At this point in the year, you’re most likely one of three things. Entirely sick of me and filled with loathing. So madly in love with me that your next born already bears my namesake. Still terribly skeptical of this banter, yet willing to wait it out. Whichever it is, please make sure to either read or skip this one to the bottom. Many things have been going on in our racing landscape…and there’s one guy out there, one of our longest running members, who day after day, belies any description. That is what I’d like to focus on. This is one of the rare folk that I’ve dared let give me advice, and if you were to ask my parents, you’d learn that this is not something that I take kindly to. While all those roadies out there, and let’s be fair, we’ve all seen them, are out doing their “Cock of the Walk” struts, replete with compression socks, Power Taps and a wallet full of excuse laden results, there’s this one lone guy, Bill, simply slinging mud. Weekend after weekend. Slinging mud, suffering like a red headed step dog, his dear wife in the feedzone handing up bottles…all the while embodying what got EVERY SINGLE ONE of this in to this game in the first place.
Bill Feier, ladies and gentleman. Bill Feier. Heretofore known as Top Jimmy Bill.
Let’s take a quick look at what Top Jimmy Bill has been up to over the recent months.
SERC #3; Tsali trails near Bryson City, NC. If you haven’t ridden here yet, you have two orders. 1) Do not admit it. 2) Close the lid, grab/buy your mountain bike, and proceed to check this off your list. Bring everyone, it’s impossible not to have fun here. Racing this course is a different animal. There’s no natural limiter. Just your gears. How bad you want to hurt translate to how well you’re willing to finish. Simple. Beautiful. The turnout was huge, as this race also covered the Southern Classic Series as well as a US Cup. This translate to signs that read “Parking for ringers only”. Top Jimmy Bill put it all on the trail, like he always does, and chipped out his fastest average speed of the year, but so did everyone else, so he ended up in 21st spot. But the final result doesn’t matter. Our charge, empirically, is to lay it all on the line every time, that’s what Top Jimmy Bill did, and for that we/he are proud. This race is a death March. Well played.
SERC #4; Ft. Yargo near Winder, Georgia. We welcome the rain back and this trail turns in to one twisty rooted piece of work, with plenty of climbing… which is the norm for the SERC. Despite the trail being a little sloppy, TJB stayed on the bike for a 9th place finish and hung on to 5th place in the series overall.
SERC #5; Huntsville, Alabama at Monte Sano state park. The place is one big rock garden. And one big climbfest. As usual, it was a wet weekend, and being rock strewn, it was mighty mighty slick. Despite an amicable start, by mid race, the clouds had opened up and the oncoming deluge turned the trail so slick, that it became humorous. “This race was so wicked”, says TJB. He nabbed 6th place and rose up to 4th in the series standings.
SERC #6; good old Ducktown TN for the Tanasi race. Everyone knows this race and all showed up for it. To say it bluntly, this trail has personality. It starts with a nice 2 mile climb from the start, over a rocky, rooty climb right to the top of the mountain. The middle of the 11 mile loop is full of pretty sweet single track (unless it is raining), and then to leave you with the stinging, metallic aftertaste of blood, you have to take the Thunder Rock Express back off the mountain. The trail is narrow and fast as it follows a ridge line. On one side is the mountain. One the other, a drop of anywhere from 20 to 50 feet. They used to put netting up on some of the most severe corners, but lately replaced the nets with ambulances at an access road close to the bottom. Another top 10 finish and TJB is now standing well in 4th place.
On a national note, even though USA Cycling has just release the national standings for the Men’s Expert 50-59 group. That’s right, NATIONAL standings. And look where our man is, William Feier in this case.
|Mens Cat 1 (50-59) Cross Country Rankings (2010)|
That’s right, top 10 in the nation. Go Top Jimmy!!!