participation until last Saturday, January 25th.

The Rudolph’s Revenge race was a 30 (or 40) mile race on the toughest singletrack in North Texas combined with super fast fire road. The 30 mile race took at least 2 hours to finish and covered roughly 1500 feet in elevation change. It had been postponed because of weather in December, but it officially was put into the books on Saturday.  Two of our new race members, Jesse Bernal and Daniel Johnson, logged their first official race with the team, providing a glimpse of why we’re so excited to have them and everyone on our team for this 2014 year!

Jesse Bernal finished 2nd out of 4 in the 30 mile Single Speed Open category, and Daniel finished 14th out of 27 in the 30 mile Men’s Open category.  Congrats fellas!

Here are the overall results from the race:

  • 30 mi. SS Open
    • Jesse Bernal, 2nd out of 4, 2:29:26, avg spd: 12.03 mph
  • 30 mi. Men’s Open
    • Daniel Johnson, 14th out of 27, 2:29:08, avg spd: 12.07 mph

And, not to forget we all went out to North Shore for an awesome day of racing before the race got abruptly stopped and later cancelled, because some numbskull didn’t put out his campfire.  We had 10 racers on the course and another 6 volunteer members in support for the Frozen DORBA series race.  Check out these great pics, and look for the team at the next race in the series at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, and at the Dirty Dozen Endurance Race in Warda, TX both this weekend!

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