In a momentous group effort the crew from Rhinelander took the 2011 Thunderdown Cup home to reside at Bikes N Boards. 14 hodags logged a total of 295 miles on a beautifully hot day. Wausau riders accumulated a total of 116 miles and were left shaking their heads in awe at the tenacity of hodags on tough trails.
A new Cup will be commissioned for 2012. Word has it that the Duluth boys will roster up next year as long as Eki can convince Charlie that conditions aren't too perfect in the Underdown. Those boys love a good, long fight in foul weather, and they don't mind a little hamburger butt either.
A couple things I learned this year regarding next year:
1. This course is long enough! I think I've found the sweet spot with this year's format. Though there is a nice symmetry to a 25 mile lap, I'm starting to think that adding 9 miles that didn't make the cut this year might be the end. On a course that long I may never see you again.
2. People like cold water on course. Expect more bottles on ice next year.